Are rice krispies vegan? Are rice krispy treats vegan? Kellogg’s Rice Crispy Treats are not vegan because they contain gelatin and flavorings from milk. Luckily, it is easy to make homemade vegan rice crispy treats- let me show you how! You only need three ingredients to make the BEST vegan rice krispie treats recipe that is also gluten free and dairy free.
Vegan and vegetarian rice crispy treats are actually harder to come by than you might think! Here’s why:
- Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal is not vegan because it contains vitamin D3, derived from an animal source.
- Marshmallows are usually not vegan because they contain gelatin, a protein made from boiling animal by-products.
- Butter is not vegan because it is a dairy product. (Of course.)
No worries for the plant-based eaters, however! In this vegan rice crispy treats recipe, we’re using vegan rice krispies, vegan marshmallows, and vegan butter. I’m going to tell you exactly what brands to use below to make the best dairy free rice krispie treats ever.
3 ingredient vegan rice crispy treats will soon be yours with this easy stovetop recipe. And if you really want to make things special, I have four different rice crispy treat flavors to try below. I think you’re going to love these twists on a classic childhood treat.
- ⭐ Benefits
- 🥘 Vegan Rice Crispy Treats Ingredients
- 🧈 What’s a good vegan butter for rice crispy treats?
- 🍽 Equipment
- 🔪 How to Make Vegan Rice Crispy Treats
- ️🌡️ How to Store
- 🍫 Vegan Rice Crispy Treats Toppings
- 📋 Calories, Net Carbs, Protein
- 💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
- 👩🏻🍳 Other Vegan Dessert Recipes
- The Disclaimer…
- 📖 Recipe
What are the benefits of making vegan rice crispy squares? To be frank, these are not the most healthy or nutritious thing you could be eating. That said, these vegan rice krispie treats (no butter) do offer several advantages:
- Vegetarian and vegan: Have food allergies or other diet restrictions? My non dairy rice krispie treats are perfect for those who choose not to eat animal products. This snack recipe works for vegetarians, omnivores, and flexitarians alike.
- Easy vegan rice crispy treats: This recipe is easy enough for kids to make. I remember the first time I made rice krispy treats was in middle school. (We only made a small kitchen mess. Lol)
- Perfect for a cookie exchange or potluck: Rice crispy treats are portable. Wrap them individually and they travel well, great for bringing to birthday parties, picnics, cookouts, or potlucks. You can eat them without utensils, so that’s one less item to have to carry.
- Gift giving: Vegan rice crispy squares are also nice to add to gift baskets or a care package. Older folks will enjoy the nostalgia of this childhood favorite, and just about everyone appreciates a gift made with love.
- Delicious: Sticky, gooey, sweet, and tasty... rice crispy treats are a delight to the taste buds. They’re truly a low effort crowd pleaser.
🥘 Vegan Rice Crispy Treats Ingredients
What are the ingredients for vegan rice krispie squares? Here’s what you need:
- Vegan Rice Crispies (AKA Rice Bubbles in Australia)
- Dandies Vegan Mini Marshmallows
- Vegan Butter (or you can use a mix of vegan plant butter and coconut oil)
- Cooking oil spray (optional, if you’re concerned about sticking) '
It’s not too hard to find vegan rice krispies, depending on how strict you are. Sometimes a bone char filter is used to decolorize cane sugar. (Just an FYI I remember from my decade as a vegan.)
I tested One Degree Organic Foods Sprouted Brown Rice Crisps and 365 Brown Rice Crisp Cereal for this recipe. Both worked out great (and you’re getting a little fiber from the whole grain brown rice).
Some other options to try are Nature’s Path Organic Crispy Rice Cereal, Barbara’s Bakery Brown Rice Crisps Cereal, and Trader Joe’s Crisp Rice Cereal. Please note that these are not the same as the puffed rice cereal that’s often sold in bags. For the most authentic tasting rice crispy treats, you need a cereal made with rice and a sweetener.
