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Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats (with Chocolate)

Listen up chocolate and peanut butter lovers. You can get your fix with these easy and delicious peanut butter rice krispie treats.

A soft, chewy, old fashioned gooey treat jazzed up with a great flavor combination. And less than 10 minutes to prepare.

one peanut butter rice crispy treat in front of others  on plate.

I’ve been making chocolate rice crispy treats for decades with our family recipe. Love them.

I thought I’d try something new since peanut butter and chocolate are both big hits in our family.

I did several tests (which my husband was happy about). The first time I used puffed cereal from a bulk food store. Big mistake. The cereal was way too crunchy. Almost like hard seeds. I clearly bought the wrong kind.

Needless to say, my husband (who’s not very discriminating) still liked them. I didn’t. I suggest checking the texture of any off brands you use.

Why make this simple recipe

  • It’s a quick and easy crowd pleaser – less than 10 minutes prep, 6 simple ingredients and a no bake recipe.
  • Peanut butter and chocolate are the perfect match. Add a bit of gooey chewy crunch and, well…
  • We included stovetop and microwave directions in the recipe card. Microwaving is quicker.

Ingredients – tailored to your taste

marshmallows and butter in pan, peanut butter, rice crispies, chocolate chips, oil

Rice krispies: Use the brand name cereal or an off brand. Be sure to check the texture of off brands and make sure the cereal is fresh. Here’s an article on 6 other brand name cereal options to try as a substitute for rice crispies.

Marshmallows:

  • Use mini or regular marshmallows. Minis will melt in half the time. You can also try marshmallow crème or fluff which is gluten-free.
  • Use fresh marshmallows. Stale ones won’t melt properly.
  • You need about 10 ounces which typically means one regular package (large packages are 16 ounces). If you are not sure about the size of your marshmallows or package, you can weigh out 10 ounces/280 grams.
  • Here are marshmallow conversions for every type of marshmallow.
  • In a nutshell: one 10-ounce bag/280 grams = 6 cups mini marshmallows = 40 regular marshmallows = 7 ounce jar marshmallow crème/fluff (heaping 1 1/2 cups/140 grams)

Peanut butter: I use regular creamy peanut butter. Chunky peanut butter will work too. Natural peanut butter is not recommended as it can separate and not harden properly.

Butter: Use salted butter or unsalted butter with a pinch of salt. Don’t use margarine.

Chocolate: I use semi-sweet chocolate chips. You can also use a broken up chocolate bar. I thin out the melted chocolate for easier spreading with a teaspoon of vegetable oil. For a different variation, try butterscotch chips, dark chocolate chips or peanut butter chips (or any combination).

Extras: Add a bit of vanilla extract if you like. Sprinkle on crushed peanuts for crunch after spreading on the chocolate glaze, mini Reese’s peanut butter cups or flaky sea salt.

Step by step instructions

puffed up marshmallows in pan after microwaving
Melt marshmallows and butter in the microwave. See recipe card for stove top instructions.
peanut butter added to marshmallow butter mixture
Stir marshmallow mixture until smooth. Add peanut butter
peanut butter being stirred into marshmallow mixture in pan
Stir in peanut butter and vanilla (if using) until well combined.
peanut butter rice krispies in pan
Stir in rice crispies then transfer to another pan. Pat down gently with wet hands.
peanut butter rice krispies in pan with chocolate topping being added
Melt chocolate chips in microwave. Add a teaspoon oil to thin it out a bit. Spread chocolate over rice crispy mixture.
peanut butter rice krispie squares in plan iced with chocolate and peanuts
Sprinkle on crushed peanuts or sea salt if using.
peanut butter rice krispie squares lined up in rows on plate
Cut the block into peanut butter rice krispie bars or small squares.

Tips

  1. Ratios: 100% exact measurements are not needed, but they should be close. Why? Too much butter will make the rice krispy treats too soft and oily. Too much cereal makes them too dry and hard. Too many marshmallows will make them very sticky.
  2. Make clean up easy: I tried making the treats in one dish and they were very difficult to remove from the bottom of the pan when cut. I won’t do that again. Spray the pan well with cooking oil. Then you can easily lift the whole slab out with a spatula onto a cutting board to cut into squares.
  3. Pan size: Many sizes will work. Use a 9 x 13 inch (23 x 33 cm) pan for thinner bars. Or a square pan 8 x 8 inch (20 x 20 cm) for thicker bars. Or anything in between.

Recipe FAQ

How do I prevent my rice crispy treats from getting too hard?

Don’t overcook or burn the marshmallows. Don’t add too much cereal. Store them properly in an airtight container. And don’t press down the mixture too firmly. If they do get hard, try putting them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds to soften them up.

What can I do with leftover marshmallows?

Add them to hot chocolate. Make smores. Top a cake, cupcakes or baked sweet potatoes, then broil until browned and melty. Or make more peanut butter rice crispy treats 🙂

Can I make gluten-free or vegan rice krispy treats?

For a vegan version, buy gelatin-free marshmallows or substitute with almond butter and maple syrup (here’s a recipe for healthy vegan rice crispy treats). Or, substitute every 1 cup of marshmallows (8 pieces) with 1/2 cup marshmallow fluff (which also has no gelatin).For gluten-free, use a gluten free puff cereal and check the marshmallow package too.

Is rice crispy treats healthy?

Not really as they contain high sugar, carbs and fat. Fortified cereal and peanut butter help, though, as they provide some iron, vitamin A and B and protein. In general, consider them a fun occasional treat.

Shortcuts

  • It takes half the time to melt the butter and marshmallows in the microwave than it does on the stove top.
  • Mini marshmallows will melt much faster than regular ones.
  • You can skip the top layer of chocolate.

