Kids Can Make: Healthy Taco Popcorn

  • prep time5 min
  • total time 10 min
  • serves 4

Nutritional yeast is our secret ingredient in this taco spice blend. Dried and not active, it's high in vitamin B12 and has a pleasant cheesy flavor, making it the perfect stand-in when dairy's not an option. (You can find it in the supplement aisles at grocery and health food stores.) For big and little kids: Let them help measure ingredients and toss the popcorn.

19 Ratings
Directions for: Kids Can Make: Healthy Taco Popcorn


Taco Spice Mix

20 large sun-dried tomatoes (not oil-packed; about 3 oz), cut into 1/4-inch strips

2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

2 tsp chili powder

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp dried oregano

1 pinch cayenne pepper

Kosher salt


1 tsp olive oil

3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

½ cup popcorn kernels


Taco Spice Mix

1. Make the Spice Mix: Put half the tomato strips in a single layer on a microwavable plate. Microwave in 30-second increments, checking the texture in between, until they begin to harden but are still red and slightly pliable, 1 to 2 minutes. (They may begin to brown and taste bitter if cooked too long.) Let sit until cool and completely hardened, about 2 minutes. Repeat with the remaining tomato strips.

2. Transfer the cooled tomato strips to a spice grinder, and grind to a powder. Discard any pieces that won't grind. Add the nutritional yeast, chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne and 1 teaspoon salt, and grind to a fine powder.


1. Make the taco popcorn: Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the popcorn kernels. When one pops, cover the pot, and cook, shaking the pot constantly, until the popping subsides to 1 pop every 20 seconds. Pour in the melted butter, and toss to coat. Add 2 heaping tablespoons of taco spice and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and toss again to coat.

2. Store the remaining taco spice blend at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. (You'll have enough to make 3 more batches of popcorn.)

Tips and Substitutions

Special equipment: Spice grinder

Note to parents: Never leave a child unattended in the kitchen. These recipes are appropriate for children of various ages, 4 to 10. When a recipe calls for cooking on the stove or using a paring knife, an adult should do those activities and let the child assist, if age appropriate.

If you find that your spice blend is a little coarse, use a fine sieve to sift it over the buttered popcorn. The finer dusting will coat the popcorn better.

Source and Credits

Copyright 2015 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved.

Courtesy of Food Network Kitchen

See more: Bake, Healthy, Kid-Friendly, Snack, Mexican, Tomatoes

More Recipes You'll Love