Lemon Parsley Popcorn is bright, fresh, and easy to make! It’s a delicious way to mix up your homemade popcorn toppings! A little lemon zest, red pepper flakes, and parsley take this popcorn to the next level of yum!
Hello, my fellow popcorn lovers! So you’ve gotten the hang of making homemade popcorn and have found your perfect ratio of salt to butter and now spend evenings with a big bowl of freshly popped popcorn, a movie, and cozy blankets.
Why go and change a good thing?! Well, because variety is the spice of life. Mixing up popcorn flavors means that you will never bore of homemade popcorn night after night. You’ll love how Lemon Parsley Popcorn is bright and fresh. The flavor combination perfectly compliments a springtime snack, or a sunshine happy hour appetizer.
What You’ll Need for Lemon Popcorn
You will need the basic homemade popcorn ingredients, along with these new fun toppings. It’s a simple ingredient list that you’ll love.
- Popcorn Kernels – no surprise here, you’ll need popcorn kernels! Either yellow or white will work; I prefer yellow as they’re a little more sturdy and hold up to the toppings better, opposed to the slightly more delicate white kernels. Go ahead and read more about the differences between white and yellow kernels if you want.
- Oil – an oil of choice to pop the kernels in. If you’re new to homemade popcorn and want to know more about it, and the differences between oils for making popcorn, be sure to read the post on how to make homemade popcorn!
- Lemon Zest – the lemon flavor in this recipe comes from lemon zest. Lemon zest is full of bright, lemony flavor and it won’t weigh down or leave you with soggy popcorn kernels. You can still add a quick squeeze of lemon juice for brightness in addition to the zest if you’d like, too.
- Red Pepper Flakes – ah, the spicy kick. Adjust the level of pepper flakes you add to match your desired spice level. Not into a little spice? Totally leave them out.
- Unsalted Butter – I prefer high-quality unsalted butter so I can adjust my own salt levels. And high-quality, because it’s only the best for popcorn.
- Fresh Parsley – bright, peppery, and a perfect pair with lemon, fresh parsley adds a beautiful brightness to this recipe. Bonus? Parsley is full of health benefits!
- Salt – I recommend using high-quality fine sea salt on any kind of popcorn. A touch of freshly ground black pepper compliments the pepper nicely too if you’d like to add it.
How to Make Homemade Popcorn
Let’s briefly cover how to make homemade popcorn here, but for the full details, comparison of white and yellow popcorn kernels, and reasons behind the instruction and ingredients used, be sure to check out my full how-to-make homemade popcorn post.
- Heat the oil and test kernels.
- Once the test kernels pop, and the remaining popcorn kernels.
- Remove from heat and swirl for 20 seconds.
- Return the pan to the heat and let the popcorn pop away, cracking the lid halfway through the popping.
- Once the popping stops, immediately transfer the popcorn to a serving bowl.
Finishing Parsley Popcorn
Now that you have freshly popped popcorn, it’s time to top it with lemon and parsley for the flavor bombs.
Melt the butter as you normally would, then stir in lemon zest, red pepper flakes (if using). Then pour the lemon butter mixture on top of the butter, tossing as you drizzle for best coverage results. I like to use a spoon after I pour the butter, too, to evenly coat the popcorn with butter.
Add fine sea salt to taste, again tossing to coat evenly, along with chopped parsley. The finer the parsley is chopped, the more it will be incorporated throughout the popcorn. A touch of freshly ground black pepper compliments the pepper nicely too if you’d like to add it.
Taste test (for good measure, of course, not to sneak the first few bites ;)) and then dig in!
Frequently Asked Questions
Homemade popcorn is healthier in general, as you can control the oil type and amount, along with the butter. Lemons and parsley also have many nutrients and antioxidants, making them excellent in terms of healthier popcorn toppings.
Absolutely! You can substitute any herb you’d like, really. The herb you substitute will obviously change the flavor profile from the recipe, but feel free to adjust as you desire.
Yes, you can! I would recommend about 1 tablespoon.
I don’t know what you speak of!
Only kidding… store it in an airtight container then reheat it in the oven when you’re ready to snack again. Check out my homemade popcorn post for more details on reheating leftover popcorn.
Love homemade popcorn? Check out these recipes, too!
Lemon Parsley Popcorn
- 3 TBSP high-heat neutral oil refined coconut oil is my preference
- 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
- 4 TBSP unsalted butter
- 1 lemon zested
- Dash of red pepper flakes optional
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley finely chopped
- Salt to taste
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste (optional)
- In a large (8-12 quart) heavy-bottomed stockpot or dutch oven, add the oil and three popcorn kernels, heating over high heat. Cover the pan. These are the "test kernels" and once they pop, it signals that the oil is officially hot enough to pop all the kernels at the same time. Meanwhile, measure out the remaining 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels and begin preparing your butter by melting it either in a microwave-safe bowl or on the stovetop.
- Once the three test kernels have popped, immediately add the 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels to the pan. Cover and remove from heat, gently swirling from side to side for 20 seconds. Return the pan to the heat, and the popcorn kernels will almost immediately beginning popping.
- Once the kernels are about halfway done popping, slightly crack the lid to allow excess steam to escape. Do this when the stockpot is approximately halfway full with popcorn, or about 30 seconds to 1 minute after they've popped – this does not have to be exact.
- Once the popping has slowed or just stopped, immediately pour the popcorn into your serving bowl.
- Add the lemon zest and red pepper flakes to the melted butter. Pour evenly across the bowl of popcorn, tossing to combine.
- Add salt as desired, as well as freshly ground black pepper, if using. This is the perfect time to taste test to be sure the salt level is where you'd like. Sprinkle on the chopped parsley, again tossing to coat the popcorn with the parsley leaves. Enjoy immediately!
This post was originally published in July 2015; the text and photos were updated in April 2021 for clarity.