Pork rinds are a crispy snack that is widely consumed across the world. These snack bites are calorically dense and full of fat, cholesterol, and salt, which makes them an unhealthy choice for many people.
So, if you are looking for healthier alternatives or substitutes that can satisfy your cravings for pork rinds, you are at the right place.
In this blog, we have listed the 16 best substitutes for pork rinds that are healthy, easy to prepare, and can use in various recipes.
Moreover, we have also shared their ratio and explained how to use them.
In short, " What can I use instead of pork rinds?" Coconut Bacon, Puffed Quinoa, Mushroom Chips, Broccoli Chips, Chickpea Chips, Seaweed Snacks, Zucchini Chips, Carrot Chips, Cauliflower, Chickpeas, Zucchini, Popcorn and many more.
What are pork rinds, and what do pork rinds taste like?
Pork rinds, also known as pork skins or chicharrones, are a snack made from fried or roasted pig skin.
They are popular in many cuisines, particularly in Latin American, Asian, and Southern U.S. cuisine.
Pork rinds have a crispy and crunchy texture that resembles a chip or a cracker.
In terms of taste, pork rinds are savory and rich in flavor. They have a distinct pork flavor, often described as meaty and slightly salty.
Depending on the seasoning or spices used during the cooking process, pork rinds can have additional flavors such as garlic, chili, or barbecue.
The frying or roasting process gives them a satisfying crunch and a golden-brown color.
Pork rinds can vary in texture and taste depending on how they are prepared. Some pork rinds are light and airy, while others may be denser and chewier.
Pork rinds are a popular snack for those following low-carb or keto diets, as they are high in protein and contain no carbohydrates.
They are enjoyed on their own as a snack, utilized as a topping for salads or soups, or incorporated into recipes for added crunch and flavor.
Uses of pork rinds
Pork rinds are a popular snack food that is made from pork skin and fat. They have a crunchy texture and salty savor, making them a favorite among many people.
Pork rinds are high in protein and lower in carbohydrates, creating them a perfect snack for those on low-carb diets or looking for an alternative to traditional snacks like chips or crackers.
In extra to being enjoyed as a snack, pork rinds can also be used in various recipes as a crunchy and flavorful coating or topping.
For example, they can be crushed and used as breading on chicken tenders or fish fillets before frying.
Pork rinds can also be chopped up and added to batter for fried green tomatoes or onion rings. Other uses of pork rinds include using it as a crust for quiche or adding it to soups and stews for extra savor and crunchiness.
Additionally, crumbled pork rinds can be added to salads for extra crunchiness, used as a nacho cheese replacement on tacos, burritos, and other Mexican dishes, or even combined with ground beef when making hamburgers.
Where to buy pork rinds?
If you are looking for pork rinds where to buy, there are a few other places you can go. Many specialty food stores carry it, as do some international grocery stores.
You can also order online from many retailers that provide a variety of diverse flavors and types of pork rinds.
Best substitutes for pork rinds with measurement
1. Coconut Bacon – A good substitute for pork rinds
If you’re looking for a crispy and smoky alternative to pork rinds, coconut bacon is an excellent substitute.
Ratio or measurement: To make the coconut bacon, you'll need 1 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut, one tablespoon of maple syrup and liquid smoke, and a pinch of salt.
Intermix all the components in a bowl and bake them at 325°F for around 10 minutes. You can use coconut bacon as a topping for salads or eat it as a stand-alone snack.
2. Puffed Quinoa
Puffed quinoa is a protein-rich and gluten-free alternative to pork rinds.
Ratio or measurement: To make puffed quinoa, you'll need 1 cup of quinoa and a pinch of salt. Rinse the quinoa thoroughly and let it dry.
In a dry skillet, roast the quinoa over medium heat until it puffs up. You can use puffed quinoa as a snack or as a crouton replacement for your salad.
3. Try Mushroom Chips to replace pork rinds
If you’re looking for a savory alternative to pork rinds, mushroom chips are a fantastic option.
Ratio or measurement: To make mushroom chips, you'll need 1 lb of sliced mushrooms, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and your favorite seasoning.
Toss the mushroom slices in olive oil and your seasoning of choice. Bake at 375°F for approximately 20 min in the oven, flipping them halfway through.
You can enjoy mushroom chips as a snack or as a side dish.
4. Broccoli Chips
Broccoli chips are a healthy alternative to pork rinds and are easy to make.
