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Crunchy Keto Popcorn – Cheese Pops – Moon Cheese

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Those Crunchy Keto Popcorn Homemade Moon Cheese or Cheese Pops as some would call them is the best Keto Snack you will ever need for your Movie Night. Those Low Carb Popcorn made from only 1 ingredient, extra simple and easy to make is fully Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, perfect for Diabetics, and especially lovers of Cheese

Keto Popcorn Cheese Pops
Keto Popcorn Cheese Pops
Last Updated: October 3, 2020

For the Full List of Ingredients and comprehensive Instructions, please see the Recipe Card below, with a Print-Out Option as well. Before jumping to the Recipe, please note that all the information in the Whole Post contains HOT AND HELPFUL RECIPE TIPS. We try and answer all your questions to guarantee a perfect Recipe every time.

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Missing Popcorn?

Learn everything about Popcorn, Keto Popcorn, Carbohydrates content of each, How To Make Low Carb Popcorn as well as Tips and Tricks to get the Best Ever Keto Snack. 

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Keto Movie Snack

To continue packing for your Keto Movie Night, following identical steps and just replacing the type of Cheese and a bit of imagination, you can have our  Low Carb Keto Goldfish, that will blow your mind in an instant.

Let us not forget one super simple recipe made with only 1 ingredients, our Extra Crunchy and Crispy Keto Chaffle Chips.

Keto Popcorn Alternatives for a Movie Night

Following those, comes our Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken, Oven Baked Keto Cheese Chips, Cheese Bacon Nachos, Cheese Puffs or Sesame Keto Crackers, Fried Cheese Balls and you are more than ready and fully prepared. I can assure you everyone around the Movie Theater is going to be extremely jealous of your Snacks.  Believe me. 

Homemade Keto Moon Cheese spread on a parchment paper
Cheese Pops

Keto Popcorn as Toppings 

I have to admit our recent addition to our Movie Basket collection. 

We started packing our Crispy Garlic Keto Croutons with us everywhere. They are supposed to be used as an accompaniment or Keto toppings for the soups or salads, but we just love them so much as a Keto Snack. Without anything. And a great alternative for the movies as well.

Puffed Cheese Keto Snack in a glass
Moon Cheese

Add those Keto Popcorn on top of our Low Carb Roasted Tomato Basil Soup and I tell you. Marvelous. So perfect. 

They do give you the satisfaction we all have been craving in our Low Carb lifestyle and them being Keto means you can eat and eat and snack all the time. 

The crispness and crunchiness will blow your mind and you will eat the first lot in like 2 seconds.

This recipe has made it on our Top 10 Best Low Carb & Keto Recipes of 2018

Cheese Pops - Low Carb Popcorn
Low Carb Popcorn

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What is Popcorn?

To define popcorn is pretty easy. 
Popcorn is a pure dried Corn Grain Kernel, whereby heating it to a certain temperature, the little moisture left inside the kernel pops and bursts the dry part of the grain into a beautiful popcorn. 
This is the exact process, I have been following for our Keto Popcorn, just with a different Keto Ingredient – Cheese. 

Can you eat Popcorn on Keto?

When starting Keto Lifestyle, most of the people try to replace their favorites. And it is mostly Snacks. They try to transform any snack whey love into a Keto Snack. 
The exact same goes for Popcorn. As it is a must snack for a Movie night and loved by almost everyone, questions start arising. 
Can I eat Popcorn? Maybe in smaller portions? Is Popcorn Keto? Does popcorn have carbs? How much popcorn can I eat on Keto? Can you have Popcorn on Keto?
They start researching and when realizing real Popcorn is not Keto, they start looking for some alternatives. And that’s where my recipe comes in. 

Is Popcorn Keto?

Real Popcorn is not Keto at all. Look at what they are made of. 
Corn and only Corn. Even if it puffs, it is still corn. Would you ask if corn flour is keto? For sure not. It is pure Carb. Well 75% carb. So for sure not. 

Is popcorn allowed on Keto?

