Friday, July 20, 2012

Buffalo Parmesan Popcorn

So, we don’t really need to talk about how much I love snacks.  You know, I know, there’s no denying it.

My snack choice of late has been popcorn.  Popped on the stove top, butter melted on, lots of salt sprinkled.   A couple weeks ago I might have turned popcorn into dinner and when I shared that fact, I learned that a lot of you eat popcorn for dinner.

So that makes this a normal thing, right?  I think so.  At least we are going to pretend so.  Popcorn makes a completely suitable dinner when your husband works late.  It makes a completely suitable dinner when it’s 125 degrees outside and you don’t feel like lighting the flame on the stove.  Popcorn is dinner when it’s the end of the week and a grocery run is desperately needed.

But I think I’ve maybe reached a new level of snacking.  Yes, on a heck of a day, popcorn smothered in buttery, spicy buffalo sauce and Parmesan cheese is more than a suitable dinner.  Especially when served with a side of carrot sticks and pinot grigio.  Who needs a 4-course meal?

Not me, friends, not me.

PrintPrint Recipe

Buffalo Parmesan Popcorn Recipe

Yield: 4 cups

Total Time: 10 minutes

Popcorn smothered in spicy buffalo sauce and parmesan cheese. The world has no better snack than this.


4 cups popped popcorn
2 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs. Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
1/4 tsp. Cajun seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 Tbs. Parmesan cheese


In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. When the butter starts to melt, add the Frank’s and Cajun seasoning. Stir to combine and remove from heat.

Slowly pour the mixture over the popped popcorn and toss to combine until fully distributed. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese and toss to coat.

Cassie’s Notes:
I pop my popcorn on the stove because: a) we don’t have a microwave and b) we don’t have an airpopper. So stove popping is really my only choice, which is A-OK with me because I love it that way.

Here’s how to do it:
Heat one tablespoon of oil in a medium heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. (I use grapeseed, you can use canola, vegetable, etc. just not olive oil, it will be likely to burn)

Add a few popcorn kernels and let it heat up. When one kernel pops, add 1/3 cup of uncooked popcorn kernels and cover the pan. Shake the pan a little to spread the kernels in an even layer. Let the kernels pop for several minutes until the pan is full and the popping slows down. Remove from heat and transfer popcorn to a large bowl.

If you like ranch dressing, try adding a dash of dry ranch mix to the buffalo sauce; if you are a fan of blue cheese, toss some crumbles into the popped corn!


98 Responses to “Buffalo Parmesan Popcorn”

  1. #
    DB-The Foodie Stuntman — July 22, 2012 @ 4:09 pm

    Hi Cassie, I found you through Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic. Nice to meet you.

    Interesting way to prepare popcorn as I’ve never done it on the stovetop. My folks had an air popper when I was a kid that I learned to use, but lately it’s all been the nuclear oven variety. I’ve bookmarked this.

  2. #
    Mercedes@Satisfy My Sweet Tooth — July 22, 2012 @ 5:55 pm

    You know I share your love of anything with buffalo sauce and I also love eating popcorn for dinner once in awhile when I am alone! I love the photo you took looking into the popcorn bottle!

  3. #
    katie — July 22, 2012 @ 9:00 pm

    this sounds magnificent! ahhh now I’m craving popcorn!

  4. #
    Tracey — July 23, 2012 @ 9:05 am

    This is SUCH an awesome idea! I love making popcorn but would never have thought of this variation. I am so excited to try it…maybe for lunch today?? 🙂

  5. #
    claire @ the realistic nutritionist — July 23, 2012 @ 9:08 am

    I could totally get on board with this.

  6. #
    sally @ sallys baking addiction — July 23, 2012 @ 12:10 pm

    I can totally see myself making this Cassie. I saw this picture on instagram and immediately got excited to see the post in its entirety. SOmetimes, popcorn is what I have for dinner! 🙂 And I love that shot looking into the kernel bottle. So cool!

  7. #
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — July 23, 2012 @ 1:45 pm

    Ooh this is a fun twist on such an easy snack!

  8. #
    Ashley - baker by nature — July 23, 2012 @ 2:11 pm

    I want to dive head first into that bowl!

  9. #
    Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen — July 23, 2012 @ 2:47 pm

    Yep. Dinner is served.

  10. #
    Heidi @ Food Doodles — July 23, 2012 @ 6:09 pm

    MMmm, love this idea!