Ratio or measurement: To make broccoli chips, you'll need 1 head of broccoli, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and a pinch of salt.
Cut the broccoli into small pieces and toss them in olive oil and salt. Bake at 375°F for approximately 10 minutes in the oven or until they’re crispy.
Enjoy broccoli chips as a snack or as a topping for your salad.
5. Chickpea Chips – a great alternative to pork rinds
Chickpea chips are a high-protein and delicious alternative to pork rinds.
Ratio or measurement: To make chickpea chips, you'll require 1 can of chickpeas, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and your favorite seasoning. Wash and drain the chickpeas and dry them with a towel.
Toss with seasoning and olive oil, and bake in the oven at 375°F for roughly 25 minutes or until crispy. You can enjoy chickpea chips as a snack or as a topping for your salad.
6. Seaweed Snacks
Seaweed snacks are a low-calorie and nutrient-dense alternative to pork rinds. You can find seaweed snacks at most grocery stores, or you can make your own.
Ratio or measurement: To make seaweed snacks, you'll need 1 pack of seaweed sheets and your favorite seasoning. Brush the seaweed sheets with oil and sprinkle your seasoning of choice.
Cut the sheets into bite-sized pieces and enjoy them as a snack.
7. Use Zucchini Chips instead of pork rinds
Zucchini chips are a low-carb alternative to pork rinds and are easy to make.
Ratio or measurement: To make zucchini chips, you'll need 2 medium-sized zucchini, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Cut the zucchini into thin slices and toss them in olive oil and salt.
Bake at 375°F for roughly 20 min in the oven, flipping them halfway through. You can enjoy zucchini chips as a snack or as a side dish.
8. Carrot Chips
Carrot chips are a healthy and tasty alternative to pork rinds.
Ratio or measurement: To make carrot chips, you'll need 2 large carrots, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and a pinch of salt.
Cut the carrots into thin slices and toss them in olive oil and salt. Bake at 375°F for around 20 min in the oven, flipping them halfway through.
You can enjoy carrot chips as a snack or as a topping for your salad.
9. Cauliflower – a decent replacement for pork rinds
Cauliflower is a fantastic substitute for pork rinds. It is lower in calories, high in fiber, and provides a delicious crunch.
Ratio or measurement: To prepare it, chop the cauliflower into florets and roast them in the oven at 375°F for 15-20 min or until golden brown.
The ratio for cauliflower is 1:1; you can utilize it in the same amount as pork rinds.
Chickpeas are another fantastic substitute for pork rinds. These tiny powerhouses are packed with protein, fiber, and nutrients.
Ratio or measurement: To make them crispy and crunchy, toss them in olive oil, parsley, garlic powder, and paprika, and bake at 400°F for 20-25 minutes. The ratio for chickpeas is 1:1.
11. Zucchini – a good substitute for pork rinds
Zucchini is a versatile vegetable used in various recipes, including as a substitute for pork rinds.
Slice the zucchini thinly, mix with some flour, salt, pepper, and breadcrumbs, and deep fry until golden brown.
Ratio or measurement: The ratio for zucchini is 1:2, which means you need twice the amount of zucchini compared to pork rinds.
Yes, you read it right. Popcorn is an excellent substitute for pork rinds. It is lower in calories, high in fiber, and can provide the same crunchy texture as pork rinds.
Ratio or measurement: To prepare it, pop some popcorn kernels in the microwave or stove, drizzle some melted butter, and sprinkle some salt. The ratio for popcorn is 1:1.
13. Pita Chips – similar to pork rinds
Pita chips are another healthy substitute for pork rinds.
They are made of whole-wheat flour and can be easily baked at home. Simply cut the pita bread into triangles, brush slight olive oil and bake at 375°F for 10-12 min in the oven or until crispy.
Ratio or measurement: The ratio for pita chips is 1:1.
14. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are an excellent alternative to pork rinds. They are elevated in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.
Ratio or measurement: To prepare them, slice the sweet potatoes thinly and bake in the oven at 375°F for 20-25 min until crispy. The ratio for sweet potatoes is 1:1.
15. Try Nuts to replace pork rinds
Nuts are a healthy and delicious substitute for pork rinds. They are rich in nutrients, healthy fats, and protein.
