Everyone loves popcorn, but most of us only eat the butter or salted variety at the movies, ball games, or the fair. Maybe your family even enjoyed a three-variety tin during the holidays. However, popcorn has significantly evolved from the days of neon cheese and faux butter. You now have hundreds of gourmet recipes to experiment with at your fingertips.
If you don’t know where to start, this compilation offers you 32 of the best popcorn recipes that you can enjoy any time of day!
Make these for a movie night with the family or a party, everyone will go crazy for this buttery perfection. It doesn’t get more classic than movie theater popcorn, loaded with butter and salt and featuring a delicious coconutty flavor. You can add other flavorings as you want, but sometimes, keeping it simple is the best choice.
For this recipe, pop your kernels fresh instead of using the microwave version. If you don’t have a popcorn machine, just use a pan and your stove. Then, revel in the depth of flavors from Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and parsley. Don’t forget to add a little oil before mixing so the seasoning will stick.
Warm up a cold night with these sweet and spicy popcorn seasoned with brown sugar, wasabi powder, and cayenne. Make sure to test the spice and add more or less wasabi powder as needed, especially if you’re sharing with kids or wasabi newbies.
This light, fresh recipe lends a sophisticated air to popcorn. The trick to this savory snack is mixing lemon juice with the butter in addition to some lemon zest with salt, black pepper, and thyme. Put a bowl of this out at your next party and watch it disappear.
#5. Tex-Mex Popcorn
This unique popcorn recipe has fresh cilantro as the focal point. Add in chili powder, paprika, garlic, and cumin for peak Mexican flavors. This popcorn is best served warm, but it will keep for up to a week in an airtight container. You can also fill up Mason jars of this popcorn to give as gifts!
Slightly sweet and perfectly salty, this is an ideal warm-weather snack. You can use plain honey, especially if it is locally made, but if you can get your hands on some gourmet honey with herbs, spices, or even fruit, you should try it here. Mix with sea salt and melted butter and drizzle all over your popcorn.
Deep Cajun flavors highlighted by Parmesan and lime juice create the perfect mix of flavors for this savory treat. If you like spice, this recipe won’t disappoint you. This popcorn is so easy to make, and it keeps well. Serve at a Mardi Gras party or at your next sports gathering.
Here’s a simple popcorn recipe to make when you’re “hangry” and just want an easy fix that’s filling without being heavy. Olive oil has a lower smoke point than vegetable or coconut oil, so don’t turn the heat too high, or your oil will burn. Add the Parmesan, salt, lemon zest, and pepper according to taste.
#9. Mexican Popcorn
Unlike the Tex-Mex version you probably know and love, this Mexican popcorn is loaded with savory, spicy flavors. Toss the popcorn in a mix of coconut oil with cumin, chili powder, cayenne, oregano, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. Finally, sprinkle with lime juice and zest before serving.
Butter mixed with tomatoes and garlic makes the sauce for this Italian-flavored popcorn. Use sundried tomatoes because they have less liquid than fresh tomatoes or even tomato paste. Add a sprinkle of Parmesan on top and eat while still warm. Once you try this amazing sauce, you’ll be looking for other ways to enjoy it.
#11. Chili Lime Popcorn
Using citric acid in place of lime juice, this recipe cleverly keeps the popcorn from getting and staying wet. This method is a page from food manufacturers who use citric acid to keep food dry; it also gives a nice tangy flavor. Add lime zest to the dry ingredients and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the lemony flavor.
#12. Dill Pickle Popcorn
If tangy and sour dill pickles are your favorite snack, you’ll love this dill pickle popcorn. The spice mix for this recipe includes dill, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, and various spices. Use a spice grinder to grind everything to a fine powder, toss over buttered popcorn, and enjoy!
Sometimes, you want the flavors of Indian food without putting in too much effort and time. This delightfully savory Indian-spiced popcorn gives you all that and more! Warm garam masala, coriander, cumin, and chili powder are toasted with butter and olive oil before tossing with popcorn for a fragrant and salty delight.
Do you remember gobbling up bags of Smartfood when you were a kid? The white-cheddar popcorn in the black bag made everyone excited, and this copycat recipe is easy enough to make at home. In less than 5 minutes, you’ll have the whole family revisiting an old favorite with this homemade cheesy goodness.
#15. Chai Popcorn
Sweet and a little spicy, this recipe turns your favorite spiced chai into popcorn! This is a naturally vegan recipe, using coconut oil for a neutral flavor instead of butter. Seasoned with warming spices like cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon, this popcorn has a delightful flavor!
This recipe gives you a fun Easter treat studded with chocolate candy and finished with seasonal sprinkles. Coat the popcorn and mini marshmallows with melted white chocolate and sprinkles and refrigerate for a few minutes. This is a wonderful sweet treat that you can also adjust to make a Halloween, Christmas, or Valentine’s version using different colors and candy.
