Guys, I just made keto popcorn cheese puffs and I am DEAD. They were SO good. Seriously, they are the perfect zero carb keto snack. I just did a little test run with just two ounces of cheese and to be honest I’m glad I didn’t make more because I think I could have devoured an entire pound in one sitting. They’re crispy, crunchy, cheesy, and everything you want in a snack.

I am a snack monster in the best of times (please check out my favorite keto snacks here!) and the worst of times. Sometimes I think I could live on snacks alone. But the problem is, almost all snacks are super carb-heavy. I’m talking about chips and popcorn of course. There’s something about snacking, it’s almost like it is a law that snacks need to be crunchy and satisfying. Most low-carb snacks aren’t but I am here to save you from bad snacks. Keto popcorn cheese puffs are here!

Keto popcorn cheese puffs are super easy to make at home, just one ingredient, and zero carb. I mean, win-win-win, am I right?!

I first came across these when I did a google search for the best keto snacks to make at home. Keto popcorn kept coming up and after a few clicks down the google hole later, I knew that I had to make them. In three days. Because yes, it takes some time to prep your cheese before you make these guys. But trust me, it’s worth it. If you like ParmCrisps, Whisps, Moon Cheese or any of those other crispy cheese snacks you need to make these at home because they’re cheaper, more delicious (try them when they’re a little warm), and homemade.

Keto Air Fryer Popcorn Cheese Puffs Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

What is Keto Popcorn?

Keto popcorn is not actually popcorn, it’s popped cheese! Little crispy, crunchy nuggets of air fried or oven baked puffed cheese. It’s zero carbs depending on the cheese you use and the most satisfying, addictive, crunchy keto snack.

Ingredients for Making Keto Popcorn Cheese Puffs

Cheese. Yup, that’s it. All you need is cheese and how much you make is up to you.

What Kind of Cheese Can I Use to Make Keto Popcorn Cheese Puffs?

I used medium cheddar but you can use any hard to medium hard firm cheese with a relatively low moisture content: parmesan, pardano, pecorino, white cheddar, gouda, colby, manchego, asiago, comte, emmental, gruyere, monterey jack, colby jack. Basically any cheese than can dry out to hard as a rock can be puffed.

How to Make Keto Popcorn Cheese Puffs

1. Cut or crumble up your cheese of choice: I chose to crumble to make the puffs look more organic. You can do whatever is easiest. Aim for pieces that are 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch in size and try to keep them relatively consistent.

2. Dry out the cheese: Place the cheese pieces on a paper towel lined plate or tray and cover with another paper towel. Pop into your fridge. You could leave them out at room temp which is what all of the other recipes online say but the truth is the fridge is great at dehydrating and removing moisture.

3. Bake or Air-Fry: Either bake in a 390°F oven until puffy or pop into an air fryer at 390°F for 5 minutes. I prefer the air-fryer version because after waiting days for the cheese to dry out I don’t really want to wait for the oven to preheat.

4. Enjoy! Crunchy your way to satisfaction.

What are the Macros for Keto Popcorn Cheese Puffs?

To be honest, this is going to change depending on what cheese you use. Just be sure that your cheese is truly zero carbs if you’re looking for a really zero carb snack!

Keto Air Fryer Popcorn Cheese Puffs Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Keto Air Fryer Popcorn Cheese Puffs Recipe

One ingredient cheesy, crispy, crunchy keto popcorn
Serves 1
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 1 min
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 6 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 oz cheese of choice

Instructions

  • Cut or crumble the cheese into small 1/4 inch pieces. Place a paper towel on a tray and lay out the cheese pieces. Cover with another paper towel and place in the fridge to dry out for 1-3 days, or until completely dry and very hard. If the cheese doesn’t dry it out, it will just melt in the oven instead of puffing and turning crunchy.
    Keto Air Fryer Popcorn Cheese Puffs Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

To Bake

  • Heat the oven to 390°F and bake on a parchment paper lined baking sheet for 3-5 minutes, or until puffed. Let cool before enjoying!
    Keto Air Fryer Popcorn Cheese Puffs Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

To Air Fry

  • Place the pieces of cheese in the air fryer for 5 minutes at 390°F. Let cool and enjoy!
    Keto Air Fryer Popcorn Cheese Puffs Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

12 Comments

  1. Ufuk says:

    5 stars
    I can not wait to make it.

  2. Sabrina says:

    5 stars
    I think it may be! a snack for me for the weekend and very creative use of the air fryer!

  3. Todd Doty says:

    And the cheese won’t mold? Sitting on the counter for 3 days.

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi todd,
      mine didn’t! if you’re concerned about mold, you can dry the cheese out in the fridge if you have the space :)

  4. Jessica A Felkel says:

    Maybe my cheese was not dry enough, but I tested a few in my air fryer and just got super melted hard cheese … Did not pop at all. 😔

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi jessica,
      oh no! it was probably not dry enough – it has to be really, really hard, with all of the moisture out. you can try drying it out uncovered in the fridge too, the fridge is super drying and pulls out moisture.

  5. RJ says:

    Will a convection oven work at the same time and temp as air fryer?

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi rj,
      yes, or even just the regular setting for your oven. the key is getting the cheese completely dehydrated. if you have a dehydrator, you can use that to speed up the process :)

  6. Andrew says:

    I’ve tried this out over the course of 3 days. Day 1 was 1/2 day in the fridge. Day 2 was over night. And day 3 was the second overnight stay in the fridge. The cheese still just melts into a pile of goop. :(

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi andrew,
      what kind of cheese are you using and how big are the cheese bits?

      1. Andrew says:

        Just tried again after another full night and day and still just goop! I have mild cheddar crumbled into 1/4 inch pieces!

        1. Stephanie says:

          hi andrew, i think your cheese isn’t dehydrating enough. how many days has it dehydrated in total? does it look really dry and oily on the outside and is really really hard without any squish whatsoever?

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Thanks for reading as always!
-Steph & Mike