These vegan Rice Krispie Treats are made with healthy ingredients! If you want to enjoy some homemade Rice Krispie Treats with no marshmallows and no peanut butter, you’ve come to the right place.
Yes, you can make vegan rice Krispie treats and make them with much healthier alternative ingredients! And I have the easy recipe for you 😍
Rice krispie treats have been a childhood favorite for decades. We all remember them growing up, don’t we? A classic cookie treat that’s fun for kids, easy to make, and loved by all.
However, the original recipe is made with butter and marshmallows. If they are vegan, they are made with margarine and vegan marshmallows.
What makes these healthy Rice Krispie Treats different?
I’m here to show you how to make Krispie treats without vegan butter, without vegan margarine, and without vegan marshmallows!
Nope. Recipe magic!
See, when I developed this recipe, vegan marshmallows were just coming on to the vegan market. They weren’t available in many stores or online.
I wanted to create a recipe using more common pantry staples. Plus, I knew I could make vegan rice krispie treats just a little healthier than with margarine and vegan marshmallows!
In eat, drink & be vegan, I created two vegan recipes of rice krispie treats. The first version was more ‘traditional’, using vegan marshmallows. Then, another using macadamia butter.
Later, when creating recipes for Plant-Powered Families, I created a nut-free version of this krispie treats recipe (now my favorite)!
Today, I’m sharing both the nut-free and original versions of my rice krispie treats.
In this video, I show you how to make the original version using macadamia nut butter.
Macadamia nut butter is ahhhmazing, but can be difficult to find. So, if you cannot get your hands on it, try a raw cashew butter.
Or, just go with the coconut butter version, below. The coconut butter treats hold together even better and have become my favorite version!
Enjoy the treats! x Dreena
Healthy Rice Krispie Treats (vegan & gluten free)
- 1/3 cup coconut butter (not oil, see note) OR 1/2 cup macadamia nut butter (see note)
- 1/2 cup brown rice syrup or coconut nectar, see note
- 3 tbsp unrefined sugar can reduce or omit, to taste
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 – 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 – 4 cups natural brown rice crisp cereal
- Line an 8×8-in (20×20-cm) pan with parchment paper. In a large saucepan on low-medium heat, combine coconut butter or macadamia butter, syrup, sugar, (agar if using macadamia nut butter), salt, and vanilla. Stir continually as mixture heats is fully dissolved (reduce heat if mixture starts bubbling). Remove from heat and stir in cereal, making sure to fully incorporate with nut butter mixture. Transfer mixture to pan and press in evenly (use an edge of parchment paper to press without sticking). Refrigerate to cool completely, then cut into squares. Makes 16 squares.
- Macadamia Note: If you don’t need these nut-free, use macadamia nut butter or raw cashew butter. If using nut butter, it’s helpful to add 1/4 tsp agar powder with the mixture before adding the cereal.
- Use coconut butter, not oil.
- Brown Rice Syrup Note: Don’t substitute with maple syrup! I get this question all the time. It’s not thick and sticky enough. If you need to substitute, only use a thick coconut nectar.
Thank you for the recipe. Do you think subbing date syrup for the brown rice syrup would work?
I love your recipes btw❤️
Dreena Burton says
Hi Domenica, I’d love to say yes, but it’s generally not as thick and that’s what’s needed for this recipe. If you have another thick sweetener, the texture of brown rice syrup, that will work. Otherwise the squares tend to crumble.
Mehar Singh says
Wow! this looks amazing! Can’t wait to make it at home!
What a great recipe!!
thank you Jenean
I just followed your Healthy Rice Krispie Treat recipe. They are the best I’ve ever tasted!! They came out perfect! Thank you soooo much for posting this recipe. I have a lot of food allergies, so have not been able to have treats like this in forever it seems.
Dreena Burton says
Hi Conne, thank yo uso much for the glowing review, and sharing your feedback for others.
I’ve been scouring the web for recipes that use coconut butter aka coconut manna and found your rice crispie recipe just as Barbara’s Brown Rice crisp cereal went on sale for 99 cents a box. I made these exactly as directed except for a scant sprinkling of cinnamon in the melted ingredients as well as on top of the finished, soft rice crispies. These are stupid delicious as in I could get real stupid and eat the whole batch at once. I found thick, gooey date syrup and will try that instead of brown rice syrup next time because brown rice syrup is becoming hard to find where I live. Thank you for this alternative recipe that doesn’t punish my taste buds.
Carmen Leon says
Any sub for brown rice syrup? Glycemic scale it is 98. That’s higher than any other sweetener I know of.
Piz Goode says
I have never heard of vegan rice crispy squares, thank you for sharing!
Nancy Nurse says
Hi Dreena, is Coconut Butter approved on the McDougall program? Also, I’ve never used coconut butter and just looking online… it seems it all comes in hard chunks, is that right? So do you just kind of estimate the amount since I’m reading in testimonials that it’s very difficult to even get out of the container? Thanks so much!
