Taco Popcorn Recipe

Welcome to a world where the enticing flavors of tacos meets the crunchy delight of popcorn. Get ready for a movie night like no other, or surprise your guests at your next party with this unique, savory snack that's sure to be a hit. Simple to make, this taco flavored popcorn recipe is a fun twist on traditional popcorn, adding a burst of flavorful spice to each kernel.

Taco Popcorn Recipe
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Photos of Taco Popcorn Recipe

The ingredients for this taco flavored popcorn recipe should be readily available in the spice aisle of your local supermarket. If you don't have taco seasoning on hand, it's usually a mix of common spices like chili powder, cumin, paprika, and onion powder. However, premixed packets can save you some time and ensure the right balance of flavors. Coconut oil is chosen here for its health benefits and its high smoking point, making it ideal for popping popcorn.

Taco Flavored Popcorn Ingredients

Coconut oil: This oil has a high smoke point and subtle flavor, making it perfect for popping popcorn kernels.

Popcorn kernels: The star of the show, these will pop up light and fluffy, providing the perfect vehicle for our taco seasoning.

Taco seasoning: This will provide the bold, savory flavors typically associated with tacos. It's a mix of spices like chili powder, cumin, and paprika.

Salt: An essential seasoning, this will enhance the flavors of the other ingredients.

Melted butter: This will help the taco seasoning stick to the popcorn while adding a rich, creamy flavor.

One reader, Emmalyn Thatcher says:

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This taco flavored popcorn recipe is a game-changer! The combination of savory taco seasoning and crunchy popcorn is a flavor explosion. It's the perfect snack for movie nights or gatherings. The seasoning adds a unique twist to traditional popcorn. I highly recommend trying it out!

Emmalyn Thatcher

Key Techniques for Making Taco Flavored Popcorn

How to pop popcorn: Heat oil in a medium saucepan over high heat until melted. Add popcorn kernels, cover with a lid, and wait until kernels have popped.

How to season popcorn: Once the popcorn is popped, pour it into a serving bowl. Immediately sprinkle with taco seasoning and salt, and toss to combine. Season to taste with additional seasoning or salt if desired.

How To Make Taco Popcorn

Make movie nights extra special by making this taco popcorn. The spicy and slightly garlicky taste of the taco seasoning definitely improves the taste.

Preparation: 1 minute
Cooking: 5 minutes
Total: 6 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • 1tbspcoconut oil
  • ½cuppopcorn kernels
  • 2tbsptaco seasoning,homemade or store-bought
  • 1tspsalt,to taste
  • melted butter for drizzling,optional

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over high heat until melted. Add popcorn kernels, and give the pan a shake so that they level out. Cover with a lid and wait until kernels have popped.

  2. Once the popcorn is popped, pour it out into a serving bowl. Immediately sprinkle with taco seasoning and salt, and toss to combine. Season to taste with additional seasoning or salt if desired.

Recipe Notes

  • A healthier and vegan alternative is also to toss the popcorn with nutritional yeast — my favorite.
  • A good rule of thumb is to wait until there are at least 3 seconds between pops, so as not to burn the popcorn. Give the pan a shake every 15 seconds or so, in order to let the kernels fall to the bottom and the popped popcorn rise to the top, which also helps prevent burning.

 

 

Nutrition

  • Calories: 67.79kcal
  • Fat: 2.88g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.14g
  • Trans Fat: 0.01g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 0.28g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.29g
  • Carbohydrates: 9.05g
  • Fiber: 1.65g
  • Sugar: 0.40g
  • Protein: 1.22g
  • Cholesterol: 0.47mg
  • Sodium: 206.01mg
  • Calcium: 0.55mg
  • Potassium: 55.95mg
  • Iron: 0.51mg
  • Vitamin A: 1.50µg

Expert Tip for Perfecting Taco Flavored Popcorn

To ensure your popcorn is evenly coated with the taco seasoning and salt, you can use a large bowl with a lid. After pouring the popped popcorn into the bowl, sprinkle the seasoning and salt over it. Then, secure the lid and give the bowl a good shake. This will distribute the seasoning evenly over all the popcorn, giving you a consistent flavor in every bite.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing Taco Flavored Popcorn

Prep ahead: Prepare the taco seasoning and store it in an airtight container for future use. This will save time when making the taco flavored popcorn.

