7 Hacks to Spice Up Your Movie Theater Popcorn

Transform the buttery, salty popcorn into a gourmet movie night treat

Photo Modified: Flickr / Personal Creations / CC BY 4.0

Elaborate on the standard buttered popcorn with sweets, salt, and spices.

There’s no such thing as a movie night without popcorn. Whether you’re at the movie theater, demanding for more and more butter-flavored oil to be pumped over your corn, or at home eating buttered popcorn fresh out the microwave, it’s undoubtedly the ultimate movie-watcher’s snack.

As much as we love the salty, orange, greasy, buttered popcorn, which makes us so nostalgic for our childhood trips to the theater, it’s time we spiced up our regular popcorn order. Turning regular popcorn into a fancy, high-end snack is one of the easiest kitchen tricks. You can be as simple or as sophisticated as you like, and the flavors cover the whole spectrum from spicy and salty, to sickly sweet. Just make sure there’s plenty of topping for your popcorn — the worst thing to find in your popcorn bucket is a naked kernel.

These seven popcorn recipes are our go-to choices to jazz up any movie night in. Take inspiration from them and add in whatever ingredients, spices, or sweets you want. If you’re really sneaky, you could take some of the extra flavor mixes to the movie theater and surreptitiously sprinkle them on top of your buttered popcorn when you’re there.

Cinnamon Sugar Popcorn

Take your freshly popped buttery popcorn and sprinkle over two teaspoons of sugar and half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Stir together — the butter will make the cinnamon sugar stick to the popped kernels beautifully — and adjust the seasoning to taste.

Chocolate Sea Salt Popcorn

Simply grate some dark chocolate over your warm popcorn, add a couple of generous pinches of sea salt, and stir well to combine. All the dark chocolate will gradually melt, and should coat all the corn. Feel free to add more chocolate for an even sweeter snack.

Garlic and Parmesan Popcorn

This savory, Italian-inspired, Garlic and Parmesan popcorn is perfect for those of you who want to keep the sugar far, far away from your corn kernels. It’s best served warm, so that the grated parmesan melts over the popcorn.

Maple Pecan Popcorn

This Maple Pecan Popcorn recipe requires more attention and skill in the kitchen than the other recipes. For those of you who are more adventurous, and not afraid of using a candy thermometer, this recipe is worth the extra effort to create a gourmet snack. The nutty pecans and sweet maple syrup transform your buttery corn into a sweet and savory treat.

Mexican Chocolate Popcorn

Although this Mexican Chocolate Popcorn recipe may sound unusual, we promise you that the combination of chile and chocolate works amazingly well here. The spices and sweet dark chocolate balance each other beautifully, making it an addictive recipe that we can’t stop making.

Sriracha Butter and Parmesan Popcorn

We are always looking for ways to add Sriracha to any and every recipe. Coating popcorn in our favorite hot red sauce seemed like an obvious move. When combined with a sprinkling of parmesan, this Sriracha butter and parmesan popcorn becomes a spicy and salty umami explosion.

White Chocolate and Nutella Popcorn


If you’ve got a sweet tooth, decorating your popcorn with white chocolate, sprinkles, and Nutella, probably sounds like movie-snacking heaven. Follow the simple recipe for White Chocolate and Nutella popcorn, and be prepared for a wonderful sugar high.