Keto Popcorn Chicken cooked 2 ways

Seriously, the ultimate in Keto Popcorn Chicken! I love how easy this recipe is and crispy and crunchy the coating is.
Before jumping to the recipe please note that the below information contains HOT TIPS for this recipe. We try and answer all your questions to guarantee a perfect keto recipe every time.

I have made more than a few varieties of keto popcorn chicken in my time. A little bit of a grown up version of keto chicken nuggets, keto popcorn chicken is always pretty simple and pretty damn tasty too.

Not only can this recipe be done with chicken (in all forms) it can be done in a host of ways to add to your fast and easy keto meal plans. Read on for more tips and variations.

Mad Creations Keto Popcorn Chicken rin a cone in mans hands

Dave doesn’t mind a little popcorn chicken from time to time. hehe!

the ingredients

The Protein. I choose to use chicken thigh fillets as it is a little fattier and has more flavour in my opinion. For this recipe you can use breast pieces or actually any pieces of chicken still on the bone. This is equally as tasty as a keto popcorn shrimp (prawn) or keto popcorn pork belly recipe. Then again you could use any firm fish, tofu, seitan, or even pickling onions for something completely different.

The Spices. Here you can add your favourites as I do to mine. I love the spice combination in this recipe and most of them are readily available in either your home keto pantry or the local supermarket. 

Whey protein isolate can be substituted with any protein isolates e.g. pea protein isolate for a dairy free keto popcorn chicken option. A protein isolate helps give the fine crispy coating on the chicken.

Mad Creations Keto Popcorn Chicken in a small fryer basket

how to cook keto popcorn chicken

I have included both a frying and air frying method for this low carb popcorn chicken. If you do decide to air fry or bake I would recommend adding half a cup of crushed pork rinds. I tend to find if chicken rests for any time with a whey protein isolate it tends to sweat and become pasty. This results in a soft coating not a crispy one. You can also choose to use pork rinds when frying too. Personally I prefer the fried method as it is quick, light and really tasty.

For the frying I use light tasting olive oil. Although it is not a high smoke point oil it leaves the chicken tasty without an oil taste. Plus the colour of the chicken is perfect.

My best tips are to only dredge as you go and place immediately into the hot oil. Do not overcrowd your pan. Depending on oil and temperature the chicken cooking times can vary. Jucst check a piece after it has gone a nice golden colour to see if it is cooked through. If you have cut all the chicken at the same size then it should take each batch the same amount of time to completely cooked through.

Crumbed chicken in frying basket

great low carb popcorn chicken sides

Enjoy your keto popcorn chicken with any of our favourite side choices. Apart from a good amount of keto mayonnaise, some Franks Hot Sauce or some of Newcastle Chilli Bros Reaper Sriracha (for the true chilli fans). 

  1. Keto Sweet Chilli Sauce | Sugar Free
  2. Sugar Free Sweet and Sour Sauce
  3. Addictive Buffalo Blue Cheese Sauce
  4. Smokey Keto Barbecue Sauce | Sugar-free
  5. Smoky Ranch Chicken Salad – Keto | LCHF | Low Carb
Piece of coated chicken with mayonnaise


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Keto Popcorn Chicken in basket with hot sauces
Fried piece of chicken in a mini fry basket

Keto Popcorn Chicken – The Ultimate

I have to say I have made many versions of keto popcorn chicken but this is far and away my favourite version. A simple spice mix coating and into the oven or the air fryer. So easy and so delicious!
5 from 41 votes!
Prep Time: 8 mins
Cook Time: 12 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Course: Lunch or Dinner
Cuisine: Australian Keto
Recipe Category: Low Carb
Calories: 310kcal
Author: Megan Ellam
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Servings: 4 serves
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  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp celery salt
  • 1/4 tsp dried sage
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/4 cup whey protein isolate you can substitute with almond or seed meal
  • 500 g chicken thigh fillets cubed
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • light tasting olive oil for frying



  • Mix all seasonings together with whey protein isolate in a large bowl.
  • In a large bowl, lightly whisk eggs with Dijon mustard and add chicken pieces. Toss to coat.
  • Heat oil in medium saucepan over high heat. Dredge chicken pieces in spice mix and fry in batches. Chicken should only take 3-4 minutes to go lightly golden and cook through. Drain on paper towel.
  • Season with extra salt flakes and serve with favourite dipping sauce.


  • Mix all seasonings together with whey protein isolate in a large bowl.
  • In a large bowl, lightly whisk eggs with Dijon mustard and add chicken pieces. Toss to coat.
  • Spray with oil spray or line the air fryer with baking paper.
  • Dredge chicken pieces in spice mix and place in a single layer in air fryer. Cook at 200℃ for 8-10 minutes; turning half way. Depending on size of air fryer work in batches until all chicken is baked.
  • Season with extra salt flakes and serve with favourite dipping sauce.


  1. For a different variation make with pork belly, prawns, or firm fish fillets
  2. Crushed pork rinds can also be used for a crispier coating.
  3. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  4. Chicken can be frozen before and after cooking.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 1serve | Calories: 310kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 204mg | Sodium: 305mg | Potassium: 287mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 265IU | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1.2mg | Net Carbs: 0g
Tried this recipe?Mention @meganellam or tag #madcreations!

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Keto Popcorn Chicken in basket with hot sauces

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  • Natusha says:

    5 stars
    This was delicious. Loved the spice mix! Amazing chicken

  • Lyn says:

    5 stars
    I have made this recipe several times and love the crispy, tasty chicken but……I find a thick sludge of WPI in the bottom of the pan!
    Is this unavoidable or am I doing something wrong?

  • Jenny says:

    Could I use egg white protein powder instead of the whey protein? Need to keep it non dairy.

    • Megan Mad Creations Hub says:

      Egg white protein may work but you would have to be quick to fry (and fry only) egg white rehydrate to actual egg white when they come in contact with liquids.

  • Amanda says:

    5 stars
    Tried this and it was a hit with all of the family. This recipe is a definite keeper.

  • Lucy says:

    5 stars
    A five star dish. So quick and easy and so tasty and crinchy. And no horrible nasties like takeaway.

  • Kim Williams says:

    5 stars
    This was the best!!! Great tasting popcorn chicken! Thank you!

  • Joe says:

    Did anyone else find there wasn’t enough breading to coat it all – or how do I get it evenly spread over the chicken? Thanks

    • Megan Mad Creations Hub says:

      Hi Joe, it is meant to be a light coating but I will check when I make them again later in the week.

  • Fiona says:

    5 stars
    Oh my goodness – this recipe is so simple AND delicious. I used whatever oil I had handy, and used a commercial mix of herbs and spices. Was delighted. This recipe is a keeper.

  • Loz says:

    This looks amazing and I want to make it tonight but I’m missing the celery and sage spices do you think it will make a huge difference?
    So glad i stumbled across your site there are so many exciting things to make.

  • Clara says:

    5 stars
    Delicious! I used chicken thighs. I took Megan’s advice to dredge and cook immediately in small batches so as not to be left with a slurry mess. Worked perfect. Crisp and delicious. Hubby said he loved the spice coating and very happy to have it again.

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