Parmesan Pepper Popcorn

February 5, 2010

Parmesan Pepper Popcorn

I don’t know about you but I am overwhelmed by the number of tantalizing Super Bowl recipes circulating the blogs and food sites this week. All those bean dips and salsas, nachos and ribs, award winning chilis, very best burgers. Whew. You make menu planning tough! Fortunately, we’re headed to our friends’ home for the game and I’m relieved of having to decide between anyone’s “best”, “favorite” or “unrivaled” anything. For the time being, anyways. But, because I’m a sucker for food bandwagons, I figured there was no harm in throwing one more recipe into the mix.

This contains all of my favorite food groups: popcorn, cheese and black pepper. What’s not to love? And if you’re looking for a way to lighten up the pre-game snack spread, this is a great option.

This is like the best cheese popcorn you’ve ever had without the yellow #5 food coloring, orange fingernails and that weird film left coating your tongue. If you can, pop your own kernels. (This method has worked well for me. Just leave out the salt and butter.) Otherwise, select natural microwave popcorn without added fat or salt (I like Newman’s Own Organic No Butter/No Salt). The key to this recipe is having everything prepped before you pop the corn. Tossing the popcorn in the olive oil and parmesan works best if the popcorn is very hot (i.e. right out of the popper, pot or bag). Otherwise, the toppings end up on the bottom of the bowl. I also recommend using good quality extra virgin olive oil and Parmesan cheese.

Parmesan Pepper Popcorn

(Adapted from Gourmet)
  • 1-2 T good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 cups HOT plain popcorn without added salt or fat
  • 1 oz (1/3 cup) very finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt, or to taste

Drizzle oil over hot popcorn in a large bowl and toss to coat, then toss with cheese, pepper, and salt. Best if served immediately or within a couple hours of popping.

10 Comments
  1. Stephanie

    February 5, 2010 at 7:01 pm


    Uh, yes please.

  2. Estela @ Weekly Bite

    February 5, 2010 at 7:22 pm


    This recipe is so great! Funny things is whenever I make microwave popcorn I always sprinkle parmesian cheese on it. So this recipe is perfect!

  3. Gaelle@whatareyoufeedingyourkidsthesedays.com

    February 5, 2010 at 9:17 pm


    I have been popping popcorn for my children as a “healthy snack” (the no-salt/no-butter is a favorite of mine). However (and not surprising) they have requested some salt/sugar on top… I’ll definitively try your recipe with less pepper for my children but lots for my husband and I.

  4. Becky

    February 5, 2010 at 10:34 pm


    You must have been reading my mind! I just bought popcorn yesterday because I had been craving it, and this is the perfect recipe to try. I usually pop the kernels in my Orville Redenbacher popper, and I love the fact that I can vary the toppings based on my mood :)

  5. Kelly

    February 6, 2010 at 3:37 pm


    Found your blog on Tastespotting–it’s lovely!

    This is probably going to come across sort of weirdly, and I hope I don’t offend you, but I felt compelled to do a tiny PSA. While popcorn with black pepper is delicious, it’s also a huge choking hazard, and I’d urge you to be really, really, really careful or maybe forego the black pepper. My husband almost choked to death last year on the same thing. What happens, I think, is the pepper can create a sort of sneezing-gasping reflex (and we LOVE pepper and ate it all the time so it wasn’t that he wasn’t used to it or anything) and because the popcorn is light, if you gasp/sneeze/whatever it can fly into your windpipe. Watching that happen was one of the worst experiences of my life. Anyway, yes, please be safe :) and I will now step off my soapbox and explore more of your lovely blog!

  6. Carolyn

    February 6, 2010 at 4:28 pm


    Kelly: Oh my, that is not good. I appreciate your PSA! Thinking about it I had a similar experience with spiced nuts made with cayenne.

    Ok readers, enjoy parmesan pepper popcorn at your own risk! And stick with a little butter and salt for the kiddos.

  7. Sara

    February 6, 2010 at 7:59 pm


    ooo sounds so good, i used to love that orange stuff back in my youth so this sounds just perfect ;)

  8. Jimmy

    February 8, 2010 at 5:39 pm


    Great photos! … I’ve made popcorn like this quite a bit for my wife who is a popcorn fiend. We’ve recently been doing it with coconut oil. I love the taste of the parmesan with the coconut. Yum.

  9. Sarah

    February 9, 2010 at 10:35 pm


    I love making popcorn on the stove! I usually use coconut oil with a bit of salt, but I never thought to try pepper and parmesan. That sounds delicious!

  10. Cari

    March 23, 2010 at 10:30 am


    Oh YUM! I’d love to feature this popcorn as a snack on my site, http://www.canigettherecipe.com with full links and credits to you and your site if you are keen! Please let me know asap!

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