Keto Popcorn


5 from 318 votes
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This keto popcorn is crispy, crunchy, and seriously addictive, you won’t believe it is low carb! Made with just one ingredient, it’s easily customizable and tastes like cheese puffs! 1 gram net carb per serving. 

keto popcorn

Keto popcorn

When it comes to salty keto snacks, my favorite recipes to make are tortilla chips, crackers, and this keto popcorn. 

To this day, I will wholeheartedly admit that I’m a savory snacker. I’ll always take a bag of chips over any dessert any day, and that’s not an exaggeration. Growing up, my mom would give me cheese and crackers for dessert (this was my choice!) and when I first moved out of home, my cupboards were filled with every cracker, potato chip, and pretzel variety you could think of! 

My all time favorite snack though would always be popcorn. There’s something special about having something crispy, salty, and crunchy all in one. It’s also relatively healthy. Although, when I first started a low carb diet, I had a few little issues… 

Is keto popcorn? 

Although popcorn is considered a healthy and low calorie snack, it is far from keto friendly. Per one cup serving, it contains just 32 calories, however, the carbs in popcorn can take someout out of ketosis. Luckily, you can easily make your own low carb alternative.

I’ve been meaning to share a keto popcorn recipe for quite some time. Although it is a little time consuming to prepare, it only needs one ingredient to make!

No popcorn kernels and no grains are needed, but you’d never tell. The texture is crispy, crunchy, and deliciously puffed up. It’s salty, easily customizable, and with no evident cheesy flavor!

I had some friends over for a movie night and made them all taste this and they could NOT believe how much it tasted like real popcorn- It reminded them of cheese puffs!

How do you make keto popcorn?

The Ingredients

  • Cheese– Any block of cheese can be used. I prefer using cheddar, as it is mild flavored. Colby Jack, sharp American, and Gouda can also be used. 
  • Flavorings– Herbs and spices to toss the popcorn in once it has been prepared. 

The Instructions

Start by chopping your block of cheese into small 1/4 inch cubes. Place the cubes of cheese on a lined baking sheet and cover with a dishtowel. Place the sheet in a cool area and keep it there for at least 24 hours, for it to try out.

Now, bake the cheese cubes for 7-8 minutes, until puffed and popped. Remove it from the oven and let it cool completely, before patting the popcorn to remove excess oil and enjoy. 

low carb popcorn

Tips to make the best low carb popcorn

  • Do not overbake the cheese or else it will deflate after it puffs up. 
  • Your popcorn must be cooled completely, before adding any flavoring to it. 
  • The longer you let the cheese dry out, the more it will puff up. Ideally, 72 hours will yield the best popcorn. 

Flavor variations

While this popcorn tastes delicious on its own, here are some fun and popular flavor options for some variety. 

  • Sweet and salty– Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons keto powdered sugar or 1/4 cup granulated sweetener of choice. 
  • Cheddar cheese– Add 2 tablespoons of cheddar cheese powder. 
  • Butter– Melt and cool 2 tablespoons butter, drizzle through the popcorn, then sprinkle1/4 teaspoon salt. 
  • Ranch– Add 1 tablespoon ranch seasoning. 
  • Parmesan garlic– Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese and 1 teaspoon garlic powder through the popcorn. 

Storing and freezing keto cheese puffs

  • To store: The popcorn can be stored at room temperature, in a sealed container, for up to 4 weeks. 
  • To freeze: Place the popcorn in a ziplock bag and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months. 

keto cheese puffs

More keto snack recipes you’ll enjoy

keto popcorn

Keto Popcorn

5 from 318 votes
This keto popcorn is so crispy and crunchy, you won't believe it is low carb! Made with just 1 ingredient, it's easily customizable and a perfect savory snack!
Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 10 minutes


  • 1 cup cheddar cheese from a block * See notes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt ** See notes


  • Line a large baking tray with parchment paper and set it aside.
  • Slice your cheddar cheese into 1/4 inch cubes. Place them on the lined sheet and cover with a dishtowel. Let the cheese dry out for at least 24 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Line a new tray with parchment paper. Transfer the dried cheese onto it and bake for 5-7 minutes, until popped and puffed up.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Use a paper towel to soak up any excess oil.


* You can use another type of block cheese but it will be much more flavorful. Do not use mozzarella. 
** See the body of the post for flavor options. 
TO STORE: The popcorn can be stored at room temperature, in a sealed container, for up to 4 weeks. 
TO FREEZE: Place the popcorn in a ziplock bag and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months. 


Serving: 1servingCalories: 116kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 7gFat: 9gSodium: 176mgPotassium: 31mgFiber: 1gVitamin A: 284IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 207mgIron: 1mg
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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Recipe Rating


  1. The perfect keto popcorn already exist , pork scratchings ! I’ll try this recipe though , didn’t think you could puff cheese in the oven x

  2. I can’t seem to get a “pop”. They turn into “whisps”. Which isn’t bad, they are still yummy. What am I doing wrong?

    1. Hi Kevin! It can depend on the climate/temperature of where you live. Usually 24 hours is good, but sometimes up to 72 hours might be needed for it to ‘pop’

  3. So awesome to find recipes like these. I have allergies to grains and so much more. My diet is very limited and boring…you’re opening my pallet world …so grateful

  4. Am I reading this correctly, you do not put the cubed cheese in the refrigerator to dry out? I know that’s a dumb question but I cant get past the fact that you can leave cheese out? I’m no cook at all, so I am the dummy.

  5. OK, *how* are these supposed to last 4 weeks?? There’s no way, I made these, skeptically, and darned if the things didn’t “pop” jumping around on the tray! The grandkids and I were giggling and watching through the glass. Granted, mine don’t look as picture perfect as Arman’s, but they taste amazing, I had to beat the hubby and grandkids off them with a wet noodle. Sprinkled with some garlic granules (garlic is a food group, I’m of Italian decent) it tastes like cheesy garlic bread!
    I used a colby jack I think, and I left them to see three whole nights, despite being in Arizona – I wanted it to pop good, and it did! Thanks for another great recipe. Also, to answer another reply, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work with cheese curds if you left them out to dry like block cheese, I’d say give it a try!

    1. Hahahahaha I perhaps was being generous with the storage tips 😉

      I wish we had cheese curds in Australia- I’d love to try it out!

  6. I’ve seen other recipes like this…but have not tried them yet. I’m too impatient.

    We miss popcorn so much since being on keto.

    We are not patient people, especially when it comes to food/snacks.

    I was thinking today…could you use a dehydrator, an air fryer or convection oven to dry out the cheese faster to get it to pop?

  7. Is it possible to use a dehydrator to dry out the cheese cubes?
    And if so, any idea what temperature and for how long?

  8. 5 stars
    I used pepper jack cheese and let it dry out for 4 days. I cooked as suggested for 5 mins and they came out pretty golden brown. They’re a combination of crispy and chewy. Maybe next time I’ll try cheddar. Overall, a nice rich cheesy snack.

  9. 5 stars
    Bro. Your recipes never let us down. I let them sit out for 72 hours as recommended and that was perfect. They’re perfectly crunchy this way. My husband was happy to burn his fingers trying to eat these up before they were even cooled lol. This will be yet another regular around here. Thanks again Arman! 😊❤️🧀

    P.s. I accidentally posted this comment on the stir fry sauce recipe and I dont know how to delete it lol. Sorry.