Mexican Popcorn

When you have an impromptu Happy Hour at your house this summer, make some popcorn!

It's such a simple thing to do.

This Mexican Popcorn is my new favorite thing. Happy Hours REJOICE!

And if you're just eating popcorn for dinner on a Monday night by yourself, that's totally fine too.  Don't listen to what my mom has to say about popcorn being an unacceptable dinner. If you do eat it for dinner, I would suggest putting your popcorn in a bowl. Don't eat it out of the pot. I'm pretty sure my husband would eat popcorn straight from the pot if he didn't have me in his life. Wait. He'd probably eat it out of the microwave bag without all this spice flavor business. Let's be real.

Bowls are how we stay classy. Additional herbs, spices & lime zest are how we make life fancy.

It's also how we make popcorn even MORE addictive!

And we're off!

Cumin. Smoked Paprika. Oregano. Lime Zest. CHECK.

Coconut oil & popcorn kernels. CHECK CHECK.

Mix the herbs & spices together.

Melt the coconut oil while you're popping the popcorn! I don't have pictures of popping the popcorn because I'm smart.

You gotta keep the lid on. IT POPS, ya know.

Squeeze half a lime into that mixture!

Pour the melted coconut oil & herbs over your popcorn. STIR IT IN.

I used my hands at one point. They really help you get in there!

Salt it up! Add lime zest. STIR.

Eat it out of a bowl.

Eat a LOT OF IT.  Serve it with a cocktail.

We'll get to the cocktail next. All you gin lovers GET EXCITED!

Mexican Popcorn

Serves 3-4 people

adapted from Jamie Oliver Magazine

  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
  • 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • kosher salt
  • juice from 1/2 lime & zest from 1 lime

Place a 3 quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 3 tablespoons coconut oil and a 2-3 kernels to the pot. Close the lid and when popcorn kernels start to pop, add the remaining kernels and put the lid back on the pot. Move pot back and forth on the stove and pop the popcorn until you start to hear the popping slow down. Put popcorn in a large bowl and set aside.

In a small saucepan melt remaining 3 tablespoons coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the smoked paprika, oregano & cumin to the oil and let sit over heat for 1 minute. Stir in the juice of half a lime and quickly stir mixture onto the popcorn. Season with salt & sprinkle lime zest throughout the batch of popcorn.

**If you'd like to use microwave popcorn, use a flavorless variety. About two bags would work for this batch. If you're looking to make a spicy version, add a little cayenne to the mix. Oh! And if you don't have coconut oil, cook the popcorn in vegetable oil and use BUTTER for the topping.  Enjoy!***

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  • jessyka D
    June 25, 2012

    yum! if i wasnt worried it would wake the 'normal' sleeping people in my house, i'd make it now!

  • June 25, 2012

    Adding coconut oil to my grocery list right now.

    This will be perfect for watching Wimbledon this week.

  • June 25, 2012

    This looks fantastic and I love the idea of citrus added to just about anything!

  • June 25, 2012

    Yum! This stuff looks mad delicious. Great summer treat!

  • June 25, 2012

    Welp it's only breakfast time in NJ and now I have a craving for popcorn! Mmmmm Mmmmm good!

  • June 25, 2012

    Totes maj. Question: how do you keep your popcorn from deflating when you pour the flavored oil onto it? I always end up with soggy popcorn when I do that.

    • June 25, 2012

      I put the popcorn into a plastic bag, pour the butter, or oily mixture in a shake like crazy. It distributes it evenly and stops popcorn going soggy.

  • June 25, 2012

    mh yum, sounds delicious. guess i know what will be on "the menue" for the next movie night! mexican popcorn and margaritas - sounds good to me =)

    i usually pop my popcorn in my little popcorn machine and i am always on the hunt for ways to flavor it. thanks for sharing.

  • June 25, 2012

    wrist candy!!!!

  • June 25, 2012

    This looks sooo great! I love dressed-up popcorn. :) I've been on a gin kick, too. Just made a lemonade with gin and thyme, if you're curious:

  • June 25, 2012

    SO GOOD! Yes please.
    And as a gin lover, I'm super excited.

  • jenny
    June 25, 2012

    I know what I'm making for a snack today. OH BOY.

  • June 25, 2012

    I totally had a piece of popcorn fly at my eye one yeah, keep the lid on. Is that an awesome way to blind yourself or just sad? Either way I'm totes putting this in my popcorn arsenal!

  • June 25, 2012

    i don't always love popcorn but this is something i could TOTALLY get behind!

  • June 25, 2012

    Yum I can't tell you how much I love popcorn. Would this work with vegetable or olive oil instead of coconut oil, if I don't have coconut oil?

    • Tracy
      June 25, 2012

      yes!!! use oil for the popping and you can use butter for the topping instead of coconut oil. I bet it's AMAZING.

  • June 25, 2012

    OH I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS. The drinky too.
    I wanna come over!!!!!!!!!

  • June 25, 2012

    Coconut oil for your popcorn? Genius.

    Also, I've never seen popcorn made up that way....I just learned something! Yay for learning new things!