Maple syrup and warm cinnamon coat this delightfully sweet and salty snack. Toasted pecans add an excellent depth of flavor and texture — just be sure to watch them when they are toasting because they can burn very quickly. To keep the popcorn from becoming sticky, bake it at 325℉ for five to eight minutes for the perfect crunch!
Featuring classic holiday flavors, you can’t go wrong with this caramelly gingerbread delight! All the deep wintery flavors of molasses, cinnamon, ginger, and vanilla are cooked up into a tasty syrup. After coating, bake the popcorn for an hour at 250℉ to keep it crispy. They’ll make amazing Christmas gifts for loved ones!
#19. Easy Kettle Corn
Kettle corn isn’t just for enjoying at a carnival or corn maze. You can make your own at home whenever you want, but remember to use a neutral-flavored oil and add the sugar to the pan with the un-popped kernels. This will ensure the kernels get properly coated in sugar before popping, giving kettle corn its signature flavor!
#20. Peppermint Popcorn
This colorful minty snack will get you into the Christmas spirit! Use candy coating for a smooth finish because it is designed to melt evenly, but you can also use white chocolate chips. Bake the popcorn and crushed peppermint candy smothered in the candy coating for an insanely delicious dessert!
#21. Marshmallow Popcorn
Get transported back to childhood with this gooey, buttery, crisp marshmallow popcorn. This recipe uses microwave popcorn, but you can also make it in an air popper or on the stovetop. If the mixture is too sticky, bake it on low heat for 10 minutes.
#22. Chocolate Popcorn
This fabulous popcorn recipe is the real deal, made with cocoa powder instead of chocolate chips for a rich, decadent chocolatey flavor. Corn syrup is an invert sugar, meaning that your chocolate mixture won’t crystallize while cooking. For best results, separate the popcorn immediately after adding the topping. Otherwise, you’ll have to break it into pieces when dry.
#23. S’mores Popcorn
Why wait for the summertime campfire when you can have delicious crispy s’mores all year round with this fantastic popcorn recipe? Cocoa powder and corn syrup form the base for this snack, while the marshmallows and graham crackers are add-ins. Just try not to finish the whole thing!
This recipe gives you the warm, cozy taste of a caramel apple pie on your crunchy popcorn. Make this popcorn with a marshmallow base and melted caramel candy, apple cider mix, and the secret ingredient — crunchy freeze-dried apple bits! This is a great Halloween treat for parties!
This is a grown-up version of cinnamon toast or everyone’s favorite cinnamon-sugar cereal! This easy recipe uses minimal ingredients, just be careful with the boiling sugar syrup. Bake the popcorn after coating them with the syrup for extra crispiness. Make sure you have a deep roasting or baking pan because this makes a lot of popcorn!
Peanut butter, caramel, chocolate chips, and Snickers Bites come together to create this decadent recipe. This snack is fantastic for holiday or birthday gifts and will be a hit at your next party, too. If you can’t find Snickers Bites, you can chop up snack-sized or regular bars; chill them first and carefully use a sharp knife for easy cutting.
Modeled after a popular retail store’s sweet treat, you will not be able to make enough of this to satisfy friends and family. You make the caramel sauce by boiling butter, corn syrup, salt, brown sugar, and chocolate. Pour it all over the popcorn and let it cool before munching down by the fistfuls!
#28. Scotcharoo Popcorn
Butterscotch, peanut butter, chocolate, and honey combine into a tender, chewy, and absolutely decadent sweet addiction. If you like nuts in your popcorn, go ahead and roast them before throwing them in; they’ll add a nice flavor and texture. Nuts are not necessary, though, because this popcorn hits all your sweet and savory buttons on its own.
Revive the fond memories of getting a creamsicle from the ice cream truck as a kid! Juicy sweet orange and cream are the highlights here made with sweetened condensed milk, orange extract, and marshmallows. Add cream for a stickier popcorn, or omit it for a “dry” version according to your preference.
Get ready for a popular summer favorite in popcorn form! With this recipe, you can make key lime pie popcorn in a snap by combining white chocolate, lime zest, lime extract, and graham crackers. You can use graham cracker crumbs, but crumbling graham crackers give a more authentic taste. The white chocolate and citrus combination is irresistibly good!
#31. Caramel Popcorn
This recipe reads like a science experiment but yields the crispiest, most crunchy caramel popcorn that will stay fresh for weeks. Baking soda makes the caramel thin, and the addition of corn syrup keeps the sugar from crystallizing. Once the popcorn is coated with the caramel coating, bake it in the oven to prevent it from getting soggy.
The flavors of sweet and juicy raspberry permeate every nook and cranny of this delicious popcorn. Use raspberry-flavored candy like Hershey’s Hugs, or even Raspberry Candy Melts, for the coating. Add a dash or five of chocolate sprinkles, and you’re all set to dive in!