Paleo Pork Chips (or Venison Chips, Turkey Chips, or Chicken Chips)

gluten free, grain free, dairy free, egg free, paleo, pork, chips, tenders, quick and easy, main dish, entree, appetizer, recipe

Paleo Pork Chips with Ketchup for Dipping

It seems that this past Friday was National Pig Day. I never quite hit these food holidays right even when they relate to a food we love. And we love pork, as evidenced by gfe recipes like The World’s Easiest and Most Delicious Pulled Pork and Pork Tenderloin with Maple Glaze. I was close to celebrating on the right day though because I made these Paleo Pork Chips for us over the weekend. Or maybe they should be called Paleo Pork Tenders because they are so tender and delicious. I’ll stick with Paleo Pork Chips, but you can call them whatever you like!

To be honest, this recipe is so simple and flexible that it’s more of a concept than an actual recipe. All you really do is thinly slice the still partially frozen pork tenderloin and “bread” the slices with a mixture of almond flour or coconut flour and seasonings of your choice, and then fry for just a few minutes in your favorite healthy oil. There are several ways you can prepare your Pork Chips. We like adding Italian seasoning to the almond flour and frying in olive oil or coconut oil. If using coconut flour, note that it is so fine, that it hardly seems like breading. It’s also naturally sweet, so I like adding smoked paprika to its seasoning mixture for a little more oomph. Or you can use gluten-free seasoned bread crumbs to bread your Pork Chips. That option is not paleo, of course, unless you’re using grain-free bread to make your bread crumbs.

I’ve been using this concept for years with venison tenderloin and seasoned bread crumbs. Prepared Italian bread crumbs or homemade seasoned bread crumbs were always my easy and delicious breading choice before going gluten free. The Venison Tenderloin Chips have always made for an unbelievably good and welcomed meal. Friends who are hunters and more importantly their families have thanked me for sharing this method with them, because even non-venison lovers almost always enjoy venison tenderloin prepared this way. Venison tenderloin is almost always more cylindrical than pork tenderloin, so the chips look more like chips than strips, which I like.

Admittedly, the idea for preparing venison tenderloin this way is not my own. I either read about it or was told about it so long ago that I don’t remember the original source. But it was only recently that I thought of using pork instead of venison. I wanted to serve pork tenderloin for dinner. But the tenderloin was not yet thawed and had it been, I still would not have been ready to wait the better part of an hour for it to roast in the oven either. Then I remembered how we have always enjoyed our venison tenderloin. Light bulb moment … Paleo Pork Chips! In just a few minutes, we were enjoying a wonderful pork dinner. I don’t know why it has taken me so long to think of using pork tenderloin this way. This is such a great alternative to pork dishes like roasted pork tenderloin and grilled pork chops when you want your meal right away. You could also easily use turkey tenderloin or boneless chicken breasts for an alternative to turkey/chicken nuggets.

gluten free, grain free, dairy free, egg free, paleo, pork, chips, tenders, quick and easy, main dish, entree, appetizer, recipe

Slicing Pork Tenderloin for Paleo Pork Chips

Serve your Paleo Pork Chips with your favorite dipping sauces that meet your dietary requirements. You’ll see organic ketchup, our favorite “barbecue” sauce (ancient recipe from Hints from Heloise, which is half ketchup, half Worcestershire sauce), hot wing sauce, and blue cheese dressing in the photo. Another favorite dipping sauce at our house is our bees’ honey. Add some cut-up veggies (raw or cooked, like broccoli “trees”) to your Paleo Pork Chips for a complete meal and you’ll make everyone in your family happy. There’s just something about finger food that makes eating more fun, and more interactive than most shared meals!

gluten free, grain free, dairy free, egg free, paleo, pork, chips, tenders, quick and easy, main dish, entree, appetizer, recipe

Paleo Pork Chips with Dipping Sauces

Incidentally, these Paleo Pork Chips are terrific eaten cold for breakfast, too. No sauce needed.

gluten free, grain free, dairy free, paleo, primal, pig, hog, bacon, Paleo Parents, cookbook, Stacy Toth, Matt McCarry

Finally, when considering the pig with its always tantalizing bacon, succulent pork tenderloin, economical and delicious pork butt,  and other offerings, don’t forget that the Paleo Parents (Stacy Toth and Matt McCarry) have a new book that’s all about the pig coming out soon and is available for pre-order now–Beyond Bacon: Paleo Recipes that Respect the Whole Hog. Just reading about some of the recipes that they and their recipes testers have been making has certainly whetted my appetite!

gluten free, grain free, dairy free, egg free, paleo, pork, chips, tenders, quick and easy, main dish, entree, appetizer, recipe

Paleo Pork Chips (or Venison Chips, Turkey Chips, or Chicken Chips)
  • Cooking oil of choice (I use coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil)
  • Pork tenderloin, thawed just enough so that it’s sliceable
  • 1 cup almond flour, coconut flour, or gluten-free bread crumbs (the latter for a non-paleo version)
  • ¼ to ½ tsp Italian seasoning, smoked paprika, or spices/herbs of choice (more or less, to taste)
  1. Add oil to large skillet until it’s about ¼ to ½ inch deep. Preheat to medium to medium-high temperature.
  2. Mix breading and seasoning of choice in medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
  3. Slice pork tenderloin into thin slices, about ¼-inch thick. (A serrated knife works best for this task.)
  4. Dredge slices of pork in seasoned breading mixture until coated.
  5. Add pork chips to hot oil. Flip with appropriate utensil (e.g., wooden fork) after about 2 to 3 minutes. Cook additional 2 to 3 minutes until light or golden brown on both sides. (The coconut flour “breading” doesn’t really brown that much in this recipe, but all signs of pink will be gone.)
  6. Remove to paper-towel lined plate to drain and cool slightly before eating. (I like to use newspaper under my paper towels for extra absorption.)
  7. Serve immediately with favorite dipping sauces, veggies, etc. Or eat cold or reheated later with or without sauce.
I prefer to work in small batches, basically enough pork chips to fill the skillet. Between batches, I put my remaining pork tenderloin back in the freezer so that it will remain firm enough to slice easily. If you run out of breading before finishing frying all your chips, just make another batch.

