This keto popcorn chicken recipe is especially fun because it has 2 alternate endings! It’s kind of a choose your own adventure of low carb recipes!
Baked or fried – make it the way you like it, with your favorite ingredients. Or make both and have a tasting challenge!
There is something else to get straight- this low carb chicken recipes not actually made with low carb popcorn, but breading. This low carb fried chicken is just called that because it’s little, snackable crispy bites!
Trust me, this dinner is just as fun to eat, and just as addictive as its namesake! Let’s cook!
This tasty keto popcorn chicken is super fast and super delicious, plus:
- It’s made from regular, everyday ingredients that won’t break the bank!
- No fancy cooking techniques – just bake or pan-fry!
- All the flavors and textures we love in traditional fried chicken – with almost no carbs!
This keto popcorn chicken is so good, you’ll be making it every week!
Why I’m sharing both variations: rarely does this happen, but we couldn’t decide which version we liked best — Doug (husband) slightly preferred the pork rind version, while I preferred the fried version. Both are amazing, and EASY to make, so I’m sharing both so you can make the one that best fits your eating plan…
There are a lot of ingredients on the recipe, but most of them are spices:
Chicken. Of course, the main ingredient in this dish is chicken! I used breast, but you can use any boneless, skinless pieces that you prefer.
As far as the veggie oil to fry these in, I use peanut oil, but check out this guide to potential frying oil options.
Pork rinds – These are such an amazing ingredient to use in all sorts of keto chicken recipes, or any kind of recipe that needs a breading! Crushed up, this crunchy pork skins transform into yummy, salty breadcrumbs that’ll help keep the carbs in this popcorn chicken to a minimum!
If you don’t want to deal with breaking up the pork rinds, consider using this pork panko!
Tools To Make
You’ll need some super easy tools to make this simple dish:
- Bowls – no matter which version you’re making you’ll need some bowls for mixing the coating and dipping the chicken.
- Pan or baking sheet – You’ll need exactly ONE of these tools to make this dish (unless you’re making both versions!).
These low carb popcorn chicken strips are perfect for prepping out low carb dinners on the fly. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Keep in mind, they will lose some of their crispiness after being tossed in the fridge, so it’s important to reheat them in the oven.
These low carb popcorn chicken pieces were MADE for dipping! Make sure to have your favorite sauces available to compliment your hard work!
Have your low carb popcorn chicken your way with these recipe variations:
- Want to add some veggies? You’re in luck, these crunchy chicken bites are the perfect topping for shredded lettuce and making a keto chicken salad! Add your favorite salad veggies and dressing, and voila!
- Switch up the spices. I use my favorite blend of spices for this popcorn chicken recipe, but you can use whatever spices you want. Make it hotter, make it cajun– up to you.
- This low carb popcorn chicken would be amazing served as tacos! Wrap them in low carb tortillas and drizzle with homemade ranch for an irresistible meal.
- These are amazing on a sandwich! Use keto bread or keto hamburger buns, and you’re all set! Add some sliced pickles to make a sandwich that far surpasses a modern fast food classic, and you don’t have to wait in line!
Chicken is so versatile, and I always need more chicken recipes. Try these ones out sometime soon:
- Keto Tacos
- Fajita Stuffed Chicken
- Ground Chicken Casserole
- Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken
- Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Chicken
Low Carb Keto Chicken NuggetsPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
Ingredient for Both:
- 2 Pounds Chicken boneless + skinless
- 2 Teaspoons Thyme
- 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 Teaspoon Oregano
- 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- 1 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Fried Popcorn Chicken:
Baked Popcorn Chicken:
- 4 Ounce Pork Rinds smashed into "breadcrumb sized" pieces*
- 2 Eggs
- Cut chicken (2 pounds) into 1" square pieces.
For the fried chicken:
- Heat veggie oil over high heat in a medium-sized pan. Make sure there's enough oil in the pan for the chicken to submerge.
- In a wide-mouthed bowl, combine the spices, whey protein isolate (1/2 cup), xanthan gum (1 teaspoon), and baking powder (2 teaspoons).
- Stir in soda water (6 tablespoons), the combination will be wet! Add chicken to the bowl, and toss to coat.
- Place the chicken to the side of your pan. Grab a paper towel-lined plate and place it on the other side of your pan.
- Once the oil is hot, add chicken to the pan. I did this in two batches, making sure each piece of chicken is coated in the whey protein combo before dropping it in.
- Cook the chicken on both sides for 3-4 minutes, or until you achieve a golden sear. Remove chicken to the prepped paper towel-lined plate using tongs. Repeat these steps until you've fried all the chicken.
For the baked chicken:
- Preheat oven to 400 F and prep two wide-mouthed bowls, and a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Whisk eggs (2) in one bowl. In the second bowl, combine spices and smashed pork rinds (4 Ounces).
- Dip the chicken in the whisked eggs, then in the pork rinds, then place them 1" apart on the prepped baking sheet. Continue until you've coated all the chicken.
- Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, the chicken is done once the internal temp reaches 165 F. Enjoy!
Fans Also Made These Low Carb Recipes:
- Frying Oil should have a high smoke point and mild flavor. Please keep in mind that all oils are low in carbs, but some are considered "healthier" based on polyunsaturated fats. If this is a concern to you, opt for avocado oil, or peanut oil (slightly higher). If not, vegetable or canola are great frying oils. I use peanut oil for frying.
- Xanthan Gum is necessary for binding the ingredients of this recipe together, you CAN'T SKIP OR SUB!
- Pork Rinds: You can buy pork rind crumbs, or place pork rinds in a resealable bag and smash them using a rolling pin.
- Best Popcorn Chicken Dipping Sauces listed above. Bonus points: each of the recipes take 5 MINUTES to make!
- Nutritional information for FRIED version: Calories: 302 | Total Carbs: 5g | Net Carbs: 4g | Fiber: 1g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 18g
- Nutritional information for BAKED version: