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This salty snack makes movie night even more fun!

If you’re a popcorn fanatic like me, you’ll love making homemade cheddar cheese popcorn! Pour melted butter over freshly popped popcorn and toss with powdered cheese for the best cheesy popcorn!

cheddar cheese popcorn in a red and white striped popcorn box.

Believe me, this homemade cheese popcorn recipe is every bit as delicious as what you buy at gourmet popcorn stores. With just three ingredients, it’s super easy and quick to make, too!

Grab a big bowl of this cheesy corn and settle in for movie night, the Academy Awards, March Madness, the big game, or anytime you have a popcorn snack craving!

Craving more popcorn treats? Caramel popcorn with pecans and cashews is our Fall indulgence and so-so good. And, my white chocolate peppermint popcorn is sweet, salty, minty, crunchy, and totally addictive!

ingredients for making cheddar cheese popcorn on a table.

Ingredients & substitutions for Cheddar Cheese Popcorn

  • Popcorn — To make this recipe, you’ll need 1/2 cup popcorn kernels or 15 cups of popped popcorn. Make the popcorn however you like, on top of the stove or in the microwave. If you use microwave popcorn, be sure to choose the plain variety (without added salt or butter).
  • Butter — Butter is what makes the cheese stick to the popcorn. Use real butter, not margarine, for the best flavor and results. Melted margarine is watery and may make the popcorn soggy.
  • Cheddar cheese powder — You can find cheddar cheese and white cheddar cheese powder in the popcorn aisle at your grocery or purchase online.

How to make Cheddar Cheese Popcorn

a silicone popcorn popper sitting inside an open microwave.

STEP 1 | Cook the popcorn

I have a silicone popcorn bowl and it makes it so easy to cook popcorn — even without oil!

To make popcorn in the microwave in a silicone popcorn bowl, you’ll need to cook in batches to make enough popcorn for this recipe (or cut the recipe in half for a small batch).

Add 1/4 cup popcorn kernels to the bowl, cover with the lid and cook on HIGH power for 3 minutes 45 seconds, or until the popping slows to 5 seconds between pops.

preparing cheddar cheese popcorn steps: pouring melted butter into a bowl of popped popcorn; sprinkling cheddar powder on top of popcorn.

STEP 2 | Season with butter and cheese

Place the popcorn in a large bowl — big enough for mixing — and let it cool. While that is happening, melt the butter in the microwave and let it cool slightly, too.

Drizzle half the butter over the popcorn, then sprinkle with half the cheddar cheese powder. Stir with a rubber spatula until the butter and cheese are evenly distributed.

Finally, add the rest of the butter and cheddar cheese, stir again, and eat up!

tips

  • If using a silicone microwave popcorn bowl, do not use the POPCORN function on your microwave as that is only intended for packaged microwave popcorn and will cause the popcorn to scorch.
  • I feel the cheese is salty enough without adding extra, but add a sprinkle of salt if you like at the end.

cheddar cheese popcorn in a clear bowl with a scoop and red and white popcorn boxes in the background.

Frequently asked questions

What is Chicago style popcorn?

Chicago style popcorn is a mix of cheddar cheese popcorn and caramel corn and seasoned is the most popular item at Chicago’s famous popcorn store, Garrett’s Popcorn Shop.

Is cheddar popcorn keto friendly?

Yes, this gluten-free snack is a keto friendly snack as well. Note, cheddar cheese powder is usually gluten-free, but always check the label to be sure.

How long will this popcorn last?

Around my house, not long at all! Seriously, though it will last for 2 to 3 days when stored in an airtight container.

Serving suggestions

Like salty, spicy snacks? Add a sprinkle of garlic powder or red cayenne pepper along with the cheddar cheese powder to kick it up a notch!

For a really fun treat, make a batch of my caramel corn (without the nuts) and toss together with today’s cheesy popcorn for homemade Chicago style popcorn — YUM!

Freaky Friday Banner Display Type

Cheddar Cheese Popcorn: behind the recipe

Today is FREAKY FRIDAY, y’all! That may not mean a thing to you, but it’s pretty exciting for me. Freaky Friday is a fun blog collaboration project sponsored by Michaela from An Affair From the Heart.

Once a quarter a group of food bloggers secretly cook or bake a recipe from another blog they were assigned, then reveal the recipes at the same time on one Freaky Friday morning!

And now for the big Freaky Friday reveal — meet Susannah, creator of Feast + West blog and today’s delicious popcorn recipe!

I met Susannah a few years ago at a blogging conference and she is just the sweetest! A North Carolina girl, Susannah was a finalist in the Saveur Blog Awards for Best Entertaining Blog in 2019 — that’s a really big deal, friends — and she definitely knows her stuff!

Not only is Susannah an extremely talented graphic designer, she’s a creative home bar mixologist. She’s your gal for tips on everything from stocking your home bar to starting a cocktail-themed herb garden!

She can help you mix up easy, elegant cocktail recipes and bar snacks for any occasion. My affection for popcorn is a serious thing, so when I saw Susannah’s Cheddar Cheese Popcorn recipe, I knew I had to try it!

