Americans down 16 billion quarts of popcorn a year. Good thing it's pretty healthful. Compared with other snack-aisle options, the freshly popped stuff stands out as a minimally processed whole grain made with only oil and salt. So don't limit it to Netflix nights: Toss it on soups, salads, and even ice cream sundaes for a bit of salty crunch.
Popcorn on yellow background
Credit: Yasu + Junko
Popcorn on yellow background
Credit: Yasu + Junko

1 Peanut Butter and Chocolate Popcorn Bar

Hands-On Time: 20 Minutes

Total Time: 30 Minutes

Makes 12 Bars

Melt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, ½ cup creamy peanut butter, one 10-ounce bag marshmallows, and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt in a large pot over medium-low heat, stirring, until smooth, 5 to 7 minutes. Fold in 10 cups popped plain popcorn and ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips. Press into a buttered 9-by-13-inch pan. Chill for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

2 Pesto Popcorn

Toss 10 cups hot, freshly popped plain popcorn with ½ cup finely grated Parmesan and ⅓ cup pesto. Serve immediately.

3 Popcorn-topped Cupcakes

Press 4 cups popped plain popcorn or kettle corn onto 12 chocolate-frosted cupcakes, dividing evenly.