Use pre-made seasoning: If you're short on time, consider using pre-made taco seasoning instead of making your own. It's a quick and convenient way to add flavor to the popcorn.

Batch cooking: Make a large batch of popcorn seasoning in advance and store it in a sealed container. This way, you'll have it ready whenever you want to make taco flavored popcorn.

Popcorn machine: Invest in a popcorn machine for quick and efficient popping. It can save time and ensure evenly popped kernels for your taco flavored popcorn.

Microwave popcorn: Use microwave popcorn for a quick and easy alternative to stovetop popping. It can save time and effort when making taco flavored popcorn.

Substitute Ingredients For Taco Popcorn Recipe

  • coconut oil - Substitute with vegetable oil: Vegetable oil can be used as a neutral substitute for coconut oil in this recipe, providing a similar function in popping the popcorn kernels.

  • popcorn kernels - Substitute with popped popcorn: If you don't have popcorn kernels, you can use pre-popped popcorn and skip the popping step. Just make sure it's plain and unsalted.

  • taco seasoning - Substitute with chili powder, cumin, and paprika mix: If you don't have taco seasoning, you can create a similar flavor profile by mixing chili powder, cumin, and paprika together to achieve a comparable taste.

  • salt - Substitute with garlic salt: To add an extra layer of flavor, you can substitute regular salt with garlic salt for a more seasoned taste in the popcorn.

  • melted butter - Substitute with olive oil: Olive oil can be used as a healthier alternative to melted butter for drizzling over the popcorn, providing a different flavor profile.

Creative Ways to Serve Taco Flavored Popcorn

  1. Elevate the popcorn: Present the taco flavored popcorn in a sleek, modern bowl that complements the vibrant colors of the taco seasoning. The bowl should be elegant and refined, showcasing the gourmet nature of the dish.

  2. Garnish with fresh herbs: Sprinkle the taco flavored popcorn with finely chopped cilantro and a hint of fresh lime zest. This adds a pop of color and a burst of freshness to the dish, enhancing its visual appeal and flavor profile.

  3. Incorporate texture: Place the taco flavored popcorn in individual miniature paper cones for a playful and sophisticated presentation. This adds a delightful crunch and creates a visually stunning display for the judges.

  4. Use thematic plating: Arrange the taco flavored popcorn on a vibrant fiesta-themed platter to evoke the essence of a festive taco party. This presentation adds an element of fun and excitement to the dish, capturing the spirit of the flavors.

  5. Personalized serving vessels: Serve the taco flavored popcorn in individual ceramic ramekins or customized popcorn boxes to provide a personalized touch. This elevates the dining experience and showcases attention to detail in the presentation.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Taco Flavored Popcorn

  • Saucepan: A deep cooking pan with a handle and a lid, used for heating and cooking sauces, soups, and other liquids.
  • Serving bowl: A bowl used for serving food, typically larger and more decorative than a regular bowl.
  • Measuring spoons: Utensils used to measure small amounts of ingredients accurately.
  • Mixing spoon: A long-handled spoon used for mixing ingredients.
  • Stove: A kitchen appliance used for cooking and heating food by applying heat from below.
  • Knife: A sharp-edged utensil used for cutting or slicing ingredients.
  • Cutting board: A durable board on which to place material for cutting.
  • Measuring cups: Utensils used to measure the volume of liquid or bulk solid cooking ingredients.
  • Lid: A cover for the top of a pan or pot, used for retaining heat and steam during cooking.
  • Popcorn kernels: The small, hard-shelled seeds from which popcorn is made.
  • Coconut oil: An edible oil extracted from the kernel or meat of mature coconuts.
  • Taco seasoning: A blend of spices, including chili powder, cumin, paprika, and others, used to season taco meat or other dishes.
  • Salt: A crystalline compound, primarily used as a seasoning and preservative for food.
  • Butter: A dairy product consisting of approximately 80% butterfat and made from the fat and protein components of milk or cream.

Storing and Freezing Taco Flavored Popcorn

  • To store leftover taco flavored popcorn, allow it to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container or resealable plastic bag. This will help maintain its crispness and prevent it from absorbing moisture.

