Cheese Popcorn Recipe: Using Real Cheddar

Bowls of cheese flavored popcorn
Bowls of cheese flavored popcorn. Rick Gayle / Getty Images
  • 5 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 bowl (serves 2)
Ratings (48)

This cheese popcorn recipe uses real cheese for a savory, buttery popcorn recipe the whole family will love — And it only takes a few minutes to make. All you need are a few key ingredients and your kids are going to be in cheesy heaven.

See also: Flavored Popcorn Recipes.

Cheese Popcorn: An Easy Family Favorite

Is there anything better than a huge bowl of buttered popcorn to watch movies with? Yes, actually there is something better. A huge bowl of cheese popcorn is exponentially better than just regular buttered popcorn, especially when it's made with real cheese instead of cheese powder that you see in a lot of store bought chips. Just note that this recipe is rich and finger-licking good, so you may want to make a double batch of it right off the bat.

To save on time this recipe for cheese popcorn uses microwave popcorn. If you want to skip the microwave popped corn, then feel free to use a recipe for stovetop popcorn. This recipe can also be modified and made with grated parmesan. You can also opt to include other additional toppings, such as Spanish smoked paprika, garlic powder, cayenne powder, curry powder, chili pepper, or even cumin. Get creative with spices and herbs to customize it exactly how you and your kids like!

In fact, if you were to add a sprinkle of nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, paprika, chili pepper, cayenne and salt to this cheddar cheese popcorn recipe, you get a flavor very close to Doritos chips — without the synthetic taste and nutrients of Doritos chips. 

What You'll Need

  • 1 full-size bag microwave popcorn (alternatively, you can use 1/2 cup of whole kernels on the stove to make your popcorn)
  • 1/4 cup cheddar cheese (grated)
  • 6 tablespoons butter (melted)

How to Make It

  1. Prepare popcorn in the microwave, according to package instructions. (If you are using whole kernels of popcorn, follow our stovetop popcorn recipe.)
  2. Pour popped corn into a large serving bowl.
  3. Place butter in a glass or ceramic container and place in the microwave for 20 seconds. Stir and reheat for another 20 seconds. Do this until the butter has fully melted into a golden liquid.
  4. Sprinkle grated cheese over top of the popcorn. Drizzle melted butter on top of cheese. Toss to coat well.

    Clean up tip: It's hard enough to clean up after regular popcorn without all the cheese, let alone when you find sticky cheese kernels in between the couch cushions weeks later. To keep the mess at bay, I lay out a large, plastic table cloth and encourage the kids to have a "picnic" on the plastic while they eat. This makes clean up a breeze. For sticky fingers, keep homemade wipes close by — I like to make my own, it's easy and saves me cash by making it at home.