are rice krispie treats gluten free

Are Rice Krispie Treats Gluten Free?

Last Updated: March 6, 2024By

Rice Krispie Treats have long been a beloved snack, cherished for their crispy texture and gooey sweetness. However, with the rising popularity of gluten-free diets, many individuals are questioning whether these nostalgic treats are safe to consume. Gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, poses challenges for those with sensitivities or celiac disease. In this article, Are Rice Krispie Treats Gluten Free we delve into the ingredients of Rice Krispie Treats, explore their gluten-free certification status, assess cross-contamination risks, and provide alternatives for those seeking gluten-free snacks. By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of whether Rice Krispie Treats fit into a gluten-free lifestyle.

What Is Gluten?

Gluten is a group of proteins found primarily in wheat, but also in other grains like barley and rye. It’s composed of two main proteins: glutenin and gliadin. When flour is mixed with water, gluten forms a sticky network that gives dough its elasticity and allows it to rise during baking. While this property is desirable in baking, gluten can be problematic for individuals with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. In these conditions, the immune system reacts abnormally to gluten, leading to various symptoms such as digestive discomfort, fatigue, and skin issues. For those affected, avoiding gluten-containing foods is essential for managing their health.

What Are Rice Krispies?

Rice Krispies are a type of breakfast cereal made from crisped rice, typically created by extruding cooked rice through a machine that shapes it into individual rice shapes and then toasting it. Developed by Kellogg’s in the 1920s, Rice Krispies gained popularity for their crispy texture and versatility in recipes beyond just breakfast. They are commonly enjoyed as a breakfast cereal with milk, but they are also a key ingredient in various treats like Rice Krispie Treats, which involve melting marshmallows and butter with the cereal to create a sticky, sweet dessert. Rice Krispies are known for their light and airy texture, making them a favorite among both children and adults alike.

Ingredients In Rice Krispie Treats

Rice Krispie Treats typically consist of three main ingredients:

  • Rice Cereal: The primary ingredient, rice cereal provides the crispy texture and signature flavor of Rice Krispie Treats. It is made from puffed rice grains and serves as the base for the dessert.
  • Marshmallows: Marshmallows are melted and mixed with the rice cereal to bind the ingredients together and add sweetness. They provide the gooey, sticky consistency that holds the Rice Krispie Treats together.
  • Butter: Butter is used to prevent the mixture from sticking to the pan and to enhance the flavor of the treats. It is melted along with the marshmallows before being combined with the rice cereal.

Are Rice Krispie Treats Gluten Free?

Rice Krispie Treats are generally considered gluten-free, as the primary ingredients—rice cereal, marshmallows, and butter—are naturally devoid of gluten. However, it’s crucial to verify the specific brands and ingredients used to ensure that cross-contamination with gluten-containing products hasn’t occurred during manufacturing.

Some manufacturers produce Rice Krispie Treats in facilities where gluten-containing ingredients are also processed, posing a risk of cross-contamination. As a result, individuals with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease should look for certified gluten-free Rice Krispie Treats or consider making their own using certified gluten-free ingredients to guarantee a safe and enjoyable snack.

How To Make Gluten-Free Rice Krispies Treats?

Here’s a detailed guide on how to make gluten-free Rice Krispies Treats:


  • 6 cups gluten-free crispy rice cereal (make sure it’s labeled gluten-free)
  • 1 package (10 oz) gluten-free marshmallows
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter or dairy-free alternative (like coconut oil)


  • Large saucepan
  • Wooden spoon or spatula
  • 9×13 inch baking dish
  • Cooking spray or extra butter for greasing


  • Prepare the Baking Dish: Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray or butter. This will prevent the Rice Krispies Treats from sticking to the pan.
  • Melt the Butter: In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Make sure the butter is completely melted but not browned.
  • Add Marshmallows: Once the butter is melted, add the entire package of marshmallows to the saucepan. Stir constantly until the marshmallows are completely melted and smooth. This usually takes about 3-5 minutes.
  • Mix in Rice Cereal: Remove the saucepan from heat and quickly stir in the gluten-free crispy rice cereal until it’s evenly coated with the melted marshmallow mixture. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to gently fold the cereal into the marshmallow mixture.
  • Press into Baking Dish: Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Use the back of the spatula or a piece of parchment paper to press the mixture evenly into the dish. Press firmly to ensure the Rice Krispies Treats hold together well.
  • Allow to Cool: Let the Rice Krispies Treats cool at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to set. Avoid cutting them too soon, as they may fall apart. You can also place them in the refrigerator for faster cooling.
  • Cut into Squares: Once the treats are completely cooled and set, use a sharp knife to cut them into squares or rectangles of your desired size.
  • Serve and Enjoy: Serve the gluten-free Rice Krispies Treats immediately, or store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Enjoy the crispy, gooey goodness!