Make ahead, store, freeze

  • Peanut butter rice crispy treats can be made ahead, but need to be stored properly in one even layer or with parchment paper or wax paper in between layers to prevent sticking.
  • Make the treats and store them in an airtight container or ziploc bag
    • at room temperature for 4-5 days (this is the best way)
    • in the fridge for a week or
    • in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Bring refrigerated or frozen treats to room temperature before serving. If you forget, put them in the microwave for 30 seconds or so.
several peanut butter rice crispy treats in a row on plate.
Enjoy you soft, gooey peanut butter rice krispie treats!

Other quick and easy no-bake desserts 

If you like this recipe, please leave a 5 star rating 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟in the recipe card below. And if you REALLY like it, consider a review in the comments. Thanks!

one peanut butter rice crispy treat in front of others on plate.
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5 from 7 votes

Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats

Get your chocolate and peanut butter fix with these easy and delicious peanut butter rice krispie treats. A soft, chewy, old fashioned gooey treat jazzed up with a great flavor combination. And less than 10 minutes prep.
Prep Time3 mins
Cook Time7 mins
Chill time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack, Treat
Cuisine: American
Servings: 30 squares
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter Note 1 (1/2 stick or 68 grams)
  • 10 ounces marshmallows, Note 2 typically one bag
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional) (1 Bakers square or 3 tablespoons )
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter, smooth or crunchy (don't use natural peanut butter)
  • 5 cups Rice Krispies cereal, Note 3 or off-brand puffed rice cereal

Chocolate layer

  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips, Note 4
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil to thin out chocolate
  • Optional garnish: crushed peanuts, flaky sea salt

Instructions

  • PREPARE PAN: Spray a pyrex or casserole dish well with cooking spray to make removing the bars and clean up easier. Alternatively, line the pan with parchment paper. Note 5 for pan sizes.
  • MAKE RICE KRISPIE TREATS (Microwave method -1200 watts): Note 6 for stove top instructions. Place marshmallows and butter in large microwave-safe bowl. Spray with cooking spray. For regular marshmallows, microwave on High for 2 minutes. Stir then microwave for another 1 minute. Stir until smooth. Add vanilla if using. (For mini marshmallows, microwave for 1 minutes, then another 30 seconds.) Stir in peanut butter while mixture is still hot. Add rice crispies and stir and well combined. Mixture will be very thick and sticky. Tip: wet your hands and mix with hands. Transfer to prepared pan. Gently press down mixture with wet hands to form an even layer.
  • MAKE CHOCOLATE LAYER: Place chocolate chips in microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl. Microwave for 1 minute on high. Stir. Microwave another 30 seconds. Stir until smooth. If not completely melted, microwave in 10 second increments until smooth. Stir in 1 teaspoon oil to thin it out for easy spreading. Spread chocolate over rice krispies in pan to form an even layer. Add crushed nuts if using and press lightly to help them adhere. Or lightly sprinkle on sea salt.
  • SET, CUT, SERVE: Let the rice crispy treats set for at least 30 minutes at room temperature. Or place in fridge for 20-30 minutes. Cut into 20-30 squares or bars. Tip: I transfer the entire block to a cutting board by slipping a spatula under the rice crispy treats and lifting them out to cut. Serve at room temperature. Note 7 for storing.

Notes

  1. Butter: I used salted butter. If you use unsalted butter, add 1/4 tsp kosher salt. 
  2. Marshmallows 
    • Use fresh mini marshmallows (fastest melting) or regular. Or even marshmallow crème or fluff. Use gluten-free marshmallows or the gluten free fluff for a gluten free version if you like. 
    • Here are every type of marshmallow conversions. In a nutshell, use
      • 6 cups mini marshmallows or
      • 40 regular marshmallows or
      • 7 ounce jar marshmallow crème/fluff (heaping 1 1/2 cups/140 grams)
  3. Rice krispies: Use the brand name cereal or an off brand. Be sure to check the texture of off brands and make sure the cereal is fresh. Here’s an article on 6 other brand name cereal options to try as a substitute for rice crispies.
  4. Chocolate chips: If you want a thinner chocolate layer, use a bit less. I use semi-sweet chocolate chips. You can also use a broken up chocolate bar.  Variation: Butterscotch chips, dark chocolate chips or peanut butter chips (or any combination). 
  5. Pan sizes: Use an 8 x 8 inch pan (20 x 20 cm) for thicker squares or a 9 x 13 inch (23 x 33cm) pan for thinner squares (or to double recipe). In between sizes like 11×7 or 9×9 or 10×10 inch are fine too.
  6. Stove top method: In a large pot or dutch oven, melt butter and marshmallows over medium low heat (4/10), stirring regularly. It will take about 5-8 minutes for marshmallows to melt and 3-4 minutes for mini marshmallows. Stir in vanilla if using. Add rice cereal, stirring to combine well. Fold into the prepared pan. Pat down lightly to even it out (use wet hands).
  7. Make ahead and storage
      • Store in in an airtight container or ziploc bag on an even layer or with parchment paper or wax paper in between layers to prevent sticking.
      • Store: 
        • at room temperature for 4-5 days
        • in the fridge for a week or
        • in the freezer for up to 3 months.
      • Bring refrigerated or frozen treats to room temperature before serving. If you forget, put them in the microwave for 30 seconds or so.
     
    Nutrition values are estimates for one square (of 30) and do not include optional crushed peanuts or sea salt. 

    Nutrition

    Calories: 132kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 63mg | Potassium: 57mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 357IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 2mg
    Tried this recipe?We’d love you to rate it above under ‘rate this recipe’ or in the comment section below. Thanks!

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