You don’t recommend substituting maple syrup for brown rice syrup as it’s not thick enough. How about using golden syrup?
Hi Sonya, I haven’t used it myself – is it corn syrup? It will have a similar texture if so, it’s just not a sweetener I use. Hope that helps!
Bella Marin says
Great recipe. Kids loved them!
Nina Javez says
Hey Dreena, I used white puffed rice instead and they turned out pretty good! Would you recommend brown rice?
Hi Nina, if you want to try a puffed brown rice cereal you can. Puffed rice is different than rice crisp cereal – overall the squares will be less ‘crispy’ and not as sweet. But if you enjoyed them with puffed white rice, then by all means give it a try!
Hi there dreena
I can’t seem to find brown puffed rice here in Australia, what about puffed millet? Or quinoa?
Hi Hayley, for sure you can use another puffed cereal. I prefer to use the brown rice crisps rather than the puffed rice for flavor, but the puffed cereals will also work. Good luck!
Hayley you can buy the brown rice from European bulk stores in Australia, and look it up of Googe search, you will find it listed…
I hope I haven’t blown it but I just made these and as a last minute crazy addition, melted chocolate drizzle over the top! Why? I just couldn’t stop myself!
Thanks for your excellent recipes!
This recipe says its NUT-FREE, yet you use cocoNUT butter. For many of us with tree nut allergies, tree nuts INCLUDE cocoNUT. Is there a NUT-FREE substitute for the cocoNUT?
Deanna, coconut is classified as a drupe botanically.
I am not oblivious to the word “nut” included in coconut, but it’s irrelevant. The word “man” is also included in the word “woman” and that doesn’t mean we are technically men.
While there can be cross-contaminant allergies, it is rather rare, and so most recipes that use coconut are classified as nut-free.
I too have tree nut allergies. But I can eat coconuts as they are not truly a nut. I can also eat peanuts, which are also not truly nuts. It is just an individual thing. And these look super good! Thanks for the nut free recipe.
Sara Berberich says
Dreena, your reply made me smile 🙂 Thank you.
Ashley Hoober says
Me as well! What a wonderful way to address someone of that nature.
Love your website! Would love to see the food you’re cooking in the video/pullcamera down.
Nancy Nurse says
Any substitute for the coconut oil? We use NO oils whatsoever… thanks so much!
There is no Oils in this recipe, if you need it Nut free you can use coconut butter, which is the whole coconut meat ground up
Am I missing something? I don’t see agar powder in the list of ingredients. How much agar is needed?
Uh, yeah, how much agar powder? And, is there a sub?
If you use the coconut butter version you don’t need the agar.
but how much? It isn’t in the recipe and I didn’t use. I hope it doesnt matter. oops
I didn’t use and they seem to be fine after a ‘hard’ press into the pan
Hi Dreena, these look so good! I was just wondering, because nut allergy, cannot use any nut products, What would you recommend instead of macadamia nut butter?
Hi Sofia, I do have a nut-free version in Plant-Powered Families – do you have that book? It uses coconut butter, but I don’t have the adapted recipe/notes published.
Is there a nut-free method to this delicious madness?
Hi Dreena! I was wondering if it is okay to use pumpkin or pumpkin spice in this recipe at all? Thanks!
You can add pumpkin spice for sure, would add a lovely flavor twist. I wouldn’t add pureed pumpkin, it will add too much moisture to the mix.
Hi! I only managed to find AgarAgar flakes at my foodstore. If i process it in the food processor to have a powder would that work the same? 🙂
Hi Roxanne, yes, if you grind it in a blender, coffee/spice grinder or otherwise until very powdery – will work fine!
nicholas charalambous says
can i use mashed up banana instead of the sugar?
Nicholas, you can omit the granulated sugar, I have, and they are still nicely sweet with the brown rice syrup. Using mashed banana will change the texture, you’ll have a different result altogether.
Kim O says
should these stay chilled until serving? I just made a batch and will bring them to a party tomorrow. Just wondering where to keep them overnight. I sprinkled crushed candy cane on top for a little holiday pizazz
Hi Kim, yes, I keep them refrigerated. The texture is best, plus it helps keep them fresher. Love the idea of the candy canes on top!! Have a great party!
Sharon @BigCityVegan says
Wow Dreena these look so great. Beautiful photos! Need to learn how to take better food photos. Every time I see yummy ones like yours I’m reminded I need to get on that! 🙂
I’m totally making these. Love that you don’t need to rely on vegan marshmallows which are not so readily available, even in the big city.
Wondering how Brazil nuts would be or peanuts. Hmmm.
Thanks so much for this recipe! 🙂
Aw, thanks Sharon! I don’t think I’m a terribly skilled photographer, so I appreciate that compliment! Hope you try them – and love ’em! 😀 xx
JUST made these! Wow! Delicious and easy and fast! Can’t wait ’til they’re fully cooled…although I did tell the hubbie that there would be some when he gets home…
I made this last week. I had a bit of a problem. I made a double batch and they became too hard. I had to use cashew butter instead of macadamia butter, but I don’t think that was the problem. Could it have been to much cereal?
