Easy Homemade Cheddar Cheese Popcorn, just like the kind you buy in tins at Christmas and it is made in just five minutes, completely in the microwave!Did you grow up with the tins at Christmas? Every year my dad would bring one home and my mom, brother and I would fight over the tin. My brother and I would immediately fight over the cheddar and caramel sections and get yelled at by mom to eat them all evenly. Ugh. Evenly. Who actually ever wanted the butter flavor when cheese and caramel were so close by?
Then I discovered something amazing one day at the Summer Fancy Food show five years ago. G.H. Cretor’s Chicago Mix Popcorn. The people at the company were so nice and the taste was fantastic. Plus it took the best parts of the popcorn tin and combined them in one bag which meant my caramel popcorn had a slight layer of cheddar cheese dust. YUM.
But if you know me by now, you know I can’t leave well enough alone. The bags are not inexpensive and I love recreating my favorite foods at home so I set out to make my own version. You know, something like this delicious Homemade Chicago Mix Popcorn!…. Don’t worry this Chicago Mix popcorn is coming soon to your favorite blog ever *cough*here*cough* so definitely come back for that later this week!
The best part is this recipe is so easy and takes just a few minutes to make. Completely done in the microwave, no less!
Put a ⅓ of a cup of kernels in a medium brown paper bag. Roll the top of it closed. Microwave until the kernels stop popping at the rate of at least 1 per second. In a large brown paper bag, combine the popcorn and butter by shaking the bag while pouring the butter in a slow stream. Once all the butter is in, roll the bag closed and shake it REALLY well.
Combine the cheddar cheese powder, mustard powder and salt in a small bowl.
Sprinkle over the popcorn while shaking the bag. Roll it back up and shake vigorously.
- 6 tablespoons melted butter
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese powder
- 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
- 6 cups popped popcorn or ⅓ cups popcorn kernels
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Put a ⅓ of a cup of kernels in a medium brown paper bag.
- Roll the top of it closed.
- Microwave until the kernels stop popping at the rate of at least 1 per second.
- In a large brown paper bag, combine the popcorn and butter by shaking the bag while pouring the butter in a slow stream.
- Once all the butter is in, roll the bag closed and shake it REALLY well.
- Combine the cheddar cheese powder, mustard powder and salt in a small bowl.
- Sprinkle over the popcorn while shaking the bag.
- Roll it back up and shake vigorously.
- Enjoy immediately!
Can’t find cheddar cheese powder easily? You can find it in my Amazon store or in a pinch, use the kind that comes in boxed macaroni and cheese! I’ve also made this with the addition of sour cream powder to make Cheddar Cheese and Sour Cream Popcorn! I’ve also use it on homemade chips (recipe coming soon!). Want other flavors of popcorn? Drop me a note in the comments and I’m happy to decode flavors you would like into recipes for you 🙂
This looks yummy. I’m going to try it, along with a couple of other cheese popcorn recipes I’ve found, but I will be using ghee on the popped kernels instead of butter. Butter has too much water in it, which makes for soggy popcorn. I stopped using butter on popcorn some years ago, plus I use coconut oil to pop it in.
I haven’t made this yet, but to anyone finding the popcorn too wet, it’s because you use butter, which has a lot of water. Next time, substitute with ghee; no water but tons of yummy butter flavor. I stopped using butter on popcorn some years ago-it’s not good on popped corn. I use ghee on the popcorn after it’s popped, and I use coconut oil to pop it in.
I can’t wait to make this!! I want to give it as holiday gifts. How long does it stay fresh? (Or how far in advance can I make it before I hand it out?)
I’m not sure because popcorn tends to get stale quickly. It really is best right out of the microwave, if possible. Maybe try sealing it in packaging as soon as it’s made to help keep it fresh. If you decide to try, I’d love to know what worked for you.
Where do you get Cheddar Cheese powder.
And if you use the boxed Mac & Cheese, what do you do with the Mac & no cheese powder?
There’s a link below the recipe where you can order it from Amazon. And if you’re looking for recipes for elbow macaroni that don’t use cheddar powder, I have Super Creamy Mac and Cheese, Baked Mac and Cheese, and Hawaiian Macaroni Salad!
Mine came out too wet. Help
Oh no! Sounds like the butter didn’t get fully disappeared on all the kernels. Next time, try and shake the bag more or harder to ensure the butter get mixed all over a little better.
Can you make this ahead of time? I am thinking of making this for a graduation party.
I’m not sure because popcorn tends to get stale quickly. If you decide to try, I would suggest sealing it in packaging as soon as it’s made to keep it fresh. It really is best right out of the microwave, if possible. Let me know how it turns out if you decide to try it.
Wow! This was really, really salty despite leaving the salt out of the recipe and using more than 6 cups of popcorn. We may try again, but will use no more than 1/4 Cup seasoning and double the popcorn.
