Sweet Squares: Allergy-Friendly Rice Crispy Treats Recipe

Stack of Rice Crispy Treats

This alpha-gal friendly rice crispy treat recipe allows you to enjoy a childhood favorite without triggering an allergic reaction from gelatin. Subbing regular marshmallows with kosher marshmallows provides the same delightful treat in an alpha-gal friendly version.

The information provided on this site is based on my personal experience living with alpha-gal syndrome. I consistently cite and link to expert sources, but nothing published on this site should be perceived as medical advice.

Alpha-gal sensitivities vary by person. You should understand your dietary restrictions, making any adjustments needed, and directing any questions to your physician.

I can’t remember when I last enjoyed a Rice Krispies treat before my alpha-gal diagnosis. But after declining a recent offer to enjoy one due to my alpha-gal allergy, all I could think about was how much I wanted to sink my teeth into a gooey, crispy rice square.

I couldn’t find a prepared or packaged rice crispy treat that didn’t include gelatin, and every brand of vegan marshmallows that I found contained carrageenan, a potential alpha-gal allergy trigger. But then I found a solution.  

Person picking up a rice crispy square from a cutting board

    

In This Article

A pile of marshmallows
Photo Credit: Canva

What’s the Matter with Marshmallows?

Regular marshmallows are made with gelatin derived from bovine or porcine sources, which can cause an allergic reaction in some people with alpha-gal. While vegan products are typically a safe alternative, the most popular brands of vegan marshmallows contain carrageenan, a thickening agent derived from seaweed, which can also trigger allergic responses in some alpha gals.

So, what’s the solution? Kosher marshmallows made with fish gelatin are safe for people with alpha-gal. My favorite brand is Paskesz. Produced under strict kosher standards, they are the perfect marshmallow for alpha gals – and they are available as mini marshmallows or regular-sized marshmallows. So if you want to melt them between graham crackers for s’mores, top off a cup of hot chocolate, or melt them into rice crispy squares, these marshmallows are perfect for alpha gals!

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Original Rice Krispies Treats Recipe

The original Rice Krispies treats recipe has been a beloved treat for generations. It was first introduced in the 1930s by the Kellogg Company as a marketing tool for its Rice Krispies cereal. It was such a big hit that the company has printed the recipe on cereal boxes since 1940.

The original recipe below might look familiar if you made Rice Krispies treats before you were diagnosed with alpha-gal.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 package (10 oz., about 40) JET-PUFFED Marshmallows or 5-1/2 cups JET-PUFFED Miniature Marshmallows
  • 6 cups Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies cereal

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.
  2. Add Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal. Stir until well coated.
  3. Using a buttered spatula or wax paper, evenly press the mixture into a 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool. Cut into 2-inch squares. Best if served the same day.

Vegan Rice Crispy Treats

You can easily sub vegan marshmallows into the Original Rice Krispies treats recipe to make vegan rice crispy treats. Because Dandies vegan marshmallows are also sold in 10-ounce bags like the JET-PUFFED Marshmallows used in the original recipe, they make for an easy substitution. However, as Dandies marshmallows contain carrageenan, they are not always a safe choice for alpha gals.

If you’re an alpha gal who avoids carrageenan, substituting a bag of Paskesz marshmallows in the original recipe is not as straightforward because they are sold in 8-ounce packs. But don’t worry, I’ve done the math and kitchen testing for you in the recipe below.

Dairy-free sign

Dairy-Free Rice Krispie Treats

If you are an alpha gal following a dairy-free diet, all you need to do to whip up a batch of these tasty treats is to substitute vegan butter into the recipe below. Just be sure to use a plant-based butter that comes in sticks (like regular butter) rather than a spreadable option that comes in a tub so that the treats turn out the right consistency.

Rice crispy treat cut into a heart and drizzled with chocolate
Photo Credit: Canva

Rice Krispies Treat Variations

While original Rice Krispies squares are a deliciously classic treat, several variations can take them to the next level.

One option is to stir in toppings like mini chocolate chips or rainbow sprinkles. Or drizzle melted chocolate on top. Another twist is to add flavorings like the creamy nut butter like in these peanut butter rice krispie balls.

For a creative approach, try using cookie cutters to mold your Rice Krispies treats into fun and unique shapes. These are sure to be a hit at any party or special occasion.

You can also use different cereals to change the color and texture of your crispy treats. Try replacing the Rice Krispies cereal with Honey Nut Cheerios or puffed quinoa.

Fruity Pebbles squares on a table with miniature marshmallows
Photo Credit: Canva

How to Make Fruity PEBBLES Rice Crispy Treats

One way to create a colorful version of this treat is to substitute Fruity PEBBLES cereal for Rice Krispies. Instead of beige colored, Fruity PEBBLES is a puffed rice cereal in a rainbow of colors, including red, orange, yellow, green, and blue. 

How to Make Chocolate Rice Crispy Treats

The easiest way to make chocolate rice crispy treats is to substitute Cocoa Krispies for Rice Krispies. But you can also melt ⅓ cup of chocolate chips into the marshmallow mixture to incorporate the rich taste of chocolate into the classic recipe.