To answer the question if Popcorn is allowed in Keto is not easy. 

To me it is not allowed since the only ingredient it contains is a CORN. 
Corn is a Grain and all of our Keto Recipes are Grain-Free. 

On the other side, you have people, who follow Low Carb Diet or not so strict Keto and are counting carbs more as looking at from where those carbs came from. 

They believe a few pieces of real popcorn is ok. 
To stay Keto approximately 20g of Carbs a day is allowed. 
1 cup of Popcorn contains approximately 6g of carbs. 
The decision is up to you.

How many Carbs are in a real Popcorn?

Since real popcorn contains only Corn, which is very high in Carbohydrates, you should really take it out of your meal plan. Movie or not. Snacking or not.

Popcorns contain 78% of Carbohydrates. 
In 100g of popcorns, 78g are Carbs. 

In one Cup of Popcorns, which is approximately 8g, over 6g are carbohydrates. 
With your allowance of roughly 20g of carbs to stay in Keto Lifestyle, I would really suggest to avoid it fully. 
One cup is nothing at all and you are going to be craving even more of it and hungry double than before. 

How many Carbs in Keto Popcorn?

To give a bit of comparison to the previous question, here are the Keto Popcorn Carbs.
1 Serving, which is approximately 25g (cheese is much more heavy) or 1/4Cup contains 0,4 grams of carbs. 

And yes, you are reading this right. 0,4g. 
I would say, not even that, as it is only Cheese. 

Let us forget Popcorn and concentrate on enjoying the best ever Keto Popcorn.
It is extremely addictive and delicious. Immediately the next day, I had to prepare another batch and that is what I am gonna do today for all of you.

Is there a replacement or substitute for Popcorn?

Moon Cheese
If you do buy from time to time Moon Cheese, this could be a perfect replacement, but with a completely different price.
We love Moon Cheese as well and when I see it in the shop, I do it occasionally. But get surprised all the time with the highest price. I either forget how expensive they are and promise myself to never buy them again.
Our Keto Popcorn
The cheapest and easiest way is to make your own Homemade Keto Popcorn. 
Following our steps, it is a bit time consuming the first time, since you have to wait for the cheese to dehydrate a few days, but then in just mere 3 minutes, it is all done. 

Because truly, you can make them at home anytime. And add to it, you will not use any preservatives to keep them fresh. 

Keto Cheese Popcorn in a coffee cup
Popcorn Puffs Keto Version

Can cheese be left on the kitchen counter?

After so many people asking the same question and me doing lots of research, I can confidently answer, it is OK. 
Yes, It is perfectly ok to leave the hard cheese out of the fridge for days even months for some.

Is it ok for the cheese to be sitting out of the fridge for a few days?

In Italy for example families, never place hard cheese into the refrigerator. All of the cheese (except soft types) are left on the kitchen counter or Kitchen Pantry

As per USDA, you should have no worry at all. Just make sure we are always talking about Hard Cheese. 

What type of cheese can you use for Keto Popcorn?

To make Keto Popcorn, you can use almost any type of Hard Cheese you desire. 
It really depends on your taste preference and what you have available. 
Some cheeses take longer to dehydrate than others.
My favorite is Gouda, but I have also tried to make Keto Cheese Pops with Cheddar Cheese and made a great Low Carb Keto Goldfish Crackers

One Ingredient Low Carb Popcorn inside a wooden box

To name just a few of the types of Cheese best for Keto Popcorn are:

What seasoning can you add to Keto Popcorn?

To season or flavor, your popcorn is best straight when they come out of the oven or right before consuming them. 
Once the cheese is cooled and dry, any seasoning will not stick to it anymore. 
Therefore I would suggest lightly spray it with butter or oil as a base and then add your favorite seasoning and toss it in the bowl. 

Season them with:

  • dried spices like garlic, onion, or paprika
  • popcorn butter seasoning 
  • Cajun spices
  • Everything Bagel Seasoning
  • Black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Brown Sugar Substitute 
  • Mushroom powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Pumpkin spice
Cheese Pops - Low Carb Popcorn
Cheese Pops Keto Popcorn

How do Keto Popcorn – Moon Cheese taste like?