This recipe is linked to 5-Ingredient Mondays, Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, and Whole Foods Friday.

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19 Responses to “Paleo Pork Chips (or Venison Chips, Turkey Chips, or Chicken Chips)”

  1. Liz @ The Good Eatah on March 4th, 2013 2:25 pm

    I’ve never heard of pork “chips!” I love this idea, and that you made it paleo too. Thanks for sharing lady!

    • Shirley on March 5th, 2013 9:54 pm

      Hey Liz–Good to see you and thank you! Hope you enjoy them! :-)


  2. Alisa on March 4th, 2013 2:38 pm

    Genius recipe Shirley!

    • Shirley on March 5th, 2013 9:55 pm

      Awww, thanks, Alisa! :-)


  3. InTolerant Chef on March 4th, 2013 3:54 pm

    What a clever idea indeed! I love pork too, it’s so versatile and delicious :)

    • Shirley on March 5th, 2013 10:30 pm

      InTolerant Chef–Thanks, dear! Those of us who do love pork are huge fans. One of my friends says that a good pork tenderloin can turn any ordinary woman into a kitchen goddess. ;-)


  4. Lynne L on March 4th, 2013 7:23 pm

    Oh Shirley…these look delicious! If I hadn’t already cooked my dinner I would make these. I just happen to have a pork tenderloin in the freezer! What a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

    • Shirley on March 5th, 2013 10:31 pm

      Hi Lynne–Thanks! I hope you enjoy your pork chips when you make them! :-)


  5. Linda on March 4th, 2013 9:14 pm

    This is a great idea. With gf son and I eating more protein, it’s nice having it a variety of ways. We have not been eating much pork, though, as my husband is not a fan, and I have not read good things about it (unless it’s pastured pork or whatever you call it). I need to look for that because I do miss having pork occasionally.

    • Shirley on March 5th, 2013 10:33 pm

      Linda–There is definitely good pork and bad pork, and to some like your husband, none of it is good. There’s also the whole school of thought that it doesn’t matter if it’s pastured or not, that pigs are scavengers and, therefore, their meat should not be eaten. I don’t eat pork that often, but admittedly when I do, I love it!


  6. Pat @ Elegantly, Gluten-Free on March 5th, 2013 9:02 pm

    Shirley, this is such a great idea! Why should the fast food places get all the business for fried, breaded meat to dunk in a yummy sauce?! I’m going to be trying this with as many of the meats as you list that I can get my hands on — probably won’t be doing the venison anytime soon, though :-( The sauces sound like I need to make a list to try, too.

    • Shirley on March 5th, 2013 10:37 pm

      Haha, Pat! Yes, I’m going up against the fast food places with healthier fast food options from home! :-) Think how many “happy meals” you can get out of one pork tenderloin! There are really so many sauce options. Any gluten-free option that can be used as a sandwich spread or a dressing can become a tasty dip. I’m not going to convince you to try venison chips, but I bet you would like them with the Italian bread crumb option! ;-)


  7. Kim - Cook It Allergy Free on March 6th, 2013 12:05 pm

    I can honestly say that I have never heard of Pork Chips! What a brilliant idea! And they look so simple. I will definitely give this a try considering I have a few pork tenderloins in the freezer right now. I love the idea of so few ingredients too!

    • Shirley on March 6th, 2013 12:35 pm

      Kim–The Pork Chips name I came up with … a play on Pork Chops, of course. ;-) But the concept was passed along to me for venison tenderloin as I said. The venison tenderloin always seems to be pretty cylindrical, so the pieces do look like chips of a sort. I think you all would enjoy this as a meal or appetizer. It’s really fun to just make a meal all about finger food where you can get in all your nutrition. :-)

      Thanks, dear! xo,

  8. Megan @ Allergy Free Alaska on March 7th, 2013 12:25 am

    Hi Shirley,
    I would’ve never thought to do this with pork! Chicken – yes, but not pork. What a great idea – pinning now!

    • Shirley on March 13th, 2013 1:21 pm

      Hey Megan–Here I am a week later! Can you tell that I’m still adjusting to my new schedule? Sometimes more time doesn’t make one more time-efficient. Well, at least not initially anyway … time shall tell. ;-) Thanks so much for the kind words on the recipe and, of course, the pin! :-)


  9. Natasha on January 19th, 2014 3:14 am

    I made these and they turned out perfectly. I cut them up into bite-sized pieces and served them at a board game night. My non-gluten-free friends thought they were delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Shirley on January 19th, 2014 12:35 pm

      Hi Natasha–First, welcome to gfe! :-) And, second, yay on your success! Great idea to have some protein chips to keep everyone’s brains going on game night. ;-) Did you make yours with pork?

      I checked out the latest post on your blog and the opening cracked me up! So true when you don’t have kids, but have LOTS of pet pics. LOL We had a chinchilla for many years and I’m a big lover of bunnies, so I appreciated seeing yours. They both are adorable!

      Thanks for taking the time to comment with your review. I really appreciate it, Natasha!

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