Nigella Lawson’s Party Popcorn

4 stars based on 2 votes

spiced-popcorn

Leave it to Nigella. I used to love my popcorn topped with just a little butter and salt but now that I’ve had her “Party Popcorn,” I don’t want it any other way. Slightly sweet, salty and spiced with an exotic blend of cinnamon, cumin and paprika, this stuff is downright habit-forming. 

ingredients

The recipe is adapted from Nigella Express, one of my favorite cookbooks, and takes less than fifteen minutes to make. As the name implies, it’s perfect with cocktails but don’t wait until you’re entertaining to make it — it’s just as delicious as a snack or treat for family movie night.

ready-to-pop

Begin by heating the oil and popping corn in a large pot. Don’t be tempted to increase the quantities — the kernels should be in a single layer to ensure even popping. Cover the pot with a lid and wait for the popcorn to start popping. As it pops, shake the pan gently now and then to keep the kernels moving. When the popping slows to 2-3 second apart, remove the pan from the heat.

popped

Next, melt the butter in a small bowl and add the spices, sugar and salt.

spices-and-butter

Stir to combine.

spices-and-butter-1

Then drizzle the mixture over the popcorn, stirring as you go so that it coats the popcorn evenly. It will clump in some spots — that’s okay.

drizzle-with-sauce

Continue tossing the popcorn until it’s well coated.

mixed

Then transfer to serving bowls or popcorn bags and enjoy.

ready-to-serve

Note: The original recipe, as published here, calls for 4 teaspoons of salt. That’s way too much salt so I reduced the amount significantly here.

Nigella's Party Popcorn

Servings: About 20 cups
Total Time: 15 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup popcorn kernels (I like Pop Secret Jumbo Popping Corn)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Pour the vegetable oil into a very large pan over medium-high heat. Add the popcorn, then set the lid on top.
  2. Wait for the popcorn to start popping, then shake the pan gently now and then to keep the kernels moving. When the popping slows to 2-3 second apart, remove the pan from the heat.
  3. In a small bowl, melt the butter in the microwave. Stir in the cinnamon, paprika, cumin, sugar and salt. Use a spoon to drizzle the mixture over the popcorn, stirring as you go so that it coats the popcorn evenly. Pour into bowls or popcorn bags and serve.

Reviews & Comments

  • 3 stars

    I was anxious to try this recipe, it sounded so good. I had hoped for a richer flavor. I found the flavors to be too subtle for my taste, but a light snack just the same.

    - Diana Knight on July 17, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    very good recipe my kids loved it! This was super easy to make.

    - mary willis on July 7, 2014 Reply
  • This was over the top fantastic. My hubby and I gobbled down an entire bowl in minutes! Thank goodness there wasn’t another another bowl. It would have also disappeared!

    - Karen on May 4, 2013 Reply
  • Do NOT like caramel corn – this sounds way better – gotta try it thanks!

    - Leslie on April 27, 2013 Reply
  • Delicious! We keep saying that we need to step away from the bowl, but it’s impossible! Thanks for sharing such a yummy recipe – I never would have thought to combine those spices with popcorn, but it totally works :)

    - Kelly S on April 26, 2013 Reply
  • I’m not a huge fan of cumin. Is there another spice that would work? Also, is it smoked paprika or regular? Thanks so much!

    - Rebecca on April 25, 2013 Reply
    • Hi Rebecca, You can just leave the cumin out. The recipe calls for regular paprika, but I bet smoked would work too.

      - Jenn on April 25, 2013 Reply
  • As I type this, I am on my fourth bowl of Party Popcorn. Addictive, indeed! I am so glad you shared this recipe, Jenn. (I couldn’t imagine this with 4 teaspoons of salt—could that have been a typo in Nigella’s book?)

    - Allie on April 25, 2013 Reply
    • I know! I thought it must be a typo as well, but it’s printed that way online too. Anyway, glad you liked it!

      - Jenn on April 27, 2013 Reply
  • Yum! Sounds so good! Our family loves homemade popcorn, and I’m always looking for new flavor combinations to mix it up. Can’t wait to try this out!

    - Kelly on April 25, 2013 Reply

Add a Review or Question

Hungry for More?

Subscribe to my free weekly newsletter — where I share new recipes and seasonal menus for every occasion.

Your email address will never be used for any other purpose.
Curious? See a sample newsletter.