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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Vegan Rice Krispie Treats

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Healthy vegan rice krispie treats are buttery, gooey, and sweet, but are made with healthier ingredients to make these treats less of a splurge! Make this easy no-bake dessert and it will disappear before your eyes and your family will be asking for more. These portable cereal-based treats are dairy-free, vegan, and kid-approved too!

vegan healthy rice krispie treats recipe on a white plate

Vegan rice krispie treats are a fun and delicious treat. This healthier vegan version uses only 5 wholesome ingredients including organic brown rice cereal.

Traditional rice krispie treats are loaded with butter and refined sugar which cause a sugar crash and a stomachache. This recipe for delicious healthy vegan rice krispie treats uses cashew butter (or almond butter/peanut butter) and coconut oil (or vegan butter) instead of butter and pure maple syrup instead of sugar. But the result is just as delicious.

This easy vegan rice crispy treats recipe requires no special equipment (just parchment paper and a baking dish) and very little kitchen time. You can have these prepped and in the fridge in under 15 minutes! After they set, you can keep these in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days, but I prefer to store them in the refrigerator for up to 6 days.

So if you’ve ever wondered how to make traditional krispy treats vegan, check out my recipe. Arrange the treats on a big plate the next time your kids’ friends are over and they’ll disappear. What I love most about this recipe is that I can indulge my sweet tooth in a healthy way.

These no bake treats are easy to make, perfectly sweet, and kiddos adore them! They’re also easy to customize and decorate.

Serve these allergen-friendly, gluten free, dairy free rice krispie treats at kid’s birthday parties or any fun gathering! Nobody will know these cereal bars are actually a healthy treat!

👩‍🍳 Why You’ll Love These Vegan Rice Krispie Treats

  • Quick And Easy: This 5-ingredient vegan recipe only takes 5 minutes to prep and 6 minutes to cook. After that you just throw them into the refrigerator to set for a couple hours while you go on about your day. Go run some errands and come back to gooey, sweet, buttery healthy rice krispie treats!
  • Family Friendly: Kids tend to love these healthier rice krispie treats! I’m always putting these crispy rice treats in my kids’ lunch boxes and they’re also a great mess-free portable snack for car rides.
  • Simple Ingredients: The ingredients in this recipe are simple and wholesome, like crispy brown rice cereal. You might have most or all of them in your pantry already. And if you don’t, you can find most of them at your local grocery store, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods Market, or your local health food store.
  • Customizable: Instead of cashew butter, use almond butter, peanut butter, or sunflower seed butter to keep it nut-free or whatever your family likes! You can add chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, or you can dip the set vegan rice krispie treats into melted chocolate (like dark chocolate or white chocolate) and set them on some parchment paper to solidify. You could even use a piping bag and some icing to draw a design or write text on these gelatin free rice crispy treats.

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🥘 Ingredients

This vegan rice krispie treat recipe uses wholesome, simple ingredients you can feel good about eating and serving to your kids. See the recipe card at the bottom of the post for nutritional information.

ingredients for vegan healthy rice krispie treats recipe
  • Crispy Brown Rice Cereal: This tastes the same as regular rice crispy cereal but they’re less processed and retain more of the rice plant’s natural micronutrients like B vitamins! I like Barbara’s organic brown rice crisps. If you’re on a vegan diet, be sure to buy a brand that’s labeled so. And if you can’t have gluten, make sure you purchase a brand that’s certified gluten-free. Kellogg’s brand crisp rice cereal is not vegan or gluten-free. Classic rice cereal is more processed than brown rice cereal. You may also be able to find puffed rice cereal, which can work.
  • Maple Syrup: Pure maple syrup sweetens these healthy rice krispies without any refined sugar. See below for other options if you don’t have this natural sweetener.
  • Coconut Oil: Acts as a binder for these vegan rice crispy bars, and adds some healthy fats! Unrefined coconut oil is less processed but has a stronger coconut flavor.
  • Vanilla Extract: For a sweet, vanilla essence! I recommend using pure vanilla extract rather than imitation vanilla (which is not vegan friendly).
  • Cashew Butter: Nut butter is the healthy twist that binds the rice cereal treats instead of vegan marshmallows (which are still loaded with refined sugar and corn syrup). It also provides healthy fats and a nutty flavor!

