Quick and easy cheesy chili lime popcorn made with fresh popcorn, butter, cotija cheese, and chili powder make one tasty and simple snack.

For more crave-worthy popcorn recipes, check out this Cinnamon Caramel Corn with White Chocolate and Pecans (I mean, YUM), Gooey Marshmallow Popcorn with Chocolate, and a simple guide for How to Pop Popcorn in a Paper Bag in the Microwave (it’s simple!).

Quick and easy cheesy chili lime popcorn made with fresh popcorn, butter, cotija cheese, and chili powder make one tasty and simple snack. #popcorn #popcornrecipes #savorypopcorn #limepopcorn

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 everyone can enjoy. A little butter and salt make air-popped popcorn delicious, and it’s way better for you than that packaged, microwaveable stuff you get from the store.

I was in the mood for something different one day, though, 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 (and you all know those are two of my favorite words). Enjoy this fun and different snack!

Quick and easy cheesy chili lime popcorn made with fresh popcorn, butter, cotija cheese, and chili powder make one tasty and simple snack. #popcorn #popcornrecipes #savorypopcorn #limepopcorn

What popcorn maker do you use?

I got an air-popper years ago from a garage sale and use it multiple times a week. I have this one, and it works great! You can also make popcorn in the microwave using just a paper bag — it’s SO easy!

When do you add the cheese to the popcorn?

The cheese kind of settles to the bottom of the bowl, so I try 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.

What if I don’t like spicy foods?

If you don’t like things hot, just add a dash of cayenne, and adjust the measurements to taste. You can also add a little paprika, instead, to get some of that smoky, peppery flavor without the kick.

What do you do with cheesy chili lime popcorn leftovers?

Leftover popcorn is not edible in my opinion, so I don’t suggest storing this; just make what you think you’ll eat.

Quick and easy cheesy chili lime popcorn made with fresh popcorn, butter, cotija cheese, and chili powder make one tasty and simple snack. #popcorn #popcornrecipes #savorypopcorn #limepopcorn

 

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Cheesy Chili Lime Popcorn


  • Author: Melissa Griffiths - Bless this Mess
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 10 min
  • Yield: 8 cups 1x

Description

Quick and easy cheesy chili lime popcorn made with fresh popcorn, butter, cotija cheese, and chili powder make one tasty and simple snack.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 8 cups popped popcorn
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup queso cotija
  • Zest of one lime
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the queso cotija, lime zest, and cayenne. Stir to combine.
  3. Sprinkle half of the cheese mixture over the buttered popcorn, and toss to combine.
  4. Sprinkle the remaining cheese mixture on top of the popcorn.
  5. Eat right away.

Notes

  • The cheese kind of settles to the bottom of the bowl, so I try 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 spicy, just add a dash of cayenne, and 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.

Quick and easy cheesy chili lime popcorn made with fresh popcorn, butter, cotija cheese, and chili powder make one tasty and simple snack. #popcorn #popcornrecipes #savorypopcorn #limepopcorn

Quick and easy cheesy chili lime popcorn made with fresh popcorn, butter, cotija cheese, and chili powder make one tasty and simple snack. #popcorn #popcornrecipes #savorypopcorn #limepopcorn Quick and easy cheesy chili lime popcorn made with fresh popcorn, butter, cotija cheese, and chili powder make one tasty and simple snack. #popcorn #popcornrecipes #savorypopcorn #limepopcorn

If you like this popcorn recipe, you might also like these:

This post was originally published in 2012, and has been updated and rephotographed in September 2019.

Cheesy chili lime popcorn is such a fun and irresistible spin on a classic snack that everyone loves!

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38 Recipes for Busy Moms
15 Responses
  1. Brooke

    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…

      Thanks!

    1. Melissa

      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. Maura

    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. Melissa

    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!

  4. Laura

    When making corn tortilla taco shells, sprinkle Queso cotija on the tortillas after they have been heated on an oil coated cast iron pan.

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Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.

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