To describe how those Low Carb Popcorn or Cheese Pops Taste like you have to read below. 

Frankly, I can not describe it better as one of my readers, Leanne.

So sit down and enjoy: 

“Hi, I MADE it!! Cheese popcorn!! Wow!! It’s absolutely amazing. If you close your eyes and pop them in and munch & munch I would swear I was eating popcorn! The great difference is there no carbs and no husks from corn kernels that stick in your gums and between your teeth. With this popcorn, it’s just glorious munching! I bought a small package of kraft medium cheddar cheese slices and I just cut them into tiny squares. 

When I opened the oven I was amazed at how they looked. It was like the air had become injected into each tiny piece and they were crispy and crunchy. Before I scooped them into the small serving bowls I sprinkled them with hickory smoke powder. Which added a lovely taste addition to the cheese. I highly recommend it and next time I will try sprinkling on some ranch powder that I have. I think any type of flavor sprinkling would be lovely or of course, the next thing will be to try various kinds of hard cheese. What a lovely snack to serve for a movie night having various types of cheeses to pick from.” 

Leanne – our reader

First Bite Keto Popcorn

For the first time, you do have to wait a bit, but then as you will fall in love with them, all you have to do is cut every day a few pieces. In that way, there will be always at least 1 tray left to make straight when you need it. And it really takes only 3 minutes for your Moon Cheese like pops ready. 

And I have to say, I got my mum hooked to those. Every time I talk to her, she has to tell me how perfect and popular they are. She makes them now almost every week and says they are perfect in the evening when she needs just something tiny, but still healthy. 

Keto Popcorn Alternative onside a paper bag
Crunchy Keto Snack

Keto Popcorn Collection

Another addition: you can pick whatever cheese selection you want. It just needs to be hard cheese. 

You can actually make a Keto popcorn collection for a party. Not a bad idea. I will do it next time. 

This recipe is really easy and you will not regret trying it.

If you manage not to eat them immediately, they are even better the next day.

And cost wise? Much much cheaper then any Cheese Pops you buy in the supermarket if you find some.

Homemade Moon Cheese

This could be also called Moon Cheese Keto Recipe. 

What do you say?

As we all know, there is almost everything we can come up with as a low carb version.

Well, one thing is a bit difficult.

And if you wanna know more about Cheese, you get a perfect description.

The Best Keto Popcorn Recipe

Keto Cheese Puffs on a round plate
Homemade Moon Cheese

Full Recipe for Low Carb Cheese Pops:

You can use any hard cheese. I would suggest cutting it into slices and then make it into small squares since it will dry better. The first time we made it, I had to keep it much longer to dry, since even after 48 Hrs it was not fully dry.

I also have to add that some friends tried it as well in the dehydrator to fast up the process. Just make sure, you place the cheese on parchment paper and set it onto the lowest temperature. Otherwise, the dehydrated cheese will melt completely and fall to the bottom.

How to make Keto Popcorn or Homemade Moon Cheese?

Equipment needed:

  • Baking Tray
  • Parchment Paper 
  • Kitchen Paper Towel

Ingredients needed:

Hard Cheese

*Exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below.

STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO MAKE THE BEST EVER KETO POPCORN

First Step: Cut the Cheese

Pick one of the hard cheese. Read above more on what types are the best.

Cut into slices, then vertically into long strips followed to cutting them into squares. 

Have a look at the exact size and thickness on the video for the best result. 

The thinner the squares are, the quicker they will dry, and better they will pop late on in the oven.

How To Make Cheese Pops step by step instructions
cutting cheese for keto popcorn

Second Step: Spread and store

Once all of the cheese is cut, spread it onto the baking tray with Parchment paper. 

You do not really have to spread it as uniform as I did, but make sure they do not touch each other. 

