Everyone loves a good bowl of popcorn. Who wouldn’t, when it’s so quick, filling, and easy to change up? There are hundreds of ways to make popcorn to accommodate your taste. Some people love it salty, others prefer it sweet, and still others like to make it totally unique.
But there’s even more good news — you can make the perfect popcorn at home in your Instant Pot in almost no time at all. While IPs don’t technically have a popcorn setting, all you have to do is use the “sauté” option and turn the heat all the way up. Add two tablespoons of coconut oil (it has a high smoke point, which means it won’t burn) and half a cup of popcorn kernels. Stir to coat the kernels evenly and cover.
Once it starts popping it won’t be long until the popping starts to speed up. When the popping starts to slow and you can count around 15 seconds between each pop, pick up your instant pot by the handles and give it a little shake to get any little kernels at the bottom to heat up and pop. Let it heat for another 30 seconds or so and serve warm!
If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can make it on the top of your stove. Here are 10 delicious popcorn seasonings that you have to try.
1. Classic Butter
There’s nothing better than fresh, hot popcorn drizzled with butter. Sure, it may not be very healthy, but it’s the perfect occasional treat when kicking back with a movie. You don’t actually cook the popcorn in butter, as it has a low melting point and is more likely to burn. Instead, wait until it’s done and then drizzle the butter on top.
2. Cheddar Popcorn
Cheese and popcorn are one combination that’s hard to beat. There are dozens of recipes that you can find online, including this one for a super cheesy version. If cheddar isn’t your favorite flavor, try substituting parmesan or another kind of cheese that you can grate to make your preferred version.
3. Caramel Corn
When looking at caramel corn in a store or at a county fair, you might think it’s tricky to make. But the good news is that it’s super easy! It doesn’t take long to whip up this tasty caramel sauce and combine it with freshly-popped popcorn to make a treat you can’t to resist.
4. Cinnamon Popcorn
If you’re game to try something new, try whipping up a batch of cinnamon popcorn. This uniquely-flavored treat is sweet, fragrant, and light — the perfect snack that also feels new and fun. All you have to do is toss a quarter cup of powdered sugar with half a tablespoon of cinnamon together and then mix it evenly throughout the popcorn.
5. Garlic and Herb
If you prefer savory popcorn to sweet, you’ll love this unique garlic and herb seasoning. What’s more, it’s easy to customize to your taste. Mix one teaspoon of garlic powder, one teaspoon of onion powder, and one teaspoon of any dried herb such as basil, oregano, cumin, or cilantro.
6. Brown Butter Popcorn
If you’ve ever had brown butter, you know that it has a rich and unique flavor. It’s a great twist on traditional buttery popcorn. What’s more, it’s super easy to make at home on the stove. Just let the butter brown gently in a pan, making sure it doesn’t burn. Then toss it with fresh popcorn for a great variation on the classic buttery recipe.
7. Bacon Jalapeño
This recipe might take a little more prep work, but it’s worth it to get spicy popcorn full of bacon and a unique flavor. Thinly slice four jalapeños, then coat them in a mixture of cornstarch and seltzer water. Fry in vegetable oil until crispy. Fry six slices of bacon until crispy. Toss the bacon drippings, melted butter, chopped bacon bits, and jalapeños into the popcorn.
8. Sticky Marshmallow
What’s better than regular popcorn? How about delicious buttery popcorn full of gooey marshmallow pieces? This recipe combines eight cups of mini marshmallows with six tablespoons of butter, half a cup of sugar, and half a cup of light corn syrup. Cook in a saucepan until warm and melted, then pour over 16 cups of hot popcorn. Sprinkle salt over the top to add some complexity to the sweetness.
9. Peanut Butter Popcorn
Want popcorn that’s sweet, complex, and super-rich? Just whip up this delicious peanut butter version and you’ll look like a real gourmet chef. Combine one cup of honey and 3/4 a cup of sugar in a saucepan, stirring over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Add one cup of peanut butter, one teaspoon of vanilla extract, and one teaspoon of kosher salt. Add two cups of peanuts and toss with 16 cups of popcorn.
10. Margarita Popcorn
It might sound crazy, but you can throw together this unique popcorn flavoring in just a few minutes. And yes, it even has booze in it, although since it’s cooked, you probably won’t get a buzz by eating it.. Combine six tablespoons of butter with two tablespoons of lime juice and two tablespoons of tequila. Melt in a saucepan over medium heat. Add two teaspoons each of sugar and kosher salt. Grate lime zest throughout and drizzle over 12 cups of popcorn. You can also add some crushed lime-flavored tortilla chips if you like.
The Great Anytime Snack
Whether you’re kicking back for family movie night or just looking for a fun late-night snack, you don’t have to be a gourmet chef to make gourmet popcorn. All you need is a few seasonings and a regular pot to have the perfect popcorn in five minutes or less.
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