Introduction: Rice Crispy Critter Treats

Picture of Rice Crispy Critter Treats

My colleague, Fran, and I have been dabbling in entomophagy, ie the eating of insects.   

For Halloween, we updated the classic rice crispie treats recipe with roasted mealy worms, which have a nutty flavor and same texture as the crispy rice.

Mealy worms, eaten raw or roasted, are very nutritious and high in protein and fat .

If you want to learn more about the health benefits of eating insects check out the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations report entitled "Edible Insects - Future prospects for food and feed security".

Step 1: Buy Some Live Mealy Worms

Picture of Buy Some Live Mealy Worms

Rainbow Mealworms Inc. has been supplying live insects to pet stores and fish tackle shops since 1956!

They're also the supplier for all the insects eaten on the show Fear Factor!

Check them out at

Other suppliers of live insects

Cooked insects

Step 2: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients

6 cups of crispy rice  (any brand will work)
1 10oz package of marshmallows
3 tablespoons butter or margarine (not shown)
1 pint Live Mealy Worms

Step 3: Prepare Live Mealy Worms

Picture of Prepare Live Mealy Worms

Empty the pint of mealy worms into a sieve and rinse thoroughly.  

Remove any fragments and dead worms.

Next pour them on some paper towels and tap them dry.  

Place them in a container and put them in the freezer for about 15 minutes, which will kill the worms. (DO NOT FREEZE)

Step 4: Roast the Mealy Worms

Picture of Roast the Mealy Worms

After removing from freezer, spread the mealworms out evenly on a non stick cookie sheet. 

Then bake in oven at 200 degrees for one to two hours until they are dry and crispy.

Step 5: Mix Ingredients

Picture of Mix Ingredients

After mealy worms have been roasted, melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat.

Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted.

Remove from heat. 

Add crispy rice and stir until well coated.

Then add all the roasted mealy worms and stir again until everything is well mixed.

Step 6: Final Preparation

Picture of Final Preparation

Spoon mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray and spread evenly with a spatula.


Cut into  squares. 

Step 7: Fran Enjoying Her First Rice Crispy Critter Treat!

Picture of Fran Enjoying Her First Rice Crispy Critter Treat!

The mealy worm has a nice nutty flavor which complemented the classic rice krispie treat.

These were a hit at our company.  

Sabri & Fran


Awesome! Have you tried roasted crickets? They serve them at the insectival each year at UGA.

Ian Swope (author)2014-01-29

I think a really cool contest would be 'insects' or like 'bugs.' just a random thought :)

Ian Swope (author)2014-01-29

recently i've been getting really into the whole eating bugs thing. and there are some really interesting documentaries on Netflix that i've been watching. What i really like about people eating bugs is how ecologicly friendly they are. When you think about it they reproduce very quickly, they don't need a lot of food, water, and space. I love this idea!

Ezara (author)2013-11-28

LOL thank you. I laughed, but this is info I will store somewhere in the back of my mind incase it ever comes down to needing to use it! You never know...

Pattymouth (author)2013-11-13

Okay, I'm the lone dissenter here. I could no more get one of these things closer than 2 inches from my mouth than I could a poop brownie, so more power to you all. But - I am just curious about a "prickly vegan's" comment - Why are these considered vegan? I know it's not a cow, but it was a living thing before they were popped into the freezer. Some vegans won't even eat honey, so why are worms okay? Just wondering.

Spokehedz (author)Pattymouth2013-11-13

It is a term that does not have a specific definition, and as such is open to mild interpretation.

codongolev (author)Spokehedz2013-11-20

yeah. my dad's a "vegan" (in his case, he doesn't eat any animal products) for health reasons and he's had people get up in arms saying he's technically a "strict vegetarian" because he wears leather shoes.

Spokehedz (author)codongolev2013-11-20

I think that most of the issue for people is that some parts of the group do it for different reasons than the rest.

Some people do it to keep fats out of their body.

Others do it because they don't like the idea of any animal being killed.

And some of them do it because they don't want any animal exploited, although not exactly hurt or killed, for anything--such as honey from bees, or milk from cows/goats.

So, you have one group that is doing it from a nutrition/diet standpoint, another from a moral/ethical standpoint, and another from a Moral/rights standpoint. And yet, all of them can be called "Vegetarians" but not all of them can be called 'Vegan'.

Pattymouth (author)codongolev2013-11-20

It's interesting how some people are compelled to judge one another when it comes to choices like this! (Well, all choices, huh?) At least he could eat healthy meal worm rice krispy critter treats while he wears his leather shoes. ;~) I love that there are things 'out here' to try.

