I used to cringe at the word “domestic”. To me, the term implied a docile housewife whose goal in life was to please her family members and keep the home in order. It seemed condescending. Since developing an interest in cooking, however, I’ve changed my mind about the word. Being able to feed myself (and others) well is empowering, and there’s nothing wrong with enjoying time at home.
Beyond that, while I’m living as a single woman, learning how to cook what I like to eat without any other palates to accommodate is a welcome challenge. I eat what I want, when I want! Sitting down to enjoy a plate of food that I made all for myself is a thrice daily triumph.
It turns out that stovetop popcorn is what I often like to serve myself. I love it because I can make as much or as little as I want. It’s a healthy, whole grain snack that costs mere pennies to make. Once popped, it’s consumed pretty much immediately, so I don’t have to worry about my beloved crunchy ‘n salty snack food going stale. Fresh popcorn is always minutes away, and I like knowing that I can always pop some up during impromptu entertaining.
My parents always made popcorn on the stove and taught me how early on, so I consider myself a popcorn connoisseur of sorts. Fun fact: I nearly burned my house down while making stovetop popcorn at age 10 (lesson learned: do not leave hot oil on the stove unattended!). I have always preferred stovetop popcorn to that greasy, microwavable, artificial ingredient-laden abomination that calls itself popcorn. Seriously, the fake butter flavor chemicals in microwave popcorn are so toxic that factory workers have developed “popcorn lung“.
Stovetop popcorn is such an easy, healthy, quick and tasty snack that it’s something I want everyone to know how to make at home. I’d like to give Mark Bittman a high five for selecting popcorn as the first recipe in The Food Matters Cookbook, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to encourage my fellow members to try it. You’ll find his recipe below, but I never measure the ingredients; just add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan and toss in a small handful or two of kernels, depending on the size of the pan. I hope you’ll try it!
Stovetop Popcorn with Chili Powder and Dark Chocolate
- Prep Time: 1 min
- Cook Time: 9 mins
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 4 to 8 servings 1x
- Category: Snack
Top your stovetop popcorn with dark chocolate and chili powder! It’s an easy and delicious, sweet-and-savory snack. Recipe serves 4 to 8.
- 2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (I prefer to use coconut oil or olive oil)
- 1⁄2 cup popping corn
- 2 to 4 tablespoons butter or olive oil, optional
- 2 tablespoons chopped dark chocolate
- ½ teaspoon mild chili powder, to taste
- Salt, to taste
- Put the vegetable oil in a large, deep pan with a lid. Turn the heat up to medium, add 2 kernels of corn, and cover.
- Once the kernels pop, remove the lid and pour in the remaining popcorn kernels. Cover and shake the pot, holding the lid on. At this point, I like to remove the pot from the heat and let it sit for a minute before continuing.
- Cook over medium heat, shaking the pot occasionally, until the popping sound stops after about 5 minutes. Based on the sound, take the pot off the heat around the same time that you would take a bag of popcorn out of the microwave. Meanwhile, if you’re using it, melt the butter or gently warm the olive oil.
- Quickly pour the popcorn into a large bowl; sprinkle with chopped chocolate immediately. Sprinkle with chili powder and salt, then toss the popcorn. Season with more salt, to taste. Serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from The Food Matters Cookbook.
Make it vegan: Use olive oil rather than butter, and chop up your favorite dairy free chocolate to add to the popcorn instead.
Preparation tips: I honestly don’t measure ingredients when I make popcorn. I just pour in enough oil to cover the pan, let two kernels pop, and then pour in a small handful of kernels. If you’re new to making stovetop popcorn, you might want to try Mark’s recipe as given so you can get the feel of it.
Confession: I’ve never made stove top popcorn. It’s on my food “bucket list”. The chocolate + chili powder combo out of all those topping possibilities sounds like the best one to me!
Try stovetop popcorn ASAP, I beg of you! Bagged microwave popcorn will lose all of its appeal.
Stovetop popcorn reigns supreme!! I’ve only been popping on the stove fro 2 years, but am hooked. I even got my husband popping it!! :) This looks like the perfect snack for a valentine’s day movie night.
I live alone and LOVE cooking for myself. It’s great to make exactly what I want just how I want it and not worry about anyone else’s tastes/preferences. It also means leftovers for later in the week :)
Cheers to leftovers! I love coming up with different ways to use them up.