Again, they will dry faster if cheese pieces have got some space in between each other. 

Once all of the pieces are spread, cover it with the paper towel to make sure dust does not catch on top during the dehydrating process. 

Place the whole tray in your Kitchen Pantry or Kitchen counter (away from family nibblers) for a minimum of 48 hours. I tend to keep it even for 3-4 days.

How To Make Moon Cheese squares on the baking tray
placing cheese squares onto the baking sheet

Third Step: Oven pop

Once the cheese is fully hard, rock hard (if you are not sure, leave it a day longer), place it into the fully heated oven for 3 minutes. Once you start to see the cheese pops, your Keto Snack is ready. 

Do not leave it in the oven longer, as once the cheese will start to darken, it burns and the taste is not pleasant. 

Keto Movie Snack popping in the oven
keto popcorn cheese pops popping inside the oven

Fourth Step: Enjoy

Enjoy and start cutting new lot for next batch

The Best Keto Popcorn Recipe being poured into the basket
Pouring moon cheese onto the bakset

TIPS AND TRICKS Keto Popcorn:

  • Equal size – try to cut the cheese into an equal size. This will make sure, the cheese will be dried all at the same time and will pop in the oven at the same time as well. 
  • Oven fully heated – Make sure the oven is fully heated before you place the cheese in it.
  • Paper Towel – Covering the cheese with a paper towel, blocks dust to catch during those few days of drying. It also helps dearly against all of the family nibblers. If you do not see what it is, you do not really touch it. If it is open – everyone takes a piece from time to time until you are left with nothing at the end of those few days. (my own experience) 
  • Drying time – Drying time really depends on so many factors. The way you cut the cheese, the size, the thickness, type of the cheese, time of the year, location you live in. Most important – cheese must be really hard, almost rock hard for it to pop. If you feel that it is not really hard, leave it 1 day longer. Nothing will happen even after 3-4- days longer.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

The Best Keto Popcorn Recipe as a party snack
Keto Snack

Can you use a dehydrator for making Keto Popcorn?

A dehydrator would definitely help to cut the time, but you would still have to wait for 8-12 Hrs for it to dry. The main purpose is that the cheese needs to be completely dry and hard. Otherwise, it will not pop in the oven.

As an example is experience, one of our reader Sandra had: 

Do not use a dehydrator to faster dry the cheese. I did the lowest setting and the cheese melted, fell through the holes, and made a big mess of my heating element on my dehydrator. I am now in the process of drying the cheese on the counter. Maybe if you put parchment on the racks but I think the cheese will still melt in the heat and not stay cubed.

Sandra – our reader

How big should you cut Cheese into for Keto Popcorn?

The best size I have experience with is to cut the cheese into slices and those into squares.

The best is to have a look at the video I have made. There you see the exact thickness as well as size for the best Keto Popcorn. 

If the cheese is cut into squares, it probably is a bit thick and might need to fully dry a few days longer.  

Air Popped Keto Popcorn in a grey bowl
Crunchy Keto Popcorn

How thin are the Keto Popcorn slices supposed to be?

The thinner you cut them, the faster the cheese will dry properly. 

I also made it a few times with slices of cheese, which were then cut into shapes. So really as thin as you can. If tiny squares, let it dry longer.

Cheese Pops - Low Carb Popcorn
Cheese Pops

How do you store Keto Popcorn?

Once all of the Kto Popcorn is cooled down, place them into the air tight container or a Mason Jar and store in your Kitchen Pantry or Kitchen counter for weeks or even months. 

As an experiment, I have a box of Keto Popcorn in my Kitchen Pantry for already 6 months and every month I take a piece to try. 

