In this recipe for Dill Pickle Popcorn, homemade crispy popcorn meets up with bright dill pickle flavour for a highly addictive, tangy and delicious snack. You won’t be able to get enough and that’s okay because this easy snack is loaded with good for you fibre and heart-healthy olive oil. Made with simple pantry ingredients and ready in under 5 minutes this popcorn is the perfect treat for parties, game day or anytime the craving strikes!
It’s no secret that I love popcorn. If you’ve ever been to my house for dinner, there’s a strong possibility that I’ve served you a big bowl of Salted Truffle Popcorn alongside pre-dinner cocktails. Seasoned popcorn is crunchy, salty and satisfying, making it a perfect pairing for drinks. Best of all, it’s light and fluffy, and won’t fill your guests up before dinner!
If you’re a fan of dill pickles, you’re going to love this popcorn. It’s full of all the bright, herby dill and tangy pickle flavours found in dill pickle chips, but the seasoning is tossed over fluffy popcorn and bound together with a little olive oil, making it a far healthier choice. A snack that is delicious and good for you? You had me at dill pickle…
What you need for Dill Pickle Popcorn
Part of what makes this recipe great is that the list of ingredients is short and simple, and you’ll likely find everything you need already in your kitchen.
- Popped Popcorn: see below for a few different methods of popping fresh, fluffy popcorn
- Dried Dill: If you don’t already have this dried herb in your pantry, be sure to pick it up during your next trip to the grocery store. It adds lots of dill flavour to this popcorn, as well as dips and creamy salad dressings.
- Garlic Powder: Fresh garlic is great in many recipes, but this is not one of them. Garlic powder is a dry, concentrated seasoning that adds depth, savouriness and lots of flavour, without any moisture. It’s also great for dry rubs, breadcrumb coatings, adding flavour without the raw garlic bite, and when you’re cooking at high heat (fresh garlic burns easily)
- Pickle Juice from a jar of dill pickles: I love finding uses for the flavourful, briny liquid in the pickle jar because it always breaks my heart a little to pour so much deliciousness down the drain once all the pickles have been eaten. Did you know that pickle juice is also delicious as a marinade for chicken? Or the perfect perk-up that you didn’t know your potato salad needed? Try a little pickle brine drizzled into your next Bloody Mary or Caesar cocktail – it’s a game changer. I could go on about great uses for pickle juice, but that’s a story (or a post!) for another day. Today, we’re using dill pickle juice in this popcorn for all its delicious, concentrated dill pickle flavour. I personally love garlicky dills for their salty, savoury, vinegary punch, but you can use the juice from the jar of your favourite type of pickle.
- Dijon Mustard: You just need a tiny amount of smooth dijon mustard to amp up the flavour of the seasoning and emulsify the pickle juice and olive oil.
- Olive Oil: This heart-healthy oil helps the seasoning stick to the popcorn while delivering delicious flavour.
- Sea Salt: Fine sea salt is my favourite for popcorn since it delivers subtle mineral flavour in a smaller size crystal that won’t feel gritty in your teeth. You can use just about any type of salt that you’d like, but be sure to use a light hand initially. Not all salts have the same level of sodium per volume, so if you use table salt with very small crystals there is in fact more saltiness in 1/4 tsp of table salt than there is in 1/4 tsp of most sea salts. Regardless of which salt you use, be sure to add a small amount initially and build up, as it’s easy to add more salt to a dish to make it saltier, but it’s virtually impossible to remove salt from an over salted dish.
Fresh, crunchy popped popcorn is what you need for this recipe, but how you get there is up to you.
STOVE TOP METHOD
Popcorn makes the perfect snack for road trips and picnics, so keep this method in mind for home and vacation rentals! The only equipment you need is a large, heavy pot with a lid and a stove top.