These are Dandies rice crispy treats because their vegan vanilla marshmallows are easy to find in supermarkets and health food stores. They also sell pumpkin spice vegan marshmallows and peppermint vegan marshmallows if you want to make flavor variations. (More on this below!)
🧈 What’s a good vegan butter for rice crispy treats?
There are several options for vegan butter out there depending on which grocery store you frequent. I tested Miyoko’s Vegan Butter and Earth Balance Vegan Butter for this recipe. Both worked well, as did a 3:2 mix of vegan butter and coconut oil.
Make sure you get the vegan butter sticks and not the vegan buttery spread for this recipe. The sticks can be used as a 1:1 replacement for dairy butter. Your results may vary if you use a vegan spread, whipped “butter,” or spreadable margarine instead.
To make this vegan rice krispie treats recipe, you need a medium pot, a spoon, and an 8-inch by 8-inch pan (20x20cm). Pretty basic kitchen equipment!
🔪 How to Make Vegan Rice Crispy Treats
Time to make vegan rice krispy squares! This is my slight tweak on recipes you can find on the Rice Krispies cereal website, the Dandies marshmallow website and others. One thing I do differently is use a bit more vegan butter.
I always have problems with the original rice krispies treats recipe sticking to the pot after adding the marshmallow. Increasing the butter to marshmallow ratio largely eliminates this issue.
This is a treat food, and I want to make it worth the indulgence. So I’ve decided some extra vegan butter is worth it. Anyhoo...
Begin by melting the butter (or butter and coconut oil mixture) in a pot on the stovetop over medium-low heat. After the butter has melted, add in the marshmallows and stir constantly until they’re completely melted.
This will take a good 5-10 minutes and will be a mini arm workout. Don’t be a quitter!
Now take the pot off the heat and quickly add in the brown rice cereal, stirring to coat. Spray your square pan with oil and put some oil on your hands as well. Dump the rice and marshmallow mixture into the pan, and press it tightly into the pan with your hands.
The rice crispy treats should be an even thickness across the pan. Add sprinkles while they are still sticky (if you wish). Let them chill in the fridge before cutting and decorating.
You can also microwave the butter and marshmallows, stirring and checking them every 30-40 seconds. This is a good alternative if you don’t want to use the stove.
I like to let my rice krispy treats come to room temperature before eating. I find they tend to be a bit too hard eating them straight out of the fridge.
️🌡️ How to Store
Leftover vegan rice squares can be wrapped individually in plastic wrap and kept in the fridge for up to 4 days. For longer storage, you can freeze them.
To freeze vegan rice crispy treats, cut into squares and wrap individually in plastic wrap. Put the wrapped squares in gallon-sized freezer bags with the air pressed out. Store in the freezer. (Yes, the treats with toppings freeze well too!)
To thaw, simply remove however many you want from the freezer and let them defrost in the fridge overnight. If you’re impatient, you can unwrap them and microwave on high for 15-20 seconds.
🍫 Vegan Rice Crispy Treats Toppings
I showed you how to make plain vegan rice crispy treats above, but you can get fancy with toppings as well! (Note: some of these are not gluten-free unless you seek out GF ingredients.) Here are a few variations to try:
Peppermint Vegan Rice Crispy Treats
Use Dandies peppermint mini marshmallows instead of the regular vanilla ones. Let the recipe cool in the pan and cut it into squares.
Top with 9 crushed starlight mints or a candy cane. Refrigerate the treats to set the chocolate.
Pumpkin Spice Vegan Rice Crispy Treats
Use Dandies pumpkin spice mini marshmallows instead of the regular vanilla ones. Let the recipe cool in the pan and cut it into squares.
Top with 4 crushed vegan ginger snaps. Refrigerate the treats to set the chocolate.
S’mores Vegan Rice Crispy Treats
Use Dandies vanilla mini marshmallows. Let the recipe cool in the pan and cut it into squares.
Top with 18 chocolate Teddy Grahams (or crushed vegan chocolate graham crackers). Refrigerate the treats to set the chocolate.
