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.

12 Comments

  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.

  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)

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