21 Ways to Pimp Your Popcorn

By AmiLin McClure


Popcorn is literally the best snack out there. It’s whole grain, low-cal and still gives you that satisfying chip-like crunch that everyone craves. But why stop at just salt and butter when you can get creative and deck out your crunchy corn? Here’s how. Disclaimer: Netflix binges will never be the same.

1. Dark Chocolate, Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Popcorn


This luscious popcorn is the prime example of a great sweet ‘n salty combo. The crunchy kernels with smooth chocolate and PB make this a perfect munchie to pair with basically any movie. 

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minute
Total Time: 1-2 hours


5-6 cups popcorn
2 tablespoons butter
Salt, to taste
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate
1 ½ tablespoons creamy peanut butter
½ cup white chocolate


1. Toss popcorn with 2 tablespoons of melted butter and lightly salt to taste. Spread in an even layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

2. Combine semi-sweet chocolate and peanut butter in a bowl and melt on high in 30-second intervals. After each interval, stir the mixture so your chocolate doesn’t burn. It should be good to go after 1:30.

3. Once the chocolate and peanut butter is completely melted and combined, use a spoon to generously drizzle over the popcorn.

4. Melt white chocolate in the microwave on 20-second intervals, stirring with each break. It should be done after a minute.

5. Again, drizzle melted white chocolate over popcorn.

6. Let the chocolate harden (it’s faster if you let it sit in the fridge and shouldn’t take more than an hour).

7. Once the chocolate is hard, break the popcorn into pieces and serve!

2. Chai Caramel Corn


Nothing is better than a chai tea latte on a chilly autumn day, but us college student can’t really afford $4 drinks on the reg. However, now you can make this super simple and seriously addicting chai flavored popcorn using just a few simple ingredients. It’ll be gone in no time. Make it this way.

3. Peppermint Bark Popcorn


Whoever thought of combining dark chocolate and peppermint is a genius because it’s literally perfection. But imagine that rich peppermint bark drizzled over some crunchy and salty popcorn. Trust me, you’ll be wanting to make this all year round. Recipe here.

4. Sriracha Sesame Popcorn


This Asian-inspired popcorn recipe is perfect for all hot sauce lovers, and the sesame adds an irresistible nutty flavor. Here’s how.

5. Tequila Caramel Corn


Tequila and popcorn aren’t the first combo that come to my mind, but once you try this you’ll soon realize it’s better than those ole time Cracker Jacks. This booze-infused recipe is a great snack for when you’re on-the go, or when you’re headed out to the club. Make it like this.

6. Garlic and Herb Popcorn


This savory popcorn is perfect when regular popcorn just doesn’t do it for ya. And it’s a great alternative to that carb-loaded garlic bread, because it basically is the same thing but with waaaay less calories. Be sure to check out the other popcorn recipes pictured above that can be created in just minutes. Find the original recipe here.

7. Choco-Cinnamon Popcorn


This warm, cinnamon-flavored, chocolate-covered popcorn is definitely one you’ll want to try out. Feel free to amp it up with other yummy spices or toppings including cayenne, dried fruit, pretzels or shredded coconut. Recipe here.

8. Crouton Alternative


Talk about a low calorie choice that can add both flavor and texture to your salad. You can go with classic salt 'n butter, or kettle corn if you’ve got a sweet tooth. This is definitely a healthy, delicious and crunchy alternative to oily croutons. Here’s how.

9. M&M Popcorn


Whoever thought of this mash-up really had their head on straight. This M&M popcorn is literally the easiest snack to make and only calls for 2 ingredients and a microwave. Save some money and sneak this popcorn into the theater. (Somewhat obvious) recipe here.

10. Cheddar Dusted Popcorn


If you’re tired of the same old vending machine snacks, this Cheetos popcorn recipe will fix that. Not only does it make popcorn flavorful, but also does so in a inexpensive, quick and simple way. Learn how here.

11. Cookies 'n Cream Popcorn


Give your popcorn a little cream and your cookies a little extra crunch, by making this Oreo and popcorn mash-up. Your tastebuds will certainly thank you. Make it this way.

12. Curry-Dusted Popcorn


Keepin’ this snack on the savory side, this Indian-inspired curry powder popcorn will introduce you to a whole new world. Bonus: curry helps boost your immune system, so if you’re feeling a little under the weather, be sure to snack on this. Find the recipe here.

13. Chocolate-Drizzled Popcorn


Whether you need a mid-day snack or are in need of a late-night treat, this chocolate-drizzled popcorn is a quick and easy way to hop on that sweet and salty bandwagon. Make it like this.

14. Cheesy Garlic Popcorn


Cheese and herb popcorn doesn’t have to come from a bag that’s basically ¾ air. All you need is some kernels and an herb mixture of garlic, fennel, basil, and thyme. Warning: after munching on this you’ll definitely have some garlic breath, so be sure to pick up a pack of mints. Find the recipe here.

15. Candy Cane Popcorn


Dessert is one of the best parts of the holiday season, and what better way to celebrate than with one that’s easy to prepare? Be sure to make enough of this bright and colorful treat for family and friends cause they’ll definitely love it.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Servings: 3-4


1 pound bag Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses
4 small candy canes
1 bag popcorn, lightly buttered


1. Pop your bag of popcorn. Most microwaves have a ‘popcorn’ button to press for the perfect time. After it’s popped, spread the popcorn out in a pan.

2. Melt about 25 Hershey’s kisses in the microwave for 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Repeat one time.

3. Drizzle the melted kisses over top of the popcorn.

4. Next, crush up the candy canes into small pieces. Put them in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin or wine bottle to smash them into bits without making a mess.

5. Sprinkle the crushed candy canes on the popcorn. Then put it in the fridge for about 10 minutes so the chocolate can harden and there you have it! A holiday dessert/snack that you can get away with any time of year.

16. Everything Bagel Popcorn


Imagine being able to eat bagels all day everyday. Yes, they’re beyond delicious, but they’re definitely not your waistline’s best friend. But imagine that same everything bagel flavor in your mouth in a popcorn version. Yup, you’ve just found your new significant other. Make it like this.

17. Popcorn Balls


A unique twist off of this plain old snack, popcorn balls take this crunchy corn to a whole new level. They’re super easy to make and a sweet way to treat yourself. You can even make them in your dorm kitchen. Watch how to make 'em here.

18. Microwaveable Caramel Popcorn


Caramel popcorn is a signature treat that’s especially perfect during the fall. The warm, sweet and salty flavors just feel sooo right. This is great as an afternoon snack with some apple slices. Make it like this.

19. Rosemary Parmesan Popcorn

This savory and cheesy goodness is so ah-mazing it’s just too good not to make. The creamy parmesan cheese complimented by a slight herby flavor will make your mouth explode. Recipe here.

20. DIY Microwave Popcorn

Looking for the convenience of microwavable popcorn without all the extra chemicals from fake butter and loads of salt? Well, you’re in luck cause now you can make your very own microwave popcorn with just a brown paper bag and some popcorn kernels. Here’s how.

21. Popcorn S'more Candy Pie


A slice of this pie made of graham cracker crust, chocolate, marshmallows, M&M’s and salty popcorn is definitely not for the faint of heart. Make it like this.

Photos by Alina Polishuk, Alex Furuya, Hannah Skiest, Megan McCormack, Chelsea Hawk, Anna Beckerman, Jocelyn Hsu, Rachel Livengood, Lexa Rowland, Benj Shapiro,  Brooke Gabriel, Kirby Barth, Anna Beckerman, Brooke Wells, Megan Suckut, Meredith Marcus, Caitlin Schnack and Aurelie Corinthios.

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