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Flavored Popcorn Recipes and Ideas

Caramel popcorn

Here are flavoring ideas for embellishing freshly made popcorn. These recipes make enough to flavor a 10-cup batch (from about 1/2 cup kernels). If you air-pop or use fat-free microwave popcorn, you might like to drizzle 2 tablespoons or so of melted Earth Balance or coconut oil into the popcorn just before adding the seasonings. My favorite way to pop corn is in an Old Fashioned Popcorn Popper like the one made by Jacob Bromwell. Very low-tech, but it seems to bring out the best flavor from the popcorn. I like to start with 2 tablespoons or so safflower or organic virgin coconut oil per 1/2 cup of kernels.

Savory flavorings

Add salt to these mixes, or not, as preferred, and increase or decrease the amount of seasonings suggested here to your taste.

CHILI-SPICED POPCORN: Combine 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin. Sprinkle over hot popcorn and toss well.

PIZZA-FLAVORED POPCORN: Combine 1 teaspoon dried oregano or Italian seasoning, 2 teaspoons tomato powder, and 1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes.

HERB-AND-SPICE POPCORN: Simply sprinkle hot popcorn with a teaspoon or two of your favorite seasoning blend, like Mrs. Dash or Spike.

NUTRITIONAL YEAST AND/OR A FLAVORED OIL: A great combo is flavored oil (like garlic-infused olive oil) instead of the aforementioned Earth Balance or coconut oil) a generous sprinkling of nutritional yeast — an easy way to get flavor and Vitamin B12!

Sweet seasonings

Spicy popcornPUMPKIN PIE POPCORN: Melt 2 tablespoonsEarth Balance or organic virgin coconut oil in a small saucepan. Stir in 1 to 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice and 3 tablsespoons agave nectar or maple syrup. Drizzle evenly over hot popcorn.

CARAMEL OR PEANUT-CARAMEL POPCORN: For a Cracker Jack-type mix, melt 2 to 3 tablespoons Earth Balance or organic virgin coconut oil in a small saucepan. Stir in 3 tablespoons natural granulated sugar and stir until melted. Stir 1 cup peanuts into the popcorn. Drizzle the mixture from the saucepan over the popcorn and peanuts and toss well. Let cool completely before serving.

ALMOND-MAPLE POPCORN: Melt 2 tablespoons Earth Balance or organic virgin coconut oil in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat and stir in 3 tablespoons maple syrup. Stir 1 cup toasted almonds into the popcorn. Drizzle the mixture from the saucepan over the popcorn and almonds and toss well. Let cool completely before serving.

Popcorn mixes

Combine your freshly popped corn with nuts, dried fruits, tiny pretzels, and whatever seasonings you fancy at the moment, and don’t shy away from combining sweet and salty flavors!

Popcorn in a bowl

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13 Comments

  • Reply
    Dhonna
    November 15, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    these sound good, I will definitely try coconut oil, where do you get tomato powder?

  • Reply
    Barbara
    February 26, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    A little Braggs and nutritional yeast is very tasty too.

  • Reply
    Barbara
    February 26, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Put Braggs Aminos in a spray bottle and spray on popcorn which will give it a salty taste and then for a cheesy flavor add Nutritional Yeast.

  • Reply
    Leslie
    February 28, 2012 at 12:58 am

    Olive oil, Nutritional yeast, garlic granules, onion granules, sea salt and DILL weed. Yes – Dill – yummy! I make a mix in a jar and shake (all ingredients in jar except for the oil, of course) and have ready for use anytime. I have this seasoned popcorn all the time.
    Note: I like using granules instead of onion/garlic powder. But you could use powder if that’s what you have.

  • Reply
    Nava
    February 29, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    These sound delicious, Barbara and Leslie; thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    August 26, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    We love to spray with canola oil and sprinkle with nutritional yeast, Old Bay seasoning, and of course salt.

  • Reply
    Ashley
    May 17, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    I use furi-kake! (the japanese seasoning used to flavor rice balls)

  • Reply
    Natasha Emerson
    June 4, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    Oh, yikes!

    So many great ideas! I know where my evening is going… Maybe my neighbors will finally like me once this popcorn making business is finished 😉

    Thank you for such inspiration!
    (My neighbors thank you, too)

  • Reply
    Seth
    September 21, 2016 at 9:22 am

    To Ashley about furikake, it’s not vegan/vegetarian. Furikake is made in part from dried and ground up fish.

    • Reply
      Nava
      September 21, 2016 at 9:25 am

      Yikes, thanks for clarifying that, Seth. Ground-up fish on popcorn doesn’t sound good at all (not to mention your point about it being not veg/vegan).

  • Reply
    Debi
    December 5, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    Can I use Spaghetti powder instead of tomato powder for the Pizza popcorn recipe.

  • Reply
    Sandy
    December 6, 2016 at 11:38 am

    Regarding furikake, not all of them use fish, there are many types/flavors including one with only seaweed and sesame seeds which is what I use.

  • Reply
    Little Plastic Footprint
    November 3, 2018 at 2:42 am

    This is great. We’ve started buying popcorn in bulk to minimize our plastic waste so have been looking for different flavoring ideas. Thanks for the suggestions!

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