More Than a Snack: How to Use Pork Cracklins in Everyday Dishes

What are Pork Cracklins?

It’s very unlikely that you’d meet a Cajun who wasn’t acquainted with pork cracklins—but even those who eat them nearly every day might not be entirely sure of what they are. The answer is simple: they’re pork skin and fat (from the belly) that’s been cubed up, deep fried and salted or seasoned. They’re like a pork rind, but fattier and therefore more flavorful and with an entirely different texture. They’re chewier and meatier than pork rinds and, in our humble opinion, much better.


Flavor Meets Versatility 

Our blog has already touched on the versatility of Boudin, but did you know that Billy’s other famous pork staple is just as useful in a plethora of dishes? Not unlike boudin, most Cajun food lovers will tell you that there’s no secret to enjoying cracklins: just heat ‘em and eat ‘em (or, if you bought them on the road, stick the bag in a cup holder and get to work)! While there’s nothing wrong with that approach, there’s plenty of ways to use these flavorful morsels to elevate your next dish.


Use Cracklins as a Breadcrumb Substitute

This one shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s ever cut the carbs: pulverized cracklins make a fantastic and carbohydrate-free substitute for traditional breadcrumbs. You don’t have to have to be on a diet to enjoy the way these delicious pork bits can sub in for a handful of breadcrumbs! Cracklins are so rich in fat, salt and flavor that they make a great breadcrumb substitute on anything from veal cutlets to meatloaf and more!


Swap in For Bacon

There’s no shortage of dishes that call for bacon to bring a little fat and salt into the flavor profile. From smothered collard greens to a cheesy casserole, there are few dishes that aren’t enhanced by subbing in some pork cracklin bits instead! Other dishes you might substitute cracklin bits on include:

  • Baked potatoes
  • Omelettes
  • Egg/chicken salad
  • Sandwiches
  • In a burger patty
  • On a salad


Carb-free Croutons 

Speaking of salad toppings: we all know seasoned croutons can provide a nice crunch to your favorite salad, but what about a crunch that’s more flavorful AND more filling than some cubes of stale bread? That’s right! Save a few cracklings from your next order in a ziploc back and toss them onto your salad of choice and watch as it comes alive! Are they healthy? Not necessarily, but we won’t tell if you won’t!


Give a Dish Some Crunch

One of the most magical things about pork cracklins is the marvelous texture: there’s genuinely not anything else quite like it. Whether you crush them into bits or keep them whole, they can up the texture game of any dish in your repertoire! In case you missed it, we recently detailed a way they can improve your cornbread when it’s served alongside our custom recipe for boudin chili, but that’s not the only place they can provide a crunch! Try making a cajun pizza with a crackling top (boudin wouldn’t go amiss on this either), sprinkle them on a soup, or add them to a white gravy to go with some homemade biscuits! If you’re feeling extra bold, try sprinkling some cracklin crumbs on a scoop of pecan praline ice cream! Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!


There’s No Wrong Way

The versatility of Cajun foods is one of the most significant aspects of the cuisine. As a style of food made by and for poor people, most classic Cajun staples are never out of place in a dish. After all, early Cajun settlers had limited resources, and “waste not, want not” was very much a part of the Cajun ethos. Today, we can celebrate that versatility by trying new pairings that our ancestors would never have dreamed of! If you’ve found a way to use boudin, pork cracklins or another Cajun dish that you think is unique, tag us on Facebook or Instagram! If we like it, we might even share it (and give you credit, of course)! In the meantime, keep using Billy’s products in new and traditional ways alike! Bon appetit!

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