Heidi @ Food Doodles
I felt the exact same way about anything labeled “domestic”! Funny how our viewpoints can change so much in such a short period of time :D I usually make popcorn for us in a very old hot air popper. It works great for now, but it’s so nice to be prepared with other options to make it when our popper breaks because it’s one of our go-to snacks. I really need to branch out with different flavorings though!
Such a great pick!
I also have to agree- I love cooking only for myself. I feel like I try more combinations than I would have if I was cooking for more people!
Love this combination. Ever since I graduated from college and really paid attention to what’s in fake popcorn, I avoided it. Until last year when I got an air popping machine and love it. Good quality popcorn is so good in itself, a sweet corny flavor.
yes. to all of this. and i love how our generation is trying to throw out the old ideals of “domestic” and promoting that hey, i can be a feminist and a good cook.
Hell yes. Cheers to being feminists who can cook! And to men who like to cook, too! Equality in the kitchen, coming soon.
I love nutritional yeast on popcorn as well, spike is good too!
Alyssa @ Everyday Ma
So glad to have joined the group! Thanks for choosing the popcorn – I couldn’t agree more that it is an ideal snack. I love seeing all the awesome interpretations :)
I love this idea! I’ve always enjoyed chocolate dark chocolate bars laced with chilies. I would have never thought to combine them as a popcorn topping, but I’m so very glad you did!
This snack is absolutely delightful!
I love popping my own popcorn and this dark chocolate and chilli flavour combination is amazing – gorgeous photos too :-)
I was definitely excited when I saw that you had picked popcorn. It’s something we eat a few times a week around here, but I’ve never actually blogged about the possibilities it holds! I know I’d enjoy the dark chocolate and chili powder popcorn combo – amazing. Thanks for the fantastic pick :)
Great pick Kate! I have only made stovetop popcorn once after my roommate inspired me to. It is a million times better than microwave popcorn. I’m never going back!
Thanks for encouraging us to make this popcorn. I used to eat stovetop popcorn all the time when I lived in Peru, but I had stopped making it for awhile. Now I’m hooked again and after seeing all of the different variations of it, I think I’m going to start eating it everyday! Yummy!!
I love making my own popcorn- why ever buy that store-bought junk?! One trick I learned for the microwave was to tape the bag shut with a bit of scotch tapes. Helps the steam stay in! yum. I love a bit of coconut oil and salt!
I could eat a big bowl of this popcorn!
Power to all the domestiques! I’m a lover of stovetop popcorn myself. We’ve got this whirlypopper thing which has a crank shaft that you spin to keep the kernels moving while they’re popping. A weekend just isn’t a weekend without a big bowl of buttery popcorn with nutritional yeast and Old Bay seasoning. Yum!
To keep my popcorn extra crispy, I use a spatter screen and a paper towel on top of the pot when popping rather than the lid. Be careful to avoid the steam when shaking the pot and no more soggy puffs of deliciousness! Lemon pepper and Old Bay are two current seasoning favorites for me.
I love stovetop popcorn! I have wanting to make it with my daughter for a while now but never got around to making it. After reading your post though I think I should definitely make it with her :)
Jen @ pretty plate
This sounds like the perfect cure for a healthy and easy chocolate/salt/crunch craving!
Can’t wait to try this.
I’m with you…the only popcorn I really want is the stovetop variety. It’s definitely my favorite snack and sometimes dinner :) Your post inspires me to fancy it up some! I love the chili powder/dark chocolate combination!
I, too, used to cringe at the word ‘domestic’ but somewhere between my early and late (gah!) twenties, I realized that you can be a totally modern, career-oriented, single power woman and still be domestic. In fact, being a modern woman who embraces domesticity just means you have that much more to offer the people around. Hello? Who doesn’t love to have a friend who knows how to make you a delicious dinner and hold an intelligent conversation?? You’re totally inspiring me to make popcorn. I must admit, it’s not the first thing I reach for when I want a snack, but with dark chocolate? I can definitely get on board.
Love this post! I’ve been wanting to try and make stove-top popcorn and try out some neat flavour combinations. The dark chocolate & chili sounds fantastic!
Nice idea to make homemade popcorn. It’s always better than store-bought. It reminds me of the times when I was a little girl, and we use to pop corn kernels in a hot air popcorn machine.
I have never thought of chocolate and chilli combined as a popcorn topping. I wonder what that tastes like? You have an interesting choice of toppings here though. Not what I’m used to. Thanks for sharing
My son is home from college this weekend and we’ll be making popcorn together! Thanks for choosing this recipe.
