What can you substitute for Rice Krispies in Rice Krispie Treats?

Quick Answer

There are several substitutes that can be used in place of Rice Krispies cereal to make tasty Rice Krispie treats. Some of the most popular alternatives include other puffed rice cereals like generic or store-brand crispy rice cereals, gluten-free puffed rice, popped quinoa or sorghum, puffed corn cereal, granola, puffed wheat cereal like Wheaties, puffed brown rice cereal, and crispy rice cereal made from rice flour. The key is to use a light, crispy cereal or grain that will hold its texture when coated with the melted marshmallow mixture.

Substituting Other Puffed Rice Cereals

One of the easiest substitutions is to use another puffed rice cereal rather than the name-brand Rice Krispies. Any crispy rice cereal, whether a generic store-brand or another brand like Erewhon, will work well in place of Rice Krispies. The texture and Rice Krispie treat experience will be very similar. Be sure to use a puffed rice cereal, not granola or flakes. The puffed or crispy texture is important.

Store-Brand Crispy Rice Cereal

Almost any grocery store will offer their own version of crispy rice cereal, often called Crispy Rice or Crisped Rice Cereal, at a more affordable price point than the name-brand cereal. Store-brand crispy rice cereals have the same airy, crunchy texture and will hold up well when coated with the marshmallow mixture. This substitution will yield a very similar result to using Rice Krispies.

Other Brands of Puffed Rice Cereal

Some other brands, like Erewhon and Lydia’s Organics, also make puffed rice cereals that can successfully stand in for Rice Krispies. As long as the cereal consists of puffed or crispy rice, the Rice Krispie treats will come together in the same way with the cereal pieces retaining their crunch in the chewy marshmallow mix.

Gluten-Free Puffed Rice

For a gluten-free version of Rice Krispie treats, use puffed rice made from gluten-free grains. Several brands like Erewhon and Lydia’s Organics make gluten-free varieties of puffed rice cereal. You can also find gluten-free crispy rice cereal under store-brands. These will allow you to stick to the classic Rice Krispie treat experience while accommodating gluten-free dietary needs. The puffed rice texture provides the same crispy crunch when coated in marshmallow.

Brown Rice and Millet Puffed Cereal

Erewhon offers a gluten-free brown rice and millet puffed cereal that can be used in place of Rice Krispies. The crispy, airy texture is similar to puffed rice so it holds up well in Rice Krispie treats. This substitution allows for a gluten-free, whole grain twist on the traditional recipe.

Corn Puffs Cereal

For another gluten-free substituted, use puffed corn cereal, often called corn puffs. The round cereal pieces provide the same airy crunch and crispy texture to replace the Rice Krispies. Corn puffs are made from just corn and oil so they are naturally gluten-free. Brands like Erewhon and Mary’s Gone Crackers make corn puffs cereals.

Popped Quinoa and Sorghum

For a higher protein, whole grain take on Rice Krispie treats, use popped quinoa or sorghum in place of the Rice Krispies. Quinoa and sorghum seeds are popped just like popcorn, creating a light, crunchy, crisp texture. When coated in the marshmallow mixture, popped quinoa and sorghum mimic the crispy crunch of puffed rice. This adds more protein and fiber to make a healthier version of the classic treat.

Popped Quinoa

Quinoa is an ancient grain that is naturally gluten-free. When quinoa seeds are popped, they take on an airy, crunchy texture. Popped quinoa can be found at well-stocked grocery stores or online. Use it in place of Rice Krispies for extra protein and nutrients.

Popped Sorghum

Like quinoa, sorghum is an ancient whole grain that can be popped into a light, crispy cereal. Popped sorghum has a mild flavor and crunchy texture that provides a great substitute for the Rice Krispies when making a batch of treats.

Puffed Corn Cereal

Any puffed corn cereal can also substitute for Rice Krispies, since puffed corn has a similar crispy, crunchy texture when coated with marshmallow. Good options are puffed corn snacks like Poppycock or Honey Smacks cereal. Just break or crush the puffed corn pieces into smaller bite-sizes to mimic Rice Krispies before mixing into the marshmallow treat recipe. The puffed corn will maintain its delightful crunch.


Poppycock is a popular puffed corn snack that comes coated with a glaze and nuts. To use it as a substitute, simply break up the Poppycock into smaller pieces to resemble the size of Rice Krispies before mixing it into the marshmallow treat recipe. The puffed corn provides crispy texture and crunch.

Honey Smacks

Honey Smacks is a sweet puffed corn breakfast cereal that can stand in for Rice Krispies. Since it is already crispy and puffed, simply break up the cereal into small pieces before using it in your Rice Krispie treats. The honey flavor adds extra sweetness.


Crunchy granola makes for a tasty, whole grain substitute for Rice Krispies. Look for granola with large clusters so it can mimic the chunky texture of Rice Krispies. Avoid granola with lots of powdery crumbs, which will turn mealy when combined with marshmallow. Nut-free or seed-based granola works best for allergy-friendly treats. The nutty, toasted flavor of granola makes a delicious twist on classic Rice Krispie treats.

Large Clusters Granola

Seek out granola with big chunks and clusters rather than a fine, crumbly texture. Large clusters will retain their crunchy bite when coated in marshmallow, similar to the crisp Rice Krispies pieces. Clusters made from rolled oats, slivered almonds, pumpkin seeds, and dried fruit will provide tasty crunch.

Seed and Grain Granola

For nut-free treats, use a granola made from seeds and grains rather than nuts. Look for varieties made with crunchy bases like puffed quinoa, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, dried coconut, and whole grain oats. The mixtures of seeds, grains, and dried fruit will provide varied flavors and textures.