  • When stored properly in an airtight container at room temperature, the popcorn should stay fresh for up to 3-5 days. However, keep in mind that the longer it is stored, the less crisp it may become.

  • If you want to keep the taco flavored popcorn fresh for an extended period, freezing is a great option:

    • Place the cooled popcorn in a freezer-safe, airtight container or resealable plastic bag, removing as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn.
    • Label the container with the date and contents for easy reference.
    • When stored in the freezer, the popcorn can last for up to 2 months without losing its flavor or texture.
  • To reheat frozen taco flavored popcorn:

    • Preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C).
    • Spread the frozen popcorn in a single layer on a baking sheet.
    • Bake for 5-10 minutes, or until the popcorn is heated through and crisp again. Keep an eye on it to prevent burning.
    • Allow the reheated popcorn to cool slightly before serving, as it will be hot from the oven.

How To Reheat Leftover Taco Flavored Popcorn

  • The best way to reheat leftover taco flavored popcorn is to spread it out on a baking sheet and place it in a preheated oven at 300°F (150°C) for about 5-7 minutes. This method helps to restore the crispiness of the popcorn while evenly heating it through.

  • Another option is to use an air fryer. Set the air fryer to 350°F (175°C) and place the leftover popcorn in the basket. Heat for 2-3 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through to ensure even reheating. This method is quick and helps maintain the popcorn's crunch.

  • For a quicker, albeit less effective method, you can use the microwave. Place the leftover popcorn in a microwave-safe bowl and heat it in 30-second intervals, stirring between each interval, until it reaches your desired temperature. Be careful not to overheat the popcorn, as it can quickly become chewy or burnt in the microwave.

  • If you find that the reheated popcorn has lost some of its flavor, you can sprinkle a bit more taco seasoning and salt over the top and toss to combine. You can also drizzle a small amount of melted butter over the popcorn to help the seasoning stick and add a touch of richness.

  • Regardless of the method you choose, be sure to reheat the popcorn in small batches to ensure even heating and to maintain the best texture possible. Reheated popcorn is best consumed immediately, as it can become stale or soggy if left to sit for too long.

Interesting Trivia About Taco Flavored Popcorn

Taco flavored popcorn is a unique and tasty snack that combines the flavors of traditional Mexican cuisine with the crunch of popcorn. It's a fun and easy way to enjoy a classic snack with a twist.

Is Making Taco Flavored Popcorn at Home Cost-Effective?

This taco flavored popcorn recipe is highly cost-effective for a household. The ingredients are simple and affordable, making it a budget-friendly snack option. The overall verdict for this recipe is 9/10, considering its low cost and delicious flavor. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $3, making it an economical choice for a tasty snack.

Is Taco Flavored Popcorn Healthy or Unhealthy?

The taco flavored popcorn recipe, while tasty, leans towards the unhealthy side due to a few factors:

  • The use of coconut oil, which is high in saturated fats, can raise LDL (bad) cholesterol levels if consumed in excess
  • Taco seasoning often contains high amounts of sodium, which can lead to high blood pressure and other health issues when consumed in large quantities
  • Butter, used for drizzling, adds additional saturated fats and calories to the recipe

However, popcorn itself is a whole grain and can be a healthy snack when prepared with minimal added ingredients.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Replace coconut oil with a healthier alternative like olive oil or avocado oil, which are rich in monounsaturated fats and have anti-inflammatory properties
  • Make your own taco seasoning mix using a combination of chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika, allowing you to control the amount of sodium added
  • Instead of drizzling melted butter, try spritzing the popcorn with a light coating of olive oil spray to reduce the amount of saturated fats and calories
  • Add a sprinkle of nutritional yeast to the popcorn for a boost of B vitamins and a cheesy flavor without the need for additional salt or butter
  • Experiment with other healthy seasonings like cinnamon, turmeric, or dried herbs to create unique flavor combinations while keeping the recipe nutritious

Editor's Opinion on the Taco Flavored Popcorn Recipe

This taco flavored popcorn recipe is a fun and flavorful twist on a classic snack. The combination of the savory taco seasoning with the crunchy popcorn creates a delicious and addictive snack that's perfect for movie nights or gatherings. The use of coconut oil adds a hint of tropical flavor, and the drizzle of melted butter adds a touch of richness. It's a simple yet innovative recipe that's sure to be a hit with both kids and adults. Enjoy experimenting with different variations of taco seasoning to customize the flavor to your liking.

