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Easy Cheddar Cheese Popcorn

Cheesy and addictive, you won’t be able to stop eating this Cheddar Cheese Popcorn. Incredibly simple to make and using just a few ingredients, this stovetop popcorn recipe can be whipped up in minutes. It’s the perfect treat for home movie nights or a school snack for the kids!

easy cheesy popcorn feature image.

Often the star of holiday popcorn tins, this incredible cheese popcorn is combined with caramel popcorn to make the Chicago popcorn mix. Made with melted butter and delicious cheddar cheese powder, every bite has that amazing cheese flavor.

Why This Recipe Works?

  • Uses just a few ingredients.
  • Gluten Free* (see note below).
  • High in fiber.
  • Takes minutes to prepare.
  • Great treat for home movie night.
  • Perfect for homemade gifts.
  • Make Ahead recipe.
  • Kid friendly snack.
  • The Best Cheese Popcorn ever!!!

* Butter is naturally gluten free, some brands add flavor additives which may contain gluten – read the label!

second feature image of cheesy popcorn.

Main Ingredients

This recipe uses super easy ingredients that can be purchased online or from a local grocery store if they are not already in your kitchen. Read the Recipe Card for the measurements.

  • Popcorn Kernels – We prefer to use whole kernels and pop them ourselves. It is much more cost effective and healthier this way. As a time saver you can use microwaved popcorn (12 cups total).
  • Coconut Oil – This recipe uses coconut oil because it is a healthier fat and a flavor booster, giving the popcorn a mild nutty flavor. If you don’t have coconut oil, peanut oil is a good substitute or in a pinch, use olive oil.
  • Cheddar Cheese Powder – The star of the show, use a premium quality powder that is made from real cheese as this will have more natural flavor. We use this premium cheddar cheese powder, or another great option is this King Arthur brand.
  • Unsalted Butter – Butter helps the cheddar cheese powder stick to the popcorn. Using unsalted butter allows you to control how much salt is added.
  • Fine Sea Salt – This salt has a more complex flavor and is best for sticking and staying on the popcorn. You can substitute regular table salt.
ingredient photo of cheddar cheese popcorn ingredients.

How To Make Easy Cheddar Cheese Popcorn

Step 1: Test It

  • In a large, heavy bottom pot (6 quarts or larger) with a lid, add coconut oil and turn the heat to medium-high.
  • Once the coconut oil has melted, add 3 corn kernels, cover the pot and listen for the kernels to pop. This should take 1-2 minutes.
  • Once the 3 kernels have popped, this is an indication that the oil is hot enough for popping the corn. Add all the remaining kernels to the pot and give the pot a good shake (with the lid covered) to distribute the kernels evenly. Adjust the lid to be slightly ajar and continue cooking the kernels.
test to see if the oil is hot enough with 3 corn kernels.

Step 2: Pop It

  • Continue cooking the kernels while listening for the popping to stop, approximately 1-2 minutes.
pop the popcorn once the oil is hot enought.
  • Remove the lid from the pot and pour the popcorn into a large bowl, removing any unpopped kernels; set aside.
transfer the popcorn to a large bowl.

Step 3: Toss It

  • In a medium bowl, combine the cheddar cheese powder and sea salt; mix to combine.
  • Drizzle the melted butter, one tablespoon at a time, over the popcorn and toss to coat, alternate drizzling and tossing until all the butter is used up.
toss in the butter to the popcorn.

Step 4: Cheese It

  • Sprinkle the cheese powder and sea salt mixture over the popcorn and toss until the popcorn is evenly coated. Again, alternate sprinkling the cheese, one tablespoon at a time, and tossing the popcorn until all of the cheese has been added.
next, add the cheese mixture to the popcorn.

Enjoy immediately.

serve and enjoy!

Store on the countertop in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Other movie night snacks you might want to try are Chili Lime Flavored Roasted Chickpeas or Stovetop Candied Pecans.

Cheddar Cheese Popcorn

Cheddar Cheese Popcorn

Yield: 12 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Cheesy and addictive, you won't be able to stop eating this Cheddar Cheese Popcorn. Incredibly simple to make and using just a few ingredients, this stovetop popcorn recipe can be whipped up in minutes. It's the perfect treat for home movie nights or a school snack for the kids.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (substitute peanut or olive oil)
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1/3 cup cheddar cheese powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Instructions

  1. In a large, heavy bottom pot (6 quarts or larger) with a lid, add coconut oil and turn the heat to medium-high. Once the coconut oil has melted, add 3 corn kernels, cover the pot and listen for the kernels to pop. This should take 1-2 minutes.
  2. Once the 3 kernels have popped, this is an indication that the oil is hot enough for popping the corn. Add all the remaining kernels to the pot and give the pot a good shake (with the lid covered) to distribute the kernels evenly. Adjust the lid to be slightly ajar and continue cooking the kernels.
  3. Continue cooking the kernels while listening for the popping to stop, approximately 1-2 minutes. Remove the lid from the pot and pour the popcorn into a large bowl; set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the cheddar cheese powder and sea salt; mix to combine.
  5. Drizzle the melted butter, one tablespoon at a time, over the popcorn and toss to coat, alternate drizzling and tossing until all the butter is used up.
  6. Sprinkle the cheese powder and sea salt mixture over the popcorn and toss until the popcorn is evenly coated. Again, alternate sprinkling the cheese, one tablespoon at a time, and tossing the popcorn until all of the cheese has been added.
  7. Enjoy immediately.
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