Are Rice Krispies Gluten Free?

Are Rice Krispies Gluten Free?

Not too long ago Kellogg’s celebrated 100 years since Rice Krispies were created. Rice Krispies is one of the most popular cereals on the market today. It is particularly famous for being one of the few breakfast cereals that is not wheat-based. But, are original Rice Krispies truly gluten-free?

Can Celiacs or merely gluten sensitive people eat them? How do Rice Krispies taste? This is what we are about to find out.

Rice Krispies are not actually gluten-free. They contain malt and, sometimes, barley for a flavor enhancer. Besides this, they are made in a gluten-filled vicinity which makes them officially non-gluten-free.

Therefore, if you have Celiac, you will not be able to safely eat original Rice Krispies. However, if you are merely gluten sensitive, you may be able to eat them without having an allergic reaction. (Eat with caution and see how you feel).  Since my daughter was gluten sensitive (and not Celiac), Rice Krispies was one of the few cereals she could eat. She still considers it one of her favorite breakfast cereals.

Fortunately, most stores are now selling gluten-free Rice Krispies; these are specially made for those who are gluten intolerant and Celiac. Instead of having white rice, malt and barley, this kind of Rice Krispies is made simply with brown rice, sugar and water.

The gluten-free Rice Krispies may be healthier than the original kind although there is some debate about a chemical called BHT in them. Original Rice Krispies are known primarily for their snap-crackle-pop sound. In addition, they taste very good, especially in milk. Not to mention, original Rice Krispies are easy to find in the stores. They may be the tastiest breakfast cereal if you are not overly sensitive to gluten.

Gluten-free Rice Krispies, on the other hand, can be difficult to locate in the shops; not all stores will have them. Also, since they lack the barley flavor, gluten-free Rice Krispies taste a little bland. However, gluten-free Rice Krispies still make the signature snap-crackle-pop noise of the original kind and they still make savory Rice Krispie treats.

Personally, I prefer the gluten-free kind for my breakfast cereal because the original Rice Krispies always tasted too sweet for me. I also like brown rice better than white. One thing I do not like, though, is that the gluten-free Rice Krispies do not seem to retain the light, puffy consistency of the original cereal longer then a couple of days.

Still, if you are Rice Krispies lover or just a plain cereal lover, these gluten-free Rice Krispies would really be worth a try. Not to mention, they are a great breakfast solution for you if you are gluten intolerant or have been diagnosed with Celiac. This cereal is a great innovation for those of us who eat gluten-free.

Tricia Fecteau

I have tried to share what I have learned years in my book called "Gluten-Free with Love" available on Amazon and on my website. I want to help you in your journey to good health.


  1. Allison said:

    Tried “Gluten-free” Rice Krispies today for the first time and an hour or two after experienced gluten allergy symptoms such as sore throat, head ache, and fatigue. This product does not have the official Gluten-Free stamp on the box so I would warn people who are suffering from gluten-intolerance to avoid this cereal because I experienced obvious allergic reactions.

    • Tricia Fecteau said:

      Allison, sorry you had a reaction to the gluten-free Rice Krispies. It could possibly be due to cross contamination with other products made at the Kellogg plant. It is unfortunate that we often have to rely on “trial and error” to find out what we can tolerate. I can empathize with you as my family has had similar experiences with other products that are not necessarily gluten-free.

      • Kathy said:

        According to the rice krispies web site:

        A gluten-free option with the same beloved sound

        Rice Krispies® Gluten Free cereal is made with whole-grain brown rice and eliminates barley malt (the source of gluten in the original Rice Krispies® cereal). It is produced in a separate facility, and each batch is tested to ensure its gluten-free status. You can find Rice Krispies® Gluten Free cereal in the cereal aisle, right alongside the original Rice Krispies® cereal, and at the same price, too! So your kids can enjoy a bowlful for breakfast, and they won’t miss out on the timeless taste of homemade Rice Krispies Treats® marshmallow squares.

        Fortunately I am not a celiac so they do not bother me, but can’t understand why they would bother any one if they are really produced in a separate facility. I guess it is trial and error. What a sad world.

        • Recrea8 said:

          Not sure where you have found them the same price, I have never seen a gluten free product the same price as the regular version. The gluten free is always way more expensive.

  2. Celiac lover said:

    Thanks for your post. Where do you live? I live in a very arid climate and I’m wondering if the reason your gluten free Rice Krispies go bad is because of humidity??

    • Tricia Fecteau said:

      We live in a fairly humid climate near Boston, so you may be right.

  3. Michelle Brentmore said:

    I think society needs to use the term “allergic reaction” a little less loosely. If you have a food intolerance you cannot experience an allergic reaction to a food you are merely sensitive to. Allergic reactions are reserved for those who come in contact with something they are allergic to, not intolorant to. Furthermore, an allergy is an auto-immune disorder. During an allergic reaction the body attacks the “foreign” substance because the body sees it as a threat. Intolerances are not an auto-immune disorder and therefore the reaction is not the same, usually less severe and not life threatening. Gluten free or not, I believe that Rice Krispies are just another example of an over-processed food we shouldnt be eating anyway, and certainly not feeding our children, no matter how good it tastes.

