"Nacho Cheesy" Popcorn (Crack Corn)

December 18, 2017

To all of the AMC movie theatre employees reading this post: I openly admit to bypassing your outrageously priced popcorn dripping in intense yellow butter, and smuggling bags of this popcorn into many of your movie showings. 


Nicknamed cracked corn by many of our family friends, this popcorn continuously proves to be a crowd favorite and regularly requested snack for events. As I sit here writing this blog eating mouthful after mouthful of this "nacho cheesy" popcorn, I can see how this nickname manifested; I have to remind myself that this addictive snack is not laced with crack. No, surprisingly this is not the secret ingredient. But nutritional yeast is. 


Nutritional yeast can help provide much needed B-complex vitamins for those maintaining a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle. One serving of nutritional yeast yields nine grams of protein, which aids those devoted to a plant-based way of life in supplying their protein demands. It is vital to note that nutritional yeast and Brewer's yeast are not the same. Though they originate from the same scientific family, brewer's yeast is a by-product of beer making and is used when baking bread. Nutritional yeast, unlike brewer's yeast, adds a taste similar to that of cheese to vegan recipes. It is essential to choose nutritional yeast  rather than brewer's yeast when selecting your ingredients.  


For those leading a plant-based lifestyle, it often feels isolating when attempting to make decisions at the movie theatre. Candy drenched in milk chocolate, pretzels paired with cheese, and popcorn flooded with butter are not viable options. If you can successfully sneak this popcorn into a movie, feelings of seclusion will disappear and so will your longing for movie theatre snacks. 




This recipe yields six servings 

-2 tbsp olive oil 

-3/4 coup unpopped popcorn seeds

-1/4 cup plus an additional 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

-1/4 cup nutritional yeast* 

-1 tbsp chili powder

-1 tsp ground cumin 

-1 tsp garlic powder

-1/2 tsp sea salt


*Nutritional yeast can be found at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, local health food stores, and the health conscious aisles of your nearest grocery store.




1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or soup out over medium-high heat

2. Add the popcorn seeds and place the lid on the pan 

3. Shake vigorously to coat the kernels in olive oil 

4. When the kernels begin to pop, shake the plan constantly until the popping stops. This will take approximately 5-7 minutes.

5. Remove from the heat and pour the popped corn into a large mixing bowl 

6. Drizzle the melted coconut oil over the corn, and sprinkle with nutritional yeast, chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder, and sea salt. 

7. Stir throughly before serving


Recipe adapted from Jason Wrobel 






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