What is Pork Rind Panko? (Everything You Need to Know)

What is Pork Rind Panko? (Everything You Need to Know)

May 07, 2024 5 min read

Those on the ketogenic or gluten-free diet will agree that one thing they probably miss eating the most is fried foods. Mozzarella sticks, onion rings, or even plain old fried chicken — these are delicious dishes that keto or gluten-free folks unfortunately can’t have.

Why can’t you eat these dishes on a keto diet? All these are coated with bread crumbs — a deal breaker in the ketogenic or gluten-free diet because of their high carbohydrate content. According to the  USDA, one cup of bread crumbs contains 78 grams of carbohydrates, which is more than enough to kick a keto dieter out of ketosis or trigger symptoms in someone who is gluten intolerant. 

Luckily, seasoned keto dieters have found a way around this — replacing bread crumbs with pork rind panko so they can still enjoy their favorite fried foods. Let’s explore this alternative and see how you can add it to your keto or gluten-free diet regime. 

What is Pork Rind Panko?

Pork rind panko is exactly what it sounds like. Basically, it’s pork rinds grounded to a texture similar to traditional bread crumbs. It serves as a substitute for breading for keto or gluten-intolerant diners, allowing them to enjoy fried foods minus the carbs. 

While you might not find this in your local grocery store, it’s easy to make pork rind panko at home. All you need is a bag of pork rinds (or make your own), toss them in a blender and food processor, and you’re good to go! 

You can adjust how long you grind them to achieve the texture you desire. As a general rule, the longer you grind the pork rinds, the finer the texture will be. 

Pork rind panko has a savory flavor and a satisfying crunch, adding a unique taste and texture to your daily meals. It’s zero-carb, gluten-free, and paleo-friendly — a suitable addition to most diet regimes. 

How is Pork Panko Different from Regular Panko Bread Crumbs?

Pork rind panko is meant to be used as an alternative to regular bread crumbs. They yield the same crisp and satisfying crunch, perfect as breading for fried foods. Despite their similar consistency, the two have some stark differences when it comes to flavor and nutritional value. 

Let’s talk about flavor first. Pork rind panko has more flavor than regular bread crumbs. Keto dieters describe it as meaty and salty, adding more depth to bland dishes like chicken breasts or crusted salmon. Some keto dieters even add seasonings to their pork rinds before grinding them to add flavor. 

When it comes to nutritional value, pork rind panko is a hit among keto and gluten-free dieters because of its lack of carbohydrates. Unlike regular bread crumbs that contain 78 grams of carbs per 1 cup serving, pork rind panko is zero-carb and gluten-free. 

Why Make Pork Panko at Home?

While a couple of brands sell pre-packaged pork rind panko you can buy from the store, it’s not that easy to find just yet. The good news is it’s easy to make it at home — not to mention more cost-effective. 

You just need a bag of pork rinds and a blender or food processor. It only takes a couple of minutes to grind the pork rinds and achieve a breadcrumb-like texture. To get you started, here are some pork rinds we recommend: 

Carbs in Pork Panko

Keto and gluten-free dieters swear by pork rind panko because it is completely guilt-free. Without any seasonings, pork rind panko is zero-carb and gluten-free. It can also contain a good amount of protein and has 0 grams of trans fat.

Your homemade pork rind panko may have a meager amount of carbs, depending on the brand of pork rinds you use. But most contain less than 1 gram of carbs per serving, which is inconsequential. 

What Can You Make with Pork Panko Crumbs?

There are so many dishes you can make with pork rind panko. To start, think mozzarella sticks, onion rings, fried chicken, and your other favorite breaded fried foods. 

Basically, you can use pork panko crumbs as a substitute for regular breadcrumbs in any dish that requires breading. Here’s a list to get you started in adding this to your diet regime:

  • Pork Chops
  • Chicken Parmigiana 
  • Pork Tenderloin 
  • Fried Calamari 
  • Sausage Balls 
  • Chicken Katsu 
  • Crusted Salmon 
  • Fried Cauliflower 
  • Fried Chicken 
  • Crispy Asparagus 

Feel free to get creative with your recipes! Add pork rind panko to anything that needs a satisfying crunch and savory flavor. 

How to Store Keto Breadcrumbs

You don’t need to make a new batch of pork rind panko every time a dish calls for it. Don’t be afraid to whip up a large batch and store it for later. 

To ensure it says crisp and crunchy, store pork rind panko in a jar or plastic container with an airtight lid. Keep it on your kitchen counter, pantry, or other dry area. This will keep your keto breadcrumbs fresh for up to two months. 


Just because regular breadcrumbs are out of the picture, doesn’t mean you can’t continue to enjoy your favorite fried dishes on a keto or gluten-free diet. Swap out breadcrumbs for pork rind panko and enjoy more flavor and a satisfying texture in your daily meals — whether it’s fried chicken, calamari, onion rings, or more. 

But perhaps the main draw of pork rind panko is its nutritional value. Suitable for those on a keto or gluten-free diet, it contains absolutely no carbs, allowing you to enjoy fried food without the guilt. Bonapetit! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is pork panko just pork rinds?

Pork panko is made exclusively from pork rinds, finely ground to create a texture similar to regular bread crumbs. Store-bought pork rind panko may contain seasonings such as salt to add more flavor. 

What is the difference between panko and breadcrumbs?

Panko is made from crustless white bread processed into flakes and then dried. It’s a distinctive type of breadcrumb that is dryer and flakier in consistency. Compared to regular bread crumbs, panko absorbs less oil, creating a lighter and crunchier texture. 

Is panko healthy?

Panko is hailed by nutritionists as the “better breadcrumb” because it has lower calories, sodium, and fat. It’s also a good source of fiber. A cup of panko crumbs contains 220 calories, 1 gram of fat, 6 grams of protein, and 47 grams of carbohydrates.