Taco Popcorn

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.

Easy “Cheesy” Taco Popcorn. Chili powder, fresh lime zest, and nutritional yeast make a delicious, healthy, dairy free party appetizer or office snack. Perfect for movie nights! #popcorn #tacopopcorn #dairyfree #healthysnack #healthyappetizer

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.)

Easy “Cheesy” Taco Popcorn. Made with pantry spices, nutritional yeast, and lime zest. A healthy, flavorful snack! Perfect for the office, parties, or movie nights. #popcorn #tacopopcorn

Thus, when JOLLY TIME Pop Corn approached me to create a unique flavor of popcorn that would be used as an answer in an online quiz in which readers answer a series of questions to determine which flavor of popcorn best aligns with their personality, I was alllllll about it.

This lightly spicy Taco Popcorn with chili and lime is my submission for the quiz. If you love foods with a Tex-Mex twist, I know you’ll groove with it 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.

Spicy Taco Popcorn recipe with chili powder, lime, and nutritional yeast. An easy, healthy snack that’s perfect for parties, movie nights, or to keep at the office .

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. I was excited to learn that all of JOLLY TIME’s kernels come from fields right here in the Midwest. Many of the growers are second- and third-generation farmers who have worked with the company for decades.

Spicy Taco Popcorn with Lime. An easy, healthy snack. Perfect party appetizer!

Taco was my popcorn flavor of choice, and I’d love to know yours. Take the online quiz here to discover your flavor, then come back and leave a comment with your flavor match. I can’t wait to hear about the different delicious varieties we have amongst our group!

Taco seasoning makes for a delicious and easy flavored popcorn that’s perfect for a healthy party appetizer, snack to keep at your desk, and movie nights. Simple recipe with chili powder, lime, and nutritional yeast.

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Taco Popcorn with Chili and Lime

Easy “Cheesy” Taco Popcorn, seasoned with pantry spices, fresh lime zest, and nutritional yeast. A healthy, flavorful snack or party appetizer!

Yield: about 10 cups

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 8 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 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 JOLLY TIME White or Yellow 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)

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the chili powder, salt, cumin, oregano, and cayenne. Set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
All images and text ©/Well Plated.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size: about 1 cup

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 81 Calories
  • Total Fat: 4g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 6mg
  • Sodium: 120mg
  • Carbohydrates: 11g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 2g

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

I am sharing this post in partnership with JOLLY TIME Pop Corn. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands and companies that make it possible for me to continue to create quality content for you!

This post contains some affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

27 comments

  1. Saltiness but I want to try your taco recipe!!!

  2. Ha! I would be chocolate-peanut butter popcorn. If you have some of that, send it to me! 

  3. Savory (Buffalo Ranch) – I knew this would happen. Savory is my flavor profile of choice alllll the time.

  4. Well, I took the quiz, and it told me I’m sweet.  But I checked their ‘sweet’ recipe, and for me it’s yuck.  I’d much rather have taco popcorn.  I also like their spicy curry popcorn idea.  I haven’t made popcorn in a long time, and it’s been even longer since I cooked it on the stove top.  I will also say that the quiz was designed for a generation far younger than I am – I don’t think I’ve ever binge-watched anything.

  5. I got sour (Dilly Lemon Munch) for my flavor match but I think I’m going to have to try all of the recipes to make sure that’s right. ;)

  6. This popcorn is REALLY speaking to me!!

  7. You had me at “pairs perfectly with a margarita”. YUMMMMMM!!!!

  8. I need a big bowl of this taco popcorn, curled up on the couch, and watching a movie! hehe

  9. Oh, sounds yummy! I came out “Sweet” – no surprise there! But your Taco Popcorn sounds superb!

  10. Fabulous!! I added extra nutritional yeast because, in my opinion, popcorn isn’t popcorn without yeast. We loved it!

  11. Years ago a housemate introduced me to nutritional yeast and it’s truly delicious on popcorn. I encourage everyone to try it. I have no idea why it tastes so good but it does. He would sprinkle it straight onto his popcorn all the time. Im definitely trying this taco popcorn as soon as I get some kernels. Love the fact that making your own popcorn in a pan w your own seasonings lets you control the salt and also minimizes waste (microwave bags). Thanks for the idea Erin! 

  12. hey girl- this looks oh so good!

  13. Thanks for this easy and delicious recipe.  My foodie and picky eater friends both enjoyed this one!!  

    Rating: 5

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