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Herb Popcorn (3-Min Savory Snack or Appetizer)

Need a super quick and easy appetizer or snack for movie night? Give this deliciously spiced herb popcorn made with a herby, lemony, garlicky, smoky, spicy seasoning blend a try.

Just 3 minutes to take your popcorn from ‘plain old’ to irresistible. A delicious twist and a great way to up your popcorn game.

a medium and two small bowls of herb popcorn on cutting board.

I recently went to a wedding in Santa Barbara and attended a rehearsal dinner at The Lark Santa Barbara (fabulous food by the way). Sitting on the long tables as we entered the private room were bowls of popcorn. I couldn’t stop eating it and I couldn’t get that popcorn out of my head for weeks. 

So I decided to give it a whirl. Pretty close πŸ™‚ Adjust the ingredients to your taste preferences – a little bit more of this, less of that – to get it right for you.

Ingredients – tailored to your taste

popcorn, smoked paprika, rosemary and thyme, garlic powder, lemon zest, salt, butter.
popcorn, smoked paprika, rosemary and thyme, garlic powder, lemon zest, salt, butter.
  • Popcorn:
    • Get the plainest popcorn you can find. It’s often called natural and lightly salted popcorn in the microwave or bag version. You can also buy it from a popcorn kiosk if you have one nearby or use an air popper or other popcorn maker if you have one.
    • Don’t use buttered popcorn – we are adding our own and want the seasoned flavors to shine through without a fake butter taste.
    • If you want to make your want to make your own popcorn, see the recipe card below for instructions.
  • Butter: I prefer butter, but you can substitute olive oil if you like. 
  • Seasoning blend: I use smoked paprika, lemon zest, rosemary, thyme, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes. I like to add a finely chopped herb before serving for a bit of herby freshness. Skip the salt if the popcorn has salt in it. You can always add some later.
  • Variations and substitutes: Play around with the seasonings and herbs you like.

Step by Step instructions

seasoning ingredients in small bowl.
Put butter and seasoning blend ingredients in a small bowl.
melted butter and seasoning mixture in small bowl.
Microwave it for 20 seconds until butter is melted. Stir.
Pour the butter mixture over the popcorn and stir to coat evenly. Add fresh herbs for extra herb flavor.
a medium and two small bowls of herb popcorn on cutting board.

Tips

1. Salt: Make sure you skip the salt if your popcorn has any salt in it or if you are using salted butter. You can always add more at the end.
2. Adjusting the flavors
: Use the recipe as a guide and go easy on any seasoning you are unsure about liking. You can always add more herbs and spices at the end.

Make Ahead

Herbed popcorn is best fresh, but you can store leftover (if you have any) for a day or two in an airtight container or ziploc bag. Skip the fresh herbs until serving.

I sometimes serve this popcorn as an appetizer, adding the buttered seasonings to a bowl of popcorn just before serving.

bowl of herb and seasoned popcorn.

Love sweet popcorn?

If you have a sweet craving, try our Best Ever Caramel Popcorn 

Or check out other homemade easy sweet snacks with quick prep.

If you like this recipe, please leave a 5 star rating 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟with a comment in the recipe card below. Thanks so much!

a medium and two small bowls of herb popcorn on cutting board.
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4.93 from 14 votes

Herb Popcorn (3-Min Savory Snack or Appetizer)

Need a super quick and easy appetizer or snack for movie night? Give this deliciously spiced herb popcorn made with a herby, lemony, garlicky, smoky, spicy seasoning blend a try. Crave-worthy!
Total Time3 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 cups

Ingredients

  • 8 cups plain popcorn, Note 1 (try to buy no salt or lightly salted)

Herb seasoning blend

  • 3 tablespoon butter (or neutral tasting olive oil)
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (or1 tsp granulated garlic powder)
  • 1 tablespoon dried herbs any combination of rosemary, thyme, basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (skip if popcorn or butter is salted)
  • optional: pinch of chili powder or cumin PLUS extra fresh finely chopped herbs to add at the end.

Instructions

  • MAKE HERB SEASONING BLEND: Place seasonings, herbs and butter in a microwavable small bowl. Skip the salt if your popcorn or butter is salted. Microwave for 25 seconds or until butter mixture is melted. Stir.
    3 tablespoon butter, zest of one lemon, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon dried herbs, 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ADD MIXTURE TO POPCORN: Place popcorn in a large bowl. Pour over melted butter mixture and stir to combine well. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add fresh chopped herbs if you like.

Recipe Notes

  1. Popcorn:
    • How much? A standard regular bag of microwave popcorn will make 10-12 cups (80-96 grams) popped popcorn. This recipe uses 8 cups (64 grams).
    • To make your own popcorn: Place 1 tablespoon oil in pot with a lid and heat to medium. Add 2-3 popcorn kernels and cover pot. When kernels pop, add the rest of the kernels and cover. Continue popping, shaking regularly, until popping stops and all (or most) of kernels are popped. Transfer to large bowl. Alternatively, pop kernels in an air popper if you have one.
  2. Variations: Use whatever herb blend you like – rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano, sage, and parsely are all good choices. I would not skip the lemon zest and smoked paprika – they both add great flavor.Β 
  3. Make ahead and store: This herb popcorn recipe is best served fresh. If serving to company, I make the butter and seasoning mixture ahead, then pour it on just before serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container or ziploc bag for a day or two.Β 
Β 
Nutritional information is estimated for 1 cup (8 grams) of popcorn.

Nutrition

Calories: 83kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 182mg | Potassium: 51mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 313IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg
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adapted from the Dirty Gourmet