  • Karly W
    June 25, 2012

    "Bowls are how we stay classy." such truth, a fantastic quote haha Agreed that a pretty bowl (even a normal bowl) makes all the difference.

    And gin! I'm looking forward to the recipe!

  • June 25, 2012

    Arm candy meets gin candy meets Ole'! Loves!

  • Amanda Barkey
    June 25, 2012

    ya did it again Shuts!

  • June 25, 2012

    omg - that looks amazing

  • June 25, 2012

    yummy yum yum! i am a single lady tonight since hubby is out of town. i will be having this for dinner, thank you very much.

    • lili
      January 20, 2013

      this is dinner for me too, with 'a room with a view' on netflix. i really am single and this is just for me so i added semisweet chocolate. mole'-style! ha ha

  • June 25, 2012

    I think I need to watch movies and eat this popcorn all day! Love!

  • June 25, 2012

    Homemade stovetop popcorn is the greatest! For some reason it seems like a real treat--even though it's super inexpensive and easy. I had some with butter and fresh dill just last night. :)

  • June 25, 2012

    Omg I NEED to be using coconut oil when I make homemade popcorn. Why have I not been doing this??? Thanks for giving me that revelation, Tracy!

  • Amanda W.
    June 25, 2012

    Tracy Shutterbean you've done it again! This needs to happen in my life....maybe tonight if I can find my paprika!!!

  • June 25, 2012

    seriously need this in my life right now. so tempted to take the popcorn kernels out of this vase on my shelf (that's used for decorative purposes) in order to make it. YUM!

  • June 25, 2012

    Yummy looking popcorn! Great alternative to chips and salsa being the only Mexican style snack!

  • June 25, 2012

    Delicious idea!

  • Kate
    June 25, 2012

    Oh, good suggestion to wait for the oil to melt before adding all the kernels. Last time I tried coconut oil in place of canola, it got very clumpy. Still tasted good, though! :)

  • Jessica W
    June 25, 2012

    Did you mention gin? ;)

  • June 25, 2012

    Whoa where did you find Jamies new magazine!? Looks yummy!

    • Tracy
      June 25, 2012

      Whole foods!!!

  • June 25, 2012

    Yummy popcorn recipe and the anticipation of an awesome gin cocktail to come, Monday just got serious!
    Can't wait to try this!!
    Cooking popcorn in coconut oil gives it such a great flavour! Once I tried it, I can't go back to using regular oil, it's awesome!!

  • June 25, 2012

    I can definitely say that is the most beautiful popcorn I've ever seen. And coconut oil is the only way to go.

  • June 25, 2012

    Pretty cool, I have to try this! I love how you set up your photos. Very inspiring :)

  • June 26, 2012

    i cannot wait to make this tonight for dinner!

  • June 26, 2012

    I want to eat this forever. Thank you.

  • kathleen @ the lushers
    June 26, 2012

    I am eating a bowl of popcorn with Old Bay RIGHT NOW. This combination sounds so good, I'll have to try it soon!

  • Jennie
    June 26, 2012

    So I tossed a bunch of kale in this seasoning combo (except using canola instead of coconut oil) and baked them up into some mexican kale chips and they were sooooo yummy! Will most def try it as intended as soon I pick up some popcorn at the store!

  • June 27, 2012

    Please send any leftovers my way!

  • stacy
    June 27, 2012

    holy toledo. made this last night and we.could.not.stop.eating. IT WAS SO GOOD. It made a huge bowl full and we thought we'd have leftovers to snack on today but nope. Hubs and I ate the whole bowl. Do not omit the lime zest. That was my favorite part!

  • Deni
    June 29, 2012

    My poor eyes are getting old but I think I read that the recipe serves 3-4 people? So I found my reading glasses, and when I read it again, it does say 3-4 people! But you're kidding right? You meant 1 serving for 1 person right? Because when I made the popcorn, there was only enough for me. Me, myself, and I...... Okay I get it---that is 3 people! Now I don't feel like such a piggy.

  • Made a lazy person's version of this tonight... microwaved popcorn thrown into a bowl. I sprayed butter flavored cooking spray, squeezed bottled lime juice and sprinkled in the spices and shook the bowl. Then repeated this process until I was happy. Probably not a great as yours, but I loved it!!

    • Tracy
      July 3, 2012

      nice improv!!!!

  • colleen
    July 12, 2012

    does it make a huge difference if you use regular paprika instead of smoked paprika?

    • Tracy
      July 13, 2012

      the smoked paprika has more flavor than the regular kind. I would most definitely try to use it if you can!

  • July 20, 2012

    I blogged today about your approval of eating popcorn for dinner. And I especially want to try this version! I usually have mine plain so I can't wait. Thanks for continually posting such great recipes!

  • This looks like an amazing combination, I'm going to try it soon! I love experimenting with and eating popcorn in all kinds of different ways! And I love having popcorn for dinner too. :)

  • May 16, 2013

    Tracy, this is ADDICTIVE! Way to go.

  • Molly
    May 1, 2015

    Popcorn is a whole grain, therefore not terrible for you and should totally count as a meal!

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