These Homemade Chocolate Chip Rice Krispie Treats are so chewy, crispy, and sweet. Made using only five ingredients, you can have your favorite childhood snack ready in just under 20 minutes. They're the perfect sweet treat for lunchboxes, your next potluck party, or even just because.
Who doesn't have fond childhood memories of licking sticky, marshmallowy fingers after enjoying a deliciously sweet rice krispie treat?
Whether homemade or store-bought, rice krispie treats are a nostalgic childhood snack for many. As a kid, I loved opening my lunchbox to see that shiny blue wrapper inside. I remember making them at home with my mom once I was a little older. Naturally, my little kid brain was amazed that you could make a homemade version of a store-bought snack.
Now, I love adding mini chocolate chips to my homemade rice krispie treats. The chocolate chips make these cereal bars just a little bit chocolatey and add some nice texture as well. They remind me of the chocolate rice krispie treats you can buy at the store.
So, if you're ready to feel some nostalgia and start creating new memories, keep reading to learn how to make these chocolate chip rice krispie treats.
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Why You'll Love This Recipe
- A Childhood Favorite- Sticky fingers, ooey-gooey marshmallow, crispy rice cereal - who didn't love Kellogg's Classic Rice Krispies Treats growing up? I was obsessed with them and loved finding one in my lunchbox or eating one as an after-school snack. You'll definitely feel nostalgic when you take a bite of these chocolate chip rice krispie treats.
- Sweet and Chocolatey- These homemade rice krispie treats are better with a little chocolate. First, I mix some chocolate chips into the cereal bar mixture. Then, I press more chocolate chips on top so you get chocolate in every bite.
- Easy to Make- Only 5 ingredients and done in under 20 minutes - it doesn't get much better than that. You'll love how simple it is to make these easy rice krispie treats at home. It's the perfect recipe to make for a last-minute party or potluck.
Here are some notes on key ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Crispy Rice Cereal- Of course, Kellogg's Rice Krispies cereal is what everyone thinks about when they think about making rice krispie treats. However, any brand of crispy rice cereal can work here.
- Marshmallows- You can use regular-sized marshmallows or mini marshmallows for this recipe. Just make sure you buy two 10-ounce bags.
- Mini Chocolate Chips- I love using mini chocolate chips because they fit so well inside the nooks and crannies on top of the rice krispie treats. But, if you only have regular-sized chocolate chips, those can work as well.
- Butter- A little fat in the form of butter is necessary to help the melted marshmallows stay soft and stretchy without being overly sticky.
- Vanilla Extract- Adds a lovely, light vanilla flavor to the cereal bars, which compliments the chocolate well.
- Kosher Salt- Just a pinch of salt balances the sweetness.
Step by Step Instructions
Here is how to make these chocolate chip rice krispie treats.
Step 1: Melt the butter and marshmallows. Grease a 9" x 13" baking dish with butter or cooking spray and set it aside. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Once melted, add the marshmallows. Using a rubber spatula, stir the marshmallows continuously until they have completely melted, about 10 minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract and salt.
Step 2: Add in the crispy rice cereal. Remove the pan from the heat and stir the crispy rice cereal into the marshmallow mixture. Mix thoroughly until the cereal is well coated in marshmallow sauce. Quickly mix in half of the chocolate chips (they will likely melt, but that's okay).
Step 3: Press treats into the baking dish. Dump the mixture into a greased baking dish and, using a piece of greased parchment or wax paper, press down on the crispy rice mixture to spread it evenly in the pan. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips over the top of the rice krispie treats and press them in. Allow the treats to cool before slicing and serving.
Substitutions and Variations
Here are a few ways you can customize these chocolate chip rice krispie treats to fit your diet and taste preferences.
- Crispy Rice Cereal- You can make all kinds of marshmallow cereal treats with different types of cereal. Try Fruit Loops, Chex, Fruity Pebbles, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cocoa Puffs, Cornflakes, or any other cereal you like.
- Marshmallows- Substitute the marshmallows with marshmallow fluff, marshmallow creme, or even a combination of peanut butter and honey.
- Butter- Swap the butter for dairy-free butter, coconut oil, or your favorite nut butter.
- Chocolate Chips- Instead of semi-sweet chocolate chips, try using white chocolate chips, M&M's (or your favorite chocolate candies), crushed cookies, chopped candy bars, or sprinkles. Get creative!
- Gluten-Free- Unfortunately, Rice Krispies cereal is not gluten-free. And Kraft's Jet-Puffed marshmallows are not labeled as such either. To be safe, look for gluten-free products like Barbara's Organic Brown Rice Crisps (affiliate link) and Dandies Vegan Marshmallows (affiliate link). Butter is naturally gluten-free, as well as most chocolate chips, but always double-check the label to be sure.