I love popcorn so much that it is frequently my evening meal. It is never boring and never gets old. I confess that just plain popcorn has always been a favorite, but I will definitely give this a try!
I love stove top popcorn…This sounds sooo good. I received some chocolate olive oil (Lucero) for Christmas and I’ve been trying to come up with different ways to use it. I never thought about putting it on popcorn. I might try using it in place of the dark chocolate.
I’ve never heard of chocolate olive oil, but I love both chocolate and olive oil and I bet they would make an interesting and delicious pair! If you try making popcorn with it, please let us know how it turns out!
this would be so dangerous – but would love every bite!
I tried making stovetop popcorn for the first time after reading thi and I liked it a lot! My dad had made it a couple times and it had always burnt or tasted funny but it worked out well today. Thank you for sharing your tips and tricks of the trade! Popcorn is my best friend and it is a lot cheaper to airpop or make it on the stovetop than microwave bags. Being a student cost is important!
I’m so glad to hear it, Lauren! You’re totally right, stovetop popcorn is SO much cheaper! Enjoy!
Yosef - This America
This post changed how I make popcorn and I have referenced it in a post that went live this morning – Garlic, Za’atar and Olive Oil Popcorn. Thank you for inspiring!
I made stovetop popcorn for the first time today, and I put dark chocolate and chili over half. It was absolutely DELICIOUS. Thank you!
That’s great! Glad you enjoyed the popcorn flavors, Shivani.
I love your site…it’s really nice
pls when do I add sugar to my popcorn
…and can I use butter to grease my pan instead of oil?
Sandy, thank you. I’m sorry, I’ve never added sugar to my popcorn so I’m not sure when to add it. You might find some tips by googling for “kettle corn” recipes. I have also never tried popping my popcorn with butter, but I’m doubtful that will work like you want it to. I’m sorry I can’t be more help!
Too funny! I thought I was the only one who nearly burnt the house down from making popcorn as a kid!
I make stove-top popcorn 2-3 times per week, and have just started experimenting with extra toppings so its always good to have further inspiration!
Nope, you’re definitely not the only one! I really like sprinkling my popcorn with a little bit of real butter and smoked salt these days.
Yeh it’s a decent recipe you’ve nicked, why you began the piece with some pseudo-feminist ramblings about domesticity is beyond me.
You’re welcome to get your popcorn recipes elsewhere, Jim!
Just thought I’d let you know that I had a rare and sudden craving for popcorn tonight and it’s been so long since I last made it on the stovetop that I thought I’d better google for some tips lol! This page was one of the top results on my google search….and I’m so glad it was!
I followed your directions to the letter and I’m simply amazed at how good it came out!!! I will definitely be doing popcorn more often and this same way from now on and also I now look forward to exploring your site for future ideas too! Thank you very much
Thanks, Pat! I’m so glad you landed on my site after your craving hit. :) Popcorn is my go-to snack, it’s just the best!
Oops, I only noticed I could rate this recipe *after* I submitted my last post. So I’m commenting again but this time with the rating your recipe deserves
Awesome popcorn! just made it now :D
Garlic salt and sea salt mmmm!!!!!
I just tried it and it was perfect! I simply did olive oil and sea salt, but I have got to try the chocolate and chili powder combo that you did, that looks amazing! Thank you Kate!
Yay! Homemade popcorn is the best. Thanks, Amanda!
I make Mark’s popcorn all the time! I came upon your site as I was Googling for new seasoning ideas. I’ve made his gorpcorn and kettle corn from his VB6 cookbook, and for a while, I was seasoning it with Penzey’s new Curry Now powder, which was wonderful, but I’ve run out. Chili and chocolate sound good, but how much do you use? By the way, I think this is the slowest-loading Web site I have ever visited.
Hi Christa, I’m so sorry my site was loading slowly for you! I am working on that. I just use a sprinkle of chili powder and a couple of tablespoons of finely chopped chocolate.
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Superb blog! Do you have any helpful hints for aspiring writers?
I’m hoping to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so
many choices out there that I’m completely confused ..
Any ideas? Thanks!
Hello! Great question. I actually have a post about how to start a food blog. Check it out!https://cookieandkate.com/how-to-start-a-food-blog/
This was my first time making stovetop popcorn and WOW. Just wow. Your recipe is absolutely perfect! Even my husband, who doesn’t typically like anything sweet on his popcorn, called it “addictive”. I also followed your tip from your main popcorn recipe about tipping the lid, and it came out great- nice and crunchy.