How To Make Pork Panko Crumbs

Pork rinds panko crumbs are a low-carb crispy substitute to traditional breadcrumbs that can be used in any keto, gluten-free or carnivore recipes.

A tablespoon with freshly made keto pork rinds panko.

They are super easy to make at home with just one ingredient!  And pork rinds already taste great, so you don’t need to add any spices or even salt – although you can add whatever you like and customize the flavor to your taste buds!

Can you have fried food on keto?

Fried food is most often breaded. Because, of course, it tastes better breaded! Breading provides an extra layer of crunchy deliciousness that makes everything irresistible.

Unfortunately, regular breading is high in carbs and thus not compatible with a keto diet.

If you are eating keto or low-carb, any otherwise perfectly low-carb food becomes off-limits when breaded. KFC chicken? No. Mozzarella sticks? No. Viennese pork schnitzel? No. (I still want to cry at this one)

I don’t feel great about it, but many times when eating out and at work (without better protein choices available) I had to “peel off” the breading of my meat. People looked at me like I was a picky 5 year old – and, to be honest, that’s how I felt like.

Carnivore breadcrumbs in a food processor.

Why make pork panko at home

Because it’s not that easy to find at the stores. And although you can find a wide selection of pork panko online, sometimes it can cost a lot more than just buying the plain rinds and processing them yourself.

Yes, there are other things you can use as breadcrumbs on keto. Like almond flour, or make the crumbs out of keto bread. But, compared to pork panko, none are as easy to make (or purchase ready) or have such a nice, plain flavor that goes well with almost anything!

The difference between panko and breadcrumbs

Pork panko is called so (and not “pork breadcrumbs”) because its texture is more like the famous Japanese-style breadcrumb.

Japanese panko (and this keto pork panko) and traditional breadcrumbs can be used interchangeably for breading, with delicious crispy results. But they have some differences:

Japanese panko is crisper and flakier than traditional breadcrumbs. It has an irregular and larger texture. It has a more neutral taste and it doesn’t absorb as much moisture or oil, so it makes a lighter breading that doesn’t get soggy as quickly.

Traditional breadcrumbs are finer and crumblier. They produce a denser and more flavorful coating, with a more compact and softer texture.

Keto pork panko made of pork rinds in a white bowl.

When NOT to use panko

For uses other than breading, like adding moisture and retaining flavor, panko is not recommended.

Your best bet, in this case, is the traditional breadcrumbs, which texture is better for absorbing liquids.

So you’ll want to use breadcrumbs instead of panko in recipes like meatballs, meatloaf or stuffing, for example.

If you need a keto substitute for breadcrumbs to be used as such, check out my keto Italian meatballs recipe – I use almond flour granules coated in gelatin as a substitute for breadcrumbs for ultra-moist meatballs.

What do pork rinds taste like

Pork rinds are fried pieces of pork skin. Sinfully crunchy and delicious keto snacks! Pork rinds have an incredibly bland taste which makes them so versatile – they taste like whatever flavor you’ll add to them. They’ve replaced both chips and breakfast cereal in our lives!

The best pork rinds for this recipe

You only really need ONE ingredient for this keto panko recipe – Pork rinds!

You’ll need the puffy type, just the fried skin, without the meat attached (see the photo below for reference). This product usually goes by the name of pork rinds in the US, but you might see it called cracklings or cracklins, chicharrones or chicharrón, or pork puffs/bacon puffs.

To make pork panko, ideally you should get plain salted pork rinds (without extra flavorings). This way, you’ll be able to customize the flavor by adding spices and herbs to your liking.

But nothing is stopping you from making panko with spicy pork rinds, do you hear me? By the way, I think that the vinegar and sea salt flavor makes the perfect breading for battered fish. And having pork rinds on the side (in lieu of fries) is NOT overkill 😜

Keto pork rind puffs in a bowl.

How to make pork panko from pork rinds

There are several methods to transform your pork rinds into pork panko that can be used as a breadcrumb replacement on keto.

All you have to do is process the pork rinds until they become fine crumbs. The finer you can get the crumbs, the better. Fine crumbs do a better job at sticking to the food and staying in place when frying.

The easiest and fastest way to do this (and the first one in the list below) is by using a food processor. If you don’t have one, no problem: read on to find out how to make pork panko with a rolling pin in a plastic bag or a blender.

Homemade keto pork panko crumbs in a bowl with a spoon.

