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Kick your movie night up a notch with this irresistible jalapeño popcorn recipe that’s ready in only 20 minutes! Adding this zesty jalapeno twist to light and buttery popcorn will change your snack game forever.
I love making gourmet popcorn at home. It’s typically really easy to make, cheaper than store bought, and tastes better too! This jalapeno popcorn recipe is a great twist on classic popcorn. It’s a total crowd-pleaser, thanks to its salty and spicy flavor combination.
With real jalapeno slices, a bit of coconut oil, salt, and butter, you’ve got a perfect snack ready in minutes!
My mouth waters just writing about the satisfying crisp and incredible flavor this popcorn recipe serves up. With just 5 simple ingredients and 10 minutes to prepare, this party snack is great for game day, movie night, or any time you’re craving a healthy satisfying bite!
👩🏽🍳 Why This Recipe Works
- A fresh take on flavored popcorn
- Spiciness can be easily adjusted by reducing or increasing the number of jalapeños
- Quick and easy to make
- Healthy snack
- Naturally gluten free
- Great for movie night
- Easily made vegan (just sub vegan butter)
- Perfect popcorn for those savory and spicy cravings
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These five simple ingredients are affordable and can be found at any grocery store. Many of these may already be staples in your kitchen. Find the full ingredient list at the bottom of the post in the recipe card.
- Coconut Oil: Oil with a high smoke point coats the popcorn kernels and prevents burning. Unrefined coconut oil is a great choice because of its high content of healthy fats to help you reach those recommended daily values. If you don’t have or don’t want to use coconut oil, another neutral-flavored oil like olive oil, avocado oil, or sunflower oil works too. Vegetable oil is also an option, although it isn’t considered a healthy oil.
- Pickled Jalapeno Peppers: Pickled jalapenos bring a little spice and tartness to the flavor of this popcorn. When jalapenos are pickled, they gain an intense vinegary acidity. That’s part of the fun in this recipe, but if you would rather use fresh jalapeños, go for it. Just beware, using a fresh jalapeno will be spicier, especially if you don’t remove all of the seeds.
- Corn Kernels: Corn kernels are easy to find in the grocery store, right by the microwaveable popcorn packages. You may run into different color kernels in your grocery store like white, yellow, black, purple, red, and even blue. These colors also vary in flavor so stick with the typical white or yellow for this popcorn recipe.
- Butter: You can’t have popcorn without butter, right? Butter gives your popcorn recipe that movie-style taste that we all love. If you want to make it vegan, you can find vegan butter in the same section you get regular butter.
- Sea Salt: For flavor and when paired with the butter, gives this a movie-style popcorn feel. This is optional and adjustable to taste!
There’s no reason this recipe can’t be tweaked to give you exactly the taste you’re looking for. Try some of these delicious variations!
- White Cheddar Jalapeno Popcorn: Just add white cheddar cheese powder to this recipe for jalapeno cheese popcorn. This is sort of a copycat recipe for Fire Corn Popcorn. Or, if you’d rather, use regular cheddar cheese powder for jalapeno cheddar popcorn.
- Jalapeno Ranch Popcorn: Just add ranch powder to transform this recipe into a Smartfood jalapeno ranch popcorn copycat recipe. You could also use onion powder or garlic powder.
- Jalapeno Kettle Corn: To convert this recipe to jalapeno kettle corn, just add ¼ cup of sugar! Add the sugar right after the corn kernels and continue with the rest of the steps in this recipe.
- Make It Vegan: Substitute vegan butter and use dairy-free toppings.
🔪 How To Make Jalapeno Popcorn
Use my step-by-step instructions and photos to make this easy jalapeno popcorn in just 20 minutes.
Drain Jalapeno Slices: Over the kitchen sink, drain excess juice from the jalapenos. Using a paper towel, lay out the jalapenos and pat them completely dry.
Heat Coconut Oil: In a large pot over medium heat, heat the coconut oil and sauté the jalapeno slices. This should take about 2-3 minutes or until browned. Stir frequently to ensure even cooking.
Add Corn Kernels: To the same pot, a couple of kernels to make sure you’ve got the right amount of heat. Stir in corn kernels until they are coated in oil. Cover with a lid and cook for 3-4 minutes or until all corn kernels have stopped popping. Make sure to shake the pot several times while the popcorn is popping to ensure even cooking and to stop the popcorn from burning.
Transfer Popcorn To Mixing Bowl: When the kernels have stopped popping, turn the popcorn out into a mixing bowl.
Add Butter, Toss To Coat: Pour over the melted butter and sprinkle with salt. Toss the popcorn to coat with butter completely and serve.
Using a popcorn machine is very simple! It’s almost as simple as making microwave popcorn. Just add your popcorn kernels and turn on the machine. Shake your popcorn in melted butter and salt or other toppings after it’s popped.
If you don’t want to make your own homemade jalapeno popcorn, you can probably get it from your favorite brand. Smartfood, Cheetos, Chester’s, Jody’s, and more are just a few of the brands that make their own best selling flavors of spicy jalapeno popcorn.
Seasonings are a great way to spice up your popcorn. Garlic chili lime powder, chili powder, cajun seasoning, and even hot sauce are just a few options. Adding other flavors like parmesan cheese, different flavored cheese powders, or even real cheddar cheese makes your popcorn even more of a delicious savory snack.
An easy way to get any seasonings to stick to your popcorn is to mist it with a liquid like oil or water. Using powdered seasoning will help as well, because powdered seasoning is much finer.
It’s best to store homemade popcorn without any seasonings or butter on them. If they are coated in something they are likely to get soggy. To keep leftover popcorn fresh, allow it to cool to room temperature and then put it in an airtight container or a popcorn tin. Keep it out of sunlight and in a dry place to avoid moisture buildup inside the container.
Homemade popcorn can be served in a large bowl for everyone to share or in individual serving size containers. If it’s a family movie night, a few large serving bowls are probably adequate. If it’s a get together or party, use bowls, jars, buckets, or other large containers with a serving scoop. Cups, paper cones, individual serving size bowls, and paper bags can be used for serving.
💭 Expert Tips
- Pickled jalapenos must be dry: For perfect jalapeno popcorn, ensure the pickled jalapenos are completely dry before sautéing in the coconut oil.
- Make sure the corn kernels are in a single, even layer at the bottom of your pot to ensure you don’t end up with any unpopped kernels.
- Enjoy immediately for best results: Eat your jalapeno popcorn within 4-6 hours of cooking.
- Make several batches with varying degrees of spiciness and/or different flavored seasonings added for something for everyone to enjoy.
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🎥 Watch How to Make It
- Drain the jalapeno slices on kitchen paper towel.
- Heat the coconut oil in a large pot over a medium heat and sauté the jalapeno slices, 2-3 minutes or until browned, stirring to ensure even cooking.
- Add the corn kernels to the same pot, stir to coat, cover with a lid and cook for 3-4 minutes or until all corn kernels have stopped popping. Make sure to shake the pot several times while the popcorn is popping to ensure even cooking and to stop the popcorn from burning.
- When the kernels have stopped popping turn the popcorn out into a mixing bowl.
- Pour over the melted butter and sprinkle with salt.
- Toss to coat completely and serve.
- Ensure the picked jalapenos are completely dry before sautéing in the coconut oil.
- Jalapeno popcorn is best eaten within 4-6 hours of cooking.
- To make this vegan friendly substitute the butter for vegan butter.
- Season with salt to suit you taste.