Everyone loves popcorn. It is just a fact. Popcorn is such a versatile and yummy snack. It is also fairly inexpensive and easy to make at home. You can enjoy popcorn anytime of year and on any occasion. We all love a big bowl of popcorn for movie night but it is also a perfect party snack.
While we are all familiar with salty, buttery popcorn, you may not know how many other great flavors of popcorn there are. There are tons of different popcorn recipes, both savory and sweet. You can find a type of popcorn to satisfy any craving.
Does flavored popcorn sound delicious? They definitely are. And we are going to tell you all about the 16 best sweet and savory gourmet popcorn flavors that you need to try. While buttered popcorn is great, the different flavors of popcorn are going to open up a whole new work of yummy snacks for you.
Must-Try Savory Popcorn Flavors
Popcorn is traditionally a savory snack. It is crunchy, salty, buttery, and irresistible. However, you may grow tired of basic popcorn after a while. If you are looking for something more exciting and enticing to your taste buds, there are even more types of savory popcorn flavors that you may want to try.
One of the best things about gourmet popcorn is that you can actually customize the snack to be exactly what you like. Do you like spicy popcorn? You can look for popcorn flavors that pack a little heat. Do you go crazy for cheese? Then a cheesy popcorn might be right up your alley. We have compiled a list of the 8 best savory popcorn flavors that will make your taste buds sing. Check them out and see which makes you drool in culinary anticipation.
1. Nacho Cheese Popcorn
Cheesy popcorn is always incredible but nacho cheese popcorn is one of the most popular flavors of gourmet popcorn out there. Additionally, this delicious snack is also incredibly easy to make. All you really need is cheddar cheese powder and popped popcorn and you are ready to go.
You read that correctly- Just one simple additional ingredient makes perfect nacho cheese popcorn. You can find cheddar cheese powder in some grocery stores or you can order a bottle online. Simply shake it over a bowl of popped popcorn and you have cheesy, delicious popcorn in seconds. You can also sprinkle the cheese powder directly into your popcorn bag, give the bag a good shake, then pour the cheddar cheese popcorn into bowls. Easy snacks like this really are the best.
2. White Cheddar Popcorn
White cheddar popcorn is so popular that you can find it in almost every grocery store across the country. Pre-popped bags of white cheddar popcorn are super common — and for good reason. That cheesy, tangy taste is irresistible.
While you definitely can buy white cheddar popcorn, you can also make your own crunchy popcorn with white cheddar cheese. Find a bottle of white cheddar seasoning and you are ready to go. Just like with nacho popcorn, you simply pop your popcorn kernels, sprinkle the warm popcorn with the white cheddar cheese and it is ready to eat.
3. Spicy Jalapeno Popcorn
Anyone who loves spice is going to go crazy for spicy jalapeno popcorn. It takes the traditional, salty taste of popcorn and really turns it up a notch. Jalapeno popcorn is also pretty unique so it is sure to surprise and delight your taste buds.
To make jalapeno popcorn, you can either use diced pickled jalapenos or look for jalapeno seasoning in your grocery store. Toss the pickled jalapenos or the seasoning with some popped popcorn and your delicious new snack is ready. You can also customize how spicy you want your popcorn simply by adding more or less jalapeno. Custom popcorn flavors are the best.
4. Dill Pickle Popcorn
Dill pickle popcorn may sound a little strange at first but, once you give it a try, you will be hooked. Dill pickles and popcorn actually make a great combo. The crunchy popcorn is a little savory, a little sour, and completely addictive.
To get that dill pickle flavor on your popcorn, simply add some salt, pepper, and sill seasoning to the popped popcorn and toss everything together. If you want a stronger pickle taste, drizzle a little pickle juice over the popped popcorn and eat it right away. You really will be surprised by how delicious this flavor combo is.
5. Imitation Movie Theater Popcorn
Movie theater popcorn is the most classic flavor of popcorn. It can be hard to get that authentic movie theater popcorn taste at home but we know the secret. Follow these simple steps and your popcorn will taste even better than what you get at the theater.
