You likely landed on this page because you typed in something like “Is Popcorn Keto?” or “Can I Eat Popcorn on Keto?”
Whatever brought you here, I’m sorry to tell you there really isn’t such a thing as keto friendly popcorn. The good news is, you can have something that still satisfies that popcorn desire.
Whether you are simply craving those wonderfully savory kernels of popped goodness, planning the perfect snack for a stay-at-home movie night, or living wild and dangerous with upcoming plans to venture out into the big, wide world to attend your favorite new big-screen release with a stealthily tucked away bag in tow, this Keto Cheese Meringue “Popcorn” is the perfect snack to fit the bill!
This keto-approved low-carb snack is super easy to make! Containing only four ingredients, it’s virtually impossible to mess up.
Simple and Tasty?
Talk about a win-win!
The idea for keto cheese meringue “popcorn” was inspired by my TikTok friend Dori with Colorful Keto with Dori. You can view the TikTok video that inspired this recipe here.
What’s Wrong with Real Popcorn?
So what’s the big deal with traditional popcorn you ask?
Quite a few things really.
Not only is corn a grain, hellooo, it is also a high-starch vegetable which is a technical “no-no” for anyone seeking to maintain a healthy Ketogenic lifestyle. Subsequently, traditional popcorn is fairly high in carbs.
Wait! A single cup of air-popped popcorn only contains about ~7 carbs, right? Correct. Someone did their homework and gets the gold star.
However, who in the world eats just one cup of popcorn?
Let’s be realistic here. A standard serving of popcorn is closer to 4-5 cups. Calculate that, and suddenly it’s not so keto-friendly with a “standard serving” containing almost 30 carbohydrates!
Don’t fall into that trap.
Enter the Alternative to Real Popcorn
Most of us think of super-sweet pie toppings when we hear the word meringue and I’ve got something for your sweet tooth too.
Yet sometimes we need savory and this is where the versatility of meringue really shows.
As I originally mentioned, this is an easy recipe and only has four ingredients.
One of those ingredients is egg whites.
If you’re using whole eggs and separating out the egg whites, you’ll find yourself with 4 egg yolks leftover.
Related: If you like snacks, check out my keto mini pizza bites!
Never wanting anything to go to waste, I have the perfect recipe (or two) to use those leftover egg yolks! Homemade, custard-based ice-cream!
I literally make a batch of keto-friendly ice-cream every weekend.
How to Make Keto Cheese Meringue “Popcorn”
Start by preheating your oven to 275°F.
While awaiting the oven, beat together the egg whites and Cream of Tartar until a stiff peak forms. This can take a super long time…easily 5-7 minutes.
Because of this, I like to whip up the meringue in my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer. But any electric hand mixer will do.
Next, add the salt and shredded cheese to your egg whites and tartar and slowly mix together.
A word of caution here – do not mix so much that you deflate the air bubbles in the meringue.
Now, spoon or pipe small bite-size dollops onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. While piping gave me the desired size, this is a personal preference and a spoon will work just fine. Your call.
Bake the keto popcorn at 275°F for 30 minutes then shut the oven off. But leave the door closed for an additional 1-2 hours.
Allowing these savory morsels to rest in your closed oven for 1-2 hours will create the desired texture.
So, there you have it, friends! What better way to satisfy your popcorn cravings without sacrificing unnecessary carbs?! My Keto Cheese Meringue “Popcorn” is super simple to make and ridiculously tasty and satisfying.
Not only that but this recipe is extremely versatile. You may choose to substitute your favorite flavor in place of cheese.
Because meringue has little flavor of its own, the options are endless!
I’d love to hear your thoughts and especially what flavors you used for your own version!
More Keto Snack Recipes from Healthy Ambitions
- 4 egg whites
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/4 tsp salt (up to 1 tsp depending on salt preference)
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- Beat together the egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peak form.
- Add the salt and shredded cheese and salt, and slowly mix together with the egg whites/meringue.
- Don't mix so much that you deflate the air bubbles in the meringue.
- Spoon or pipe small bite-size dollops onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake at 275 degrees F for 30 minutes, then shut the oven off, but leave the door closed.
- While leaving the oven door closed, allow the cheese meringue "popcorn" to sit in the oven for an additional 1-2 hours to achieve the desired results.
- Serve and enjoy!
Add additional 1-2 hours to time for "rest" in the oven.
Nutrition Information:Serving Size: 1/4 recipe
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 128.91Total Fat: 9.6gSaturated Fat: 5.47gSodium: 225.85mgCarbohydrates: 0.68gFiber: 0gSugar: 0.27gProtein: 9.67g