🍲 Ingredient Substitutions

  • Cereal: You can use any crispy rice cereal with this recipe. Actually, any small-piece vegan cereal should work. If you don’t have any health food stores near you, you can also order vegan rice cereal from online retailers such as Vitacost, iHerb, Thrive Market, and Amazon.
  • Sweetener: If you don’t have maple syrup, honey or agave work great too, but keep in mind that honey isn’t vegan friendly. Brown rice syrup can also be used, but it’s more refined and not as healthy.
  • Coconut Oil: If you don’t have coconut oil, vegan butter also works for making vegan rice crispies. I like Miyoko’s Classic Fresh Organic Vegan Butter or Califia Farms’ Vegan Butter.
  • Extract: Almond extract would work if you don’t have vanilla.
  • Cashew Butter: Natural almond butter and sunflower seed butter are delicious in this recipe if you don’t have cashew butter. Peanut butter could also work. If you did prefer to use marshmallows instead of nut butter, my favorite vegan marshmallows are Dandies brand. Regular marshmallows are not vegan or vegetarian friendly.

🔪 How To Make Vegan Rice Krispie Treats

This is the best vegan rice krispie treats recipe, not just because they’re healthier, but because they’re so easy! They only use a handful of ingredients and you don’t need to be an expert in the kitchen to make these vegan treats. Because we’re using nut butter, you won’t have to deal with a gooey, sticky, melted marshmallow mixture. Here’s how to make my vegan rice crispy treat recipe:

Line Baking Dish: Line an 8×8 baking dish or tray with parchment paper and set aside. Place the crispy rice cereal into a large mixing bowl and set the cereal mixture aside.

Melt Remaining Ingredients: Add the maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, and cashew butter into a small pot over medium heat (or medium-low heat if you’re on a power burner; I do not recommend high heat) and bring to a boil. Stir constantly until everything is melted. If you use a large pot, this process will be faster, but be careful as it could burn if it heats too quickly. Alternatively, you can do this in a microwave with a microwave-safe bowl. Melt the ingredients in 30-second increments, stirring and checking it often.

caramel cooking in a pot

Stir Into Rice Cereal: Pour the melted ingredients into the crispy rice cereal and stir well with a spatula or wooden spoon. For best results, stir gently so as not to crush the cereal, but scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with your spatula to make sure everything is well incorporated. If you used marshmallows, you’ll want to make sure the gooey marshmallow mixture is well distributed throughout these vegetarian rice krispie treats.

brown rice crisps and sugar mixed in a bowl

Spread In Baking Dish: Spread the sticky rice krispie cereal mixture into the prepared baking pan in an even layer. Smooth the top, cover with plastic wrap if you like, and then place in the refrigerator to chill. This will make it easier to cut.

brown rice crisp mixture spread in baking pan

Cut Brown Rice Crispy Treats: Once set, remove the non dairy rice crispy treats from the pan and use a sharp knife to cut the solid mixture into 16 squares. If you use an 8×8 baking dish like I did, you’ll have nice little treats, but if you prefer larger or smaller pieces, go ahead.

vegan rice krispie treats cut on parchment

Store: Keep these vegan rice krispie treats in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 6 days.

healthy rice krispie treats on a white plate

💭 Expert Tips

  • How To Cut Neat Squares: Cutting vegan rice krispie squares can be messy if you don’t do it right. For best results, use a greased knife or pizza cutter. To prevent these healthier vegan rice krispie treats from sticking to your knife or spatula, spray it with nonstick cooking spray first. You may need to spray the knife more than once or in between each cut.
  • Let These Crunchy Treats Cool: It’s best to let vegan rice crispy cakes cool completely before cutting, and that typically takes at least an hour. Giving them time to cool properly allows the coconut oil and cashew butter to firm back up. If you cut them too early, they may fall apart.
  • Make Sure To Use Parchment Paper! The parchment paper makes the bars easier to remove. If you leave excess parchment hanging over each side of the baking pan, it creates handles for you to easily pick them up and out of the pan.
  • Optional Chocolate Drizzle: If you want to add a chocolate drizzle, melt dark chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl in 15-second increments. Once the chocolate is melted, use a spoon or piping bag to drizzle over the tops of the dairy free rice krispies. Refrigerate the crispy squares until set.
  • Check For Vegan Friendly Rice Cereal: Check the crispy rice cereal packaging. If it’s not labeled vegan, it likely may not be a vegan food item. Make sure to read the ingredients section of the label. Often added vitamin D is non-vegan. Honey is sometimes present in natural cereals, and is not considered a vegan ingredient.

