How To Make Cheddar Popcorn Seasoning

The Kernel
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There are endless recipes that can dress up popcorn, but cheddar cheese has to be one of the better choices out there.

This is a simple seasoning recipe that cheese lovers will love. You can make regular popcorn taste like a fresh baguette with melted cheddar on top.

How To Make Cheddar Popcorn Seasoning

Before we get into the recipe, we’ll cover some things you need to know to avoid your popcorn turning into an oily mess.

Make sure you read these guidelines before making your cheddar popcorn, as there are a few things that can go wrong with this recipe.

At the end of this article, you’ll find out how to create tempting cheesy popcorn in just five minutes!

We’re warning you, this recipe is very moreish, so it’s a good thing that making extra batches is easy and quick to do!

The Right Cheese Powder For Cheddar Popcorn

Before you start trying out the recipe, you should make sure that you understand which powder is best for your popcorn.

There’s a reason why you should use powder as seasoning instead of real cheese. Placing regular cheddar cheese in the microwave may melt the cheese, but you’ll end up with a clumpy, melted mess.

You can buy cheddar cheese powder online at places like Amazon, but if you don’t make enough cheddar popcorn, you may not end up using all of the powder in the bag.

These bags can be cumbersome and difficult to store away too.

Luckily, you can avoid this scenario by using the packets of cheddar powder that come in macaroni and cheese boxes. This is a simple, yet easy way of getting cheddar powder without wasting a whole bag of it later.

How To Make Cheddar Popcorn

You can make tasty cheddar popcorn on the stove in just five minutes. This may be unusual to those used to microwave popcorn, but we promise, the results are worth it!

Making The Seasoning

To make your cheddar popcorn seasoning, you’ll need the cheese packet from a mac and cheese box, as well as a few spices.

  • Gather a 1/4 teaspoon of mustard powder and a 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne powder.
  • Add the cheese powder and the dry spices to a small bowl, then mix.
  • Once the powders and spices are combined, you’ll have a tasty seasoning you’ll add to your popcorn later.

Make The Popcorn

Once you’ve made the seasoning, you can start making popcorn over the stove. To do this, get a heavy-bottomed stock pot and add some oil to the pan.

  • Heat the oil and add a couple of kernels. These will start sizzling to indicate that the oil has heated up enough.
  • Once the kernels start sizzling, add the rest of the kernels and cover the pan with a lid.
  • Take the pan off of the heat for around 20 seconds, then place it back on the heat. All you have to do now is wait for the kernels to pop. 

If you decide to use an air popper, spritz the popcorn with oil or add butter to the mix. This will make it easier for the cheddar to stick to the pieces later.

Add The Cheese Powder Seasoning

After the popcorn has popped completely, pour it all into a big bowl that has a lid. If you don’t have this available, you can substitute it for a larger paper bag.

  • Add some melted butter to the popcorn, then shake the bowl (with the lid on) to coat each piece with the butter.
  • Don’t be afraid to add more butter as it, along with the cooking oil, will help to powder coat each popcorn piece.
  • Once you’re done shaking the popcorn, you can add the cheddar seasoning to the mix. Simply scatter the powder over the popcorn, cover the bowl with the lid, and shake to coat each piece.

If you have another person available, you can add the cheese to the bowl while another person tosses the popcorn with a salad spoon.

Try to shake the popcorn as well as you can, as this will let the cheddar evenly cover each piece.

Adding Salt

Adding Salt

There’s already salt in the cheddar packet, so you may not want to add salt to the mix. However, salt can help to add another layer to the cheesy taste.

If you don’t mind the salt levels, adding a little sea salt to the popcorn can bring all of the flavors together.

That being said, the best part of homemade recipes is that you can adjust the seasonings to your preferences.

How To Make White Cheddar Popcorn Seasoning

If you prefer white cheddar over regular cheddar, you can add the same flavors to popcorn too! Simply swap the box of standard macaroni and cheese for a white cheddar box instead.

Make sure you check on the back to make sure it uses cheese powder, as some brands may use a substitute.

Types Of Cheese Powder

So many brands create mac and cheese boxes, so it can be hard knowing which box you should go for.

It’s always a better idea to opt for a box that you like to eat! This will ensure that the popcorn picks up the same cheese taste that you love.

If you’re not a regular mac and cheese lover, it’s best to go for a well-known brand, like Kraft or Annies. Store-brand options may be more affordable, but they don’t taste as good as slightly more expensive options.

Always make sure that you buy a normal box of macaroni and cheese, not microwaveable options.

If you prefer, you can purchase individual bags of cheese powder. Some brands produce white cheddar options, while others are blended with spices like paprika and chili. There are loads of options to suit different cheese tastes!

Don’t Throw Out The Pasta!

Don’t waste the macaroni noodles after using the cheese powder! Throwing the noodles out just contributes to food waste. Instead, keep them in an airtight container to use later.

You can try making sauces to cook the pasta in, add them to a noodle soup, or even save them for your kids to create art & craft projects!

How Much Cheese Powder Should You Use In Your Seasoning?

As much or as little as you like! The choice is up to you. If you’re unsure, start with four tablespoons of cheddar, then work your way up or down from there.

A mac and cheese packet will normally contain slightly more than four tablespoons, so you may prefer to just pour in the whole packet.

If you want your popcorn on the cheesier side, six or seven tablespoons of cheddar should suffice. You’ll either need two boxes of mac and cheese, or a bag of cheese powder.

Just remember to add the powder when the butter and oil are still wet, so it sticks to all the little popcorn pieces.


There you have it! That’s how to make cheddar popcorn seasoning that tastes amazing. Instead of using actual cheddar, the the cheese packet from a mac and cheese box will stop the popcorn from turning soggy.

Remember to shake the popcorn with enough butter or spray them with oil, as this will make the cheddar stick to pieces.

Homemade popcorn means that you can customize the recipe to your liking, so feel free to add any other spices of your choice to taste!

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