  4. Christine Roberts said:

    I cannot agree entirely with Michelle Brentmore re allergies and sensitivities. People can have an allergic reaction to food as well as being sensitive to it. I do not like the word ‘merely’ in the context that it is used in her comment.
    I have coeliac disease and Gluten is a toxin to people like me. Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease so People that suffer from it can also be sensitive to other foods. I know as I’m one that suffers from other sensitivities to different foods due to my Coeliac disease. My Coeliac disease has been medically diagnosed and I am on a Gluten free diet and I have to also avoid other foods too as they can cause my bowel to react badly and and cause vomiting as does Gluten. Sometimes it can be trial and error what other foods effect one. So I’m both Sensitive and allergic to Gluten. Likewise other foods that effect me with a short time of eating them.

    • Michelle Morrison said:

      My 13 year old daughter was diagnosed with Celiac disease. She is also type 1 diabetic. Was told these 2 diseases go hand in hand. She has never exhibited symptoms of the typical person with gluten ‘allergy’ or ‘sensitivity’. One Dr appt, they decided to test her blood for the antigens and her levels were off the chart.. went to a GI Specialist for pediatrics and they did a scope and confirmed it was Celiac. It is an auto immune disease along with the diabetes. She has to eat gluten free which really sucks for a kid. Can’t eat birthday cake, cookies or anything.. when parents send snacks to school.. she can’t have any (even though they know she cant). So I hate that people don’t understand the disease and think it’s a choice.

      • Bessie Freeman said:

        I have had Celiac’s since I was in first grade and we have found a few tricks. Give the teacher a stash of gluten free snacks for your girl just for parties, like ice cream or her favorite candy (that made me feel better because I got something special) oh and it is expensive but cup for cup makes a wonderful substitute for flour.

      • Eric Hanson said:

        Try Betty Crocker gluten free cake mixes for birthday cakes, etc. They are as good as the original mixes. Also, Barilla gluten free pasta too… same result, it is difficult to tell it from the original, and that says something when it is gluten free pasta!

        I am in hopes that Rice Krispies and Rice Krispie Treats will be made in a new gluten free facility and the formula slightly changed to enable us to enjoy them again… like General Mills recently did with Cheerios and other cereals.

  5. Pingback: Gluten Free Friday: Are Rice Krispies Gluten Free?

  6. nicole said:

    Word on the street is that the “real” aka original Rice Krispies will soon be gluten free, no more alternative brown rice gluten free ones.

  7. S said:

    I’m not celiac but I’m intolerant. Used to eat these as a kid allll the time and my aunt had a drawer full of the regular ones. I’ve been eating them for days.. don’t think they hurt me? (I’m also diabetic)

  8. Marie said:

    Gluten affects my mood. Since I’m not truly allergic or anything, I had a rice krispy treat the other night hoping that it was gluten free. Boy did I feel it in the morning, which prompted me to google the subject. I’m not surprised to see they have gluten. Thanks for your post!

  9. Wendy said:

    Is rice gluten free? Many people don’t know it is. Glutinous rice is confused by some restaurant workers.
    I’ve been diagnosed with Hashimotos for about 8 years. Since then I’ve been on a journey of discovery. It’s heartening to see the amount of gluten free breakfast cereals and other grain products increasing, but sadly many manufacturers load up their products with sugar to compensate for a perceived lack of …something…I’m not sure what.

    These three grains provide me with energy, nutrition and satiety

    1 Quinoa – a super food with 14% protein and actually a pseudo grain.
    2 Chia – another super food with gelatinous properties that can replace up to 25% of egg content in cakes etc.
    3 Basmati whole grain – amazingly tasty with a nutty popcorny aroma that makes the kitchen smell like you’re at the movies.

    Cooked basmati is a wonderful alternative to processed cereal. I cook a few days worth at a time and have it with almond milk and stevia and some nuts. You can add fruit if you like.
    I’m putting together information on how to lose weight while on a gluten free diet. Volume 1 is out now.

  10. Pingback: Gluten Free Rice Options | Free Documents App

  11. Nisreen said:

    This is very disappointing, I was diagnosed recently with gluten intolerance, I read the label ten times before I bought Kellogg’s Rice Krispies and nothing on it mentioned that it may contain barley, unfortunately I couldn’t find the gluten free one (not familiar in my part of the world yet) I actually didn’t know it existed till now! I wanted to read before I indulge. The company should put that as a precaution for users that it is non gluten free

  12. Angry Customer said:

    You’ve no idea how furious I am.. I was doing what I was told, eat gluten free and your symptoms will improve.. Every morning I ate what I believed were gluten free rice krispies.. The regular ones I’d been buying or years! They are made of rice, I even watched a program on them being made.. They are rice.. How can they not be gluten free!

    So my symptoms persisted and this morning in the middle of eating them and my mouth feeling numb I googled it and to my shock they have gluten in!! WHY???? Who do I sue?? This is disgusting!!

    I abandoned my bowl half way through with no idea what on earth I’m supposed to eat now.. I’m already underweight and I need to gain weight and this has really messed things up for me as I would eat these several times a day.

  13. Isabella Hogan said:

    I’m trying to go gluten free but I still want just a sweet thing. Are Rice Krispie treats ok