This sweet & salty popcorn recipe is flavored with strawberry powder for a fun & highly addictive snack. There's something special about homemade popcorn made on the stovetop that's perfect for movie night, game day, or even Valentine's Day!
Popcorn is up there on my list of all-time favorite snacks. Whether it be buttered movie theater popcorn (emphasis on the butter), cheesy popcorn, Kettle Corn or caramel corn, it is a great snack option.
There are lots of bagged and pre-made options found in the grocery store that are great options for the everyday popcorn fix. That being said, there is something about freshly popped popcorn that can't be beat, especially using the tips you'll find in this post!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Lower sugar - There are other flavored popcorn recipes that use corn syrup, food coloring and/or jello to color and flavor it. This recipe uses 5 simple ingredients, including freeze-dried strawberries to provide color and flavor.
- Versatile - Add some extra toppings to this popcorn to transform it into different a variety of flavor combinations. Find ideas further down in the post!
- Quick & easy - The stove top method of making popcorn can seem intimidating compared to putting a bag in the microwave, but have no fear! Once you master this easy method of making popcorn, you may never go back!
Here are the 5 ingredients needed to make this recipe:
- Freeze-dried strawberries - I get mine at Aldi, but I've also seen them at Target. They are usually found near the other dried fruits like raisins. There is just one ingredient in these: strawberries. That means they are naturally sweetened and will become the star of this popcorn.
- Coconut oil - Using coconut oil for popcorn was a game changer for me. It gives the popcorn a lightly sweet, nutty flavor while providing the same richness as buttered popcorn. Many major movie theaters actually use coconut oil for their popcorn! And no, it won't make the popcorn taste like coconut.
- Popcorn kernels - I prefer using white popcorn vs. yellow as I think it's more tender and I like the way the color of the strawberry powder "pops".
- White sugar & salt - The mix of sweet and salty on popcorn is a match made in heaven. Think of this recipe as a strawberry kettle corn!
Step 1: Prep the strawberries. - To make the strawberry powder, place the freeze-dried strawberries in a food processor and pulse until a fine powder forms. You don't want any chunks of strawberry left as they won't be able to stick to anything.
A 1 ounce bag will yield a scant ⅓ cup of strawberry powder.
Step 2: Test kernels. - In a heavy bottomed saucepan or stovetop popcorn popper, add coconut oil and 2-3 popcorn kernels. These are your "test kernels" which will let you know your oil is hot enough.
Turn heat to medium and cover the pan. Wait for the oil to heat and the kernels to pop. In the meantime, measure out popcorn kernels, sugar and salt so they are ready to quickly add.
Step 3: Pop it! - When the test kernels have popped, remove the pan from the burner and add the ½ cup kernels. Sprinkle with sugar and salt. Give the pan a good shake to coat the kernels.
You want to work fairly fast adding the popcorn, sugar and salt to keep the pan hot and to not give the sugar a chance to burn on the bottom of the pan.
Cover the pan and place back on medium-heat. Gently shake the pan continuously as the popcorn cooks to prevent burning. Don't walk away!
Once the popcorn starts popping, crack the lid on the pot. This won't apply if your pan cover already has a vent hole. Continue cooking until the popping slows to about 1 pop every 2 seconds. Immediately pour the popcorn into a large mixing bowl.
Step 4: Add strawberry flavor. - Sprinkle strawberry powder over the popcorn and use a wooden spoon to gently stir to coat all the pieces evenly.
You want to add the strawberry powder as soon as the popcorn in finished because the melted sugar that is now stuck to the popcorn will act as the "glue" to stick the strawberry powder on.
Step 5: Enjoy!
A few key points to making the perfect stove top popcorn:
Choose the right pot. - You need a pot that's big enough to yield about 12 cups of popped popcorn. You don't want a thin-bottomed pot as it's easier to burn on the bottom. A stovetop popcorn popper would also works great!
Find the right coconut oil. - Look for a refined coconut oil as it has a higher smoke point than unrefined. An extra-virgin, unrefined oil would also work but this has more of an actual coconut smell and flavor as well as a lower smoke point so there is a higher chance of burning.
Be attentive! - This recipe only requires 5 minutes of cook time, and you need to be present and attentive this entire time! No turning on the stove and walking away to do something else. Popcorn can burn in seconds so it's crucial you are watching, listening and shaking that pan!
Crack the lid. - Slightly venting the pan lid as the popcorn pops allows some of the steam to escape instead of condensing and potentially dripping onto the popcorn. No soggy popcorn here! Again, this is not necessary if your pan lid has a vent hole.
You are now a stovetop popcorn pro!
This popcorn is best served freshly made, but it will keep fairly well in an airtight container for about 24 hours. After that, the strawberry powder may begin to take on too much moisture.
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Popcorn - Spread the strawberry popcorn onto a sheet of wax paper. Melt ½ cup of dark chocolate chips and drizzle over the popcorn. Add some extra freeze-dried strawberries on top to stick onto melted chocolate. Allow to dry.
Strawberries and Cream Popcorn - Same as above, but instead melt ½ cup of almond bark or white chocolate and drizzle it over the popcorn.
These variations would be perfect for a party or for a Valentine's Day treat!
Popcorn is a whole grain snack that is high in fiber and low in calories. Although this recipe has some added sugar, much of the flavor is coming from the naturally sweetened strawberries.
A neutral-tasting oil like canola, vegetable or olive oil can also be used to make stovetop popcorn. They are also considered healthy options for cooking oil.
Peanut oil or clarified butter (ghee) have a high smoke point and would also work nicely and give the popcorn a buttery flavor.
Other Snack Recipes You'll Love
Have you made one of my recipes? I’d love your feedback on the comment box and star rating below the recipe!
Sweet & Salty Strawberry Popcorn
- 1 oz. freeze dried strawberries
- 3 tbsp. coconut oil
- ½ cup popcorn kernels
- 3 tbsp. white sugar
- ½ tsp. salt
- Place strawberries in food processor and pulse until powder forms and no chunks remain. Set aside.
- In a heavy bottomed saucepan, add coconut oil and 2-3 popcorn kernels. Turn heat to medium and cover the pan. Wait for the oil to heat and the kernels to pop. In the meantime, measure out popcorn kernels, sugar and salt so they are ready to quickly add.
- When the test kernels have popped, remove the pan from the burner and add the ½ cup kernels. Sprinkle with sugar and salt. Give the pan a good shake to coat the kernels.
- Cover the pan and place back on medium heat. Gently shake the pan continuously as the popcorn cooks to prevent burning. Once the popcorn starts popping, crack the lid on the pot.
- Continue cooking the popcorn until the popping slows to about 1 pop every 2 seconds. Immediately dump the popcorn into a large bowl and sprinkle with strawberry powder. Gently toss or use a wooden spoon to coat the popcorn evenly.