Pattymouth (author)Spokehedz2013-11-13

Thanks, Spokehedz.

manne (author)Pattymouth2013-11-16

Many vegans have chosen to do so mainly as a health choice, so I think she was offering other more healthy ingredient options that could achieve the same goal - a sweet, nutritional snack. She didn't say she'd eat them. Just guessing. I'm not vegan and wouldn't be able to eat one bite. I think I could if they were chopped or ground up so the experience wasn't so visual.

Pattymouth (author)manne2013-11-16

I couldn't even do it if they were chopped! Funny how our cultures mold us, huh?

bdempsey1 (author)2013-11-19

No offense but I hope it never comes down to eating bugs at my house. I have done it as part of survival training & didn't really find it all that pleasant..Except for the carpenter ants. They kinda taste like sweet tarts. The black ones not the red ones.

wazzup105 (author)2013-11-13

I've tasted mealy worms in the past (not bad actually, although I liked the crickets better) but the idea to combine them with rice crispies is awesome ! (especially around halloween)

alergyfree (author)2013-11-10

High protein source that uses a minimum of resources to raise.

gingerbaker (author)alergyfree2013-11-13

Man, we are in deep trouble if we have to resort to eating grubs and insects (again) because it is efficient use of resources. Aarghh! ;>D

Spokehedz (author)gingerbaker2013-11-13

Grasshoppers are the best protein-to-food ratio on the planet. Look it up.

If you process the protein enough, you won't be able to tell the difference between it and a chicken nugget.

alergyfree (author)gingerbaker2013-11-13

I just think we been mostly missing the boat. Lobster, crab, shrimp are all basically insects of the sea. Lots of other countries have insects as a staple. I can raise enough insect protein in a small closet to practically live on for very little investment. A while back a couple friends and i went into the woods and foraged. At the end of the day we walked out of the woods with full bellies and most of it was insects.We IMO need to get our heads out of the sands

thesnowtheriver (author)2013-11-13

this truly does not make me want to eat these. but then I think fish, especially lobster, crab, and shellfish, are disgusting smelly creatures and i won't eat those either. The idea you have is terrific, it's the visual i cannot deal with. chop them up and mix 'em in and i might try it : ) also, how do you know putting them in the freezer kills them? maybe it just slows them down a lot ? poor little things. : (

randy.n.julie (author)2013-11-13

My kids love peanut butter sandwiches. I wonder how they would receive a mealy butter sandwich. I think I'm going to find out, thanks for sharing!

spizzak (author)2013-11-13

I still can't help but cringe, but I am working on it. Very creative! :)

Africorn (author)2013-11-13

You can buy these already dried and (presumably) roasted in the bird-feed section in some stores here in the UK. I've never actually thought about eating them, but why not? The birds love them!

rpb (author)Africorn2013-11-13

Might want to check they are food-grade first. Bird feed may well be allowed to contain various things that people food isn't.

Africorn (author)rpb2013-11-13

Oh lord, that's probably true :o( They just look like dried mealworms though... (but I haven't tried any yet!!) :oD

protorob (author)2013-11-13


ClareBS (author)2013-11-12

Gross, but funny. Congratulations. I don't know what I was voting for, but I voted for your Crispy Critter Treats.

binaryben (author)2013-11-12

Can't tell if joking or serious....

Ricardo Furioso (author)2013-11-12

Soylent Brown is MEALWORMS!

mdeblasi1 (author)2013-11-12

Once I picked my self up off the floor, I voted!

prickly vegan (author)2013-11-12

In case anyone else is geeky enough to be interested, here is mealworm nutritional info, per 100 gram serving:
Calories 471, Fat 27.2%, Protein 49.6%, Carbohydrates 6.9 grams (according to the Exotic Nutrition site)

Seems a shame to mix them with butter and gelatin marshmallow. How about oatmeal cookies with chopped mealworms, walnuts and raisins?

sansoy (author)prickly vegan2013-11-12

love it!

prickly vegan (author)2013-11-12

As a vegan, all I have to say to you is, Kudos!

(and I admit, the pictures made me a bit squirmy, but, hey, way better than steaks and bacon! Just stay away from the dragonflies and spiders, and we can still be friends. ;)

depotdevoid (author)2013-11-12

Nice! I thought for a moment these were some sort of fake Halloween treat, using long grain wild rice as the meal worms. Using the real thing is so much more awesome! I've never (intentionally) eaten bugs myself, but I'd certainly give these a shot. Thanks for sharing!

babybayrs (author)2013-11-12

Original, Voted.

Stone_UFO (author)2013-11-11


rvt1985 (author)2013-11-10

This is so cool! Thanks for posting a bug recipe. I hope sustainable bug consumption will catch on in the US soon :)

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm a total gearhead. I love working on cars, airplanes, rockets, sailboats, whatever. Cars i've owned and/or rebuilt: 1966 Pontiac Grand Prix ... More »
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