Popcorn is a delicious and inexpensive treat, so why not serve it in a variety of ways? Salty, sweet or spicy -- here are a few easy popcorn recipe ideas.
Note: I think the spices stick to the popcorn better if you use butter, but for those watching their calories, it's all right to skip the butter or use a very small amount. Store leftovers in an airtight container.
Butterscotch popcorn. Very similar to peanut butter popcorn (below) but substitute melted butterscotch chips.
Cheesy popcorn. Use grated American cheese, grated Parmesan or grated Romano -- whatever sounds best to you -- and sprinkle liberally on hot popcorn.
Chocolate popcorn. Only use air-popped popcorn for this recipe. Melt 6 ounces of chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in the top of a double boiler. Coat individual pieces of popcorn by tossing it in the melted chocolate using two forks. Place chocolate-covered popcorn on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Refrigerate until chocolate has hardened.
Garlic-pepper popcorn. I buy the premixed garlic pepper from the spice aisle at the grocery store because I like its garlic-to-pepper ratio. You could easily substitute garlic powder and pepper. Just sprinkle over the popcorn to taste.
Cinnamon candy popcorn. Start with plain popcorn or buttered and salted popcorn, then toss with small hot-cinnamon candies.
Low-cal chocolate popcorn. Take a package of low-calorie, nonfat, dry hot cocoa mix and sprinkle it over the popcorn. (Admittedly, not as good as the chocolate popcorn, but when you're watching calories, you have to make sacrifices.)
Mexican popcorn. Lightly sprinkle popcorn with taco seasoning.
Peanut butter popcorn. This recipe is basically the same as the chocolate popcorn (above). Substitute peanut-butter-flavor chips for chocolate chips and reduce the oil to 2 teaspoons.
Sweet and salty popcorn. Start out with buttered and salted popcorn and add bite-size pieces of dried fruit. Dried apricots, mangoes or pineapples are delicious options.
Tabasco popcorn. Sprinkle Tabasco over your favorite popcorn. The Tabasco melts the popcorn a little bit, but it still tastes good. (Don't add too much or you'll end up with soggy popcorn.)
Trail mix popcorn. Mix popcorn with almonds, raisins and M&Ms.
These easy popcorn recipe ideas make wonderful homemade gifts when presented in an attractive container.