Cocoa Pebbles cut into hearts on a blue backdrop
Photo Credit: Canva

How to Make Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats

If you want to incorporate peanut butter’s creamy, nutty flavor into your rice squares, incorporate ⅓ cup of smooth peanut butter and ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract into the marshmallow mixture before pouring it over the rice cereal.

How to Make Protein Rice Crispy Treats

Add ½ cup of your favorite plant-based protein powder into the melted marshmallow mixture to pump up the protein in this dessert. Orgain is my favorite alpha-gal option and is available in flavors that range from vanilla and chocolate to peanut butter and iced coffee.

How to Store Homemade Rice Krispies Treats

Once you have made your Rice Krispies Treats, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days – if they last that long.

Frequently Asked Questions About Rice Crispy Treats

From who invented them to how long they will keep, here are the answers to frequently asked questions about rice crispy treats.

Who invented rice crispy treats?

In the 1930s, searching for a creative way to market Rice Krispies, the Kellogg Company developed a recipe for a dessert made using the crispy rice cereal. This recipe involved melting fresh marshmallows with butter and mixing them with the cereal, creating the iconic gooey and crispy treat that we know and love today. Rice crispy treats quickly gained popularity and have since become a staple dessert for special occasions and everyday snacking.

Do rice crispy treats have gelatin?

It depends on the type of marshmallows you use. When made with traditional marshmallows, rice crispy treats include gelatin that could trigger an alpha-gal reaction. You can use vegan marshmallows, like Dandies, to make this classic treat if you are not sensitive to carrageenan. But, if you are sensitive to carrageenan, use Paskesz marshmallows made with fish gelatin, which is safe for alpha-gals.

When shopping for marshmallows, be sure to read the label carefully. While many kosher marshmallows are free of bovine and porcine-derived gelatin, some kosher marshmallows may contain carrageenan. Fish gelatin is the safest option for alpha gals.

How long does it take to make rice crispy treats?

One of the best things about rice crispy treats is how quick and easy they are to make. From start to finish, the entire process can take as little as 15-20 minutes. Start by preparing a baking dish by coating it with cooking spray or a thin layer of butter. Then, melt the butter in a large pot on medium heat and add your marshmallows, stirring constantly until they melt completely.

Add the melted marshmallow mixture to the crispy rice cereal and stir until the marshmallow coats the cereal. Once evenly mixed, press the mixture into your prepared baking dish. Allow it to cool and set for at least 30 minutes before cutting into squares. 

How long do rice crispy treats last?

At our house? Not long. If you don’t eat the entire pan of crispy rice treats in one sitting, you can store them in an air-tight container, lasting up to three days at room temperature. 

Alpha-Gal Friendly Rice Crispy Treats

These alpha-gal friendly Rice Krispies treats are a classic no-bake dessert of crispy rice cereal squares filled with gooey marshmallows.
5 from 138 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cooling Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 9 bars
Calories 155 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter or plant-based butter
  • 1 8- oz bag Paskesz marshmallows
  • 4 cups crispy rice cereal

Instructions
 

  • In a medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat.
  • Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.
  • Put rice cereal into a large mixing bowl. Pour melted marshmallow mixture over the cereal and gently stir until well coated.
  • Using a buttered rubber spatula, wax paper, or parchment paper, evenly press the cereal mixture into a 9 x 9-inch pan.
  • Cool for at least 30 minutes, then cut into nine squares.

Nutrition

Calories: 155kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 1gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 53mgPotassium: 12mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 16gVitamin A: 117IUCalcium: 3mgIron: 0.3mg
Keyword alpha-gal friendly, cereal, dairy-free, marshmallows, rice
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12 thoughts on “Sweet Squares: Allergy-Friendly Rice Crispy Treats Recipe”

  1. 5 stars
    This is a very brilliant rice crispy treat recipe! I just added this to my go-to snack recipe. It is incredibly delicious and decadent. Even the kids were delighted with these allergy-friendly rice crispy treats!

  2. 5 stars
    Made these for a friend who has an egg allergy. We both thought they were delicious and better than store-bought ones.

  3. 5 stars
    I had all but concluded that I would never be able to enjoy rice crispy treats again and was overjoyed to find this recipe. It never even occurred to me that I could use Kosher marshmallows! Yay!

    1. I was sooooo excited to find alpha-gal friendly marshmallows! I’m not embarrassed to admit that the first time I made these I ate way too many in one sitting.

  4. 5 stars
    I love these sweet squares. I remember my mom making them when I was a kid, and they were always a favorite!

    1. Aren’t they awesome?!? And I’m so glad that these marshmallows made with fish gelatin (instead of the usual variety) means I can still enjoy them with alpha-gal syndrome!

  5. 5 stars
    Made these for a bbq last weekend to make sure a relative with alpha gal had a dessert to eat! Everyone loved them but she was so happy to have them! Thank you!

5 from 138 votes (130 ratings without comment)

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