The Best Popcorn Seasonings

We have a saying here at Sporked: No more boring popcorn. Just stahp it. Whether you’re eating bagged popcorn or microwave popcorn, get yourself an interesting seasoning, powder, or oil, put it all up in your kernels, and let your tastebuds rejoice. Not sure how to pep up your powdery, perfectly piquant popped-corn game? Pop on down to the list below for our take on the best popcorn seasonings out there.

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Trader Joe’s Cheesy Seasoning Blend

Our buddy Trader Joseph comes through again, this time with a cheesy, savory seasoning that was born ready to perk up your popcorn. This isn’t the standard cheesy popcorn seasoning, no siree. This stuff is a special blend of salt and cheddar made all the more special with garlic, onion powder, dried rosemary, and dried oregano. As editor-in-chief Justine Sterling pointed out, TJ’s Cheesy Seasoning Blend has nuance and excellent depth of flavor that really makes it taste like aged cheddar. “It’s better than it needs to be,” she said. So much better, in fact, that it’s one of the best popcorn seasonings you can buy, hands down.

Related: Best Trader Joe’s Seasonings: 7 That Should Be in Your Spice Rack

 Silver Swan Special Soy Sauce

One thing about Justine is that she likes soy sauce on popcorn. And before you judge her for putting wet stuff on crunchy kernels, remember that Selena Gomez likes her popcorn with Tabasco and pickle juice, so Justine is basically the Selena Gomez of Sporked and I certainly don’t see that as a negative. And if you are an adventurous kind of gal and want to try out the best seasoning for popcorn according to our fearless leader, why not use the best soy sauce we tried? Managing editor Gwynedd Stuart described this Filipino-made sauce as dark and substantial with “an ultra-rich flavor, a hint of sweetness, and huge amounts of umami.” Kinda sounds perfect for popcorn, not gonna lie.

Related: Umami City: We Ranked 7 Best Soy Sauces

 Tapatío Picante Seasoning

Are you a spicy, spicy gal in search of spicy, spicy popcorn to spicy spice up your spicy snacking game? Well, look no further than this delicious seasoning mix from Tapatío, which senior writer Jordan Myrick described as “just about the most delicious thing I can imagine” when sprinkled over buttered popcorn. What more do you need to hear? Pop up some corn and put this very delicious contestant for the title of best popcorn seasoning all over that buttery mess.

Related: All of the Tapatío Products You May Not Have Known Exist

 Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning Packet

I mean. Cool Ranch popcorn? To clarify, this is just a ranch seasoning, not “Cool Ranch” specifically, but, hey, you’re cool, so if you add this packet to your popcorn it automatically becomes a “Cool Ranch” situation. Just sayin’. Also, powdered ranch is a classic member of the best seasoning for popcorn club for a reason. Dump this on your next big batch o’ popcorn and give it a good shake—you will’nt be disappointed.

Related: Every Hidden Valley Ranch Product, Ranked

Vermont Creamery Cultured Butter with Sea Salt

Butter truly is the best popcorn topping, and in the absence of other cool, fancy spices to dress up your corn, butter on its own is anything but boring. And this butter is hands down the best one we’ve tasted. Exactly how good is this butter? Well, Gwynedd went full Guy Fieri and said this butter “takes you on a journey to butter town,” so it sounds pretty darn ideal to me. Need a dairy-free alternative? We recommend Country Crock Plant Butter. It’s made with olive oil, which gives it a much deeper, richer flavor than plant butters made with vegetable oil.

Related: Best Butter: No Buts About the 7 Best Butters (Salted & Unsalted)

Trader Joe’s Everything but the Elote Seasoning

Everything but the Elote is one of those magical seasoning blends that manages to take everything that’s delicious about a beloved dish and deliver it in powder form. Brilliant. And while corn on the cob is a fine snack, popcorn is easier to make and easier to share. This seasoning turns popcorn into spicy, mayo-slathered corn on the cob on a stick. This stuff is delicious and is literally made for corn—even the popped kind.

Related: Best Trader Joe’s Seasonings: 7 That Should Be in Your Spice Rack

Bragg Nutritional Yeast

Okay, I get it. “Nutritional yeast” does not sound like a thing that would taste good, but take our word for it—this stuff is flavor magic. It’s cheesy and salty and super umami. One of our favorite bagged popcorns, Lesser Evil Organic Popcorn with “No Cheese” Cheesiness, gets its cheesy flavor from nutritional yeast. “It’s salty and irresistible and guarantees I’m going to eat way more popcorn than I probably should,” Gwynedd said of her personal pick for the best popcorn seasoning. Buy a shaker of this and we guarantee you’ll find all sorts of uses for it, popcorn included.

Related: The Sporked Staff Reveals Their Favorite Popcorn Toppings

About the Author

Jessica Block

Jessica Block is a freelance contributor to Sporked, a comedian, a baker, a food writer, and a firm believer that Trader Joe's may just be the happiest place on earth. She loves spicy snacks, Oreos, baking bread, teeny tiny avocados, and trying new foods whenever she can. Also, if you give her a bag of Takis she will be your best friend.

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  • Lawry’s Seasoned Salt should be on the list. Travesty it was snubbed!

  • Nutritional yeast is my personal go-to for popcorn! Now I need to try the others!