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Spicy Popcorn

This Spicy Popcorn is a quick, easy, and delicious snack with a little kick! Great for parties and get-togethers. WARNING: It is addicting!

I love popcorn. After potato chips (my ultimate snack food weakness), popcorn is my next favorite snack.

When I want to change things up a bit from good old butter and salt, this spicy popcorn recipe is my go-to, hands-down favorite!

It’s so good I could literally eat all of this recipe, all by myself, in one sitting. And I have. Many, many times. When no one was looking. Please don’t judge or tell. Thanks.

Even people who claim to not like anything spicy love this Spicy Popcorn.

Sure, there’s a little heat from the cayenne pepper, but it’s not going to make your mouth feel like it’s on fire. It’s just a nice little kick in the background saying, “Hello there! I’m delicious!”

Of course, if you’re just not into hot-spicy at all, you can leave out the cayenne pepper. I promise you this popcorn will still be fabulous because the real deliciousness comes from the combination of salt, paprika, garlic powder, and cumin – spices you probably already have in your cabinet.

If you happen to be one of those people who really likes things hot and spicy, go ahead and add more cayenne pepper!

close up of a bowl of spicy popcorn


  • Coconut oil
  • Popcorn kernels
  • Butter
  • Salt
  • Paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Cumin
  • Cayenne pepper


three photos showing steps to make spicy popcorn with text that says combine the spices and melt the butter, combine coconut oil and popcorn in a pot over medium heat, put lid on pot, cook, shaking gently, until popping stops
three photos with steps to make spicy popcorn with text that says pour into a bowl, drizzle the popcorn with melted butter, sprinkle with the spice mixture, toss to coat the popcorn evenly
one photo with a bowl of popcorn with a hand taking some out of the bowl and text that says enjoy

I recommend using a heavy-bottomed stainless steel pot with a lid to pop the popcorn. The heat will be distributed more evenly, reducing the chances of any burnt popcorn.

You want at least a 3-quart pot so that all the popped kernels will fit. Using a pot with a handle makes shaking the pot easy.

And be sure to keep the heat around medium when cooking your popcorn. You don’t need to crank it to full-blast high. You don’t want scorched oil or burnt popcorn. Not good.

Add as much or as little of the spice mixture as you like. I usually use all of it because I really like a big flavor punch.

If you don’t use all of it, just put the rest in a small air-tight container to use the next time you make this. Because you will!

close up of a bowl of spicy popcorn with some popcorn spilled on the table


  • Can I use another oil instead of coconut oil to pop my popcorn? Absolutely. I just happen to love the subtle hint of extra flavor that coconut oil gives my popcorn (reminds me of movie popcorn!). But you can use other oils, such as vegetable, canola, or regular/light olive oil. Just make sure to keep the heat at medium, especially if using an oil with a lower smoke point. You don’t want the oil to scorch, which would definitely not make delicious popcorn.
  • Can I make my popcorn in the microwave instead? Sure, go ahead and use your favorite method for making popcorn in the microwave. If you use the bagged microwave popcorn instead of popping kernels from scratch, I highly recommend using only unflavored, no-salt, no-butter popcorn for the best results.

I often make this Spicy Popcorn when I am having a casual get-together as a pre-dinner snack with drinks (at least a double batch, if not more — it disappears fast!). I love it especially with a glass of chilled Moscato (or any other white or blush wine for that matter). YUM!

I hope you try this recipe for Spicy Popcorn and love it as much as I do! Thanks for visiting today!

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close up of a bowl of spicy popcorn

Spicy Popcorn

This Spicy Popcorn is a quick, easy, and delicious snack with a little kick! Great for parties and get-togethers. WARNING: It is addicting!
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Author: Michelle | Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8 (1 Cup Each)
Estimated Calories: 70


  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup popcorn kernels


  • In a small bowl, combine the salt, paprika, garlic powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper; set aside.
  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • In a medium to large pot with a handle and lid (3-quart or larger), combine the coconut oil and popcorn kernels over medium heat. Put on the lid.
  • Once the kernels begin to pop, continue cooking over medium heat, gently shaking the pan (helps prevent popped kernels from burning), until the popping stops. 
  • Immediately remove the lid and pour the popcorn into a large bowl.
  • Drizzle the melted butter over the popcorn and sprinkle with the spice mixture (add the spice mixture to your taste – as much or as little as you want – I usually use it all). Toss well to evenly coat the popcorn with the butter and spice mixture.


  • Store any leftover popcorn in an air-tight container for a few days. 
  • If you don’t use all of the spice mixture, store it in a small air-tight container to use the next time you make a batch of popcorn.
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Share it on Instagram, tag @nowcookthis and use the hashtag #nowcookthisrecipes. Thanks!

Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray.

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