Cheddar Cheese Popcorn Recipe

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This cheddar cheese popcorn recipe is adapted from the January 10, 1991 Chicago Tribune Newspaper article, To Make Cheese Popcorn At Home, Just Take A Powder, by Pat Dailey.

If you love cheese and popcorn, here’s a great salty, cheesy snack!  The secret to cheddar cheese popcorn is to use processed powdered cheese. Real cheese will make oily clumps when melted on the popcorn. Powdered cheese will evenly coat the popcorn kernels better. 

Cheddar Cheese Popcorn

More favorite Savory and Sweet Snack Food Recipes which includes more popcorn treats.

Shop What's Cooking America - Check out What's Cooking America's large selection of popcorn making supplies, such hot air poppers, stove-top popper, movie theatre-style popcorn popper, popcorn bowls, popcorn bags, popcorn, and Linda's favorite Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer.

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Cheddar Cheese Popcorn Recipe:

Recipe Type: Savory and Sweet Snack Food, Popcorn
Cuisine: Great Lakes (Chicago)
Yields: serves many
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 20 to 30 minutes


12 cups (1 large batch) popped corn*
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 cup Cheddar Cheese Powder**
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon chili or cayenne powder (chili powder will be milder)
1/2 cup butter

* Remember to remove any un-popped popcorn kernels.

** Often found in the popcorn section of most grocery stores. If unable to find cheddar cheese powder, purchase boxes of Macaroni and Cheese and use the powdered cheese flavor packets. You can also purchase cheddar cheese powder from our Amazon Store.


Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

Popcorn can be air popped to reduce fat or cooked in oil (your choice). If cooked in oil, place the popped popcorn in a paper bag to help drain excess oil. Sprinkle with salt to taste.

In a small bowl, mix together the cheddar cheese powder, mustard powder, and chili powder; set aside.

In a small sauce pan or microwave, melt the butter. Pour the melted butter over the popcorn and shake or stir to coat popcorn evenly. Immediately pour the cheese mixture over the buttered popcorn; shake or stir to coat evenly.

Pour the Cheddar Cheese Popcorn mixture into a large roasting pan. Place in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 20 to 30 minutes, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes until the popcorn mixture has dried out and the moisture is gone. Remove from oven and serve immediately or let cool completely and store in airtight containers or re-sealable bags.

Serve many.

You might also like:

Homemade Caramel Corn

Homemade Cracker Jacks

Chicago Mix Popcorn

Popcorn Balls

Caramel Corn
This classic caramel corn is so satisfying and delicious! Your children and/or grandchildren will  label you the "best" Mom or Grandma when you serve this to them. Makes a great snack and also wonderful gifts.

Cracker Jacks
The flavor that makes Cracker Jacks unique from classic caramel corn is the molasses syrup added in. This is a copycat recipe that comes very close to the original and just as hard to stop eating!

Chicago-Style Popcorn
A Chicago Mix is known to locals as caramel and cheddar cheese flavored popcorn kernels mixed up together creating an addictive sweet and salty snack combination. The Chicago Popcorn is a cheese and caramel combo that everyone loves the minute they try it.

Popcorn Balls
These old-time popcorn balls are great anytime, but they're especially fun to enjoy at Halloween or Christmas time.

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