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Course: Appetizers
Keyword: Comfort Food, Game Day, Gluten-Free, Hacks, Snacks

Triple Cheese Popcorn

Triple cheese popcorn in a blue bowl
ACTIVE TIME: 10 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 10 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
My hack for perfectly popped homemade cheese popcorn.
In-depth research and experimentation have led me to the crystalline-clear realization that the best flavor on earth is that of crunchy Cheetos. The reason, of course, is pure science. It’s a chemical gestalt of cheese powder and a bunch of other...stuff.
Well, I think we’ve cracked the code and truth be told, there are multiple secret ingredients, including: nutritional yeast, which is actually good for you and available at your local health food store; cheddar cheese powder, which is available from most reputable spice purveyors; trashy, green canister “parmesan” cheese, which is available at most gas stations; and last but not least, buttermilk powder, which you can find on the baking aisle of most megamarts.
Be forewarned, the resulting mix is extremely habit forming. Placing it on popcorn only makes it better...I mean worse.
Although butter does bring flavor to the party, it does contain water. Over time, it will suck some of the crispness out of your corn. Using olive oil will help avoid this wilting.
This recipe first appeared on altonbrown.com.
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  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese powder
  • 1 tablespoon powdered "parmesan" cheese
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon buttermilk powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Specialized Hardware

Digital kitchen scale
Food processor
Triple cheese popcorn in a blue bowl
ACTIVE TIME: 10 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 10 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings


  • Process the cheddar cheese powder, "parmesan" cheese powder, nutritional yeast, buttermilk powder, and kosher salt in a food processor to a fine, granular powder.
  • Place the oil and popcorn kernels in a large, 6-quart metal mixing bowl. Cover with heavy-duty aluminum foil and poke 10 slits in the top with a knife.
  • Place the bowl over medium heat and shake constantly using a pair of tongs or kitchen towels to hold the bowl. Continue shaking until the popcorn finishes popping, approximately 3 minutes.
  • Remove the bowl from the heat and carefully remove the foil.
  • Slowly drizzle the melted butter over the popcorn while spinning the bowl. Add the cheese mixture, re-cover with aluminum foil, and shake the coat the popcorn with the cheese mixture. Serve immediately.
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