These 4-Ingredient Classic Protein Rice Krispies Treats are a take on the classic Rice Krispies treats with the added benefit of having 12 grams of protein per bar! They're ready in only 10 minutes and can be customized to your liking (chocolate, peanut butter, whey protein, vegan, and more!)
Our reader Andrea had this to say: "I have been looking for ways to add more protein into my diet and now that I’ve found this recipe I’m going to have to try not to overdo it! These taste just like the OG treat but better and they’re super easy to make!" ★★★★★
Why You Need These Protein Rice Krispies
Rice crispy treats are the ultimate nostalgic food. They bring me back to Saturday soccer games and holiday parties (because you can customize them to so many themes).
Because they're such a staple in our childhoods, I wanted to make a version that would keep me full longer thanks to a higher protein content.
Plus, I wanted to make these because they are:
- Easy to make: This recipe has only 4 ingredients (no corn syrup in these ones!) and takes 10 minutes. This makes it ideal for making with your little ones. Or, for having your older kids make it when they need a last-minute snack for an event.
- Nut-free & school friendly: Nearly every school and daycare I've seen in recent years requires treats to be nut-free. These protein Rice Krispies are nut-free and therefore great for bringing to school!
- Unique & versatile: Cereal treats can be made in any flavor, color, and shape you like. You can dip them in chocolate, shape them like candy corn, or mix in peanut butter for peanut butter chocolate bars.
Ingredients & Substitutions
All substitutions are a 1:1 substitute unless otherwise noted. See recipe card for quantities.
- Marshmallows: Mini marshmallows work best because they melt faster than jumbo. If you need this to be vegan, try using a vegan brand like Dandy.
- Rice Cereal: Rice Krispies are the go-to, but feel free to use any kind or brand you like!
- Butter: This recipe works with unsalted, salted, and vegan butter.
- Collagen: Collagen is completely flavorless so it makes the ideal addition for these high-protein rice cereal treats!
Rice Crispy Variations
Here's a few fun ways to mix up these cereal treats!
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Cereal Treats: To make this one, use chocolate puffed rice cereal and swap half of the butter for peanut butter. Or, use peanut butter powder in place of half of the collagen.
- Whey Protein Brown Rice Krispies: You can use up to 3 scoops of whey protein powder in place of the collagen in these cereal treats. Try doing this with chocolate protein powder and use brown rice cereal for a slightly nutty flavor.
- Puffed Rice Cake Snack: To get that rice crispy treat feel with even less work, use puffed rice cakes, spread peanut butter on them, and then sprinkle chocolate chips on top. It has a rice-crispy feel but is ready in minutes!
- Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats: For a fancy version of these protein rice krispies, let the butter melt until it becomes frothed and golden. Then remove from the heat and continue on with the recipe.
- Toppings: We love to add a chocolate topping (after you spread the rice krispies into the pan) to make these into chocolate protein rice Krispies! Natural peanut butter is also a delicious addition to the top of these bars, and the result is a tasty peanut butter cup flavor!
This recipe has not been tested with other substitutions or variations. If you replace or add any ingredients, please let us know how it turned out in the comments below!
Recipe Testing Notes
Throughout our testing of this protein rice krispies, we learned some key things that worked and didn't work. Here are the key takeaways!
- Protein types: We tested this recipe with both protein powder and collagen. It works well with both vanilla or unflavored protein powder and unflavored collagen, but with collagen, you can add more protein without impacting flavor.
- Marshmallow size: This rice krispie recipe has been tested with both mini marshmallows, normal size, and jumbo. Mini marshmallows were the clear winner because they melt the fastest.
- Vegan bars: I've made these with vegan marshmallows, vegan protein powder, and vegan butter. All these work great and are a super easy swap!
How to Make This - Step by Step
Be sure to scroll to the bottom for the recipe card for exactly how to make protein rice crispy squares.
Step One: Melt butter over medium heat in a large pot.
Step Two: Add marshmallows to melted butter and continue to heat on low until almost melted and you are left with just gooey marshmallows. We like to use a silicone spatula for this because the marshmallows won’t stick to it.
Step Three: Mix in collagen and vanilla! When marshmallows are almost completely melted, add the collagen to the marshmallow mixture and continue to stir over low heat until the powder is dissolved. Then, add vanilla extract and stir.
Step Four: Remove the pot from heat and gently stir in the cereal. The more carefully you stir, the more tender the cereal bars will be. You can also move the cereal mixture to a large bowl to mix if your pot gets too full. Pour the mixture into a lined square pan or an airtight container (or one that can be covered tightly).
Wetting a spatula with water is a good way to keep the mixture from sticking to it as you gently press the mixture into the prepared pan or container. The container or baking dish can be any size that is approximately 8x8 or even a bread pan size. It can be helpful to grease the pan with butter or nonstick cooking spray or to line it with parchment paper.
Step Five: Let cool and Enjoy!
Watch How to Make This - Step by Step
- Use mini marshmallows: This saves time and I'm all about that!
- Watch the butter: As the butter melts, it can burn quickly, so as it's mostly melted, add the marshmallows and keep stirring. This little bit of babysitting will keep it from burning.
- Wetting the spatula: Because the treats are sticky, wetting the spatula before pressing them into a pan will help prevent sticking to the spatula.
How do I keep my rice krispies from sticking?
The trick to this is to wet your spatula before pressing the cereal treats into the pan.
Can you eat rice crispy treats before working out?
According to Health, "Caroline Klinger, MS, RD, a sports dietitian who dueted the original TikTok, said cereal in general is a great source of exercise fuel—the simple carbohydrates hit the bloodstream fast, providing an instant energy boost for a workout."
Can I use protein powder in this recipe?
Any type of protein will work, but we recommend vanilla for the classic Rice Krispies taste. Any other flavor will result in a very different recipe.
How do I make this vegan?
This recipe can be made vegan with the use of vegan butter (like Earth Balance), vegan collagen (like KOS), and vegan marshmallows (like Dandies).
How do I keep the bars from getting hard?
Store these puffed rice cereal treats in an airtight container to keep them from getting hard over time.
Store these in an airtight container for up to 1 week at room temperature or 2 weeks in the fridge. I recommend bringing them to room temperature before serving.
More High-Protein Recipes
- 3 tablespoon butter
- 4 cups rice krispies cereal
- 10 oz marshmallows mini is best
- 4 scoops unflavored collagen powder about 1 cup (or 3 scoops of vanilla protein powder)
- Melt butter over low to medium heat in large nonstick pot.
- Add marshmallows to melted butter and stir continuously over low heat until marshmallows are almost melted. Using a silicon spatula for this will help keep the marshmallow from sticking to everything.
- Add the collagen and stir until dissolved and the marshmallows are completely melted.
- Remove mixture from heat and add cereal.
- Stir gently (the more gentle you stir, the more tender the bars will be) until cereal is completely coated.
- Transfer the mixture to a resealable 8x8 container and gently press it down. When pressing into the container, get the silicon spatula wet first. This helps to keep the mixture from sticking to the spatula.
- Let these treats set for 30 minutes to set up and enjoy!
- To make these vegan: use vegan vanilla protein powder, vegan marshmallows, and vegan butter.
- Use a wetted spatula to press the bars into the pan and keep them from sticking.