Ratio or measurement: Mix some almonds, cashews, and pecans with some spices and roast in the oven at 350°F for 10-15 min or until golden brown. The ratio for nuts is 1:1.
16. Cheese crisps
Cheese crisps are an excellent substitute for pork rinds. They can be made with just one ingredient – cheese.
To make them, grate some cheese, and spread them on a baking sheet; after that, bake in the microwave at 375°F for 8-10 min or until crispy.
Ratio or measurement: The ratio for cheese crisps is 1:1.
Pork rinds substitute bread crumbs
Pork rinds are a crunchy, flavorful alternative to bread crumbs when adding texture and flavor to recipes.
These deep-fried pig skins offer a delicious solution for those searching for a low-carb and gluten-free option.
They’re also incredibly versatile, often used in dishes like tacos, casseroles, stuffing and more. Pork rinds can help create an irresistible crispy coating on fried foods or act as an oven-baked crumb topping.
With no need to add additional fats or oils, this all-natural ingredient is sure to elevate meals without adding any unnecessary calories.
Plus, with a range of flavors and textures, pork rinds can easily be substituted in traditional recipes for a healthier twist.
For light and airy nuggets of flavor, try using crushed pork rinds as the perfect breading for fried chicken tenders, fish fillets or eggplant slices.
The next time you’re looking to add some crunch to your meal, try this healthy alternative!
Substitute for pork rinds in baking
Substituting pork rinds in baking can often be achieved through the use of breadcrumbs or crushed cereal.
Breadcrumbs can easily be made from stale bread, either by hand-grating or whizzing it in a food processor.
For an added flavor, seasonings such as herbs, spices and grated cheese can be added to the crumb mixture before it is used in a recipe.
Alternatively, crushed cereal such as corn flakes or wheat flakes make a great substitute for pork rinds – simply crush or grind the cereal until it forms a coarse powder.
Additionally, if you are using them for coating purposes, you can alternatively mix together equal parts of ground nuts and flour to achieve the same effect.
Finally, another option would be to use finely crushed pretzels as a crunchy topping for various baked goods.
keto substitute for pork rinds
Pork rinds are a popular snack, particularly for people following the keto diet. Unfortunately, they can be high in fat and cholesterol.
Fortunately, there are plenty of healthier substitutes that can provide similar texture and flavor without all the unhealthy components.
For example, nuts like almonds or walnuts contain healthy fats, fiber, and protein.
These can be ground up and used to replace pork rinds in recipes like fish tacos or pulled pork sandwiches.
Nut flours like almond flour are great substitutes for traditional wheat flour when making keto-friendly low-carb baking recipes.
Coconut flakes can also make an excellent replacement for pork rinds in dishes like chicken nuggets or even breading for vegetables or fish filets.
Coconut flakes are packed with healthy fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals that support you to stay full and satiated without all the saturated fat found in pork rinds.
Another great option is air-popped popcorn which is naturally gluten-free and low in calories but still provides a satisfying crunchy texture – perfect for anyone looking to reduce their carbs intake while on the keto diet.
You can season this with your favorite spices to give it more flavor without adding any additional sugar or unhealthy preservatives.
Explore more: Most suitable pork shoulder Substitutes
vegan substitute for pork rinds
1. Coconut Flakes
Coconut flakes are a great vegan substitute for pork rinds because they offer a crunchy texture and sweet flavor.
Not only are they vegan, but they can also use as a topping for salads, sandwiches, soups, and bowls. You can also grind the flakes into a fine powder and use it in baking recipes.
2. Rice Crackers
Rice crackers are another great vegan alternative to pork rinds because they provide a nice crunch without the greasiness of regular fried pork rinds.
They come in various flavors, such as sesame, seaweed, or wasabi, depending on your preference. They can be eaten alone or with dips and spreads such as hummus or guacamole.
Popcorn is an easy snack that can easily replace pork rinds in order to satisfy cravings for crunchy snacks without having to resort to unhealthy ones like pork rinds.
It is high in fiber, lower in calories and provides essential vitamins and minerals like potassium and iron. It can be flavored with spices like garlic powder or chili powder for added flavor.
4. Nutritional Yeast
Nutritional yeast is a popular vegan substitute for the flavor of bacon that you often find in pork rinds without the unhealthy fat content that comes along with it.
It is packed with B vitamins which makes it an excellent choice for vegans who may have difficulty getting enough of these essential nutrients from their diets otherwise.
