Pesto Popcorn

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Pesto popcorn is an herby, cheesy treat to enjoy for movie night. It’s a great way to use up any pesto sauce you might have lingering in the fridge or freezer.

We try to keep plenty of fruits and vegetables on hand in the house, but every once in a while you just need a salty snack.

Sometimes we go for chips and salsa, but one staple in the house is popcorn.

We love popcorn around here and even get popcorn on the cob from our local farm, so we’ve taken to trying new ways of enjoying it.

bowls of pesto popcorn with a soda

I nearly always have some pesto on hand either in the fridge or tucked away in the freezer, so when I saw it the other day I knew this would be a great flavoring for our next bowl of popcorn.

The result is a salty, savory snack that is just plain addictive. If you love the flavor of pesto, this one’s for you!

ingredients for pesto popcorn

Making Pesto Popcorn

I like to pop the popcorn on the stove, so I can easily mix in the pesto butter right in the pan before transferring to a bowl, but you can also use an air popper.

While the popcorn is cooking, melt your butter.

You can do this in a small saucepan, but I use a prep bowl to do it in the microwave. Be sure to cover the bowl with a paper towel to avoid butter splatters in your microwave.

Whisk the pesto into the butter. You might not use all of this pesto butter, so add it to your popped popcorn in batches. Stir to coat and add more as needed.

pesto popcorn in a bowl with cheese

Add the parmesan cheese just before serving, or keep it on the side for adding to individual bowls. 

Make sure it’s freshly grated parmesan! Pre-shredded or grated won’t work as well.

Flavored popcorn like this is best eaten the same day it is made.

Popcorn is great for a gift, so if you want to encourage friends to try putting pesto on popcorn, you can make a cute package of unpopped or unseasoned popped popcorn and a small container of homemade pesto.

While it might not be traditional to put pesto on popcorn, I encourage you to try it!

serving bowl of pesto popcorn

More snack recipes

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serving bowl of pesto popcorn

Pesto Popcorn

This savory, summery popcorn is a great way to use up leftover pesto.
Author : Megan Myers
4.58 from 7 votes
Print Pin Recipe Review
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 169 kcal


  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons pesto
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan


  • Heat oil in a deep saucepan over medium, and add three popcorn kernels.
  • When the kernels pop, the oil is ready. Pour in the rest of the kernels and shake pan to evenly coat kernels in oil. Continue shaking every few seconds to help the kernels pop. Once the popping slows to 1-2 every 10 seconds, pour popcorn into a large bowl.
  • Melt butter in the microwave or in a small saucepan, and whisk in pesto.
  • Drizzle butter mixture over the popcorn to taste and stir to coat, then sprinkle on salt and Parmesan and stir again. Serve!


You might not use all of the pesto butter; add it a bit at a time until coated to your liking.


Serving: 1 gCalories: 169 kcalCarbohydrates: 7 gProtein: 2 gFat: 15 gSaturated Fat: 6 gCholesterol: 22 mgSodium: 233 mgPotassium: 30 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 0.3 gIron: 0.3 mg

Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate based on online calculators. Any nutritional information found on Stetted should be used as a general guideline only.

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About Megan

I focus on fresh ingredients and easy methods, with spins that keep meals interesting. Dinnertime shouldn’t be stressful or complicated, and I’m here to help you enjoy the time spent in the kitchen. Read more…

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  1. *Drool*

    I’m a snacker, too, and I’m convinced there’s not really all that much wrong with it, as long as the snacking is healthy and doesn’t result in overeating. My 3 1/2-year-old is becoming quite the snacker, too, and after fighting it for months, I’ve decided to just go with reasonable limits. She loves popcorn, too — there’s nothing like homemade! Love the pesto addition.