Manly Popcorn Five Ways

Manly Kitchen Manly Popcorn Five WaysI don’t know how the first popcorn was created. I think it probably had to do with a clumsy guy dropping some corn kernels into a fire. Regardless, popcorn seems to be one of the most favorite snack foods in the world, or at least in America. And I know I’ve eaten a grain silo full of it over my lifetime. You probably have, too. Admit it. There’s nothing wrong with it, and you’ll feel better when you come clean.

For several years, part of the fun for me has been to come up with different spice combinations to flavor the popcorn. Sure, th easy go-to is some garlic powder, and I do that. But you can do all sorts of seemingly crazy things to popcorn to make it better. Below, I show you five basic variations I use. Choose (and adapt) the ones you like best.

Now, I don’t think you really need to know you start with popped corn. Most of us use the microwave bags, but some may still have a real honest-to-God popcorn popper. If you’re one of those, I’m very jealous and would like to invite you AND your popper over for a movie. Still, one way or the other, you’re going to need some popcorn. If you’re using microwave bags, get the PLAIN variety – no butter, no salt, no nothin’!

Honestly, I need to get an air popper again. That’s the best way to make popcorn – especially if you’re spicing it up yourself. Not only is the popcorn pure and pristine, but you almost never see an un-popped kernel in your bowl.

You’ll also notice I’m not giving you amounts, except in one recipe. That’s because this whole thing is very personal. You may want to use more – or less – of something. Feel free to experiment; that’s why I did. Just remember to start slow – add a little at a time of any spice so you don’t end up overwhelming the popcorn.

For the recipes below, I use olive oil. It’s healthier than butter and adds a really great taste to the mix. Feel free to substitute butter if you choose.

So… pop your corn; put it in a bowl, and let’s get started!

Manly Kitchen Manly Popcorn Five WaysOriginal Manly Popcorn

Olive oil
Garlic powder
Cayenne pepper
Grated Parmesan cheese

Mexican Popcorn

Olive Oil
Garlic powder
Chili powder
Cumin (about half as much as chili powder)

Cayenne pepper
Dried cilantro leaves


Lime juice
Minced Jalapeno peppers

Note: add lime juice to oil and let it sit for a bit to get happy. Then pour over popcorn as usual.

Manly Kitchen Manly Popcorn Five WaysItalian Popcorn

Olive oil
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Italian seasoning (or oregano and a bit of basil)
Grated Parmesan cheese

Cheddar Cheese Popcorn

For 4 cups of popcorn, use:

3-4 tabelspoons olive oil (or butter – lots of people prefer butter with this one)
1/4 cup cheddar cheese powder
1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Salt to taste

Manly Kitchen Manly Popcorn Five WaysIndian Popcorn

Olive Oil
Onion powder
Curry powder
Red pepper flakes

Optional: Black onion seeds


Pop your corn. Duh!

Sprinkle spices and such over the popcorn.

Drizzle olive oil over popcorn.

Manly Kitchen Manly Popcorn Five Ways

Toss a LOT to coat. Be gentle so you don’t destroy the kernels.

Once you’ve perfected your spice combination (and amounts of each), take this all to a whole new level by adding the spices to your oil and let it all sit together and get happy. Then, simply drizzle the oil over the popcorn and toss to coat.

Next time you have movie night with friends, why not make all five varieties and let everyone choose their favorites. You might also work together to come up with adjustments to these recipes, or to craft your own. If you do that, please make sure you come back and leave a comment to share your creation with the rest of us.

Have fun and…

Play with your food… er… drink!


Check out more Snacks here.

Did you like this recipe? What recipes would you like to learn? Leave me a comment and tell me your thoughts! (And don’t forget to LIKE this post!) Share it using the tiles below.

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About Lane

Lane Baldwin is a an internationally-acclaimed singer, songwriter, author and food lover. He wasn't trained in France, and he doesn't have his own TV show. He just loves to cook, and loves sharing what he's learned over the years. In his "real life," Lane has toured the world, bringing his special brand of Blues-infused Americana to millions of fans. At home he leads a quiet life filled with good books, good food and good friends.