Keto (Air Fryer) Spicy Popcorn Chicken

Keto (Air Fryer) Spicy Popcorn Chicken

This Keto (Air Fryer) Spicy Popcorn Chicken recipe is so comforting! The popcorn chicken is so crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside! It’s savory with just a bit of a kick. Mac Spicy Pork Rinds are used, as the breading. With some additional spices, and a simple egg wash, this recipe comes together quickly and easily. Fortunately, it remains very low carb. It’s served with a mayo (find my preferred brand here) and sour cream dip, which I can’t wait to make again. Overall, the dip is creamy, flavorful, and a perfect balance to reduce some of the spiciness.

Keto (Air Fryer) Spicy Popcorn Chicken

Getting Started with Popcorn Chicken

With this recipe being keto/carnivore, of course a different approach had to be taken in preparation. For instance, rather than using buttermilk, flour, breadcrumbs, etc. I opted for an egg wash and then a spicy pork rind breading. The specific brand of spicy pork rinds that I used were Mac’s Cracklin Curls: Spicy. If you haven’t tried these yet, they are delicious! Above all, they definitely have a kick to them.

Macros for Spicy Popcorn Chicken

With the workarounds, this recipe ends up being 64.2% fat and 35.5% protein. There is about 0.3% carbs involved. As a result, it easily fits into a very low carb lifestyle!

Keto (Air Fryer) Spicy Popcorn Chicken

Sides for Keto (Air Fryer) Spicy Popcorn Chicken

If you aren’t sticking to lower carb, or want to add vegetables, there are a few I’d recommend with this dish. If you want to keep using the air fryer, roasted broccoli is delicious! (In fact, I’d like to create a recipe soon.) Alternatively, you could make a broccoli salad, cauliflower mac & cheese, or just a side salad. If you are looking for side ideas, you can check out this past recipe I published, including mac & cheese –

Keto (Air Fryer) Spicy Popcorn Chicken

Hope you enjoy this recipe!

Keto (Air Fryer) Spicy Popcorn Chicken

5 from 4 votes
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 people
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Spicy Popcorn Chicken


    • 6 Chicken Thighs, 24 oz - cut into 1 inch/bite sized pieces
    • Olive Oil Cooking Spray

    Egg Wash

    • 2 large Eggs
    • 2 tbsp Water


    • 5.5 oz Mac's Spicy Pork Rinds (1 bag)
    • 1 tsp Pink Salt
    • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
    • 1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
    • 1 tsp Onion Powder


    • 4 tbsp Mayo
    • 4 tbsp Sour Cream
    • 1/2 tsp Pink Salt
    • 1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
    • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
    • Dash of Hot Sauce - depending on spiciness preference


    Popcorn Chicken

    • Spray your air fryer with olive oil cooking spray. (Recommend using at least a 3.5 liter air fryer.) If using this size, you'll need to cook in multiple batches, as you won't want to stack or crowd the popcorn chicken.
    • Cut your chicken thighs into about 1 inch bite sized pieces. (In total, I made 50
      pieces of popcorn chicken.)
    • In a medium sized bowl, add eggs and water to form your egg wash. Mix with fork until combined.
    • Using a large ziplog bag, crush your pork rinds, with a meat tenderizer,
      rolling pin, etc. Place your pork rinds in a medium sized bowl. Add your spices/seasonings: salt, black pepper, old bay, and onion powder.
    • Dip your bite sized chicken in the egg wash using left hand and in the pork rinds mixture using right hand. Add to your air fryer basket.
      Keto (Air Fryer) Spicy Popcorn Chicken
    • Air fry the first batch of popcorn chicken at 400 degrees F, 204 degrees C, for 8-10 minutes. (Ensure chicken temperature reaches 165 degrees F, 74 degrees C.)
    • Then, air fry the second batch of popcorn chicken, for same amount of time. Continue additional batches, if necessary.
      Keto (Air Fryer) Spicy Popcorn Chicken


    • In a medium sized bowl, add your dip ingredients: mayo, sour cream, salt, old bay, onion powder, and dash(es) of hot sauce. Mix together. Serve cold with hot popcorn chicken. Enjoy!
      Keto (Air Fryer) Spicy Popcorn Chicken

    Nutrition Per Serving

    Nutrition Facts
    Keto (Air Fryer) Spicy Popcorn Chicken
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 595 Calories from Fat 369
    % Daily Value*
    Fat 41g63%
    Carbohydrates 1g0%
    Protein 51g102%
    * Be sure to calculate your Keto Macros!
    Did you make this recipe?Mention @ambersketokitchen or tag #ambersketokitchen!
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    1 year ago

    5 stars
    Wow! The crispiest crust I’ve had on keto— not too spicy either. Was worried about that. Thank you!

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