This simple homemade cheese popcorn recipe takes only a few minutes to prepare. A delectable, cheesy snack ideal for movie night, parties, and gifting.
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Popcorn is a traditional snack that can be seasoned in numerous ways. It can be savory or sweet, such as caramel popcorn or this homemade kettle corn.
One of my favorite ways to make air popped popcorn is with cheese. We enjoy serving it at home for family movie nights, birthday parties, or simply as a fun after-school snack.
This popcorn has a delicious cheddar flavor that is difficult to put down!
- Cheddar cheese powder – This is the secret ingredient responsible for the perfect cheesy flavor. It’s similar to the cheese powder found in boxed macaroni and cheese. Cheese powder can be found in the grocery store (I found mine in the popcorn aisle) or online.
- Popcorn – You can either make your own or use microwave popcorn. If you’re using a bag of popcorn, make sure it’s plain, white popcorn.
- This recipe calls for unsalted, sweet cream butter. The butter aids in the adhesion of the cheese powder to the popcorn. Melt the butter in the microwave or over a low heat on the stove.
THE BEST CHEESE POWDER FOR POPCORN
First and foremost, we must address the cheese powder situation before moving on to the tips and tricks for the how-tos.
I worked really hard to come up with a way to make cheddar popcorn with real cheese.
I microwaved cheddar cheese before pulsing it in a spice grinder, which worked sort of. It wasn’t great, and it was still clumpy, and it wasn’t working out as well as I had hoped.
To be honest, I’d given up. I didn’t want to buy a huge bag of powder from Amazon because: A) where am I going to put that?! and B) will I ever make enough cheddar popcorn to last my entire life?! I wasn’t sure because I had so many reservations.
Having said that, thanks to a Chicago Tribune article, I discovered that those little boxes of macaroni and cheese contained a packet of cheddar cheese powder. And there you have it, my friends, the shortcut.
Alternative Video Recipe: How to Make Cheese Popcorn
HOW TO MAKE CHEDDAR CHEESE POPCORN?
- The first step is to pop the popcorn. Pop some popcorn in the microwave, on the stove, in an air popper, or in this great microwaveable bowl.
- Melt the butter.
- Place the popcorn in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with melted butter and top with cheese powder. Toss until the popcorn is completely coated.
- This recipe makes an excellent gift. There’s no need to go out and buy gourmet popcorn when this cheddar cheese popcorn recipe tastes just like store-bought and can be made for a fraction of the price.
- Pour the cheese popcorn into a decorative tin or bag to make the ideal edible gift. Make sure to store it in an airtight container to keep it fresh for gifting.
WHICH CHEESE POWDER IS BEST FOR POPCORN?
To make cheddar cheese popcorn, you’ll need dehydrated cheese powder, which you’ll sprinkle on top of your popcorn.
Cheese powder can also be used to flavor other foods such as macaroni and cheese, vegetables, and casseroles.
How do you make cheese adhere to popcorn?
However, in order for the cheese powder to adhere to the popcorn, it must first be coated in slightly cooled melted butter.
Both salted and unsalted butter will work well. I prefer salted, but if you use unsalted, you may need to add more salt to compensate.
If you prefer, you can use vegan butter in place of the regular butter. To combine the popcorn, butter, salt, and cheese sprinkle, use a spoon or spatula in a large mixing bowl, or shake it all together in a large zip top bag.
It’s entirely up to you! You’ll enjoy it either way. Make sure it’s in an airtight container. If you can wait that long, it will stay fresh for about two days.
SHOULD I ADD SALT?
I understand, there’s already salt in the cheese packet, and you don’t want to go overboard. The benefit of making recipes at home is that you can taste test and adjust them to your liking.
I do recommend seasoning the popcorn with fine sea salt, as it seems to balance out the cheesy flavor, making it even more irresistible.
MAKE WHITE CHEDDAR POPCORN
It’s just as simple to make white cheddar popcorn if that’s what you prefer!
Instead of buying a regular box of macaroni and cheese, opt for a white cheddar mac and cheese box – just make sure it contains cheese powder.
HOW MUCH CHEESE POWDER TO USE?
I hate to say it, but it’s true it’s entirely up to you. I like to use 4 tablespoons of powder because it adds a nice cheddar flavor to the popcorn without being overpowering.
A packet from a box of mac and cheese will be slightly less than a third of a cup, or slightly more than 4 tablespoons.
NOften, I’ll just throw in the entire packet for good measure (because, let’s face it, who can argue with more cheese?).
If you want it extra cheesy, use 6 or 7 tablespoons cheddar powder (which will require two packets or purchasing in bulk).
Remember to toss it quickly while the butter is still wet, and toss it thoroughly so the cheddar sticks to the popcorn.
- This method can also be used to make white cheddar popcorn. Simply use white cheddar powder instead of orange cheddar powder.
- This recipe adds more cheese flavor. Reduce the amount of cheese powder if you prefer a milder cheese flavor.
- Cheese powder, like Cheetos and Doritos, tends to stick to your fingers.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cheesiest cheese popcorn?
Angie’s BoomChickaPop White Cheddar popcorn has the crispest and lightest kernels of any popcorn we tested. It has a distinct cheesy flavor, reminiscent of Cheetos “with a blue cheese accent,” according to Senior Editor Maggie Hoffman, and it’s also bright, even slightly acidic, which keeps you coming back for more.
What is popcorn cheese made of?
All you need are plain popcorn, butter, and cheddar cheese powder (click here to get cheese powder on Amazon). To make plain popcorn into cheese popcorn, simply toss plain popcorn in melted butter and then sprinkle with cheddar cheese powder.
Is white cheddar cheese popcorn healthy?
When compared to other flavors, the white cheddar flavor is actually quite healthy. Butter, corn syrup, brown sugar, salt, and artificial coloring are all ingredients in Caramel and Cheddar Smartfood popcorn. … Three grams of that total are saturated fat, which raises bad cholesterol.
Is popcorn healthy?
Air-popped popcorn is nutritious on its own, and it’s also high in fiber and antioxidants because it’s a plant-based food. Drizzling or mixing in oil, butter, cheese, salt, or chocolate, on the other hand, adds sugar and saturated fat.
More alternative recipe for cheese popcorn:
Three Cheese Popcorn
This movie night treat features buttery asiago, nutty parmesan, and zesty romano. The show-stopping cheese trio elevates snacking to a whole new level. It’s delectable, addictive, and finger-lickin’ good!
Hot Cheese Popcorn
If you like chili cheese fries, you’ll love Chili Cheese Popcorn, a healthier afternoon popcorn snack that still hits the spot for spice and cheese.
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