📋 Calories, Net Carbs, Protein
One serving of vegan rice crispy treats has 234 calories, 42 grams net carbs, and 1.3 grams protein. (One-ninth of the pan.) This nutrition information is for the plain rice crispy treats without toppings.
💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). Are these healthy rice krispie treats? I’m using brown rice crisp cereal and these are 100% plant based. However, I wouldn’t consider these nutritionally superior to regular Rice Krispies treats squares.
(P.S. This is a snack food and it’s the holiday season and I feel it’s OK to not eat “perfectly” all of the time. So feel free to ignore this section if you just want to enjoy dessert and get on with life.)
First of all, the brown rice crispy cereal isn’t necessarily lower in calories than the regular rice crispy cereal. In some cases, the vegan cereal options are higher calorie by volume.
The vegan brown rice cereals also typically contain no vitamin D at all, a nutrient many of us in the north fall short on in winter. Unfortunately, there are few natural whole food sources of vitamin D.
The brown rice cereals aren’t fortified as heavily as regular rice cereals in general. (Hopefully your diet isn’t poor enough that you’re depending on this snack food for nutrition. Still thought I’d mention this though.)
You’re getting less than one gram of fiber per rice krispie treat square. TBH, the “whole grain” here isn’t making a huge difference nutritionally.
Vegan butter sticks are typically primarily coconut oil, so you’re still getting lots of saturated fat as you would with real butter. The gelatin-free marshmallows are actually much higher in calories than regular marshmallows. This is because they contain a lot more sugar than regular marshmallows.
The bottom line is that this is a snack food high in added sugar and added fat. They’re completely delish, but should also only be a once in a while treat for most people. (Keeping it real for you!)
I felt that Dandies vegan marshmallows toasted in a similar way to Jet-Puffed Marshmallows in my Air Fryer S’mores recipe. The vegan marshmallows don’t seem to melt down quite as easily. It takes quite a bit of stirring to get them completely smooth.
Yes, you can use regular sized marshmallows in rice crispy treats. Simply cut them into pieces the size of mini marshmallows for easier melting. I recommend cutting them into 4 pieces each.
I used to make vegan rice crispy treats without marshmallows using corn syrup and peanut butter or almond butter. You can find the recipe on PETA’s website here. (They’re not the most nutritious thing, obviously).
The recipe above is for vegan rice crispy treats without oil. Peanut butter is used for a whole food source of fat. If you don’t want the corn syrup, you may be able to use maple syrup and freeze them so they hold together better.
You can make sugar free rice crispy treats using this keto breakfast cereal and these keto marshmallows. Like their vegan counterparts, I wouldn’t consider these low sugar rice crispy treats to be a “health food.” There are lots of ultra-processed foods going on in low carb rice crispy treats.
No, Annie’s Crispy Snack Bars are not vegan because they contain dairy butter. They do appear to be a vegetarian option without gelatin. It appears they use ingredients such as tapioca syrup and brown rice syrup for stickiness.
👩🏻🍳 Other Vegan Dessert Recipes
Want more vegan recipes for desserts? Don’t miss these:
Also, have you checked out the collection of 101 EASY Plant-Based Snacks yet?
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats no sugar post. Let's get cooking!
Vegan Rice Crispy Treats Recipe (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)
- Melt the butter (or butter and coconut oil mixture) in a pot on the stovetop over medium-low heat.
- After the butter has melted, add in the marshmallows and stir constantly until they’re completely melted. This will take a good 5-10 minutes- don't give up!
- Take the pot off the heat and quickly add in the brown rice cereal, stirring to coat with marshmallow mixture.
- Spray your square pan with oil and put some oil on your hands as well. Dump the rice and marshmallow mixture into the pan, and press it evenly into the pan with your hands.
- Let them chill in the fridge to firm up before cutting into squares. (Don't miss my tips for flavor variations in the post above!) These are best if you let them come back to room temperature before eating.