Yeah, that is one of the drawbacks of cheddar cheese in powdered form, you are sort of stuck because if you use much less powder the cheddar flavor won’t come through, but the more you use the more sodium. I think Cheddar popcorn is just one of those places it is hard to control the salt. What variety of cheddar powder did you use? I’ve never had someone tell me it was overly salty before.
I can’t remember the brand, but it was the only one available. I’ve tried looking online to see if we could find one with less sodium, because other than that, we liked it.
I just looked it up online. We used Kernal Nacho Cheese seasoning, and for 1/2 cup, there are 7,200 mg of sodium!!! Barry Farms has 964 mg per 1/2 cup. Quite a difference. 🙂
Oh my goodness!!! That nacho seasoning one sounds like a flavored salt, I really like the one I linked to because it is actual cheddar cheese 🙂 Oh man you guys must have made some very puckered faces when eating that!
Our family loves flavored poocorn! I usually pop on the stove but I do keep a few bags of microwave popcorn around. I wanted to make smaller batches while trying this recipe out so I used a bag of Orville’s (3.5) and McCormic mac n cheese powder from Costco. The powder was slightly sweet?! Like biting into KerryGold cheese. I was going for more of a traditional cheddar and for the second batch fingured out to use half the cheese powder, keep the mustard the same, and add a few pinches of smoked paprika. Tasting the powder as I mixed it helped to determine if that odd sweetness had been cut. Smoked paprika added a sour/smoky hint that the powder was lacking. Adding popcorn salt at the end helped to dial in on the right saltiness. I know I totally altered the original ingredients in this recipe but I needed a place to start from with what I had. I think mac n cheese powder can work but next time I’ll buy the one you recommend here.
Love that you were comfortable enough to play with it and customize it to your liking! Sometimes that’s the fun of it….well, then getting to eat it too!
For the 4 Tb. melted butter, can we use Orville Redenbacher’s popping & topping buttery flavored oil or is there a noticeable difference from using actual melted butter?
I want to make it good, close to Garrett’s (be great if it was better!). Is there a specific brand of butter that would work best for making an amazing cheddar popcorn?
I was going to skip popping kernels and instead do Pop Secret Homestyle microwave popcorn. I have had both regular pop and microwave, and I honestly prefer the taste and texture of microwave popcorn lol. I know everyone online is against it but I like microwave popcorn lol.
But my question is how to handle the butter. Kernel seasonings has cheddar powder but I’ll probably just buy Barry Farms Cheddar Cheese Powder as it has amazing reviews.
So I definitely suggest skipping the Kernal Seasonings brand, I have it too and its not really a good flavor. Go for the Barry Farms one. With the microwave popcorn, if you have an unflavored simple popcorn I could see it being a good option, but if it is butter flavored I would say it would interfere with the flavors. The recipe really shines when you let the butter and cheddar powder shine together, so I can’t comment on the buttery flavored oil as I haven’t tried that. 🙂 Hope that helps.
My husband would love this popcorn! I’ll have to try it out during out next movie night
I love popcorn for an evening snack. This looks delicious!
I want to make this so darn bad! I have shared on FB so I can try to make it for our Family Friday Night sometime soon!
Awesome! Thank you so much for sharing it Brandy!
My mom used to make homemade cheese popcorn all the time when I was younger. She used an air popper and shredded cheddar though. This looks like a fun recipe for movie night.
I would LOVE that recipe! Using fresh cheddar sounds even better than this!
I’ve never tried cheese on popcorn but I’m all for experimenting, I’m definitely going to give this a go, I’ll report back 😀
Family movie night is a favorite! The snacks make all the difference, and I know this one would be gobbled up!
I will be honest…i cant stand plain butter popcorn. I only like my popcorn with some kind of flavor so this is a great recipe to enhance it!
Cheddar cheese popcorn has always been a favorite of mine. We do movie nights often and I can’t wait to give this recipe a try!
I hope you love it Joanie!
Of, deliciousness. I love popcorn so much – can’t make through a movie without it!
Oh wow this looks so delicious! I love homemade popcorn so much more
Hello, I am in the university studying and I want to start my homemade popcorn business. Cheese popcorn isn’t popular here in my country, do you have an advice for me?
I don’t eat cheese too often but my husband does occasionally and he would love this!
Going out later to get the ingredients. I will make some this weekend. We love popcorn on movie nights!
Awesome! I hope you love it!
My dad would love this. He loves the flavored popcorn.
We have movie night like every weekend and we enjoy eating popcorn while watching movies. I’ll definitely have to try this over the weekend!
I hope you love it Ty!
yummm that popcorn looks sooo yummy! i would love to try this recipe.
I always loved the cheddar popcorn in the holiday tins. I’ll definitely be giving this recipe a try!
Yup, totally the best flavor of the three!
I will have to try yours. Looks so good.
This sounds absolutely delicious! I love popcorn for a snack and cheesy popcorn sounds even better.
That looks great! I love how easy it is to make! My family would be all over that.
Pretty sure popcorn was my biggest pregnancy craving! I had at least one bag every day. This looks so yummy and fast!