Puffed Wheat Cereal

For a wheat-based crispy cereal, puffed wheat like Wheaties makes a good Rice Krispies substitute. It has the same airy, crispy texture that will stand up well when coated with marshmallow. The mild wheat flavor offers a nice change of pace from the usual rice cereal. Just break up any large cereal clusters into smaller pieces before using.

Unsweetened Puffed Wheat

Plain puffed wheat cereal works better than sugary varieties, since marshmallow Rice Krispie treats are already sweet enough. Use an unsweetened puffed wheat like Arrowhead Mills for a neutral flavor that won’t compete with the sweet marshmallow.

Crushed Wheaties

The classic breakfast cereal Wheaties makes an easy, widely available puffed wheat substitute. Simply crush the Wheaties cereal into smaller pieces before mixing it into the marshmallow treats. The crunchy wheat will retain its crispness when coated.

Puffed Brown Rice Cereal

For an extra dose of whole grain nutrition, use puffed brown rice in place of regular Rice Krispies. Brown rice is more nutritious than white rice, providing fiber, antioxidants, and B vitamins. When puffed, brown rice takes on the same airy, crispy texture as white puffed rice. The brown rice will retain its pleasant crunch when combined with marshmallow.

Lightly Sweetened Puffed Brown Rice

Look for a puffed brown rice cereal that is lightly sweetened or unsweetened, since the marshmallow mixture already provides enough sweetness. The mild sweetness will complement the marshmallow while letting the nutty brown rice flavor shine.

Organic Brown Rice Cereal

Organic puffed brown rice is a good option for an allergy-friendly Rice Krispie treat using clean ingredients. Without artificial colors or flavors, the simple brown rice flavor will come through when paired with marshmallow.

Rice Flour Crispy Rice Cereal

For a gluten-free, vegan Rice Krispie treat, use puffed rice cereal made from rice flour and rice bran. Rice flour crispy rice cereals provide the crispy rice texture to mimic Rice Krispies, without any allergens for a friendlier recipe. Brands like Sweet Puffed Rice Snack offer vegan, gluten-free crispy rice made from rice.

Sweetened Rice Flour Cereal

Since Rice Krispie treats are sweet, use a puffed rice flour cereal with some sweetener added. Sweetened varieties will provide enough sweetness to balance out the marshmallow. Check labels for vegan-friendly sweeteners like rice syrup.

Allergen-Free Rice Crisps

Look for rice crisps made in allergen-free facilities and free of the top allergens like wheat, gluten, dairy, eggs, nuts, and soy for treats that more people can safely enjoy. Crisped rice made solely from rice flour fits the bill.

Mix and Match Combinations

For added flavors and textures, you can also use a combination of cereals in your Rice Krispie treats. Mixing together 2-3 substitutes creates treats with more complex crunchy goodness.

Granola and Crispy Brown Rice

Combine school lunchbox favorites like chewy granola and crispy puffed brown rice for nostalgic crunch. Use a 1:1 ratio for even amounts of each.

Popped Quinoa and Puffed Corn

The trio of hearty quinoa, crisp puffed corn, and chewy marshmallow provides satisfying layered textures. Use a 2:1 ratio of quinoa to corn.

Crispy Brown Rice and Puffed Millet

Pairing nutty brown rice with mild millet makes for extra nutritious, gluten-free treats. Use equal 1:1 parts for crispy crunch.

Granola and Wheaties

For classic breakfast flavors, use a combo of toasted granola and wheaty Wheaties. A 1:1 ratio keeps the flavors balanced.

Tips for Rice Krispie Treat Substitutions

– Seek out crispy, puffed cereals or grains rather than dense flakes or powders so the treats retain crunch.

– Break up any large cereal clusters to approximate the size of Rice Krispies before using.

– Avoid overly sweetened cereals, since marshmallow fluff is already very sweet.

– If using granola, pick varieties with large clusters rather than fine crumbs and powders.

– Popped grains like quinoa will be smaller than rice but provide great texture.

– Mixing 2-3 substitute cereals can provide fun flavors and textures.

– Check puffed rice cereals for gluten-free and allergen-friendly labels if needed.

– Organic varieties of substitute cereals ensure high-quality ingredients.

– Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

Rice Krispie Treat Substitution Ratio Guide

Original Ingredient Substitution Ratio
Rice Krispies Store-brand Crispy Rice Cereal 1:1
Rice Krispies Other Brand Puffed Rice Cereal 1:1
Rice Krispies Gluten-free Puffed Rice 1:1
Rice Krispies Popped Quinoa 1:1
Rice Krispies Popped Sorghum 1:1
Rice Krispies Puffed Corn Cereal 1:1
Rice Krispies Granola 1:1
Rice Krispies Puffed Wheat Cereal 1:1
Rice Krispies Puffed Brown Rice 1:1
Rice Krispies Rice Flour Crispy Rice 1:1


Rice Krispie treats are a beloved snack time classic, but many ingredient swaps can stand in for the traditional Rice Krispies cereal. Any puffed rice cereal, popped grains like quinoa and sorghum, puffed corn snacks, granola, or crisp cereals like Wheaties can provide the right crispy, crunchy texture to make delightful treats. Going with gluten-free, whole grain, or allergy-friendly options allows for tasty variations. With so many cereals to choose from, the snacking possibilities are endless! Be creative and enjoy conjuring up your own signature crispy, crunchy Rice Krispie treat creations.

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