Lightly salted popcorn drizzled with melted chocolate is the perfect quick and easy snack for anyone who loves the combination of sweet and salty foods. This chocolate-covered popcorn recipe uses just four ingredients and is made in minutes.
As someone with a pretty big sweet tooth, salty foods, like popcorn, usually take a backseat to things like chocolate or other desserts when it comes to snacking or late-night Netflix watching. However, when you combine chocolate with popcorn, you get my attention.
This five-minute chocolate popcorn is the best of both worlds. It’s the perfect dessert for mindlessly eating while watching a movie or an easy snack when craving something sweet and salty. It also makes a great food gift for the holidays.
We’ve all eaten out of one of those metal tins before containing different popcorn flavors like caramel popcorn or kettle corn, and this homemade chocolate popcorn is just like that, only much less costly.
Ingredients needed to make chocolate covered popcorn
- Popcorn — I prefer stovetop popcorn to microwave popcorn, but you can choose either.
- Coconut oil — The oil is used for popping the corn and melting the chocolate.
- Salt — A nice flaky sea salt is the perfect way to season the popcorn once it is popped.
- Chocolate — My preference is dark chocolate chips. You can use whatever chocolate you like: milk chocolate, white chocolate, or a combination of multiple types of chocolate chips.
How to make chocolate popcorn
Start by placing a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat on the stove. Add a bit of coconut oil to the pot and swirl around the bottom of the pot until melted.
Add the popcorn kernels, then cover the pot with a lid until they start to pop. Give the pot a shake once or twice while popping to prevent any of the kernels from burning at the bottom of the pan.
Once the popping slows substantially, turn off the heat and remove the lid. Transfer the popcorn to a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or wax paper) and spread the popcorn out into a single layer.
Combine the chocolate chips and a small amount of coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl. Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 20 to 30-second intervals, stirring in between until smooth and drizzly.
Using a spoon, drizzle the melted chocolate all over the popcorn on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and let sit until the chocolate sets.
My Pro Tip
If you’re anxious for the chocolate to set, pop the baking sheet in the fridge for a few minutes to speed up the time it takes to harden.
The same process can be used with microwaveable popcorn in a bag if preferred. Use unbuttered popcorn if choosing this option.
Tips for melting the chocolate
You know a recipe is easy when the most challenging part about it is melting chocolate. While this may not sound like something to worry about, here are some tips if you run into trouble melting the chocolate for the popcorn:
- Adjust the power setting on your microwave if possible. Instead of cooking at full power, melting chocolate in the microwave is best done in a medium setting.
- Make sure no water gets into the chocolate mixture. Water will make chocolate seize up in a matter of seconds when melting. If you melt the chocolate over a double boiler, this is more of an issue than the microwave.
- Use shorter intervals. I like to start with a 30-second interval in the microwave, then reduce it to 15-20 seconds, giving the chocolate a good stir between each session.
- Don’t skip the coconut oil! Just a touch of oil creates a smooth texture in the melted chocolate. The use of coconut oil with chocolate is sometimes referred to as “magic shell.” This is because of the hard shell that forms once the mixture sets. It’s great for popcorn and ice cream.
Variations of chocolate covered popcorn
You can make this chocolate popcorn recipe your own in many ways. Here are some of my favorite additions:
- Make it extra chocolaty — Use more chocolate chips and coat the popcorn in the chocolate in a large bowl instead of drizzling on top.
- Feeling nutty? — There are two ways to incorporate nuts into the popcorn. You can add a handful of peanuts, almonds or cashews to the popcorn (like in this trail mix popcorn) or drizzle nut butter in addition to the chocolate. Chocolate peanut butter popcorn is next-level delicious! Nuts and chocolate are a great option for making a sweet and salty popcorn variation.
- Get festive — Use colored candy melts to create festive colored popcorn for the holidays. Our pomegranate popcorn recipe is another excellent choice for a seasonal snack. Chopped-up or crushed candy canes are also great for some festive flair and crunch.
- Shredded coconut — Unsweetened flakes or sweetened shredded coconut are excellent pairings with dark chocolate. Anyone who loves a Mounds bar will enjoy this combination.
My Pro Tip
If you’re using additional toppings like nuts, candies, or dried fruit, it’s best to sprinkle them on after drizzling the popcorn with chocolate. This way, the toppings will adhere to the chocolate.
How to store leftover popcorn
Don’t let the popcorn get stale by leaving it out uncovered. Store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a few days. Keep it out of the sun; otherwise, the chocolate will melt.
The humidity of the room will also affect the texture of popped corn. If possible, make this chocolate covered popcorn on a day that’s not too humid. No one wants to eat soggy popcorn!
Popcorn cannot be frozen, so avoid the freezer for this snack.
More snacks like this to try:
Quick & Easy Chocolate Covered Popcorn
- 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
- 2 1/4 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- Place 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a medium to large pot over medium-high heat. Once melted, swirl around the bottom of the pan to coat.
- Add the popcorn kernels, cover with a lid and cook until the kernels pop. Shake the pot a few times while popping to prevent burning. Turn off the heat once the popping slows down so that there's a few seconds in between pops.
- Transfer the popcorn to a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper or wax paper and spread into a single layer.
- Combine the chocolate chips and remaining coconut oil in a bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds then give a good stir. Return to the microwave in 15-20 second intervals, stirring in between each session until the chocolate is fully melted.
- Use a spoon to drizzle the chocolate all over the popcorn. Sprinkle with sea salt and let set until the chocolate hardens.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.