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Make This Foolproof Stove-Top Popcorn (Plus 5 Fun Toppings)

Most everyone loves stove-top popcorn. It’s cheap, it’s easy to make, and it’s delicious. Stove top popcorn is also good for you!

Popcorn is low in calories (provided you don’t drench it in butter), filled with antioxidants, and high in fiber making it a filling and satisfying snack.

The best thing about popcorn is that you can flavor it in any way you choose. Whether you prefer sweet, salty or spicy, popcorn has got you covered.

I consider myself to be a popcorn connoisseur of sorts. I love this crunchy snack and often find myself reaching for it during that mid-afternoon I have to eat something before I collapse time.

While I have been known to buy the pre-bagged popcorn when I’m feeling lazy (my favorite brand is Skinny Pop), I prefer to make my own stove-top popcorn.

That way I can flavor it any way I like and control the amount of butter, sugar, and salt that goes in.

Stove-Top Popcorn
Amanda Watson

Foolproof Stove-Top Popcorn

Making popcorn from scratch has a reputation for being tricky. There’s a fine line between popping all the kernels and not burning those on the bottom.

A few years ago I found this recipe from Elise of Simply Recipes and have never looked back. Perfect popcorn every time!

Makes 2 quarts of popcorn

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons coconut, peanut, or canola oil (high smoke point oil)
  • 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
Stove-Top Popcorn
Amanda Watson

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in the 3-quart heavy bottom saucepan. Put 3-4 corn kernels in the pot and cover with a tight fitting lid.
  2. When you hear those kernels pop, uncover and add the reaming corn. Shake to spread in an even layer.
  3. Cover and remove from heat for 30 seconds.
  4. Return the pan to the heat and listen for the popping to start. Tilt the lid slightly to let the steam escape and gently shake the pan by moving it back and forth.
  5. When the popping slows to several seconds between pops, remove the pan from the heat and pour the popcorn into a bowl.
  6. Season to your liking.

Here are my five favorite stove-top popcorn seasonings:

1. Italian Breadstick Popcorn

Stove-Top Popcorn
Amanda Watson

You know those delicious butter soaked and perfectly seasoned breadsticks that Italian restaurants serve? Well this popcorn is just like that — minus all the guilt.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

  1. Combine the basil and salt
  2. Drizzle the popcorn with the olive oil and toss to coat
  3. Add the seasoning mix and toss again
  4. Serve hot

2. Smoke and Spice Popcorn

Stove-Top Popcorn
Amanda Watson

A little smoky, a little spicy, and oh so delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less depending on your desired level of hotness)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

  1. Combine the paprika and salt
  2. Drizzle the popcorn with the olive oil and toss to coat
  3. Add the seasoning mix and toss again
  4. Serve hot

3. Cinnamon Sugar Popcorn

Stove-Top Popcorn
Amanda Watson

When you’re craving something a little sweet with a tiny kick from the cinnamon this popcorn fits the bill.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Dash of salt
  • 1.5 tablespoons melted butter or coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Combine the sugar with butter or coconut oil in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat for 1-2 minutes until the fat is melted
  2. Toss the mixture with the popcorn in a large bowl
  3. Serve hot

4. Cool Ranch Popcorn

Stove-Top Popcorn
Amanda Watson

This popcorn is just like your favorite flavor of Doritos…in popcorn form!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons powdered buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

  1. Combine the buttermilk and salt with seasonings
  2. Drizzle the popcorn with the olive oil and toss to coat
  3. Add the seasoning mix and toss again
  4. Serve hot

5. Spicy Maple-Almond Popcorn

Stove-Top Popcorn
Amanda Watson

This is my go-to treat popcorn for when I want something indulgent. I love the combo of popcorn and nuts with just a tiny hint of spice!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup roasted, unslated almonds, roughly chopped
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Toss the freshly popped popcorn and chopped nuts onto the pan
  3. Combine the sugar and remaining ingredients in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly
  4. Remove from heat and let cool 1 minute
  5. Pour the hot syrup mixture over the popcorn mixture and toss well to coat. Spread the popcorn mixture around the baking sheet
  6. Let cool 3 minutes before eating

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