These gluten-free Rice Krispies Treats are perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth without worrying about gluten. Feel free to get creative by adding extras like chocolate chips, sprinkles, or nuts for extra flavour and texture.

Are Rice Krispies Healthy?

Rice Krispies, like many breakfast cereals, offer a convenient and versatile option for a quick morning meal or snack. However, their health benefits depend on several factors. While Rice Krispies are low in fat and cholesterol and provide some essential vitamins and minerals, such as iron and B vitamins, they are primarily composed of refined rice grains and sugar. As a result, they lack significant dietary fiber and protein, which are essential for sustaining energy levels and promoting satiety.

Additionally, Rice Krispies are often marketed to children and may contain added sugars and artificial flavors. While enjoying Rice Krispies in moderation as part of a balanced diet can fit into a healthy lifestyle, it’s essential to be mindful of portion sizes and to consider pairing them with nutrient-rich additions like fresh fruit or nuts to enhance their nutritional value. Ultimately, while Rice Krispies can be a convenient and enjoyable option for some, they should be consumed as part of a varied diet that prioritizes whole, minimally processed foods for optimal health.

Gluten Free Rice Krispies Brands

Several brands offer gluten-free rice cereal options suitable for making Rice Krispies Treats. Here are a few popular options:

  • Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Gluten-Free Cereal: Kellogg’s offers a gluten-free version of its classic Rice Krispies cereal, specifically labelled as gluten-free to ensure safety for individuals with gluten sensitivities.
  • Nature’s Path Crispy Rice Cereal: Nature’s Path produces a gluten-free crispy rice cereal made from whole-grain brown rice. It’s certified gluten-free and provides a wholesome option for making gluten-free treats.
  • Barbara’s Bakery Organic Brown Rice Crisps: Barbara’s Bakery offers an organic, gluten-free brown rice cereal that works well for making Rice Krispies Treats. It’s made with whole-grain brown rice and contains no artificial flavors or preservatives.
  • Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Cereal: Erewhon produces a gluten-free crispy brown rice cereal that’s organic and non-GMO verified. It’s made with whole-grain brown rice and provides a crunchy texture for homemade treats.
  • One Degree Organic Foods Sprouted Brown Rice Crisps: One Degree Organic Foods offers a sprouted brown rice cereal that’s gluten-free and organic. It’s made with sprouted grains for enhanced nutrition and digestibility.


Are Rice Krispies Dairy Free?

Yes, Rice Krispies cereal itself is dairy-free, as it is made primarily from rice and does not contain any dairy ingredients. However, Rice Krispie Treats, which are made by combining Rice Krispies cereal with marshmallows and butter, may not be dairy-free depending on the ingredients used.

Are Rice Krispies Nut-Free?

Yes, Rice Krispies cereal is typically nut-free, as it does not contain any nuts or nut-derived ingredients in its standard formulation. However, individuals with nut allergies should always check the label for potential cross-contamination risks and manufacturing practices.

Are Marshmallows Gluten-Free?

Many marshmallows are gluten-free, but it’s essential to check the label for any gluten-containing ingredients or cross-contamination risks.

Are Rice Krispies Gluten-Free?

Yes, Rice Krispies cereal is gluten-free when specifically labeled as such and made with certified gluten-free ingredients.


In conclusion, Rice Krispie Treats can be a delightful gluten-free option when made with certified gluten-free ingredients. While Rice Krispies cereal itself is gluten-free when labeled appropriately, individuals with gluten sensitivities should remain vigilant about cross-contamination risks and choose certified gluten-free products. With careful ingredient selection and attention to manufacturing practices, Rice Krispie Treats can continue to be enjoyed by those following a gluten-free lifestyle, providing a delicious and nostalgic treat for all to savor.

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Claire Lower

Claire is LiveandFeel Senior Food Editor. She has a BS in chemistry, a decade of food journalism experience, and a deep love for mayonnaise and MSG. As a Senior Food & Beverage Writer for liveandfeel, where I generate exciting content covering topics such as culinary trends, recipes, and perhaps even health and wellness aspects related to food. that not only informs but also captivates a sizable audience.