Food processor method

This is my favorite way of making pork panko at home. With a large-capacity food processor, you can make a lot of it at once. I can fit a whole 2.5 oz bag f pork rinds in the processor and grind it in one go!

You can also use a smaller food processor or a food chopper which is a similar small appliance with the same style of large blades. But you’ll need to do it in batches.

A food processor filled with pork rinds.

Blender or magic bullet

It takes longer to crumb the pork rinds into panko using a blender than using a food processor.

It does not matter the size or power of the blender: its blades are much smaller than the ones in a food processor, and their position at the bottom of the jar doesn’t leave much space for contact with the large pork rinds.

But if you don’t have a food processor, a blender is a good option, if you process in batches. Don’t fill the blender more than 1/3 of the way with the rinds at a time.

Plastic bag and rolling pin

Put the pork rinds inside a sturdy Ziploc bag or freezer bag, remove as much of the air from the bag as you can and close it.

Lay down the bag on the counter and, using a rolling pin (or a wine bottle) press down onto the rinds to break them up into smaller pieces.

When the rinds are fairly broken down, start rolling the pin to get the crumb size evened out and as small as you want it to be.

A half cup measure of keto pork rinds panko.

How much pork rinds for a cup of pork panko

Each ounce (~30 grams) of pork rinds will produce nearly 1 cup of pork panko, depending on how fine you’ll grind them.

I like to grind mine as fine as I can, so a 2.5 oz (70 grams) bag of pork rinds turns into a bit less, about 1 3/4 cups.

Customize the flavor

You can easily customize the flavor of your keto pork rind breadcrumbs to better pair with whatever food you plan to coat it with. All you need to do is add your favorite spices and herbs after you process the pork rinds.

Here are some add-ons ideas to spice up your keto panko breadcrumbs:

  • Dehydrated onion powder or flakes
  • Granulated garlic or garlic powder
  • Black or white pepper
  • Cumin
  • Italian seasoning
  • Paprika powder, sweet or smoked
  • Parmesan cheese

Just note, salt is probably not something you’ll need to add as the pork rinds are usually salted already.

How to store and keep fresh

Store the homemade pork panko in an airtight container, there’s no need to refrigerate. Follow the best-by date of the pork rinds package.

Keto pork panko made of pork rinds in a white bowl.

How To Make Pork Panko

5 from 4 votes
It's so easy to make this simple keto, low-carb and carnivore-friendly zero-carb breadcrumbs substitute at home, with only one ingredient!
Author: Pris Frank
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 3 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Carnivore
Servings 4 About 2 cups



Food processor instructions:

  • Add all the pork rinds that fit inside your food processor, and blitz them until they look like panko (large, fluffy crumbs). If you want finer crumbs (similar to traditional style breadcrumbs) pulse a few more times to make the crumbs finer.

Blender instructions:

  • Fill the blender jar just 1/3 of the way with pork rinds. Pulse until you get the desired crumb texture. Transfer the blended pork panko to a separate container before proceeding with a new batch of pork rinds.

Rolling pin and freezer bag method:

  • Fill a sturdy ziploc bag or freezer bag with the pork rinds, and roll out the air from the bag as you close it. Using a rolling pin (or a wine bottle) tap all over the pork rinds to break them down into smaller pieces first, and then start rolling until you get panko crumbs. This method won't make the crumbs as fine as in the food processor/blender.


Get plain salted pork rinds (without extra flavorings) for this recipe. You'll be able to customize the flavor by adding spices and herbs to your liking.
If you blender or food processor is leaving a lot of larger pork rind pieces behind, you can try to process just the larger pieces (after transferring the panko crumbs to a different container) or use the rolling pin method to finish them up.
Pork panko can substitute regular Japanese panko or traditional breadcrumbs 1:1 for breading uses (coating the outside of foods before frying or baking). It can't substitute breadcrumbs in recipes that need it for moisture or as a binder (like meatballs, meatloaf, crab cakes or stuffing). If you need a keto breadcrumb replacement for this type of recipe, please check out my almond and gelatin breadcrumbs for moist meatballs recipe.
Store the homemade pork panko in an airtight container, there's no need to refrigerate. Follow the best-by date of the pork rinds package.


Serving: 1Calories: 135kcalCarbohydrates: 0gProtein: 15gFat: 8gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gNet Carbohydrates: 0g
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