The Best Keto Alternative To Bread Crumbs

For home cooks without the benefit of a commercial deep fryer, recipes that call for ingredients to be coated in breadcrumbs or panko and then pan-fried or oven-fried offer a cooking method that can deliver a satisfying crunch and loads of flavor. This recipe for cheese-crusted chicken tenders, for example, is all kinds of cheesy, delicious goodness served atop a mesclun salad. Health-conscious cooks looking to transform the recipe into one that's keto-friendly might get hung up on a single ingredient, though: the panko, all 1 ¼ cups of it.

According to Nutritionix, 1 ounce of panko and 1 ounce of bread crumbs (both equivalents to roughly ¼ cup) contain 20 grams of carbs. Considering that the keto diet usually targets between 25 to 50 grams of carbs per day (via Perfect Keto), just ¼ cup of bread crumbs represents nearly all of one day's carbs, leaving very little carb wiggle room. Fortunately, there's a tasty zero-carb alternative to panko or bread crumbs.

Pork rinds!

Pork rinds, or chicharrones, are deep-fried pig skin, one of the most delicious ways to ensure all parts of the pig are used. They're the pig equivalent of a potato chip, light, crisp, and a bit of an indulgence. Whether you seek out gourmet chicharrones or simply pick up a package of pork rinds at a convenience store, the best part about this tasty, salty pig treat is that they contain absolutely zero carbs, Nutritionix notes.

All Nutritious includes pork rinds on their list of low-carb keto swaps, explaining that while you can purchase ground pork rinds, it's just as easy to pop them into a food processor and grind them as you need them for recipes. Having a zero-carb alternative to bread crumbs or panko can make all kinds of keto-friendly recipes. So tackle one of these on our list of what to make with panko. And if you want a bonus reason to opt for pork rinds instead of bread crumbs, Chosen Nutrition says that they're also gluten-free!