Those Keto Popcorns are still perfectly hard, crispy, crunchy and perfectly tasty. 

low carb popcorn made out of cheese on a board.
keto popcorn

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Keto Cheese Pops Popcorn

Crunchy Keto Popcorn Homemade Moon Cheese

Zuzana Paar
4.90 from 139 votes
Those Crunchy Keto Popcorn Homemade Moon Cheese or Cheese Pops as some would call them is the best Keto Snack you will ever need for your Movie Night. Those Low Carb Popcorn made from only 1 ingredient, extra simple and easy to make is fully Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, perfect for Diabetics, and especially lovers of Cheese.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes
Course Small bites
Cuisine International
Servings 4
Calories 211 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

Instructions
 

  • Cut hard cheese first into slices and then into small squares (I have used Gouda)
  • Place it on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and cover with a napkin
  • Keep it on a kitchen top for 48 Hrs
  • Heat up the oven to 200 C (392F)
  • Place the cheese in the oven for 3 minutes
  • Bon appetit

Video

Notes

Equal size – try to cut the cheese into an equal size. This will make sure, the cheese will be dried all at the same time and will pop in the oven at the same time as well.
Oven fully heated – Make sure the oven is fully heated before you place the cheese in it.
Paper Towel – Covering the cheese with the paper towel, blocks dust to catch during those few days of drying. It also helps dearly against all of the family nibblers. If you do not see what it is, you do not really touch it. If it is open – everyone takes a piece from time to time until you are left with nothing at the end of those few days. (my own experience)
Drying time – Drying time really depends on so many factors. The way you cut the cheese, the size, the thickness, type of the cheese, time of the year, location you live in. Most important – cheese must be really hard, almost rock hard for it to pop. If you feel that it is not really hard, leave it 1 day longer. Nothing will happen even after 3-4- days longer.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 211kcalCarbohydrates: 0.4gProtein: 15gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 484mgPotassium: 72mgSugar: -1gVitamin A: 333IUCalcium: 414mgIron: 0.1mg

Disclaimer

Please note that nutrient values are estimates only. Variations can occur due to product availability and manner of food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of origin, preparation, freshness of ingredients, and other factors.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

If you are still looking for some Low Carb products, visit our recommended site on Amazon, which we participate in as affiliates. Just click on the image below and all will be revealed.

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Cheese Pops - Low Carb Popcorn Great and healthy substitution to a real Popcorns #cheesepops #lowcarb #keto #healthyfood #cheese #fitfood
Keto Popcorn

And if you still need some other snacks type recipe this Zucchini chips one might be the answer as well.

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By Zuzana Paar on December 20th, 2017
Photo of author

About Zuzana Paar

Zuzana is the creative force behind this vibrant blog. With passion as a recipe developer, content creator, food writer, movie maker, and photographer, she poured her heart and soul into curating a space brimming with delightful keto and low carb recipes. Join her on this flavorful journey where quick, easy-to-make dishes take center stage, bringing joy and nourishment to your table.

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129 Comments on “Crunchy Keto Popcorn – Cheese Pops – Moon Cheese”

  1. About the cheese prep — could one start with packaged cheese cubes? I haven’t purchased those in some time but I wonder if they would work if they were sliced thinly, perhaps into thirds? I would like to shorten the cutting process to a minimum; arthritis makes meal prep and cooking, in general, painful.
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • You sure can use prepacked. As you mentioned, if the swuares are too big, they might be cut into smaller as the drying time will take forever. Also read all the ingredients as some prepacked cheese contains starch.

      Reply
  2. I fixed this for the first time using Colby Jack. I let it dry out for 6 days and cooked it for 3 minutes. Many still hadn’t popped, so I cooked it 2 minutes more. Now they are a bit chewy. Did I cook them too long?

    Reply
    • If it is cooked too long, they will be burned. Chewy means, they were not dried fully probably. They have to be almost rock hard to the touch.

      Either cut thinner slices and pieces for the cheese to dry faster or try with a different cheese. Hope that helps.

      Reply
  3. I’ve made these one time before and when the cheese “popped”, it “pops” all over the oven. Is there anything that can be done to prevent this from happening?

    Reply
  4. Does anyone know how long this keeps? I’d like to bag it and give it away as a gift. How long will it stay without being in the refrigerator? Does it even need refrigeration?

    Reply

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