Cheesy Chili Lime Popcorn

I love popcorn. I bought a simple air-popper at a garage sale a few years ago and I pull it out multiple times a week. I feel like it’s a quick, easy, inexpensive, and healthy snack that we all really like. A little butter and salt make air-popped popcorn delicious and it’s way better for you than that microwaved stuff.
I was in the mood for something different one day and so this recipe was born. I recently acquired some queso cotija. It’s a Mexican cheese that resembles Parmesan but is incredibly salty. I haven’t liked anything that I used it on until now; this cheese was meant for popcorn. A little lime zest and cayenne pepper really made this irresistible. The best part is it is super quick and easy. While we are on the queso cotija topic, what is it used for? Anyone know what it is good on?

Cheesy Chili Lime Popcorn
Printable Recipe

8 cups popped popcorn
4 T. butter, melted
3/4 cup queso cotija
zest of one lime
1 tsp. cayenne pepper

Place your popped corn in a large bowl and drizzle it with half of the melted butter. Stir it around and drizzle the rest of the butter. In a small bowl combine the queso cotija, lime zest, and cayenne. Stir to combine. Sprinkle half of the cheese mixture over the buttered popcorn and toss to combine. Sprinkle the remaining cheese mixture on top of the popcorn. Eat right away.

The cheese kind of settles to the bottom of the bowl, so I tried to leave a good portion of it on top of the popcorn to start out. The butter helps some of it to stick to the popcorn better.
If you don’t like things hot just add a dash of cayenne, adjust the measurements to taste.
Leftover popcorn is not edible in my opinion, so I don’t suggest storing this; just make what you think you’ll eat.

27 comments on “Cheesy Chili Lime Popcorn

  1. I’m not positive but it looks like the cheese they use on large corn on the cobs that are sold on the street in Mexican neighborhoods. And All recipes dot com just confirmed it! Search: Mexican corn on the cob! :)

    1. Hmmm. I’ve never been to Mexico but if a street vender is selling it I’m sure I’d like it :) Thanks for the tip, I think I’m going to have to try it! See, I was on the right track, corn – popcorn…


    1. It falls in the Mexican and Latino section of the market or you might have to try a Latino grocery store to find it! Good luck :)

  2. That cheese is traditionally used in a dish with grilled corn, mayo, lime juice and chili powder. (Cumin is a nice addition) – I’ve never made it with plain yogurt but you could try it.

    1. That sounds good except for the mayo… that just sounds odd. But hey, I like food and would totally try it! I’ll have to find a recipe. Thanks Maura!

  3. We love air popped pop corn. We never use butter on it . My children love cheddar cheese or parm. Cheese on it.
    I sprinkle the cheese on it and then put in the microwave for about 40 seconds to melt the cheese.
    Just watch out for the un popped peices!