It has a savory umami flavor that goes well with popcorn or other snacks and can even be added to sauces and dressings for more protein content!
5. Seaweed Snacks
Seaweed snacks are packed with vitamins A, C, E, and K, minerals such as iodine, calcium, magnesium and many other micronutrients that make them very beneficial to healthful diets.
They have a salty flavor similar to pork rinds yet contain much less fat than traditional fried snacks like pork rinds do, which makes them perfect substitutes for those looking for healthier alternatives while still enjoying the same crunchy texture!
Discover more: Best substitutes for pork fat in the sausage & way to use
Conclusion on substitute for pork rinds
In conclusion, if you are searching for some healthy and delicious substitutes for pork rinds, then there are a lot of options available.
In this blog, we have shared 16 best alternatives that are easy to prepare, low in calories, and high in nutrients.
All these substitutes provide the same crunch and texture as pork rinds and can be used in various recipes.
So, next time you crave pork rinds, try these substitutes and let us know which one is your favorite.
FAQs on substitute for pork rinds
Q1. What is similar to pork rinds?
Other snacks similar to pork rinds include beef jerky, cracklings, and snack sticks.
These snacks are typically made from dried meat and spices. They can be found in flavors like BBQ or spicy hot and are a crunchy alternative to traditional pork rinds.
They can also be high in protein, making them a healthier option than some other high-fat snacks.
Q2. What can I replace ground pork rinds with?
If you are looking to replace ground pork rinds, one option is to use a combination of bread crumbs and ground nuts. Bread crumbs add texture and bulk without the added fat content that pork rinds can bring.
Combining them with ground nuts will add protein and flavor to the dish. For example, you could mix finely-ground almonds and panko (Japanese-style) bread crumbs as an alternative for ground pork rinds.
This combination provides a crunchy and nutty layer adding extra flavor to your dish while being lower in fat than pork rinds.
Q3. Can you substitute pork rinds for bread crumbs?
Yes, pork rinds can be substituted for bread crumbs in many recipes. Pork rinds provide a crunchy and flavorful alternative to bread crumbs and are especially popular when making fried or baked dishes.
However, they do not provide the same binding properties as breadcrumbs, so it is important to add additional ingredients, such as egg or mayonnaise, to the recipe if you plan to use pork rinds instead of breadcrumbs.
Moreover, because pork rinds have a higher fat content than bread crumbs, they tend to cook and crisp up more quickly, which means that the cooking time should be adjusted accordingly.
Q4. Can you substitute crushed pork rinds for breadcrumbs?
Crushed pork rinds can be used as an alternative to breadcrumbs; however, they have a different texture and flavor. Pork rinds are made from fried or roasted pig skin, which is high in fat and gives them a crispy texture when crushed.
It also adds a salty flavor to the dish, so you should adjust the seasoning accordingly.
Compared to breadcrumbs, pork rinds may not absorb as much moisture, which can result in a greasier final product.
Additionally, pork rinds contain more calories than breadcrumbs, making them less suitable for dishes with fewer calories or lower fat content.
If you choose to use crushed pork rinds instead of breadcrumbs, it’s best to lightly coat the food item in flour first before coating it with the crushed pork rinds.
This will help ensure the coating sticks better and provides a crisper texture when cooked.
Q5. Can you substitute pork rinds for panko?
Yes, you can substitute pork rinds for panko in certain recipes. Pork rinds are usually ground into small crumbs and used to coat dishes like fried chicken or fish before they’re cooked.
They bring a crunchy texture and a savory flavor to the dish while also providing an alternative option for people who do not consume wheat-based products like panko.
Additionally, pork rinds are often gluten-free, making them a good choice for those avoiding gluten in their diets.
Q6. What is a vegetarian substitute for pork fat?
Vegetarian substitutes for pork fat are typically plant-based oils, like coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, or sesame oil.
These oils provide a rich flavor and texture to dishes while still providing an alternative to animal products.
Coconut oil is particularly popular for its nutty flavor and high smoke point, while sesame oil adds a distinctive nutty taste to stir-fries and other dishes. Olive oil is also an incredible option for sauteing vegetables or adding flavor to vinaigrettes.
Avocado oil is perfect for baking since it has a neutral flavor and provides extra moisture and texture.
All of these oils are a great way to get the same flavors of pork fat without surrendering any of the health benefits of foregoing animal products.