Popcorn is a great snack for a large family or just one person that’s good any time of day. It can be salty or sweet; healthy or decadent. I know many people are totally happy eating popcorn plain, but just in case you like variety here are eleven different ways to change the flavor of popcorn.
A teaspoon of olive oil has about 20 calories, while the same amount of butter has 34 calories. While olive oil is healthier for you (2 g of fat per tsp) sometimes butter creates a tastier flavor with certain spices. The following popcorn topping recipes are just some suggestions and it’s up to you to decide if you’d prefer to use olive oil over butter each time.
Savory Popcorn Toppings
Paprika and Parsley
Mix 2 T chopped parsley leaves, 1 tsp popcorn salt, and 2 T paprika. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over a bowl of freshly popped popcorn, sprinkle the dry seasonings over the top of it, and toss it all together.
Cumin and Nutritional Yeast
Combine 1 tsp popcorn salt, ½ tsp ground cumin, and 2 T nutritional yeast. You can add in a pinch of cayenne pepper if you like spicy foods. Lightly coat the popcorn in a bit of olive oil and sprinkle the dry ingredients evenly over the top and mix well.
Garlic and Butter
Melt 2 T butter and drizzle over the top of a bowl of freshly made popcorn. Shake a small amount of garlic powder over the top of the popcorn and toss well. You can taste it to see if you need to add more. Some people like a strong garlic flavor and others prefer just a hint of garlic. You could also sprinkle a bit of Parmesan cheese over the top.
For a quick, but often very salty option, you can drizzle olive oil over the top of a bowl of popcorn and sprinkle a small amount of the seasoning from a packet of Ramen noodles. I’d start with a little bit at a time and work up from there. If you dump a whole packet at once, you might not enjoy the outcome as much as if you start small!
As with the Ramen packet seasoning, you can do the same thing with the powdered cheese packet that comes in a macaroni and cheese box. I think it tastes better with melted butter, instead of olive oil though. Use about 2 T of melted butter to drizzle over the top of the popcorn and then sprinkle the powdered cheese on top. Be sure to do it evenly and toss well to avoid lots of dry, cheesy clumps.
Salt and Pepper
There’s nothing better than a simple mix of salt and pepper for a quick, tasty bowl of popcorn. You can use olive oil or butter to moisten up the popcorn so the salt and pepper will stick. It’s up to you on your taste preference or of you have a dairy intolerance.
Lime Juice and Chili Powder
Here’s a ‘South of the Border’ combo. Drizzle olive oil over your popcorn and sprinkle on 2 tsp chili powder. Squeeze 1 to 2 T lime juice onto the top of the seasoned popcorn and toss it quickly. If you let it set too long, it’ll get a bit soggy.
Sweet Popcorn Toppings
Cinnamon and Sugar
Drizzle 1 tsp melted butter or coconut oil on top of a bowl of popcorn and sprinkle with 1 tsp sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon. Toss the popcorn to evenly coat it.
Mix 1 C powdered sugar, 1 tsp maple syrup, and add just enough milk for desired consistency. Drizzle the mix over a fresh batch of popcorn and toss quickly to avoid sogginess. Eat it right away!
Here’s a great Whirley-Pop Stovetop Popcorn Popper that could be used over any type of heat!
Heat up ¼ C agave nectar and mix in 2 T peanut butter when the agave nectar is warm. Coat your popcorn evenly. This is a great coating for day-old popcorn as well!
Sprinkle a handful of mini chocolate chips on top of a hot batch of popcorn and toss well. Be ready to get messy with this batch of popcorn! You can also use other flavors of chips too…butterscotch, peanut butter, mint chocolate, etc.
Whichever type of topping you choose, I hope you enjoy your popcorn to the fullest. It’s an excellent snack and you don’t have to eat it plain if you don’t want to!
What’s your favorite popcorn topping?