There is no resisting this Smoked Paprika & Rosemary Olive Oil Popcorn recipe! It can be made in just 5 minutes and is a fantastic whole grain snack. Movie night just got a whole lot better!
Olive oil popcorn has stolen our hearts! If I had to choose one snack to have with me on a desert island, it would be a battle between hummus, cheese and crackers, and popcorn.
Don’t make me choose – I can’t do it! We actually go through a lot (and I mean A LOT) of popcorn in our house. It’s often the snack of choice for my youngest son when he comes home from school, and my husband and I pop ourselves a bowl before sitting down in front of the TV for our nightly Netflix viewing.
Not only is popcorn impossible to stop eating, but it’s a great whole grain snacking option. Popped popcorn contain 3.6 grams of fiber per 3-cup serving, which is almost as much as one medium apple. That's not to say that you should throw away all fruit and devote your fiber efforts solely to popcorn, but clearly it's a snack you can feel good about - that is, depending on how you dress it up.
While you can’t beat popcorn with a drizzle of butter and a shake of salt, I wanted to switch things up a bit with an olive oil and spice version. The combination of smoked paprika and rosemary is a favorite of mine, and I use it to season everything from grilled potatoes to roasted almonds. Next logical step...olive oil popcorn!
WHAT YOU NEED FOR THIS OLIVE OIL POPCORN RECIPE:
These are the main components of this recipe (affiliate links included):
- Popcorn: Popcorn kernels can be found in any grocery store, often in the snack aisle. It can also be purchased online.
- Olive oil: I use extra virgin olive oil for this recipe. Any good quality one will work.
- Herbs & spices: Dried rosemary, smoked paprika and kosher salt can all be found in the spice section of any grocery store. I prefer to buy crushed rosemary. Alternatively, use any dried rosemary and crush it in the palm of your hand before using.
How to make olive oil popcorn:
- My son received an air popper (this one) for Christmas a couple of years ago and I’ve lost count of how many times we’ve used it. Air popping is a great option for avoiding the questionable ingredients in store-bought microwave popcorn.
- However, if you don’t have an air popper and prefer not to cook the popcorn in oil on the stovetop, you can make your own version of microwave popcorn. Just place the kernels in a brown paper lunch bag, fold over the top edge of the bag and pop as usual in the microwave, stopping the microwave when there are 2 to 3 seconds between pops. You may need a couple of bagfuls for this recipe.
- In a small microwave-proof bowl, stir together the olive oil and whatever seasonings you prefer. In the case of this olive oil popcorn recipe, I used smoked paprika and rosemary, but my family also loves this sriracha lime version and this healthy taco version.
- Heat the olive oil mixture for a about 20 seconds, give it a good stir, then toss with the popcorn.
Frequently asked questions:
Can popcorn be made ahead of time?
While I like my popcorn to be fresh and hot, straight from the air popper or pot, it’s certainly possible to make it ahead of time. Plus, the warm olive oil mixture will heat it up a bit before serving.
Pop the popcorn up to one day ahead and store it in an airtight container. Toss it with the olive oil mixture just before serving.
Can I use regular paprika instead of smoked paprika?
Smoked paprika has a very distinctive taste and is the standout flavor in this recipe. While I like regular paprika in other uses – and use it regularly – it doesn’t work as well in this recipe, in my opinion.
What if I don’t have an air popper?
Scroll up to the “How to” section above or to the recipe card below for directions to pop the popcorn in the microwave without using extra oil.
Other healthy snack recipes:
No-Bake Carrot Cake Granola Bites
Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins (Whole Wheat)
Pineapple Spinach Smoothie Recipe
Olive Oil Popcorn with Smoked Paprika & Rosemary
- ¼ cup popcorn kernels
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Pop the popcorn kernels using an air popper. Alternatively, place the kernels inside of a paper lunch bag, fold over the top of the bag and cook in the microwave until there are 2 to 3 seconds between pops. Transfer the popcorn to a bowl.
- In a small glass bowl, stir together the olive oil, smoked paprika, rosemary and salt. Microwave until just heated, about 20 seconds.
- Drizzled the oil mixture over the popcorn, tossing with your hands. Serve.
This recipe was originally posted on January 8, 2016, and was updated on January 29, 2021.
Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
This is my new favorite snack. It's so delicious and keeps me on track with my diet. Thank you for a wonderful recipe!
I will never want plain popcorn again. This flavorful version is the BEST EVER!
I just bought rosemary olive oil, so I think I have a new found snack.
Kimberly Ann @ Bake Love Give
I love finding new recipes for our air popped popcorn - this looks like such a lovely flavor combination!
Justine | Cooking and Beer
I love jazzed up popcorn! This looks amazing!
Liz @ The Lemon Bowl
I want this IMMEDIATELY!!!! I really need to step up my popcorn game. Gorgeous photos too, as always.
Popcorn is the snack of choice in my house, too. There are so many ways to flavor it--and now I have this version to look forward to when my next popcorn craving hits!
Lauren @ Hall Nesting
I actually have never seasoned my own popcorn other than butter. I need to try this!
Gerry @ Foodness Gracious
I love seasoning my own popcorn but i always make it too spicy for the kids 😉
Becky Hardin | The Cookie Rookie
Love this !!! Sounds like a great snack.
Katerina @ Diethood
I love popcorn too!! It is sooo addicting!! I am going to try this soon! Loving the flavors.
Faith (An Edible Mosaic)
I totally agree - it would be so hard to choose between cheese and crackers and popcorn (and hummus is my hubby's fav)! 🙂 We make a lot of popcorn around here too, and I particularly love it dressed up savory like this yummy recipe! Love the use of smoked paprika here.
Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts
I love popcorn as a healthy snack! This is such a fun flavor idea too , totally mixes it up so you don't get bored!
Thank you Dara. I love the air popper.