The best way to get movie theater popcorn at home is to make freshly popped popcorn on the stovetop in a pan. You can also use an air popper if you have one. Once you have that freshly popped popcorn, drizzle it with some melted butter and a sprinkle of salt. You will have a delicious, buttery treat that is even better than what you get at the movie theater.
6. Ranch Popcorn
You may be surprised to learn that the ranch popcorn flavor is one of the most popular types of popcorn out there. Ranch seasoning has a tangy, savory taste that goes really well with crunchy, salty popcorn. And, the best part is that it is super easy to make.
The best way to make gourmet ranch popcorn is to add a packet of ranch seasoning to freshly popped popcorn. Most grocery stores will have pre-made packets of ranch mix but you can also make your own. Simply combine equal amounts of garlic powder, onion powder, dill, mustard powder, salt and pepper. Sprinkle the ranch seasoning over the popcorn and then enjoy. It is as easy as that.
7. Cajun Popcorn
Cajun popcorn is a perfect blend of creole seasoning and crunchy popcorn. It is a little spicy so it will add a whole lot of excitement to your bowl of popcorn. If you are looking for something with a little bit of heat and a ton of savory flavors, cajun popcorn may be the way to go.
You can make cajun popcorn by sprinkling cajun seasoning over freshly popped popcorn. You can also make your own cajun seasoning by combining black pepper, white pepper, cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika. As you can see, there’s a lot of pepper which means there’s a lot of heat. But it is so, so tasty…
8. Parmesan Cheese Popcorn
Parmesan cheese and popcorn may seem like a weird combination at first. You are probably used to cheddar cheese and white cheddar cheese with popcorn but parmesan? Trust us- it is so good. It is a great savory, cheesy snack that is also bursting with umami flavor.
Parmesan cheese popcorn is a little lighter than white cheddar popcorn and it is actually pretty low in calories. To make parmesan popcorn, you simply need to sprinkle your popped popcorn with a little salt, pepper and freshly grated parmesan cheese. If your popcorn is warm, the cheese will melt over the popcorn making an even more irresistible snack.
Sweet Gourmet Popcorn Flavors
Popcorn is traditionally a savory snack. However, this buttery snack is actually quite versatile and can easily become a sweet snack. All you need to do is season it correctly to create a sweet, salty treat.
We thought about the best, classic sweet popcorn flavors and then came up with a few new gourmet popcorn flavors that will satisfy any sweet tooth. These popcorn flavors are more like desserts — and we can’t get enough of them!
1. Kettle Corn
Kettle corn may be the most common sweet popcorn flavor. It can be found at carnivals and circuses around the world. Kettle corn is a little sweet and a little salty which makes it the perfect snack for any occasion.
To make kettle corn at home, it is best to add the white sugar to the pan along with the popcorn kernels. As the popcorn cooks, the sugar will melt and add tons of flavor to the popcorn. A tablespoon or two of white sugar will do wonders in your popcorn pan. Homemade kettle corn is even better than anything you find at a local fair.
2. S’Mores Popcorn
S’mores are a summertime treat that everyone loves. You can get that chocolate, marshmallow flavor all year long when you turn your s’mores into popcorn. S’mores popcorn is a little more unique than other sweet popcorn flavors on this list but that is just another reason why we love it. Unique gourmet popcorn flavors are always exciting.
To make s’mores popcorn, mix melted milk chocolate, melted marshmallows, and graham cracker crumbs into your popped popcorn. Toss everything together quickly so the melted ingredients really stick to the crunchy popcorn. The s’mores popcorn combo may be a little messy to eat but it is so worth it.
3. Birthday Cake Popcorn
Looking for a special birthday treat? Why not make birthday cake popcorn? It is exciting, unique, and perfect for any celebration. Of course, it doesn’t have to be a real birthday to enjoy birthday cake popcorn- you can eat it for a movie night, an afternoon snack, or as a weeknight dessert.
To make birthday cake popcorn you will need a few things.
First, mix together some melted marshmallows, then mix in some packed vanilla cake mix, a splash of vanilla extract, and a tiny bit of milk. Add some popped popcorn to the bowl and mix it all up. Add some rainbow sprinkles to make the birthday cake popcorn even more appealing to your sweet tooth. This gourmet popcorn flavor is sure to delight everyone.
