Elevate your at-home movie popcorn with these recipes

Sure, you could just grab a bag of popcorn and throw it in the microwave for a few minutes and bam — you’re ready to eat. Or you could invest a little more time to make the movie-watching — and snacking — experience a little more special and memorable with popcorn that’s a step or two above your standard microwaveable bag. What’s one ingredient that movie popcorn can’t live without? BUTTER. At the theater, you head to the butter pump to add a little extra, shake, and then add some more. But there’s truly nothing like rich, creamy butter on freshly popped corn at home. Impress your friends and family with these five elevated movie popcorn recipes: 

The Basic

The Kitchn offers the perfect foundational recipe for making the best movie popcorn at home with butter. They even up the flavor profile by popping the kernels in coconut oil, then drizzling melted butter at the end before finishing with a little salt. 

Let’s start with this basic recipe and then add some fun twists!

Taco Night Popcorn

  • ½ cup (3 ½ ounces) popcorn kernels
  • ¼ cup (4 Tbsp) butter, melted
  • 1-2 Tbsp of taco seasoning mix 
  • 2 tsp fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

Use the basic recipe and, in step five, drizzle half the butter (skip the salt), cover and shake the pot to mix. Add the rest of the butter and the taco seasoning mix of your choice on the popcorn. How much you use is your preference! Cover and shake the pot again until the popcorn is coated with the seasoning blend. Pour into a serving bowl and sprinkle the chopped cilantro on top for flavor and garnish. 

Everything but the Bagel Popcorn

  • ½ cup (3 ½ ounces) popcorn kernels
  • ¼ cup (4 Tbsp) butter, melted
  • 3 Tbsp Everything but the Bagel Seasoning

Starting with the basic recipe, add half the butter, cover the pot and shake. Then add the rest of the butter, and Everything but the Bagel seasoning to the popcorn. Cover. Shake. No salt needed. 

Cinnamon & Sugar Popcorn

  • ½ cup (3 ½ ounces) popcorn kernels
  • ¼ cup (4 Tbsp) butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp. white or brown sugar

Again, use the basic recipe linked above to pop the popcorn. In step five, instead of adding salt, add the cinnamon and sugar to the popcorn. Cover and shake until thoroughly mixed. Add more cinnamon or sugar as needed. Pour into individual bowls or cups and garnish with a cinnamon stick to really get fancy.

Savory Herb Popcorn

  • ½ cup (3 ½ ounces) popcorn kernels
  • ¼ cup (4 Tbsp) butter, melted
  • ¼ tsp finely ground kosher or sea salt
  • 2-3 Tbsp of your favorite fresh herbs, chopped (try dill, thyme, rosemary, or a combo)
  • ½ tsp of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Pop the popcorn according to the basic recipe and continue through step five, adding the salt this time. Add the chopped herbs and red pepper flakes, cover, and shake the pot one more time to incorporate.