These Healthy Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Bars are easy, healthy snack bars made with 5 natural ingredients. They are dairy-free, refined-sugar-free, and gluten-free!
Keep reading to learn how to make vegan rice crispy treats without marshmallows!
Yes, a classic peanut butter Rice Krispies bar is not that healthy, even made at home.
The classic recipe involves a lot of sugar from corn syrup and melted mini marshmallows, which means Rice Krispies-based recipes are not vegan.
Here I am sharing with you our healthy no-bake peanut butter rice crispy bar recipe made with only real ingredients.
Are Rice Krispies Vegan?
Rice Krispies from the popular brand Kellogg’s is not vegan.
They are fortified with Vitamin D derived from animal sources.
However, there are many puffed rice cereal options on the market containing no additives and are 100% vegan.
How To Make Puffed Rice Bars
All you need to make these healthy no-bake bars are 7 ingredients.
- Natural peanut butter – use a fresh jar with oil on top and make sure there is no added sugar or added oil in your peanut butter. Natural Peanut Butter (100% peanuts) is always vegan.
- Maple syrup – or any unrefined liquid sweetener you love like agave syrup or brown rice syrup. All these options are vegan approved.
- Coconut oil – use refined coconut oil to avoid coconut flavor. This is the key ingredient to making peanut butter Rice Krispies treats without marshmallows and still have them hold together. Coconut oil sets the bars under just 73F/23C.
- Sea salt – optional. Don’t add if you are using salted peanut butter.
- Vanilla extract
- Puffed rice cereals – as mentioned above, rice Krispies from Kellogg’s brand are not vegan approved. That’s what these vegan rice crispy treats are made with natural puffed cereals with no added sugar or vitamin D3
- Dark chocolate chips – I am using vegan chocolate chips. Check the ingredients list to make sure there is no added milk powder.
Making The Puffed Rice Bars
First, line a square pan with parchment paper, lightly grease with coconut oil or cooking spray, and set aside.
Then, in a large bowl, add your favorite crispy cereals. It doesn’t have to be puffed rice cereals, by the way!
This recipe works with any of the healthy puffed crispy cereals options below:
- puffed brown crispy rice
- puffed unsweetened crispy rice
- puffed quinoa
- puffed amaranth
- puffed spelt
Next, prepare the peanut butter mixture. Bring a small saucepan over low heat and combine the natural creamy peanut butter with vanilla extract, coconut oil, and maple syrup until creamy.
Don’t overcook this mixture, or it can stick to the pan.
Finally, pour the peanut butter mixture onto the puffed cereals and stir in to evenly coat all the puffed crispy cereals with the mixture.
Assembling The Bars
The trick to making no-bake peanut butter rice crispies bars is to:
- Spread the coated cereals firmly into the pan. Press it with your hands, place a piece of parchment paper on top of the bar and press hard with your hand to compact the bar and create a flat layer with no holes between the cereals. Then peel off the parchment paper.
- Freeze them for 15 minutes. This will firm up the bottom layer quickly and make it easier to spread the chocolate layer on top.
Making The Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer
To make the top layer, melt dark chocolate chips, peanut butter, and coconut oil over low heat in a saucepan.
When the liquid is melted and shiny, remove the bar from the freezer and evenly pour the chocolate on top of the bar.
Then, quickly spread the melted chocolate all over the rice layer to evenly cover the bar.
Finally, return the dish to the freezer to set the top chocolate layer. It should take about 5-10 minutes.
Cutting Puffed Rice Bars
Often, rice vegan rice crispy treats bar crumble apart when you cut them out.
The trick is to warm the knife blade. This makes it easier to cut through the chocolate layer without breaking it into pieces.
Storing No-Bake Bars
These vegan chocolate peanut butter rice crispy treats must be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
They soften quickly at a temperature above 74°F (23°C) and are better kept in a cold place.
If you want to take away these bars, make sure they are stored in a cool place.
Otherwise, if it is hot where you live, you can freeze the bars in an airtight container and thaw them at room temperature.
Their texture will be perfect after 1 hour at room temperature, so if you want to travel with these bars, freeze and store them in a cold place in a container.
Frequently Asked Questions
Puffed Rice is a very healthy cereal when it’s not loaded with sugar and other additives.
Yes, you can swap the puffed rice for puffed quinoa, puffed amaranth, or puffed wheat.
More No-Bake Peanut Butter Recipes
I love to create no-bake peanut butter snacks. They are easy, healthy, and handy! You may also want to try my healthy vegan snack recipes below.
Made these easy peanut butter rice crispy treats? Share a picture with me on Instagram, or write your comment below! I love to hear your feedback and see your creations,
Healthy Peanut Butter Cereals Bars
- Line a 9-inch x 9-inch square pan with parchment paper. Lightly oil the paper with cooking spray or coconut oil. Set aside.
- In a medium-size saucepan, add fresh runny peanut butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, salt, and vanilla. Bring under low/medium heat, stir and cook until it melts and comes together into a thick creamy paste. It takes just 1 minute, don't overcook it, or it sticks to the pan. You can also microwave the mixture in a microwave-safe bowl by 30 seconds burst, stir between each session in the microwave, until creamy.
- Place the rice crispy cereals into a large mixing bowl (start with 2 cups + 1/2 cups) and pour the peanut butter mixture on top.
- Combine with a spoon until all the cereals are coated. If you used small puffed cereals, you might want to add 1/2 cup puffed cereals, adjust to taste.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. First, spread evenly with a greased spatula. Then, lay a piece of parchment paper on top of the bar to fully cover the bar. Next, press/rub the surface hard enough to compact the bar and avoid air between rice crispies (see picture above in the post for tips).
- Place the pan in the freezer to set, about 10-15 minutes, meanwhile prepare the chocolate layer.
- In a small saucepan, over low-medium heat, melt dark chocolate chips, coconut oil, and peanut butter until smooth and shiny.
- Remove the pan from the freezer and pour the melted chocolate all over the bar.
- Spread the chocolate using a greased spatula until all the bar is coated with the melted chocolate
- Return the pan to the freezer for 10 minutes or until the chocolate layer is set. Then, refrigerate for 1 hour before slicing.
- Remove from the fridge and wait for 5 minutes before cutting to prevent the chocolate top layer from cracking.
- If you can, warm the blade of your knife under a flame or boiling water (dry in a towel) and cut the bars into 12 squares. The warm blade will cut the chocolate layer easily, preventing the layer from breaking into pieces.
- Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. The cereals soften slightly after 1 week, and that's normal.