Flavored Popcorn Recipes

Almost everyone loves popcorn and trying different recipes can add a zesty taste to the sheer fun of popping corn. Popcorn is not just a modern treat. Kernels have been found in 1,000-year-old tombs in Peru and ears of corn were discovered in a cave in New Mexico that were over 5,000 years old. Native Americans were cultivating it by the time Columbus landed on Hispaniola and they introduced it to the Pilgrims in the Plymouth colony in the 1600's.

Kids Cooking Activities Teaching Materials

Make teaching easier with our activities and recipes compiled in theme sets and books with an easy to read format

Perfect for teaching!

~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

Popping Methods

Stovetop Popping

Popcorn pops when moisture stored inside the kernel turns to steam. The pressure causes the kernel to explode and it turns inside out. Stove-popped popcorn is the traditional method of home popping. For most basic popcorn recipes, the necessary ingredients include: bowl
  • ¼ cup cooking oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup popcorn kernels
  • Seasonings of choice
Use a two-quart pan and add the oil, butter and popcorn. As the oil warms, begin shaking the pan back and forth on the burner. Have a lid at the ready so, when the popcorn begins to pop, you can cover the pan.

Continue shaking until the lid starts to lift or the corn stops popping. At this point, remove it from the stove and pour the popcorn into a bowl and season to taste. As a rule of thumb, one cup of popcorn kernels yields 24 cups of popped corn.

If you don't want to use your good cooking pots you can buy a stove top popcorn popper. This also makes it easier to stir the kernels with the turning knob on the side which eliminates having to shake the pan back and forth until the popcorn is done.
stove top popper
Stove-Top Popper

Microwave Popping

Theaters and carnivals use air poppers to pop the corn but this is not a practical solution for most homes. Microwave ovens offer a less labor-intensive method of popping corn than the stovetop method and it is also safer for kids to pop the corn themselves.

If you don't have any microwave popcorn in the pantry, you can make your own. Into a brown paper lunch sack add ¼ cup of unpopped kernels and a teaspoon of olive oil. Next, fold the top of the bag and shake it. You can use a couple of staples for good measure. Two staples won't cause your microwave to spark.

Place the bag into the microwave and set the timer to the popcorn setting. If your oven doesn't have a popcorn setting on the timer, cook it until the pops are about 5 seconds apart.

Try this silicone popcorn popper. It is easily stored and inexpensive.
popcorn silicone popper

Automatic Poppers

Automatic popcorn poppers are another method to pop popcorn. Entering the marketplace in 1925, they vary in features and quality. The best ones are dishwasher safe, have an oil level line for easy measuring, and small vents to release the steam.
air popper
Automatic Air Popper

Popcorn Seasoning Recipes

Popcorn recipes and flavors abound. Food companies make popcorn seasonings that appeal to any palate. Some of the most popular flavored popcorn recipes are nacho cheese, sour cream and onion, ranch, Cajun, barbecue, and apple cinnamon.

Seasonings for flavored popcorn recipes can also be made from scratch.
  • To satisfy a sweet-tooth, mix 1/3 cup of sugar and two teaspoons of cinnamon to sprinkle on the popped corn.

  • More exotic popcorn recipes might include mixing a teaspoon of curry power with ¾ teaspoon of ground turmeric and the same portion of ground ginger.

  • Pizza popcorn seasoning is a simple mixture of three tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese, a teaspoon dried oregano and ½ teaspoon of dried tomato powder.
sweet popcorn seasoning

Cajun flavored popcorn can be blended to taste but a basic one includes:
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of black, white, and red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
This will make a sufficient quantity to season four cups of popcorn or six cups if you don't want so much of a peppery zest per bite.

Caramel Popcorn Recipe

Of all the popcorn recipes, caramel popcorn is a traditional favorite. Round up the following ingredients:
caramel popcorn
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 5 quarts popped popcorn
Pour the popped popcorn into a large mixing bowl and preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and stir in the brown sugar, salt, and corn syrup. Stir mixture and bring to a boil for four minutes. Remove it from the burner and stir in soda and vanilla extract. Next, pour it over the popcorn while stirring it. Place the coated popcorn in a baking dish and bake for one hour.
**We added candy corn and peanuts to this picture but you can leave out.

Popcorn Ball Recipes

ballsYou can find several recipes for popcorn balls, however here is a simple favorite using only six ingredients.
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ¾ cup light corn syrup
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 gallon popped popcorn
Mix the sugar, syrup, molasses, butter and salt in a pan and cook over a medium heat for three minutes.
Then pour the ingredients over the popcorn and mix well. Form the popcorn into balls by hand and set them on a greased baking sheet.
With imaginative flavored popcorn recipes, you can transform a simple treat into something special. All of them are easy to make and inexpensive. With a little supervision, even the kids can become popcorn chefs.

See this idea on making popcorn balls into a snowman.

Candy Popcorn Ball

by Noah, Maine
This is not really a recipe. We just make popcorn and then mix in whatever we have or want at the time.

We put in different things for different seasons, also. Sometimes, it's pretzels (we use different shapes too, sometimes the sticks, sometimes the knots, or the checkerboards, we've even used yogurt covered pretzels before), nuts, dried fruit, sometimes candies, chocolate chips or peanut butter chips. We have put in teddy grahams before too.

We mix in whatever we want and then melt a package of marshmallows. Stir everything so it is coated with the melted marshmallows. You can make them into popcorn balls, but we usually just leave it in a big bowl and everybody can pick out of the bowl.
popcorn balls

More Popcorn Recipes

Submit your favorite kids recipe

Do you have a favorite recipe your kids love to make? Or a recipe your kids ask you to make again and again? Share it with us!

Follow Kids Cooking Activities

Pinterest youtube email newsletter