For most of us, popcorn is a reminder of movies, carnivals, and game nights with friends.

When living a keto-lifestyle, though, popcorn is on the list of foods that should be avoided.

Although many consider it to be a relatively healthy snack, it has about 30 grams of carbohydrates per serving and is a processed food that often contains flavorings and preservatives.

However, movie lovers don’t have to despair at the thought of losing their favorite, go-to snack food while on a keto diet. There are many great substitutes for popcorn that are flavorful and crunchy.

Here are the top three keto-friendly popcorn substitutes that are perfect for any movie or game night at home.

Choices like cauliflower popcorn, pork rinds, and keto chips can give you a variety of flavors and options to make some enjoyable snacks that everyone will love.

3 Popcorn Substitutes for Keto Dieters!

1. Cauliflower popcorn

If you’ve been on your keto journey for some time, you may have come across using cauliflower as a substitute for various other foods like pizza crusts or rice.

Well, cauliflower can also be used as a substitute for popcorn.

In addition to it being a tasty snack, popcorn made with cauliflower has various health benefits as well.

It has some important vitamins like vitamins C and K1 that help to keep your body healthy. There are also many recipes online, giving you the ability to make this substitute with a wide variety of ingredients and flavors.

If you have a dehydrator, cauliflower popcorn can be made in using it. Many recipes only need a few ingredients you probably already have in your pantry and an oven.

Savory or sweet

Some recipes make a more standard substitute and use salt and butter to give the cauliflower popcorn a traditional popcorn taste. However, there are also many online recipes to make various other flavors of this snack.

For example, you can season it with garlic and chili powder to give your snack some extra kick.

Some other options for this snack are to make it using cheese, ranch packets, homemade taco seasonings, and even bacon—perfect for your keto diet!

Since cauliflower pairs well with a variety of different flavors, you can also make cauliflower popcorn to satisfy someone’s sweet tooth.

By adding ingredients like cinnamon and various keto-friendly sweeteners, this popcorn substitute can become a sweet snack for those that miss things like caramel popcorn.

This snack is so easy to personalize to your particular tastes, leaving you with nearly endless combination and flavors to try.

2. Pork rinds

Pork rinds are another keto snack that can be a great substitute for the enjoyable crunch popcorn gives.

Most pork rinds contain zero carbohydrates and have about 17 grams of protein per ounce, which make these a snack that won’t hurt your keto lifestyle.

You can buy these in a variety of stores and in many flavors like salt and vinegar, buffalo, and barbecue. Even plain pork rinds can be given different flavors by adding your favorite spices similarly to cauliflower popcorn.

One other option is to season pork rinds with popcorn seasoning that come in flavors like white cheddar or caramel corn.

Things to consider

If you are buying pork rinds from the store, there a few things you will want to consider. They are one of the lowest carb options for keto-dieters, and they have animal fat in them, which can help you stay full longer [2].

Because of the popularity of low-carb diets, these have become a more popular snacking option over the last few years.

Keep in mind that some may be marketed as chicharrones, which is the Spanish word for pork cracklings, but they are the same thing as pork rinds.

Many whole food stories now carry different brands of pork rinds, making this an easy snack if you don’t have a lot of time to make your own snacks.

Some companies even make baked pork rinds, which are a lower-fat option as well.

Making your own

With a little bit of time and a few ingredients, you can also make pork rinds at home. This can help to reduce the number of processed foods you intake while giving you a crunchy and salty snack.

You can also use and make various dipping sauces with both homemade pork rinds and store-bought pork rinds for added flavor.

3. Keto chips

Keto chips are the third great substitution for popcorn that you can make. There are many different ingredient options to choose from that are both tasty and keto-friendly when making chips.

Pepperoni is one good example.

By simply cooking pepperoni slices in the oven, you can make a crunchy snack with both zero carbs and zero sugar.

Cheese chips

Another way to make keto-friendly chips is by using various cheeses. This kind of chip can be made with many different types of cheeses and added spices to give you options in your snacking.

For example, by adding shredded cheese with spices like cumin, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt, you can make flavorful and crisp snacks.

These can be enjoyed on their own or used to dip.

Vegetable chips

If you’re looking for a yummy snack that will add more vegetables into your diet, there are many easy to make vegetable chip recipes.

There are ways to make chips out of vegetables like radishes, cabbage, kale, and cucumbers. Most of these recipes only require a few other ingredients like oil and salt.

They can be made to taste with a variety of other spices like garlic, pepper, onion powder, and paprika.

Just because you are following a keto diet doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some delicious snacks. These options are great for making snacks that fit both your keto-lifestyle and your taste buds.

Most of these snacks give you the ability to mix and match flavors that will give you endless possibilities!


[1] Self Nutrition Data: Cauliflower, raw Nutrition Facts & Calories.

[2] Montmayeur JP, le Coutre J, editors. Fat Detection: Taste, Texture, and Post Ingestive Effects. Chapter 15Fats and Satiety. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2010.