📖 Variations

  • Healthy Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats: Swap the cashew butter with natural peanut butter.
  • Almond Butter Rice Crispy Treats: Use creamy natural almond butter instead of cashew butter.
  • Healthy Vegan Rice Crispy Treats With Marshmallows: If you want to use marshmallows, look for a brand that avoids corn, artificial flavors, colors, & sweeteners. Dandies vegan marshmallows (which contain ingredients like tapioca starch & syrup and cane sugar) are a good option. Trader Joe’s also often has vegan marshmallows. Mini marshmallows melt faster, and are available from both brands.
  • Healthy Chocolate Rice Crispy Treats: Add 1/4 cup of cocoa powder and 1/4 cup of vegan chocolate chips to the maple syrup mixture. You could substitute cocoa butter for the coconut oil if you like. Melt as directed.
  • Honey Rice Crispy Treats: Swap the maple syrup with honey. Follow the recipe as directed. These healthy rice crispy treats have a distinct honey flavor, but won’t be vegan friendly anymore!
  • Toppings: I like to drizzle dark chocolate and sprinkle sea salt on these low fat rice crispy treats! Sprinkles, chocolate chips, toasted shredded coconut, or chopped nuts would be delicious too.

🍽 Serving Suggestions

Although these treats are great on their own, if you’re looking for a more substantial snack, I suggest pairing these vegan healthy rice crispy squares with one or more of the following:

  • Fresh Fruit: These sweet crispy squares would be lovely served with fresh berries, cut pineapple, melon, or apples for a wholesome snack.
  • Crunchy Snacks: For a salty and sweet snack, try serving these healthier rice crispy treats with pretzels, wholesome crackers, or veggies and hummus (try my butter bean hummus or hummus without garlic for unique and flavorful homemade dips).
  • Dessert: These vegan crispy rice treats make a delicious and healthy dessert after lunch or dinner.
  • More Ideas: Check out my big list of healthy snacks for toddlers, kids, and picky eaters or my list of kid-approved vegetarian recipes for picky eaters.

🙌 Dietary Adaptations

  • Gluten-Free: Make sure to use certified gluten-free crispy rice cereal. If you have a gluten-allergy, I would check and make sure all of the ingredients are made in gluten-free facilities.
  • Nut-Free: Use sunflower seed butter instead of cashew butter. Again, if there’s a nut allergy, make sure that all of the ingredients are produced in nut-free facilities.
  • Nut-Free Rice Crispy Treat Recipe: Use sunflower seed butter instead of nut butter. This also makes these gelatin free rice krispie treats school-friendly.

🫙 Storage Directions

  • Refrigeration: I store my vegan rice krispie treats in a sealed container in the refrigerator. I find this enables them to keep for 6 days, not that they last that long with my kids!
  • Room Temperature: You can store these crispy rice treats on the countertop in a sealed container too, but they’d last only a few days before getting stale. I don’t recommend freezing these treats as they don’t defrost well.

❓Recipe FAQs

ARE VEGAN RICE KRISPIE TREATS HEALTHY?

These ones are! This crispy treats recipe ditches the sugar-laden marshmallows and butter for brown rice cereal and nut butters so you’re getting less processed ingredients and healthy fats. These healthy rice krispie treats without marshmallows are a food you can feel good about giving your kids and yourself!

ARE MARSHMALLOWS VEGAN?

Traditional marshmallows are not vegan or vegetarian. Vegan marshmallow brands include Dandies (my personal favorite) and Trader Joe’s. But all vegan marshmallows I’ve seen contain refined sugar and I prefer to use more natural sweeteners, so that’s why I made these healthy rice krispie treats with pure maple syrup instead.

Are rice krispies treats vegan?

Typically no, regular rice krispie treats are not vegan, because they are made with marshmallows – which contain gelatin. Gelatin is derived from collagen (from animal bones), and isn’t vegetarian or vegan friendly.

WHAT CAN YOU USE INSTEAD OF MARSHMALLOWS FOR HOMEMADE RICE KRISPIE TREATS?

Cashew butter (or almond butter/peanut butter/sunflower seed) and maple syrup are a healthy substitute for marshmallows in rice crispy treats. It creates a sticky mixture that sweetens and binds rice cereal just like marshmallows do! Any nut butter works great, but each one has a different flavor. Peanut butter and cashew butter are great options.

CAN RICE CRISPY TREATS BE MADE IN THE MICROWAVE?

Yes! Use a microwave safe bowl in a medium to large microwave to melt the coconut oil, cashew butter, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Cook in 30 second increments, taking out the bowl each time and stirring well with a whisk. Once you have a hot, cohesive mixture, you’re ready to continue with the recipe as written.

low calorie, healthy rice krispie treats being picked up to eat

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vegan healthy rice krispie treats recipe on a white plate
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5 from 21 votes

Vegan Rice Krispie Treats

Healthy vegan rice krispie treats are buttery, gooey, and sweet, but are made with healthier ingredients to make these treats less of a splurge! Make this easy no-bake dessert and it will disappear before your eyes and your family will be asking for more. These portable cereal-based treats are dairy-free, vegan, and kid-approved too!
Prep Time6 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Chill Time2 hours
Total Time2 hours 11 minutes
Course: Baking, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 16 treats
Calories: 49kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

Shop Ingredients on Jupiter

Instructions

  • Line an 8×8 baking tray with baking paper and set aside.
  • Add the brown rice cereal into a mixing bowl and set aside.
  • Add the remaining ingredients to a small pot and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until melted.
  • Pour the melted ingredients into the rice cereal and stir until well combined.
  • Evenly spread the rice krispy mixture into the prepared tray, smoothing off the top and place into the fridge to set for 2 hours.
  • When set, remove from the tray and slice into 16 pieces.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 6 days.

Notes

  • How To Cut Neat Squares: Cutting vegan rice krispie squares can be messy if you don’t do it right. For best results, use a greased knife or pizza cutter. To prevent these healthier vegan rice krispie treats from sticking to your knife or spatula, spray it with nonstick cooking spray first. You may need to spray the knife more than once or in between each cut.
  • Let These Crunchy Treats Cool: It’s best to let vegan rice crispy cakes cool completely before cutting, and that typically takes at least an hour. Giving them time to cool properly allows the coconut oil and cashew butter to firm back up. If you cut them too early, they may fall apart.
  • Make Sure To Use Parchment Paper! The parchment paper makes the bars easier to remove. If you leave excess parchment hanging over each side of the baking pan, it creates handles for you to easily pick them up and out of the pan.
  • Optional Chocolate Drizzle: If you want to add a chocolate drizzle, melt dark chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl in 15-second increments. Once the chocolate is melted, use a spoon or piping bag to drizzle over the tops of the treats. Refrigerate the crispy squares until set.
  • Check For Vegan Friendly Rice Cereal: Check the crispy rice cereal packaging. If it’s not labeled vegan, it likely may not be a vegan food item. Make sure to read the ingredients section of the label. Often added vitamin D is non-vegan. Honey is sometimes present in natural cereals, and is not considered a vegan ingredient.

Nutrition

Serving: 1treat | Calories: 49kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 21mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g

38 responses to “Vegan Rice Krispie Treats”

  1. Wow perfect autumn treat and love that they have pumpkin spice in them, great for this cozy weather. Thanks for this vegan inspo!5 stars

  2. I love a guilt free treat and these were so easy to make with ingredients I already had. Great taste too.5 stars

  3. They are so gooey and delicious, and the fact that they are vegan just makes them even more incredible! I am obsessed! Making this again soon!5 stars

  4. I love rice krispies and love that this is vegan. I could do some serious damage to a batch of these! yum!5 stars

  5. Oh yum! I love that you made these Rice Krispie treats dairy free and vegan. They look so good with the chocolate drizzle.5 stars

  6. I love this healthy twist on rice krispie treats! I’m happy I found a guilt-free version of this treat!5 stars

  7. Love the crunch on this veganized version of pumpkin spice rice crispies. This so perfect for the Fall season and my kids will devour them before I could eat them myself!5 stars

  8. Did you say ‘Krispie treats with pumpkin spice?’ I would typically wait till the fall season to make it, but it sounds so delicious that I am gonna make it now!5 stars

    • Haha yes!! These are so good I literally will make them year round! You can leave out the pumpkin if you want a traditional rice krispie treat and they will still taste great!

  9. I love how you made this recipe vegan. It looks so delicious and easy to replicate! I can’t wait for the fall.5 stars

  10. OMG can we start pumpkin season early this year? I mean, it’s been tough enough, right? And this is the kind of treat I crave right now!5 stars

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