Place a large, 6 to 8 Litre (6.3 to 8.4 quart) heavy bottom pot with a tight fitting lid on the stove top. (I like to use a pot with a glass lid if I have one, so I can see what’s going on in the pot without removing the lid.) Add 3 Tbsp of grapeseed oil or canola oil (or other neutral-tasting oil with a high smoke point) and 2 or 3 popcorn kernels to the pot, cover and heat over medium high heat. Shake the pot periodically and continue heating until the test kernels have popped. Scoop out the pieces of test popcorn and add 1/2 cup of unpopped popcorn kernels. Replace the lid and shake the pan to coat the kernels in oil. After a quick moment or two the popcorn should start popping. Crack the lid just slightly to let the steam escape (resulting in crispier popcorn) and shake the pan until the popping slows down and 1-2 seconds pass between pops. Remove from heat and pour into a large bowl. Add butter and salt to taste, or proceed with recipe for Dill Pickle Popcorn.
If you’re a frequent popcorn maker, you might consider a hot air popcorn maker that makes light, fluffy popcorn using just hot air (no oil). Air poppers can be purchased relatively inexpensively and deliver hot, crispy, light-as-air kernels without any added fat. A cheery red model has a permanent home on my countertop because I’m not ashamed to say that it gets nearly as much use as the coffee maker. Clean up is minimal with an air popper and older kids and teens can use it without worrying about hot oil splatters, making healthy snacking simple and easy.
BUY IT ALREADY POPPED
Buying a bag of already popped, unsalted or lightly salted popcorn can fast track the process even further. Bags of the lightly salted Boom Chicka Pop or Skinny Pop brands of popcorn are widely available and both work beautifully in this recipe.
You can use microwave popcorn if you’d like, but since microwave popcorn is often heavily seasoned and salted, look for the plain or lightly salted variety. You will probably need to make 2 bags to yield enough popcorn for this recipe.
My recommendation? Use an air popper for the lightest, fluffiest, crispiest results!
This Dill Pickle Popcorn is just thing for movie night at home, or just the thing to add some fun to a cocktail party. I can’t actually think of a wrong, or bad time to serve it. It’s the perfect addition to a game day buffet, alongside Hot and Spicy Buffalo Chicken Dip and Hot Garlic Butter Ham and Cheese Sliders , or a delicious counterpoint to an Apès-Ski mug of soup. Bags of this popcorn travel well to Little League games, and pair perfectly with a picnic sandwich. Humidity and popcorn aren’t the best match, so if you want to eat it on a dock in the middle of summer, you’ll just have to eat it quickly before it becomes more chewy than crispy, but I bet you’re up for that challenge.
This Dill Pickle Popcorn is a perfect match for a salty and savoury Bloody Mary, or the Canadian Classic, the Bloody Caesar. The herby flavours of the dill pair beautifully with a Gin and Tonic, particularly one made with cucumbers. Did you hear about the Pickle Beer trend from a few years ago? It turns out that beer and pickles are a natural match, with some people even adding a splash of pickle juice and a pickle spear to their beer. And so, serving a beer alongside this dill pickle popcorn will make for a delicious combo, particularly if it’s a lager. The vinegary pickle brine in the popcorn seasoning made finding a wine pairing more difficult, but I was up to the challenge. Try an herb and lime forward Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand with this popcorn – it’s really delicious!
Dill Pickle Popcorn
- 1 1/2 tsp dried dill
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt, plus more to taste
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tsp dill pickle juice
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 10 cups freshly popped popcorn
- In a small dish, combine dill, garlic powder and sea salt. Set aside.
- In a separate dish, whisk together the olive oil, pickle juice and dijon mustard.
- Place the popcorn in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle half of the olive oil mixture over the popcorn, then toss to distribute. Drizzle the remaining olive oil mixture and toss again. Sprinkle the popcorn with half of the dill mix at a time, tossing to distribute in between. Taste and adjust salt as needed. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately.
- This popcorn is best eaten immediately as popcorn tends to go stale quickly. If you do make it a little in advance, or have some leftover, store it at room temperature in an airtight container or tightly sealed bag.
- To make Spicy Dill Pickle Popcorn, add 1/4tsp-1/2tsp (depending on desired spiciness) of crushed red pepper flakes to the dill/garlic powder/salt mix and proceed with the recipe.
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