Cue the nostalgia with my chocolate peanut butter rice krispie squares. 6 simple ingredients and packed with protein and healthy fats- it's the 3pm pick-me-up you need!
There are certain foods that trigger a flood of nostalgia. For the 90s kids, it's cosmic brownies. For me, it's a rice krispie treat.
Now that I'm an adult, I still love a rice krispie treat but it doesn't hit the same as it used to. You know what does? Chocolate peanut butter rice krispie squares, revamped and made better for your grown up taste buds!
These chocolate dipped rice krispie squares are made with peanut butter and no marshmallows. Such a great option who dislikes marshmallows or doesn't eat gelatin.
I love making a sweet treat every week- usually it's my oatmeal cookie bars, but these chocolate peanut butter rice krispies squares are a welcome change. Eat them as an afternoon snack, or add to your kid's lunchbox. Everyone will love!
Why This Recipe Is Dietitian Approved
- Make it ahead of time. Whether you're making this to share or for weekly meal prep, you can whip it up a couple days ahead so it's ready to go.
- Easy and quick. One bowl, no bake and ready in only 30 minutes? You can have these ready faster than it takes to go to the store and buy them.
- Lower in added sugar. Making homemade rice krispies is great because you can adjust the sweetness to your tastes. These chocolate peanut butter rice krispie squares have just the right amount of sweetness, without being overly sugary.
- Your new pre-workout snack. There's a reason the gym girls love rice krispie treats before a workout! We've got a good mix of easy digesting carbs and some healthy fats to fuel your body, with the option to add protein.
Peanut butter. I recommend using a natural peanut butter in this recipe as this allows you to customize the amount of added sugar yourself. Looking for a peanut butter that contains only 1 or 2 ingredients- peanuts and salt.
Maple syrup. For a touch of natural sweetness! Maple syrup adds a rich caramel flavour to these treats, but its also a source of micronutrients like riboflavin, zinc, magnesium, calcium, potassium and antioxidants.
Rice krispies. "Rice krispies" are actually a brand name, however any crispy rice or puffed rice cereal will work. Buying offbrand puffed rice cereal is a great budget-friendly hack!
Vanilla extract. As we are not baking these, a pure vanilla extract is essential for the best vanilla flavor.
Chocolate. Opt for dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate for a slightly less sweet version. With that being said, milk chocolate also works!
Coconut oil. This helps the dark chocolate melt and get super smooth. It's also important so the chocolate dipped rice krispie squares get a crisp top layer once it chills. If you don't have coconut oil, butter works too.
Salt (optional). If you are using an unsalted peanut butter, I recommend adding a bit of salt into the recipe. It's the perfect compliment to the rich peanut butter and sweet chocolate.
The complete ingredient list with measurements can be found in the recipe card below.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract and salt until smooth.
Mix in the rice krispies using a silicone spatula or spoon. I find this helps reduce the batter sticking to the spoon.
Press the rice krispie mixture into a parchment paper lined 8x8’ baking dish and set aside.
To melt chocolate, add chocolate chips and coconut oil to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on medium-high in increments of 30 seconds, stirring between until smooth (this usually takes 3 increments total for me).
Spread a layer of melted chocolate over the top of the rice krispies. Sprinkle with additional salt if desired and place in the freezer for 15 minutes to allow the chocolate to harden.
Slice into 12 equal sized squares and enjoy!
Substitutions and Variations
To make gluten-free: The brand name Rice Krispies cereal is actually not gluten-free. If you are looking for a gluten free alternative I recommend these!
To make vegan: This recipe is naturally vegan.
To make nut-free: I have not tested a nut-free version, however sunflower seed butter may be a good swap.
Get creative with your toppings! You can make a version of these rice krispies for any occasion. Here's some of my favourite variations:
- For a holiday spin: add a sprinkle of holiday coloured sprinkles prior to freezing
- For a crunch: add a layer of chopped peanuts while the chocolate is still wet
- Drizzle with extra peanut butter, white chocolate or caramel
- For a higher protein snack: add ½ cup of vanilla protein powder, hemp seed or unflavoured collagen and an additional ¼ cup of peanut butter
Chocolate peanut butter rice krispie treats can stay fresh in the fridge for up to a week in an airtight container. You can also freeze these for a ready-to-go sweet treat for up to 3 months. I recommend separating them with parchment paper as they may stick together. When you are ready to eat them, let them thaw at room temperature to soften for a couple of minutes.
To ensure your rice krispies stick together, use your hands to press the mixture into the baking pan. I find these turn out the best when they are very compact.
Frequently Asked Questions
Surprisingly the brand Rice Krispies are not gluten-free. Although rice is typically a gluten free food and crispy rice cereal normally will not contain gluten, rice krispies are made with a malt syrup which is a byproduct of wheat. Fortunately, there are many brands of gluten-free crispy rice cereal.
Yes, but you may need to use an additional 2 tablespoon as I find natural peanut butter is usually more runny, making it easier to mix.
Yes! Although I have not tested this recipe with any other cereal options I don't see why they wouldn't work, you may need to slightly adjust the ratio of peanut butter: cereal based on how large your cereal is but I would say cheerios, cornflakes or even a peanut butter ball type cereal would be great in these!
More Easy Dessert Recipes
I'm a dietitian who LOVES dessert. Here's so more of my go-to recipes!
- Easy Vegan Caramel Slice
- Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bars
- Super Moist Salted Caramel Chickpea Blondies
- Protein Peanut Butter Cups
PS. I love seeing my recipes in action! If you decide to make these chocolate peanut butter rice krispie squares, don't forget to snap a photo and tag me on Instagram- @nourishedbynic or leave a comment and rating below letting me know how you liked it!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Squares
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoon natural peanut butter
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt optional, if you are using unsalted peanut butter
- 3 cups rice krispies
- 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract and salt until smooth.
- Mix in the rice krispies using a silicone spatula or spoon (I find this helps reduce the batter sticking to the spoon).
- Press the rice krispie mixture into a parchment paper lined 8x8" baking dish and set aside.
- To melt chocolate, add chocolate chips and coconut oil to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on medium-high in increments of 30 seconds, stirring between until smooth (this usually takes 3 increments total for me).
- Spread a layer of melted chocolate over the top of the rice krispies, sprinkle with additional salt if desired and place in the freezer for 15 minutes to allow the chocolate to harden.
- Slice into 12 equal sized squares and enjoy!