5-Minute Cheddar Cheese Popcorn (Using Real Cheddar)

5-Minute Cheddar Cheese Popcorn (Using Real Cheddar)

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 5 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
595 Calories
52g Fat
25g Carbs
7g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 595
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 52g 67%
Saturated Fat 31g 154%
Cholesterol 106mg 35%
Sodium 698mg 30%
Total Carbohydrate 25g 9%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 121mg 9%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 192mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This cheese popcorn recipe uses real cheese for a savory, buttery popcorn the whole family will love—and it only takes a few minutes to make. All you need are a few key ingredients before you'll be in cheesy popcorn heaven.

To save time, this recipe for cheese popcorn uses microwave popcorn. If you want to skip the microwave-popped corn, then feel free to use a recipe for stovetop popcorn or an air popper, if you have one of those. The recipe uses also uses cheddar cheese and, of course, butter. (The butter helps the cheese stick to the popcorn.)

Popcorn is a bit of a blank slate, so feel free to add some variety. This recipe can also be modified and made with grated Parmesan. You can also opt to include other toppings, such as Spanish smoked paprika, garlic powder, cayenne powder, curry powder, chili pepper, or even cumin. Get creative with spices and herbs to customize it exactly how you like.

In fact, if you were to add a sprinkle of nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, paprika, chili pepper, cayenne, and salt to this cheddar cheese popcorn recipe, you get a flavor very close to Doritos —without the negative aspects of eating a synthetic processed food.


  • 1 full-size bag microwave popcorn (alternatively, you can use 1/2 cup of whole kernels on the stove to make your popcorn)

  • 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese

  • 6 tablespoons butter

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for cheddar popcorn

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  2. Prepare popcorn in microwave according to package instructions. Alternatively, use stovetop popcorn recipe provided above.

    Popcorn popped in the microwave

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  3. Pour popped corn into a large serving bowl.

    Popcorn in a bowl

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  4. Place butter in a glass or ceramic container and place in microwave for 20 seconds (or use stovetop over low heat). Stir and reheat for another 20 seconds. Do this until butter has fully melted.

    Melted butter in a bowl

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  5. Sprinkle grated cheese over top of popcorn, drizzle melted butter on top, and toss to coat well.

    5-Minute Cheddar Cheese Popcorn (Using Real Cheddar) in a bowl

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni


In addition to using butter, you can change the fat and use either ghee or coconut oil. Olive oil makes for a savory taste, too ,and is especially good if you are using Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and herbs such as rosemary.

Once you've exhausted all the savory herbs and spices suggested here, take the popcorn in the direction of dessert. Skip the cheese altogether, and use cinnamon sugar to satisfy a sweet tooth without consuming too much sugar. Or try vanilla sugar, or infuse some granulated sugar with fall spices such as ground cloves, ginger, and/or allspice. Chocolate popcorn can be achieved with some brown sugar and cocoa powder.


  • Lay out a large, plastic tablecloth and encourage the kids to have a "picnic" on the plastic while they eat. This makes clean up a breeze.

How to Store Cheddar Popcorn

If you should have any left, this popcorn will keep for another day or so if it's in a sealed container, but it's really best eaten right after you make it.