Enhance Your Taco Popcorn Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Guacamole: Create a zesty guacamole with fresh avocados, tomatoes, onions, and a hint of lime juice for a creamy and flavorful side dish.
Salsa Fresca: Whip up a vibrant salsa fresca with ripe tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and a kick of jalapeno for a refreshing and tangy accompaniment.
Chili Con Carne: Serve a hearty chili con carne with tender beef, kidney beans, and a rich tomato base for a satisfying and comforting addition to your taco flavored popcorn.
Fruit Salad: Prepare a colorful fruit salad with a mix of fresh berries, melon, and citrus fruits tossed in a light honey-lime dressing for a sweet and refreshing side dish.
Churros: Indulge in crispy churros dusted with cinnamon sugar and served with a side of rich chocolate dipping sauce for a delightful and decadent treat.

Delicious Alternatives to Taco Flavored Popcorn

Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites: These crispy, spicy cauliflower bites are the perfect appetizer or snack for game day or any gathering.
Mango Salsa Chicken Tacos: These vibrant and flavorful tacos are filled with juicy mango salsa and tender, seasoned chicken for a delicious and refreshing meal.
Creamy Avocado Pasta: This creamy and indulgent pasta dish is made with a rich avocado sauce that is both healthy and satisfying.
Berry Cobbler: This warm and comforting dessert is filled with sweet, juicy berries and topped with a buttery, golden crust for the perfect ending to any meal.

Perfect Main Courses and Desserts to Pair with Taco Flavored Popcorn

Main Courses:
Grilled Salmon: Marinate the salmon in a zesty citrus and herb mixture before grilling to perfection. Serve with a side of roasted vegetables for a healthy and flavorful meal.
Stuffed Bell Peppers: Create a filling with ground meat, rice, and seasonings, then stuff it into bell peppers and bake until tender. Top with melted cheese for a comforting and satisfying dish.
Desserts:
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and creamy chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder for an elegant and decadent dessert experience.
Strawberry Cheesecake: Savor the creamy and tangy flavors of a classic strawberry cheesecake, topped with a luscious strawberry compote and a drizzle of sweetened condensed milk for a delightful and satisfying treat.

Why trust this Taco Popcorn Recipe:

This recipe is a must-try for any popcorn lover. The combination of taco seasoning and coconut oil adds a unique and delicious twist to the classic snack. The use of real popcorn kernels ensures a fresh and flavorful result. With just the right amount of salt and a drizzle of melted butter, this recipe promises a satisfying and irresistible snack that will surely impress your taste buds. Trust in the simplicity and creativity of this recipe, and you won't be disappointed.

Have you tried this Taco Popcorn Recipe? Share your experience and join the discussion in the Recipe Sharing forum!
FAQ:
How can I adjust the level of spiciness in the taco flavored popcorn?
You can adjust the spiciness by adding more or less taco seasoning to suit your taste. If you prefer a milder flavor, reduce the amount of taco seasoning, and for a spicier kick, increase the amount.
Can I use a different type of oil instead of coconut oil?
Yes, you can use other oils like vegetable oil or canola oil as a substitute for coconut oil. Just ensure that the oil has a high smoke point to prevent burning the popcorn.
Is there a way to make this recipe dairy-free?
Absolutely! You can make this recipe dairy-free by omitting the melted butter drizzle at the end. The taco seasoning provides plenty of flavor, so you won't miss the butter.
Can I use pre-packaged microwave popcorn instead of popping my own kernels?
While pre-packaged microwave popcorn can be used, it's best to use plain, unflavored popcorn to allow the taco seasoning to shine. Simply pop the plain kernels in the microwave according to the package instructions, then season with the taco seasoning and salt.
How long will the taco flavored popcorn stay fresh?
The taco flavored popcorn can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2-3 days. Be sure to let it cool completely before storing to maintain its crispness.

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