Are Pork Rinds Paleo?

A bag of Southern Recipe Hot & Spicy Paleo Friendly Pork Rinds

August 10, 2022 3 min read

Pork rinds are delicious, offering a delightfully light, low carb, no sugar, high in protein, healthy, crispy, salty crunch to satisfy your snacking needs. They even contain quite a bit of vitamins and minerals! But are pork rinds paleo-friendly? Let’s find out.

What Are Pork Rinds?

People love to eat pork rinds, they're tasty and delicious, but they’re incredibly simple and usually only include two ingredients: just fried pig skin and salt. Pork rinds are made from the boiled, dried, and deep-fried skins of pigs (sometimes also called chicharrones in different regions), that have been cut up and salted. Most popular recipes are fried in lard or tallow while others use vegetable oil that has less saturated fat. You can read more about what they'ree here. And if you're interested, you can also learn the health benefits of pork rinds in this article.

Why Are Pork Rinds Paleo-Safe?

The Paleolithic (paleo) diet is based on foods similar to those eaten by prehistoric humans so no wheat, soy, oats or any other food that include weird chemicals. Pork rinds are paleo because they’re usually made from simple, honest ingredients that our Paleolithic ancestors would have had access to, namely animal skin (pork) and salt. With that being said, not all pork rinds are the same, so you’ll want to check out the ingredients list on your favorite brands and keep an eye out for ingredients and flavorings that wouldn’t have been available to your ancestors. What sorts of ingredients might those be? Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Artificial flavoring
  • Artificial colors
  • MSG
  • Extract of anything

The golden rule? If you want your pork rinds to be paleo-friendly, choose a product that includes only pork skins and salt in its recipe. Make sure that they are free of additives and preservatives or any other unhealthy ingredients.

Paleo-Friendly Pork Rind Recipes

Now that we’ve answered the question of are pork rinds paleo, we can turn our attention to other aspects. Interested in making your own paleo-friendly pork rinds? It’s a simple process, although it will take some time. Below, you’ll find a couple of easy-to-follow recipes.

Basic Pork Rinds

This is a simple recipe that doesn’t involve deep-frying the pork rinds. Instead, you’ll bake the skins and rely on its oil to make them crispy. 

The ingredients you’ll need:

  • Pork skins
  • Salt (optional)

To make pork rinds:

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Cut up your pork skin into small pieces.
  • Place cut-up skins on the baking pan. If you’re using salt, go ahead and salt the skins now.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until the pork rinds puff up and become crispy.
  • Remove from the oven and let them cool before snacking. 

Spicy Pork Rinds

The only ingredients you’ll need:

  • Pork skins
  • Salt
  • Chinese 5 spice blend

Follow the steps from the previous recipe but add both the salt and the Chinese 5 spice blend before baking. After baking, let your pork rinds cool when you’re done to enjoy a spicy, crunchy, paleo-friendly snack.

For a super-simple alternative, consider our Pop-At-Home Pork Rinds. Gluten-free and delicious, they’re also simple to prepare in an air fryer, deep fryer, or even a skillet. 

What Chips Can You Eat on Paleo?

Want to broaden your snacking repertoire? You can enjoy plenty of other options and still stick to your paleo diet. Some of the choices available to you include the following:

  • Nuts and seeds
  • Olives
  • Boiled eggs
  • Terra brand vegetable chips
  • Paleo Puffs brand snacks
  • Energy bars

Your New Go-To Paleo Snack

Are pork rinds paleo? Absolutely. If you’ve been on the paleo diet for a while, you know how hard it can be to find a great-tasting occasional snack that are still viable and if they are cooked correctly. Most chips found in stores are off the table (pun intended), but the best pork rinds brands can give you the salty crunch that you’re craving. You can even make your own if you’re feeling adventurous. Of course, if you’re after some variety in your snacking, there are plenty of other options out there that are also paleo-friendly.