Oh man, me too!! I had my husband buying bags of kernels at one time for me!
I love popcorn in all ways. This is one I haven’t tried yet but I definitely will! Thanks for the great idea.
This looks so delicious. I love to snack on popcorn. I will have to make a batch for our next movie night.
For us it was Jiffy Pop! LOL OOPS, probably dating myself! Buying the tins oddly has a very different association for me, we used to buy them as corporate ‘whenever’ gifts at one of my old jobs, not necessarily for holidays, but for corporate account gifting we would sometimes use those super big ones to send to clients at random as a sort of thinking of you throughout the year to keep in touch or as a thank you to some of our vendors.
I LOVE jiffy pop!!! My grandma would cook it on the stovetop for us. It is by far the best prepackaged popcorn!
I admit, I am a popcorn addict. I mean, some love chocolate, and though I do, as well… it is popcorn that I could never live without. I would never have thought of the mustard powder addition but will totally be trying this. Thanks for sharing.
My pleasure Shauna! It was so good we ate that entire giant bowl in one night!
Oooh this looks super delicious! You’ve inspired me to make popcorn!
Yay! What a compliment! Thank you 🙂
Wow! Sounds yummy! Popcorn is always fun to eat
My husband is a popcorn fanatic! I bet he would love this.
Me too! I hope you try it and that he loves it!
My favorite part of the Christmas tin was definitely the cheese and we’d always eat it first. Now I can make my own!
I am not a cheese popcorn fan, but man would my kids be all over this! I’m saving this for movie night to surprise them with!
Awesome! I hope they love it Mandi!
Oh we’re definitely going to have to try this on a movie night. I’ve never made my own cheddar cheese popcorn before!
Hope you love it Liz!
My family would love this for movie night!! We make popcorn a lot in my house for snack time. The more cheese the better, right?
YES! I loaded it up with twice the cheese of the original recipe. I’m a stinker like that, haha.
I am not a big fan of flavored popcorn, but the kids are. They would love the cheddar cheese popcorn!
Ever since I discovered organic corn kernels, we make our own popcorn. This version looks yummy but I thought I was the only person on the planet that liked savory and sweet popcorn combined?! Love that I was wrong!
Yes! We use organic too and it is so easy to make! Plus compared to the bags it is SO inexpensive!
Yummy! This looks so amazing! We are making this for family movie night this week!
Awesome, hope you love it Aimee!
All I can say is OH MY GOODNESS! You have made my year. Love CHeddar popcorn and didn’t realize i could buy this powder. MMMM
Yup! When I came across it looking for a way to make cheddar and sour cream roasted potatoes I felt like I won the lottery, haha.
I love popcorn. Cheddar cheese popcorn sounds super delicious!
I like sweet and salty but I would for sure try this and maybe add a bit of sugar it in. Love that you found your own way to make something you like.
I have to try this! We watch movies here all the time and the whole family loves to share a bowl of popcorn.
Cheddar Cheese powder? I need some of that- I bet it’s great on broccoli too! Thanks for sharing this yummy recipe!
It most certainly is! We use it on that all the time. The one pound goes a LONG way.
It is this easy?! I make homemade popcorn all the time on the stove top but this seasoning looks and sounds amazing! Why have I never done this?!
Yup, it was as easy as make popcorn, melt butter and toss with powder. I’ve been spoiled from buying it ever again, haha.
I’ve never thought of making my own cheese popcorn before. That looks delicious.
Um, yum! We buy Chicago mix popcorn at Costco, but now that I know how easy it is to make the cheddar kind at home, I can’t wait for Wednesday so I can start making my own Chicago mix at home!
YES! That is where we would get it too! I am posting the chicago mix recipe Wednesday if you want to come back to see it 🙂
We have popcorn several nights a week for ‘dessert’. I’ve always wondered how to make cheddar popcorn! Thanks for sharing!
My pleasure Gwen!
Ok well this is just genius. I am always looking for ways to spice up movie popcorn night, this sounds amazing!
Aww, thanks Des!
I didn’t realize how easy it was to make this popcorn, which I LOVE, btw. Why wait for Christmastime to eat it, right?
Right! Now I need to decode how to make the colorful stuff. That is another kid time memory!
That looks awesome! I love cheese popcorn, so I’m so trying this.
mustard powder makes so much sense. I add it to my mac and cheese.
Yup it adds a great dimension of flavor!
I’ve not added mustard to much of anything. What kind of flavor does it give?
It just adds a great dimension of flavor! A little bit of a tang.
If you like a “bite” as I do (everything like salsa medium) use Colman’s Mustard. (Dble Superfine Mustard Powder).
This would be a HUGE hit in our house. My hubby and son LOVE anything with cheese in it. We try yo have a movie night every once in a while and this would be a great treat with movie night.
This popcorn looks absolutely amazing! I’m going to have to make this ASAP!
We do movie nights every week. I will have to try this.