If you’ve ever spent more than 20 minutes in a car with me, I’ve probably asked you something along the lines of “If you were a flavor of popcorn, which flavor would you be?” My answer: Taco Popcorn.
It’s zippy but not too spicy. It’s healthy but leaves you room to add a little butter. It would pair beautifully with a margarita. All are qualities to which I aspire (as much as one can aspire to relate to a flavor of popcorn, anyway!)
In all seriousness, I adore asking my friends silly “get to know you” questions, even the friends I’ve known for years.
Those Buzzfeed quizzes with names such as “Which Gimmicky Instagram Food are You?” and “Which Harry Potter Character Are You?” I fall for them constantly.
(Answers: Unicorn Drink and Albus Dumbledore. Don’t ask.)
About This Taco Popcorn
If you love foods with a Tex-Mex twist, I know you’ll love this lightly spicy taco popcorn too.
The popcorn is flavored with a mix of classic taco spices such as chili powder, cumin, and cayenne.
In lieu of a store-bought taco seasoning packet, I mixed the spices together myself so that I could control the amounts and avoid the excess sodium you’ll find in many premade packets.
For a touch of brightness, I added fresh lime zest, which ended up being one of my favorite parts.
Finally, to give the Taco Popcorn a “cheesy” taste, I topped it with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast, which sounds weird and scary but is actually delicious and high in B vitamins and other nutrients.
Combine its benefits with the fact that popcorn is naturally low calorie and 100% whole grain, and you have one seriously satisfying, healthy munchie.
If you’ve never popped your own fresh popcorn, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how easy it is. One tablespoon of oil and a few minutes on the stove are all you need for perfect, fluffy popcorn that you can flavor any which way.
How to Store This Taco Popcorn
- To Store. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Taco Popcorn with Chili and Lime
- 1 tablespoon ground chili powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or canola oil
- 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted (to make vegan, use a nondairy buttery spread)
- Zest of 1 small lime
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast* optional
- In a small bowl, stir together the chili powder, salt, cumin, oregano, and cayenne. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a medium skillet over high heat. Once hot and shimmering, add the popcorn kernels. Shake and shift the pan so that the kernels are in a flat, even layer.
- Cover the pan and let the kernels cook until the time between pops is 3 to 4 seconds, shaking the pan every 20 seconds or so to keep the kernels from burning. The popcorn should cook in about 3 minutes.
- Uncover the popcorn and pour into a serving bowl. Immediately drizzle with the melted butter, then sprinkle with the spice mixture, lime zest, and nutritional yeast. Toss to combine. Taste and add additional salt as desired.
- *Nutritional yeast can be found in the health food section of many grocery stores or online. In addition to offering a wealth of vitamins, minerals, and protein, nutritional yeast adds a lightly salty, “cheesy” flavor to dishes. If you prefer not to purchase it, you can simply omit it or swap finely grated Parmesan cheese.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
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