- Dairy-Free- For an easy, dairy-free version of this recipe, swap the butter for coconut oil or dairy-free butter. Also, make sure you use dairy-free chocolate chips such as Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips (affiliate link). Marshmallows are naturally dairy-free.
- Vegan- Rice Krispies cereal contains animal-derived vitamin D3 and, therefore, cannot be considered vegan. For vegan chocolate chip rice krispie treats, look for vegan crispy rice cereal. You'll also need to swap the butter for dairy-free butter or coconut oil, the regular marshmallows for vegan marshmallows, and use dairy-free chocolate chips.
- Healthy- For a more natural, healthier version of rice krispie treats, you can replace the marshmallows and butter with peanut butter (or any other nut butter) and honey or maple syrup. For peanut butter rice krispie treats, use 10 cups of rice krispie cereal, 1 cup of natural creamy peanut butter, and 1 cup of honey or maple syrup.
- Brown Butter- Instead of using melted butter, use brown butter for a slightly more sophisticated version of this sweet treat. To brown, melt butter over medium heat until sizzling. Allow the butter to sizzle until the milk solids darken and the butter turns golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. Reduce heat to low before adding marshmallows.
Chocolate chip rice krispie treats are best stored at room temperature or in the freezer. Do not refrigerate rice krispie treats as this will result in stale, hard cereal bars.
Here are a few tips on how to store your extra chocolate chip rice krispie treats.
- Room Temperature- Store leftover chocolate chip rice krispie treats in an airtight container, plastic bag, or on a plate wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. They will remain crispy, soft, and fresh at room temperature for up to 2 days.
- Freezer- Since rice krispie treats are made with butter, their shelf-life is rather short. For longer storage, I recommend freezing any leftovers you won't eat within a few days. Wrap individual rice krispie treats in plastic wrap, wax paper, or aluminum foil and store them in an airtight container or plastic bag for up to 3 months in the freezer. To Thaw: Allow the frozen cereal treats to thaw at room temperature for a few hours before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, marshmallow creme, marshmallow fluff, or a combination of nut butter and liquid sweetener (like peanut butter and honey) can be used in place of the marshmallows.
Use butter or cooking spray to coat the baking pan, utensils, and even your hands while working with the rice krispie treat mixture. I always recommend using a greased piece of parchment paper or wax paper to press the mixture into the pan.
Allow at least 30 minutes for the butter and marshmallows to cool before cutting into the rice krispie treats. If the rice krispie treats are not allowed to cool long enough, they'll be very sticky when trying to cut them and serve them.
If your rice krispie treats turned rock hard after cooling, you likely had the heat turned too high when melting the marshmallows. Don't rush! Marshmallows require gentle heat and it should take you about 10 minutes to melt regular-sized marshmallows.
Store your leftover chocolate chip rice krispie treats in an airtight container, a Ziplock plastic bag, or on a plate wrapped tightly in plastic wrap for up to 2 days at room temperature. Rice krispie treats will stay soft and fresh for only a few days before they begin to stale and harden. For longer storage, try freezing them.
More Recipes You May Enjoy
- Maple Syrup Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 2 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies
- Chocolate Filled Cookies
- Oat Milk Hot Chocolate
Chocolate Chip Rice Krispie Treats
- Parchment or wax paper
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter plus more for greasing the baking dish
- 20 ounces (2 packages) marshmallows
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 10 cups crispy rice cereal
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
- Grease a 9″ x 13″ baking dish with butter or cooking spray and set it aside. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Once melted, add the marshmallows. Using a rubber spatula, stir the marshmallows continuously until they have completely melted, about 10 minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract and salt.1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, 20 ounces (2 packages) marshmallows, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir the crispy rice cereal into the marshmallow mixture. Mix thoroughly until the cereal is well coated in marshmallow sauce. Quickly mix in half of the chocolate chips (they will likely melt, but that’s okay).10 cups crispy rice cereal, 1 cup mini chocolate chips
- Dump the mixture into a greased baking dish and, using a piece of greased parchment or wax paper, press down on the crispy rice mixture to spread it evenly in the pan. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips over the top of the rice krispie treats and press them in. Allow the treats to cool before slicing and serving.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost before serving.
Gina Pasquale says
These look and sound yummy!! A definite childhood favorite, without the chocolate chips!! (Back then) My favorite chocolate dessert and candy? The candy is the easiest one!! Always has been and still is Reeses Peanut butter cups!! My favorite chocolate dessert? I would have to say home made chocolate fudge, fudgy brownies, fudgy chocolate cake!! (Hint hint...fudgy haha!!)
Ashley Petrie says
Thank you! Reeses and fudgy brownies are the best!