Overhead shot of Spicy Parmesan Party Popcorn in a bowl
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5 from 5 votes

Spicy Parmesan Party Popcorn

Great party food because it's so fast and cheap to make, and so addictive but your guests won't get too full! The key tip with this is to prepare it all in advance then assemble just before serving, otherwise the oil spray and moisture in the parmesan gets absorbed into the popcorn so it loses its crunchiness.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Party Food
Servings: 16 cups
Calories: 101kcal
Author: Nagi | RecipeTin Eats



  • ¼ cup vegetable oil (not required if air popping with a popcorn maker)
  • ½ cup popping corn


  • Olive oil spray
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese (finely grated) (Note 1)
  • 3/4 tsp fine salt (Not flakes because it won't stick. Table salt is fine)
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (or chilli) (adjust to your taste)
  • 1/2 tsp paprika (optional - this is for a bit of extra colour)


  • Pop the popcorn in a popcorn maker or on the stove (see steps 2 and 3).
  • Make popcorn on the stove: Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add a few pieces of popcorn - if the corn slowly spins in the oil then the oil is hot enough.
  • Add remaining popcorn and cover with a lid. Once the popcorn starts popping, shake the pot gently every now and then.
  • Remove from heat when the popping stops (when you can count to 3 between pops) and transfer to a large bowl.
  • Combine the salt, cayenne pepper and paprika in a small bowl and mix to combine ("Spice Mix.
  • Get a large serving bowl and place 1/3 of the popcorn in it. Spray generously with olive oil then sprinkle over 1/3 of the parmesan and 1/3 of the Spice Mix.Repeat twice more. Do not toss. The flavourings will naturally toss through as people start to dig in.
  • Serve immediately.


1. You need to use freshly grated parmesan cheese in this. The store bought fine shreds or granules don't stick to the popcorn as well because they are not as finely grated.
2. The popcorn needs to be seasoned just before serving otherwise the oil and moisture in the parmesan cheese gets absorbed by the popcorn so it isn't as crunchy. The first time I made it, I assembled it 1 hour before serving and it was less crunchy than I preferred. It was still tasty though!
3. Nutrition assuming 6 servings (1 1/2 cups each)
Spicy Parmesan Party Popcorn Nutrition


Serving: 17g | Calories: 101kcal | Carbohydrates: 1.2g | Protein: 1.7g | Fat: 10.3g | Saturated Fat: 2.5g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 625mg | Potassium: 16mg | Vitamin A: 300IU | Vitamin C: 0.8mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 0.2mg