DIY Popcorn Bar - KNEP - Kentucky Nutrition Education Program


DIY Popcorn Bar

Servings:7Serving Size:2 cups


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ cup popcorn kernels
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • Dash of salt


  1. Preheat a large (at least 14 cups) nonstick pot with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat for two minutes. Open the lid, and add a few drops of water to the pot. If they immediately sizzle, reduce the heat to slightly above low.
  2. Add the oil and popcorn kernels, and immediately replace the lid.
  3. Gently shake the pot every few seconds. The popcorn kernels will start popping within a few minutes. Continue to gently shake the pot every few seconds while the popcorn pops.
  4. The popcorn is done when at least three seconds lapse between kernel pops.
  5. Immediately remove the pot from the heat, pour the melted butter over the popcorn and sprinkle the salt on top. Toss to coat.
  6. Divide hot popcorn into individual cups or bags and provide a variety of flavorings to create a unique flavor.
  7. For fun, set up a flavor station using some of the ideas below. Start with a sprinkle or drizzle of flavoring, adding more until the desired taste is achieved.


Flavor Station Ideas

  • Chili powder
  • Raisins or other dried fruit
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Pizza (Mix 1/2 cup dried parmesan 1 teaspoon garlic powder and 1 teaspoon dried oregano)
  • Parmesan cheese and garlic (Mix 1/2 cup grated parmesan with 1 teaspoon garlic)
  • Cinnamon and sugar (Mix 2 tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons cinnamon)
  • Cool ranch (Mix 2 tablespoons powdered buttermilk, 2 tablespoons black pepper and 2 teaspoons dried dill weed)
  • Barbeque (Mix 1 tablespoon 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 tablespoon garlic, 1 tablespoon chili powder and 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce)
  • Peanut butter (Heat 1/4 cup honey with ½ cup peanut butter and ½ teaspoon each vanilla extract)
  • Taco (Mix 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper)
  • Dill Pickle (Mix 2 teaspoons ground coriander, 2 teaspoons dried dill, 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard, 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder and 1/2 teaspoon celery seed)
Source: Eat Smart to Play Hard: Brooke Jenkins, Extension Specialist, University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service


***A hot air popper can also be used to pop popcorn. After popping popcorn according to appliance directions, begin at step 5 to create flavored popcorn.

130 calories; 8g total fat; 2.5g saturated fat; 0g trans fat; 10mg sodium; total carbohydrate 15g; 4g dietary fiber; 1g total sugars; 0g added sugars; 2g protein; 0% Daily Value of vitamin d; 0% Daily Value of calcium; 6% Daily Value of iron; 0% Daily Value of potassium.