Take a look at all of our 2022 Freaky Friday Winter Edition Recipes:

  1. An Affair from the Heart – Homemade German Chocolate Cake
  2. Aunt Bee’s Recipes – Cafe Rio Sweet Pork
  3. Devour Dinner – Sweetie Pie’s Mac and Cheese
  4. Family Around the Table – Easy Garlic Knots
  5. Feast + West – Guinness Chocolate Cake with Irish Buttercream
  6. Fresh April Flours – Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits
  7. The Fresh Cooky – Easy Mini King Cake Recipe with Crescent Rolls
  8. Hostess at Heart – Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blondies
  9. House of Nash Eats – Pizza Casserole
  10. Kathryn’s Kitchen Blog – Cheesy Garlic Bread
  11. Lemoine Family Kitchen – Breakfast Chorizo Enchilada Bake 
  12. Life, Love & Good Food – Cheddar Cheese Popcorn
  13. The Speckled Palate – Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip
  14. Sue Bee Homemaker – Cornbread Tamale Pie
  15. Take Two Tapas – Whipped Feta Dip
  16. The Wimpy Vegetarian – Spinach Madeline

Please share!

Your shares are how this site grows and I appreciate each one. Do you know someone who would enjoy this recipe? I’d love it if you would share it on Facebook or on your favorite Pinterest board!

cheddar cheese popcorn in a clear bowl with a scoop.

Cheddar Cheese Popcorn

Popcorn fanatics will love making homemade cheddar cheese popcorn! Pour melted butter over freshly popped popcorn and toss with powdered cheese for the best ever cheesy popcorn!
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Snacks
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 169 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels 15 cups popped
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese sprinkle

Instructions
 

  • If using a silicone popcorn bowl, cook in batches by adding 1/4 cup popcorn kernels to the bowl. Cover with the lid and cook on HIGH power for 3 minutes 45 seconds, or until the popping slows to 5 seconds between pops. Empty into a larger bowl to cool.
  • Add the butter to a microwave safe bowl and melt in the microwave for 45 seconds to 1 minute. Cool slightly, then drizzle half the butter over the popcorn and sprinkle half the cheddar cheese sprinkle. Stir with a rubber spatula to evenly distribute..
  • Drizzle the remaining melted butter and cheddar sprinkle on top and stir again. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt, if desired.

Notes

  • If using a silicone microwave popcorn bowl, do not use the POPCORN function on your microwave as that is only intended for packaged microwave popcorn and will cause the popcorn to scorch.
  • I feel the cheese is salty enough without adding extra, but add a sprinkle of salt if you like at the end.
  • To cook popcorn kernels on top of the stove, follow the directions on the package.
Original recipe by Feast + West

Nutrition

Serving: 3.5cupsCalories: 169kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 4gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 331mgFiber: 0gSugar: 0g
Keyword cheddar cheese, cheddar cheese powder, popcorn
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was.
sheila thigpen in her kitchen

About Sheila Thigpen

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

15 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Sheila! You are speaking directly to me and my popcorn-loving heart!! I have never met a popcorn I didn’t like – but cheese popcorn is BY FAR my favorite!!

  2. 5 stars
    Why have I never thought to make my own flavored popcorn!? This is so simple and popcorn is one of my favorite snacks!

  3. 5 stars
    I must have been living under a rock because I didn’t know anything about powdered cheese! We love cheddar popcorn and this is our new favorite recipe!

  4. 5 stars
    What a fun recipe! I am SUCH a sucker for cheesy popcorn. It’s my favorite way to eat popcorn!

  5. Be still my heart! I make popcorn a LOT. But I’ve been in such a rut, always making the same one over and over. I’m about to leave for the market, and am looking for that cheese powder!

  6. 5 stars
    Made this for a snack for my son this afternoon, he’s a total popcorn addict, I had to fight for a few bites!

  7. 5 stars
    I was glad you mentioned Chicago style popcorn because that is my mom and sister’s favorite. I’m going to have to make this for them!

  8. 5 stars
    I can’t get enough of this! It’s the perfect combination of cheese and crunchy popcorn with just the right amount of salt. So addicting!

  9. 5 stars
    Gosh, I had no idea how easy this was. My family loved it and we’ll be eating cheddar cheese popcorn on the regular now! Thanks for sharing this recipe, Sheila!

  10. I love how this is made with only 3 ingredients and it makes the best savory snack! Such a good comfort too that everyone loves 🙂

  11. 5 stars
    Gosh, what a PERFECT movie snack! I love that you made this from Susannah’s website… and I love that it’s the best and most delicious little salty snack. I’m a major popcorn lover, so I can’t wait for us to get to try this!

  12. 5 stars
    Oh Sheila, you knocked this out of the park. This is one of my favorite recipes! It’s so cheesy and good. Thank you so much for sharing it.

  13. 5 stars
    We eat a ridiculous amount of this cheddar cheese popcorn at our house! Our whole family loves it! Great recipe!

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