How to Make Chocolate Cranberry Pecan Popcorn Trail Mix

The Kernel
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Trail mixes in general are a great way to incorporate healthy nuts and dried fruits into your diet. They’re the perfect combination of healthy and delicious, and they’ll change the way you eat your popcorn forever! You can munch on them during your favorite rom-com, you can take them to go to snack on the road, you can make them for a party, or you can simply make a perfect edible gift out of them; the sky’s the limit! Also, they’re the perfect snack to use up leftover popcorn. Yes, it’s really all pros and zero cons when it comes to this recipe, and we haven’t even mentioned how easy they’re to make!

You’ll be pleasantly shocked when you read the instructions of this recipe because there aren’t many! You may think that it’s too involved or hard because it has a long name but, on the contrary, it’s as simple as mixing a bunch of ingredients. The word “mix” is in the name itself! It usually takes no longer than 5 minutes of active cooking time, and it’s most likely one of the lesser involved snack recipes ever! You can’t beat a healthy, very simple and easy-to-make, and delicious snack recipe. Let’s get to the first step – you can skip right to the recipe if you’re using leftover popcorn – if you’re intrigued!

Popping the Popcorn

We can’t make a scrumptiously crunchy popcorn snack if we don’t get poppin’ first, right? But don’t worry, popping the popcorn is the hardest step in this recipe, which isn’t really hard at all. As usual, we’ll be giving our stovetop method for the popcorn, but feel free to use whichever method you’re comfortable with. You can even go for a store bought bag of popcorn or a microwave popcorn for convenience if you haven’t got the time or energy, or if you simply crave some extra butteriness! Popcorn snacks are very easily customizable to your own taste and preferences. If you’re going to pop your own popcorn, here’s how to do it using the stovetop method:

What You’ll Need

  • 2 tbsp corn kernels – yields approx. 4 cups of popped popcorn
  • 1 tbsp coconut or neutral oil
  • Small pinch of salt
  • Large pot with a fitting lid
  • Large bowl


  • Start heating the oil up in the pot over medium heat
  • After a couple of minutes, throw in a few corn kernels and wait for them to start popping
  • Once they start popping, toss in the remaining kernels, give them a quick stir, and cover the lid
  • When the popping sound starts to die down after a while, take the pot off the heat and dump the popped popcorn to a large bowl
  • Sprinkle over a small pinch of salt while they’re still hot and give them a shake

How to Make Chocolate Cranberry Pecan Popcorn Trail Mix

Now, the good part comes because you’ll be ready to munch on this popcorn treat in no time! It’s also a very kid-friendly snack recipe and a great way of introducing relatively healthy snacks to your kids’ diet instead of highly processed, mass manufactured potato chips. It makes a killer school snack, too! You can just make a batch, store in individual zip lock bags, and add one every day while you’re packing up your kids’ lunch or snacks before school. Oh, and remember to keep the individual batches relatively big because kids love sharing with other kids! They’ll be very popular among their foodie friends.

You can experiment with different ingredients such as seeds, other dried fruits, nuts and legumes every week to switch things up so that it doesn’t become a boring and routine snack. But you don’t even need a reason to whip this up, it’s overall a great snack to munch on while doing anything, indoors or outdoors. If you like to give it a try, here’s how:


  • 4 cups popped popcorn
  • ½ cup pecans
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 3 oz white chocolate chips
  • Pinch of flaky salt or coarse sea salt


  • Combine the popped popcorn, dried cranberries, and pecans on a parchment lined baking sheet and mix them well
  • Melt the white chocolate chips over a double boiler over slow heat, or in the microwave, and drizzle it over the popcorn mixture
  • Give the mixture a stir if you want everything to be coated, or you can simply leave it as is if you just want strips of melted white chocolate over the mixture
  • Let it rest in the fridge for about an hour or so until the white chocolate hardens
  • Then break up any large clusters into bite-sized pieces or you can break them up into bark shaped clusters if you prefer
  • Enjoy!

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