  11. #
    Nami | Just One Cookbook — July 24, 2012 @ 2:53 am

    Oh wow, this is a great great great recipe, and I’m going to surprise my husband with this popcorn this weekend on our movie night! =D I hope I can keep it secret as I’m quite excited about this popcorn flavor…. ^_^

  12. #
    Carrie @ Kiss My Whisk — July 24, 2012 @ 11:37 am

    Love this! I’ve been into my air popper lately and love anything and everything buffalo!

  13. #
    Chrissy — July 24, 2012 @ 4:29 pm

    Popcorn for dinner…it just happens. Before you know it, you ate the whole bowl and then you aren’t hungry for anything else!

    I love dipping my popcorn in hot sauce or mustard some times 🙂 Parmesan and herb popcorn is also a favorite, but I’ve never tried buffalo sauce! Grand idear, Cassie.

  14. #
    Erin @ Texanerin Baking — July 25, 2012 @ 2:54 pm

    Oh wow. This is creative! I have never had flavored popcorn, except for this caramel stuff that they used to make. The kind that comes in the bag that you pop in the microwave (I’m sure there’s a name for that but yeah, I know nothing about popcorn!) It was so good that I randomly think about it sometimes. Now I have popcorn on the mind… yum.

  15. #
    val — July 26, 2012 @ 11:51 am

    This popcorn looks and sounds like the most tasty treat, ever.

  16. #
    Kim Bee — July 26, 2012 @ 6:33 pm

    There is nothing like good popcorn. It makes me happy to have it all the time. This is cool with the spice. Loving it.

  17. #
    Cassi — August 17, 2012 @ 2:18 pm

    Does this have to be eaten immediately after being made? Would it hold well if I made a batch and stored it in a air tight container for work? If so how long do you think it would last?

    • Cassie replied: — August 17th, 2012 @ 2:38 pm

      Hi Cassi, I’m not sure how long it would last but I would guess no more than a day after it’s made. Usually popcorn gets stale pretty quickly. I hope you enjoy it!

  18. #
    natalie@thesweetslife — November 20, 2014 @ 8:42 pm

    think I could skip the cajun seasoning? (I don’t have any) Would you omit completely or replace with something else?

  19. #
    Jill — December 3, 2014 @ 5:51 pm

    Great idea! I’m hosting a cocktail party and love the idea of grown up popcorn. I need to prep as much as I can before. Have you ever tried to make it and contain it for a couple of hours? Have you ever tried the dry buffalo seasoning?? Thanks for the great idea!!

    • Cassie replied: — December 3rd, 2014 @ 6:06 pm

      Hi Jill, I have never tried to make it ahead of time, so I’m not sure how it would hold up. However, if you used dry buffalo seasoning I would guess that would work much better for preparing ahead of time. Enjoy!

  20. #
    Laura — January 27, 2015 @ 5:07 pm

    I found this recipe through “37 super bowl snacks better than buffalo wings.” It sounds tasty, but it also sounds like quite a bit of liquid/messiness. Is the popcorn a similar texture to popcorn prepared the usual way?

    • Cassie replied: — January 28th, 2015 @ 7:36 am

      Laura, there is more liquid than if you were just using butter on the popcorn, but it isn’t a mess for me. Just add the liquid slowly and stop when you feel like it’s covered enough, without getting too much on it. Also, you could make more popcorn if you feel like there is too much liquid, but the final product might not be as flavorful.

  21. #
    Paty — January 29, 2015 @ 1:28 am

    I’ve tried another buffalo popcorn recipe using butter and buffalo sauce as well but I did not like it. The popcorn got all wet even using the smallest amount. How can I avoid that mess?

    • Cassie replied: — January 29th, 2015 @ 7:09 am

      Hi Patty, I can tell you that this does popcorn doesn’t turn into a wet/saucy mess for me. I use real butter, usually a name brand, which helps because they usually have a lower water content. Don’t use margarine or it will be very watery. Also, you can let the sauce cook a little longer to thicken and reduce and that will help also. Otherwise, you could try to find a powdered buffalo flavoring and just use that, along with regular butter and salt (and Parmesan cheese if you wanted.) I know Kernel Season’s makes a buffalo flavoring that is powdered. Enjoy!

  22. #
    Emmy — March 25, 2015 @ 2:10 pm

    you should totally try popping the popcorn in coconut oil. It sounds strange, but trust me it is AMAZING!


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