Movie nights are inevitable during winter. Whether you live somewhere cold and refuse to leave the house when it’s below 30°F (-1°C) (wise decision) or just live for Freeform’s 25 Days of Christmas movies, you and your couch are about to get some extra quality time. All the more reason for a movie snack upgrade.
When you make popcorn at home, you’re pretty much guaranteed to come up with something more nutritious than a movie theater bag… Those nutrition facts are downright frightening. But that doesn’t mean you need to skimp on flavor. These recipes show you how to make your popcorn sweet, savory, or spicy, with just a few extra ingredients.
1. Brown butter cinnamon sugar popcorn
Brown sugar cinnamon will forever remind us of our favorite childhood toaster pastries, and it turns out the flavor combo tastes just as good on popcorn. After all, you really can’t go wrong with cinnamon, sugar, and butter (ever). Melt the butter in a saucepan and let it turn to a golden brown color, then pour it over your ‘corn and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
2. Oven-roasted pizza popcorn
You had us at pizza. This popcorn would also be great to serve at a party or game day, and it definitely makes enough to feed a crowd. For the most part, you just need to raid your spice cabinet: This popcorn uses paprika, sea salt, garlic powder, oregano, and basil, plus a dash of hot sauce and freshly grated Parm. Ain’t no party like a pizza popcorn party.
3. Cinnamon bun popcorn
Protein popcorn might make your eyes roll, but trust us on this one. When you blend a scoop of vanilla protein powder with cinnamon and sweetener (like coconut sugar), you barely notice the taste. And by spraying the popcorn with coconut oil cooking spray, the cinnamon bun mix will stick well to the popcorn.
4. Spicy lime popcorn
If you like your snacks to pack a little heat, this one’s for you. It’s heavy on the spices, with a mix of cumin, chili powder, cayenne, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt. Lime juice and zest give it just the right amount of tang. We’re not saying you should snack on this with a marg in hand, but it wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world, either.
5. Dark chocolate sea salt popcorn
Chocolate and sea salt: A true classic. Popcorn is the perfect vehicle to get these two flavors in your mouth, and it’s crazy simple to make. Just melt a handful of dark chocolate chips, drizzle it over popcorn, and sprinkle with sea salt. The hard part? Trying to leave some for tomorrow.
6. Healthy popcorn trail mix
Popcorn is less the main event here and more of a fun addition. You can pop your own on the stovetop, use a microwave bag, or grab some of your favorite pre-packaged kernels. Mix your popcorn of choice with cashews, sunflower seeds, dried apricots, and cranberries, and shake it up. Easiest trail mix ever with lots of nutrients.
7. Everything bagel popcorn
Shout out to Trader Joe’s (and now so many others!) for making Everything but the Bagel seasoning, which turns this recipe into an easy two-step process. If you don’t start with a buttered popcorn, we recommend drizzling a little on top or spraying the popcorn with coconut oil spray before sprinkling with the seasoning.
8. Trail mix popcorn balls
A post-workout snack that includes popcorn? Count us in. Making them in cupcake liners is a pretty genius idea and makes grabbing one on the run so easy. The energy balls don’t actually require any baking, just refrigeration so all the nuts, popcorn, dates, and PB can meld together.
9. Holiday Santa munch mix
You kind of have to make this festive snack sometime during the holiday season… it’s too cute not to. Santa munch is made with popcorn, pretzels, nuts, white chocolate chips, and holiday M&Ms. Apparently, Santa likes to nom on all the same snacks we do, so looks like we’re making double.