10 Fun Toppings for Popcorn

With the Oscars coming up this weekend, it seemed as good a time as any to pop a bunch of corn at SEHQ. Even if you don't think you feel like popcorn, it just takes a couple minutes of microwave time for that popcorn-infused air to fill your lungs and make you realize, yes, a handful of popcorn (er, six) is exactly what I needed.

Adding superfluous amounts of salt and butter is never a bad idea but we had fun with more out-there toppings. Lemongrass popcorn? Cool Ranch popcorn? A Japanese twist with furikake? Some other ideas for flavorings are hiding in packaged ramen and the blue-box mac and cheese—those little pouches of super salty powder make for an insta-topper. If you're guilty of popcorn-as-a-meal, these combos make the popcorn even more savory and meal-esque. Ramen popcorn is a perfectly reasonable dinner, right?

Nifty popcorn trick: Just fill a small brown paper lunch bag with two tablespoons of popcorn kernels, tape the bag shut, and microwave for two minutes (give or take) and wait for it to start poppity-pop-popping. If you were raised on the microwavable pouches, this will make you feel like you're breaking all the popcorn laws. Wait, how will I know which side up? Just stand the brown bag up straight and trust, it'll pop without exploding your kitchen.

See all the toppings in the slideshow ยป

Each topping recipe makes enough for two quarts of popped popcorn. What do you like shaking on your popcorn?

About the author: Erin is the national editor of Serious Eats. You can follow her on Twitter: @erin_zimmer