Snacks are as crucial a component of movie night as what you’re watching, whether you’re at the theater or staying in. We take our movie munchies seriously, which means ditching concession stand grub like fake-butter popcorn and sugar-saturated slushies. But we also don’t want to settle for plain fruit or a boring bowl of nuts.
Find that happy medium with these 21 movie snacks. Some are easy to sneak into the theater (don’t worry, we won’t tell), and others are perfect for at-home binge-watching sessions, but all of them will earn rave reviews.
1. Wonton Taco Cups
Tacos may not be the most practical movie night dish (it’s hard to keep your eyes on the screen when you’re making sure the filling isn’t slipping out). But now you can get all the flavors without the fuss in these easier-to-handle cups. The crispy wontons do a great job of holding the meat without spillage, so you get to enjoy the film and your food.
2. Air Fryer Popcorn Tofu
Popcorn meets chicken nuggets meets tater tots in these baked-not-fried tofu bites—so basically, they’re the perfect finger food. No air fryer? No problem. The blogger thoughtfully includes instructions for how to make these babies in the oven for similar results.
3. Sweet Potato and Avocado Bites
For a nutritious switch-up, try pairing your guacamole with baked sweet potato rounds instead of tortilla chips. A dollop of the avocado mix goes right on top of each slice, saving you the trouble of scooping.
4. Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
It never fails to surprise us just how versatile chickpeas are—when roasted, they can substitute as a higher-protein alternative to popcorn. Here, they’re dusted with fragrant spices such as paprika, chili, and turmeric. But feel free to throw on any of your favorite popcorn flavorings—even sweet ones work.
5. Vegan Spicy Black Bean Nachos
Nachos are a necessity no matter which movie or TV show you’re watching—who doesn’t love digging into a plate of cheese and avocado-topped chips? This vegan-friendly one adds a scattering of spiced black beans for some meatiness and protein. (This is strictly for at-home movie nights, but we bet you probably already knew that.)
6. Healthy Auntie Annie’s Pretzels
If your mall movie theater ritual inevitably includes a pit stop at Auntie Annie’s, we don’t blame you (who can resist the buttery aroma coming out of that place?!). Get the same flavors with a fraction of the fat with this easy homemade recipe, which allows you to customize the flavorings. Don’t worry if your “pretzel shape” looks nothing like it’s supposed to; you’re going for taste here.
7. Sriracha Ranch Popcorn
Spicy from the Sriracha and tangy from the ranch seasoning, this popcorn is seriously delicious. And instead of endless streams of that weird, butter-flavored oil used at the theater, this recipe goes for just two tablespoons of the real stuff for the ideal amount of richness.
8. Beet Chips
Beets can be a polarizing vegetable—people either love or despise them. But dust some slices with your favorite spices and bake them to a chip-like crisp, and they’ll get a unanimous four-star rating.
9. Pepperoni Pizza Puffs
Pizza is one of the best foods for movie night, but if you aren’t hungry enough for a full pie, these puffs are your answer. They manage to be cheesy, meaty, and still incredibly light all at the same time, and baking them in mini muffin tins makes the process super easy (plus, allows for portion control).
10. Crispy Parmesan Garlic Edamame
Edamame is so much more than a boiled and salted appetizer here. Jazzed up with garlic powder and Parmesan, they get addictively crispy, and the cheese helps the beans stick together to form popcorn-like clusters.
11. Onion Kale Chips
Even people who say they hate kale will love these kale chips. How could they not? With onion powder, cheesy nutritional yeast, and a hint of spice from chili powder, these practically taste like Pringles.
12. Strawberry Mango Salsa With Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Chips
This recipe puts a sweet spin on chips and salsa with cinnamon sugar-dusted tortilla triangles and a fruity mix for dunking. Jalapeño, cilantro, and lime elevate the chopped strawberries, mango, and kiwi from a regular fruit salad to salsa status.
13. Vegan Peanut Butter Temptations
A peanut butter cup-stuffed peanut butter cookie may not strike you as the healthiest treat ever, but as far as peanut butter cup-stuffed peanut butter cookies go, these make some surprisingly better-for-you choices by using coconut sugar and chia seeds but staying away from white flour. They may not be for everyday eats, but they certainly fit the bill for a well-deserved night at the movies.
14. Not Quite Maltesers
Can’t watch a movie without a big tub of malted chocolate balls? Recreate the concession stand staple with more wholesome ingredients than glucose syrup and palm fat. This gluten-free recipe has nuts at its base and goes for dark chocolate instead of milk for a few more antioxidants.
15. Healthy 3-Ingredient No Bake Junior Mint Cups
They look like chocolate peanut butter cups, but these pretty bites are dedicated to that other theater treat, Junior Mints. With the same dark chocolaty outside and melty mint center, they’re the perfect clones of the original where taste is concerned. But made with just three ingredients—none of them involving corn syrup—they’re considerably healthier.
16. Vegan Gummy Fruit Snacks
Tell us we weren’t the only ones who snuck bags of gummy bears into movie theaters as kids and demolished them. This recipe is a nod to those childhood memories, but goes for pure fruit juice and agar powder for a vegan and more real food-based version of the sticky sweets. You can go all out with the gummy bear molds, but any candy mold will do.
17. Healthy Ice Cream Sandwiches
Klondike’s got nothing on these Paleo, gluten-free, and vegan ice cream sandwiches. Not only does making these nut-based, date-sweetened treats at home give you a healthier snack, but you also have control over portions—cut them as large or small as you’d like.
18. Healthy S’mores Dip
Bring this campfire favorite inside and serve it up in dip form to make the perfect sweet snack for movie night. The chocolate base tastes like brownie batter, and the gooey marshmallow layer gives it the signature s’mores flavor, but you’ll never guess that hiding in the middle of it all is an entire can’s worth of protein-rich chickpeas.
19. Milk Dud Mini Muffins
Instead of mindlessly munching on Milk Duds, turn them into mini muffins. The gooey surprise waiting in the middle of each chocolaty treat will turn any movie-watching experience into a major hit.
20. Raw Vegan Cookie Dough Bites
Movie night isn’t complete without a dessert involving cookie dough, even if you’re trying to eat a bit cleaner. Egg-free, lower in sugar, and higher in fiber thanks to oats and cashews, these balls of dough will satisfy any cookie craving the healthy way.It doesn’t matter if you’re a snickerdoodle, chocolate chip, or oatmeal fan, you’ll be happy.
21. Almond and Peanut Butter Caramel Popcorn
Caramel corn is sweet. Really sweet. Often too sweet. This recipe cuts that overly sugary taste with a slightly savory and healthier peanut butter-based caramel, and dusts the popped kernels in almond flour and flakes for an extra nutty flavor.