These protein rice krispies are a healthy take on our favorite childhood snack. Made without marshmallows or butter, these bars are gooey, crispy, and light.
High protein desserts are always a staple in our household.
They satisfy the sweet tooth while also being nutritious. They also make a healthy alternative to some traditionally non-healthy treats.
Some of our go-to’s include protein ice cream, pudding, and these high-protein rice crispy treats!
Table of Contents
Why you’ll love this recipe
I think I should do this recipe justice and go ahead and say – these might be even better than the original! This protein version slightly adapts my healthy rice crispy treats recipe but with tons more protein!
- They are nostalgic treats made healthy. We swap out the butter and marshmallows for nut butter and maple syrup but you’d never tell the difference.
- Over 10 grams of protein each. Adding protein powder gives each bar a generous boost, but almond butter adds even more!
- Crispy and gooey. We can’t include rice crispy treats in the name if they aren’t crispy or gooey, and we can confirm this recipe is both of those!
You know I am a fan of short ingredient lists. One thing I love about these protein bars is that they are made with only five ingredients.
- Brown rice cereal. You can use white puffed rice. Both have a crispy texture but brown rice has a slightly better nutritional value regarding vitamins and minerals.
- Almond butter. I like making my own because it’s super drippy, but no stir almond butter works.
Not a fan of almond butter? You can swap it out for peanut or cashew butter or make them nut-free using tahini or sunflower seed butter.
- Maple syrup. Use pure maple syrup to avoid refined sugar. Low carb maple syrup will work if you are looking for a low-carb option.
- Protein powder. The magical ingredient that packs in all the protein! I like using vanilla-flavored protein powder, but unflavored works too.
Protein powder options
When using protein powder for actual recipes (not protein shakes!), casein, brown rice, or pea protein powder is best.
- Chocolate chips. Use any chocolate chips you like.
How to make protein rice krispies
Melt the almond butter and maple syrup in the microwave and pour this mixture over the rice cereal mixed with protein powder. Mix well until fully combined.
Transfer this mixture to a baking dish lined with parchment paper and press firmly. Refrigerate until firm.
Once set, melt the chocolate chips and pour them over the crispy rice bar. Allow to cool, slice, and enjoy.
Tips to make the best recipe
- Know your protein powder. As mentioned earlier, casein, brown rice, and pea protein powders work best for this recipe. Whey protein powder tends to make the bars too sticky. If you use flavored protein powder, make sure you like the flavor as it can be quite overpowering.
- Don’t skip the chocolate topping. Covering the bars with melted chocolate makes them more delicious and protects the top layer from drying out too soon.
- Use other types of puffed cereal. These protein-enriched treats can be made with any puffed grains, including quinoa, amaranth, and barley. These grains have a neutral flavor and a crispy texture, making them amazing alternatives for puffed rice.
To store. You can store these bars at room temperature for around three days. As some almond butter tends to soften quite a bit at room temperature, we recommend you store the bars in an airtight container in the fridge. The bars will last up to a week in the fridge.
To freeze. Freeze these bars in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Place parchment paper in between the layers to prevent the bars from sticking to each other. Allow the bars to soften in the fridge or at room temperature before serving.
Recommended tools to make this recipe
- Square pan. My go-to pans for anything and everything.
- Chef’s knife. Everyone needs a good knife and this one will cut your bars perfectly!
- Parchment paper. For the easy removal of the bars!
More high protein treats to try
Frequently asked questions
These puffed cereal treats may not stick together if the mixture has too much moisture. Natural nut butter tends to be thinner than regular nut butter. Use creamy and thick nut butter to ensure the rice grains stick together well.
High heat causes puffed rice to become hard. To prevent this from happening, don’t pour the melted nut butter mixture over the rice when it is still piping hot.
Wrapping each bar with parchment paper helps keep them soft and chewy longer.
Protein Rice Krispies (4 Ingredients)
- 2 cups Rice krispies cereal or any crispy brown rice cereal
- 1/2 cup almond butter can use any nut or seed butter
- 1/2 cup maple syrup can use any sticky sweetener of choice
- 1 cup vanilla protein powder 32-34 grams per scoop
- 1 cup chocolate chips optional
- Line an 8 x 8-inch baking tray with parchment and set aside. Alternatively, use any deep dish or large loaf pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, add your crispy rice cereal and protein powder and set aside.
- In a microwave safe bowl or stove top, melt your almond butter with maple syrup until combined. Pour over your dry ingredients and mix until fully incorporated. Pour into the lined tray and press firmly into place. Refrigerate until firm.
- If adding chocolate, melt the chocolate chips and spread over the top of the rice krispies and let it set. Once set, slice into bars.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.
I love your recipes Arman. I like that I can substitute whatever I have on hand in terms of sweeteners or nut butters. Thank you for posting wonderful recipes.
🙂 Cheers, Leah!
These would be perfect for my days of 5 hours of class time 😀 miss you, friend ♥︎
I made this recipe and I am very excited about it! I actually only put in about half of the peanut butter and maple syrup and no chocolate on top. I also only did a half scoop of protein powder. It didn’t clump together and so we are using it as cereal in our milk! It is a delicious alternative to store bought peanut butter cereal. I also added about 1/4 tsp vanilla, 2 pinches of salt, and a few shakes of cinnamon. It really made the peanut butter flavor stand out.
LOVE IT! 🙂
Love this… drooling over if!! Would it be too much to ask if macros could be included in the nutritional facts (fats, carbs, protein)? Would love this- looks incredible!!
Thanks Alex! We haven’t calculated it but you can easily do it via a calorie counting website or myfitnesspal 🙂 Enjoy!
These are fantastic. Had to modify to suit us, 4yr old in the house. Gluten free rice bubbles and replaced protein powder with 4Tbsps collagen powder. Half had sprinkles as everything is better with sprinkles when your 4. Even my partner liked them.