This popcorn gets a little extra kick from the addition of jalapeño and bacon!
Popcorn is one of my all-time favorite, go-to snacks! There is nothing better than freshly popped popcorn as a party snack or while watching a great movie, or your favorite TV show.
And stovetop popcorn is just so much better than microwave or air-popped popcorn. If you haven’t made it yet, really should give it a try!
I usually season my popcorn with parmesan cheese and a little bit of truffle salt, however, this Bacon Jalapeño Popcorn is really fun for a party. It was inspired by popcorn that was served at one of my favorite restaurants in Chicago, which closed in late 2017. The first time I tried their popcorn I was hooked and knew I had to work on recreating my version at home!
Here’s what you’ll need:
Popcorn kernels: Any brand will do or you can buy them in the bulk foods section in many grocery stores. I keep a stash in an airtight container in my pantry.
Oil: I generally use olive oil when making popcorn. You can also use grapeseed or avocado oil.
Jalapeño: The recipe doesn't call for much, just a bit to add a kick but you can always add more.
Bacon: Since I mostly use bacon for recipes, I have started buying it by the slice at the Whole Foods meat counter. If you don't want to buy an entire package, check with the meat counter at your local grocery store to see if they sell it by the slice. You can use any flavor of bacon you like...maple, bourbon, applewood smoked.
Parmesan cheese: You'll definitely want to use freshly grated for this recipe.
Maple syrup: This helps to soften the jalapeno a bit and also helps it to stick to the popcorn.
Butter: I recommend real butter in case you have leftovers (not likely, but just in case!) though you can use a butter substitute.
How to Make Jalapeno Popcorn
Making popcorn from scratch really isn't that complicated! All you need are popcorn kernels, a Whirley Pop (see notes below), and a bit of oil.
Heat the oil. You'll start by adding some olive oil to the Whirley Pop and heating it up. If you don't have a Whirley Pop you can use a large, deep pan with a lid. Add about 2 teaspoons of oil and heat it up.
Pop the popcorn. The popcorn goes in next. Just keep turning the Whirley Pop crank, or shaking the pan until the time between pops slows to about 2 to 3 seconds. Remove the Whirley Pop or pan from the heat and wait until the popping stops completely.
Add the seasonings. Pour the popcorn into a large bowl and add the seasonings. Serve and enjoy!
Tools you'll want for this recipe
Whirly Pop – This is the ultimate tool for making popcorn and if you are a popcorn fan, totally worth it!
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you store leftover popcorn?
Popcorn is best served right after popping but if you think you will have leftovers, I'd recommend storing either a large bowl with a tight-fitting lid or a ziplock bag, ideally before you add any butter.
What oil should I use for popping popcorn?
I generally use olive oil, mostly out of habit, however, you can also use avocado oil or grapeseed oil. Basically, any oil with a relatively high smoke point will work well.
More party food ideas
If you are looking for more ideas for your next party, check out these reader favorites:
- Healthy Cowboy Caviar. This is a classic appetizer that is always a hit with party guests. It's also a great snack.
- Baked Avocado Wontons. These are a good option if you want something a little more substaintial for your next game day or casusal get together.
- Spinach Dip. This classic dip is served in a bread bowl and gets an upgrade from the addition of fresh spinach and greek yogurt.
Bacon Jalapeño Popcorn
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ⅓ cup popcorn kernels
- 2 slices cooked bacon, chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon finely minced jalapeño
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 4 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
- Pop the popcorn. Add the oil to a Whirley Pop or other oil-based popcorn maker. Heat over medium heat for 30 seconds and then add popcorn. Let it heat for a minute or so until you hear the first pop, then spin Whirley Pop, or shake pan constantly until popping slows to 1-2 seconds between pops. Remove from heat.
- Soften the jalapeño. Place the butter and jalapeño in a small microwave dish and cook for about 45 seconds, until butter is melted. Add maple syrup and stir.
- Add the seasonings. Pour popcorn into a large bowl; add butter mixture and stir to coat. Add bacon, jalapeno and cheese. Toss until all ingredients are well incorporated. Serve immediately.
This post was originally published in March 2016. It was updated in February 2022 with new photos and some new information. No changes were made to the original recipe.