Nike Air Jordan Noir says
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and found most individuals will go along with your views on this
Bridget @ The Road Not Processed says
These look superb! I want to make these for my sister, she used to love these as a child. What happens if I omit the agar powder?
Bridget, if you don’t have agar, you can still make them – they will just be touch less firm, but not by much. Enjoy. 🙂
WOW this is fantastic thank you!
Would it be possible in the future to pull the video camera back a little bit so we can see what you are doing with the food?
We use a similar recipe from Your Vegan Mom. We have 7 people in our family so we do a 9 x 13. We use peanut butter and corn syrup. They have that mouthfeel and my kids prefer them to the marshmallow ones they use to eat. We sometimes add chocolate chips.
This was one of the first desserts I made for James’ family.. What a nightmare – he had gone vegan, his sister had given up sugar, and his dad had given up chocolate. His mum is already wheat-free. I think I ended up using “fructose” (still technically a sugar, I know!) in place of the sugar. Was a real palaver. They loved ’em. And rightfully so.
Is there a substitute that can be used for the brown rice syrup? I cannot seem to find brown rice syrup anywhere? Wondering if agave syrup or maple syrup would work?
Sarah, can you purchase barley malt? It isn’t gf, but is thick like brown rice syrup. Agave and maple syrup are both much thinner in texture. The other option I might suggest is coconut nectar, it’s closer in texture (but I haven’t tested it myself with it). Sometimes stores will bring it in if you ask – worth a try! 🙂
does anyone ever use sorgham?
I’m pretty sure substituting maple syrup in a smaller amount, combined with a higher quantity of sugar, should end up with approximately the same consistency as with brow rice syrup. At least that’s my plan as that’s what I’ve got to work with. 😉 The exact proportions are a matter of experimentation of course but I’d try maybe half/half.
Hi Mike, let us know how it works. It will likely be sweeter since both maple syrup and sugar are sweeter than brown rice syrup. Hopefully it will hold ok – will be better with the coconut butter. Good luck!
Thank you very much for the awesome recipe, I can’t wait to try it out!
Ive made these many times. They are delicious. Thanks for reminding me to make them again.
Rachel @ My Naturally Frugal Family says
Even as an adult I still love rice krispie treats…good to know you’ve given them a healthier makeover 🙂
Erin Margaret says
Rice krispies are one of my absolute favorite treats on earth. This is a must try and it seems very easy! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Delicious Dreena! Will have to try these with the Macadamia!
I’ve got something in the same line, rice crispies are in it:
oh WOW, those look dynamite Jay. Definitely a hit of decadence to those – a must try! Thanks for sharing – and really nice job on the video segment! 🙂
Hey Dreena- I have the book at home so I can check but just curious can you use another nut butter as in alond or even peanut? Let me know what you think. Thanks!
Ozlem, certainly you can – the flavor won’t mimic the marhsmallow flavor using something other than mac butter (or raw cashew)… but, they will still be a tasty, nutty/krispie treat. So, give it a whirl!
Thank you for the ebook shout-out, Dreena! Lisa and I are so grateful for the support.
I can’t wait to make your Nicer Krispie Squares. I am a big fan of agar 🙂
You’re so welcome, Nicole. I wish you both well with the ebook, and I’ll pop the link on my fb page soon as well. 🙂
Kittee-Bee Berns says
yummy, dreena, yummy!
Sarina @ Earthgiven says
You are right that Lisa is a dear soul! I also bought their ebook and love it. Thanks for the tip to use agar for these Krispy bars!
Sarina, I adore Lisa! Probably a good thing we don’t live nearby, I might smother her. 😉 Hope you find the agar useful – thanks!!
Janae @ Bring-Joy says
Dreena–more videos! You’re a natural in front of camera (& so beautiful!).
Love, love this recipe. Making it TONIGHT w/ my kids.
(I made your almond toffee cookies from LTEV the other night & ate 1/2 the cookie dough before I even baked the cookies, they were so good.)
I don’t know if I have a favorite cookie–I like ’em all!
So hard to choose a favorite, I fully agree Janae! Never a bad thing to eat cookie batter – as long as it’s vegan. 😉 Thank you, super sweet of you to say, btw. xoxo
Oooooh, I LOVE this recipe! You’re right, they’re delicious with macadamia OR cashew butter! I’ve tried almond butter but it doesn’t do them justice. I like to top ’em with melted chocolate chips. Mmmmmm….if I had Crispy Rice in the cupboard I’d be tempted to make them right now! :p
Lynn, why haven’t *I* topped them with melted chocolate?!! On ‘to-do’ list. 🙂 And, yes, almond butter doesn’t measure up to mac or cashew butter for these particular cookies… good, but not great!