4. Caramel Corn
Caramel corn is another classic, sweet popcorn flavor that you may have tried before. You can buy caramel corn in tins or bags but it is definitely most delicious when you make it fresh. And, oh boy, what a fantastic sweet snack it is.
To make caramel corn, you can start by making some fresh popped popcorn. Then, add some brown sugar and corn syrup to a small pot and bring it to a boil over medium heat. When the mix starts to thicken, remove the pot from the heat, let it cool slightly, then pour it over your popcorn. Toss the popcorn quickly in the caramel and then enjoy. You won’t believe how amazing fresh caramel corn can be.
5. Peanut Butter Popcorn
Peanut butter and popcorn is another unexpected but amazing flavor combo. It is sweet, savory, and absolutely delicious. The best part about peanut butter popcorn is how easy it is to make. You can make it right in your own kitchen in mere minutes.
Add some peanut butter, sugar, and a little corn syrup to a small pot and heat over medium heat. Once the peanut butter is melted and smooth, it is ready to toss with some popped popcorn. Mix the popcorn well so that it is completely coated in the sweet peanut butter. Then, it is time to enjoy this unique but tasty popcorn flavor.
6. Sea Salt Caramel Popcorn
Sea salt caramel popcorn is similar to the classic caramel corn however it has a little bit of a twist to it- the sea salt. Salted caramel is a decadent flavor that really stands out. It is especially good when paired with popcorn which is also buttery and salty. It is amazing how much flavor that little bit of sea salt can add.
To make sea salt caramel popcorn flavor, you can follow the same method for traditional caramel corn. Once the caramel sauce is boiling, you can add a little bit of flakey sea salt. Toss the salted caramel with your popped popcorn and tada. A sweet and salty treat is ready for you to enjoy.
7. Peppermint Bark Mocha Popcorn
This unique popcorn flavor is great for the holiday season. It is made with the classic chocolate and peppermint flavor that is always popular around the holidays. But, of course, it is also made with salty, crunchy popcorn. The combination is incredible.
To make peppermint bark mocha popcorn, you start by melting peppermint candies and tossing some popped popcorn into the melted peppermint syrup. Then, you can melt some dark chocolate chips and drizzle the chocolate over the peppermint popcorn. Sprinkle some crushed peppermint candies on top of the chocolate popcorn to make it look as appealing as it tastes. Eat it right away or pack the gourmet popcorn into bags and give it as a gift. Everyone will adore this peppermint bark mocha popcorn.
8. Cinnamon Sugar Popcorn
Cinnamon sugar popcorn is super easy to make and it is also a traditional flavor combination that can’t be beaten. Cinnamon sugar tastes good on just about everything, including popcorn. Adding it to salt, buttery popcorn is just such a good idea.
Pop your popcorn and then mix it with a little melted butter. The butter will help the cinnamon sugar stick to the popcorn. Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar over the buttered popcorn and mix well. This is such a simple, sweet snack to make but the flavors are truly delicious.
How to Season Your Freshly Popped Popcorn
In order to make perfect, gourmet popcorn, you need to know how to season it properly. There are a few tricks to getting the seasoning just right.
The first thing you should do before seasoning popcorn is; toss the popcorn in a little melted butter. Melted butter will help dry seasonings stick to the popcorn better. Use salted butter which will give the popcorn an extra flavor boost.
If you are adding sauces or melted syrups to your popped popcorn, you want to stir them into the popcorn quickly while the sauce and popcorn are both still hot. This will help the sauces coat the popcorn evenly and get flavor into every, single bite. Just be sure to also let the popcorn sit for a few minutes before eating- you don’t want it to be so hot that it burns your mouth.
Get More Snack Break Inspiration
There are so many amazing types of gourmet, flavored popcorn to try. From savory flavors to sweet treat tastes, there really is a perfect popcorn for everyone. So pick a flavor and give it a try. You can really transform popcorn in just a few simple steps and make it into a whole new, irresistible snack. Enjoy.