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Five Quick and Easy Popcorn and Trail Mix Recipes

Thelma is a former field editor for "Taste of Home" magazine and has a huge collection of recipes submitted to her from cooks across the US.

These delicious snacks are great for get-togethers and parties.

These delicious snacks are great for get-togethers and parties.

The Perfect Snacks

Whether you're looking for popcorn recipes for a large party or for a family movie night, these quick and easy popcorn snacks will fit the bill. It can't get any easier than using popcorn as a base for making snacks or trail mixes with a few added ingredients thrown in for additional flavor!

Enjoy!

Recipe 1: Popcorn Snack Mix

This recipe is simple, quick, and good for you. It provides a flavorful treat that gives you a salty-sweet taste that we sometimes crave. This snack is a good choice to let the children prepare (maybe with a little help chopping the fruit).

Ingredients

  • 1 bag light microwave popcorn, popped
  • 3/4 cup dried fruit, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons vanilla protein powder

Instructions

  1. Place popped popcorn in a large bowl.
  2. Add dried fruit and almonds; toss well.
  3. Drizzle honey over the popcorn mixture.
  4. Sprinkle with the protein powder; mix well to coat.
Popcorn is a perfect snack.

Popcorn is a perfect snack.

Recipe 2: Popcorn Trail Mix

This isn't just for the hiking trail; it can be a welcomed snack along other trails in life such as a long car ride, waiting for a car repair, a trip to the park, a long wait in the doctor's office, and the list goes on. Just pack it in a plastic baggie and take it along with you. Use it anytime hunger strikes and a full meal is not readily available!

Ingredients

  • 1 bag microwave popcorn, popped
  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • 1/2 cup M&M candies plain, without the peanuts
  • 1/2 cup Craisins
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients together until distributed well.
  2. Store in zip-lock plastic bags or a large plastic bowl with a tight-fitting lid.

Recipe 3: Cheese and Bacon Party Mix

For a little more sophisticated party mix, try this quick and easy bacon and cheese-flavored rendition. This goes exceptionally well with margaritas or ice-cold beer!

Ingredients

  • 1 bag microwave popcorn, popped
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke seasoning
  • 1/3 cup bacon bits (from a jar—not bacon that you cook)
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Place popcorn in a large serving bowl.
  2. In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter in the microwave (this should only take about 30 seconds).
  3. Add liquid smoke seasoning to butter and mix together.
  4. Pour butter over popcorn and mix well.
  5. Add bacon bits, cheese, and salt. Mix thoroughly.
  6. Serve immediately while the popcorn is still hot.

Recipe 4: Tex-Mex Popcorn Snack

This is a little different and is sure to please your party guests. Serve with some cold drinks to wash down the spicy taste. If you like a really hot taste, add a few shakes of Tabasco or other hot sauce before serving, or have the bottle on the table for your guests to add if desired.

Ingredients

  • 1 bag microwave popcorn, popped
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded American cheese
  • salt if desired

Instructions

  1. In a small microwave-safe dish, melt butter in the microwave.
  2. Add chili powder and garlic salt to the melted butter. Mix well. Pour over popcorn.
  3. Add cheese and mix thoroughly.
  4. Add salt to taste.
  5. Add hot sauce if desired.

Recipe 5: Halloween Popcorn or Witches' Treat

Call it by either name, it will surely please all of the ghosts and goblins at your Halloween party (grown-up spooks too!). It is an easy recipe that is colorful and looks great on your party table or can be served any time of the year.

Ingredients

  • 2 bags microwave popcorn, popped
  • 12 Oreo cookies, broken into small pieces
  • 1 bag of candy corn
  • 1 (16 oz.) package of white chocolate chips
  • Halloween candy sprinkles (like those used to decorate cupcakes)

Instructions

  1. Mix the popped popcorn, Oreo pieces, and candy corn together well.
  2. Melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave until melted completely. It works well if you melt for about 30 seconds then stop and stir the chips. Then microwave for another 30 seconds. Continue this process until melted well.
  3. Drizzle the melted white chocolate over the popcorn mixture. Stir well trying to get a little of the white chocolate on each piece. The melted white chocolate helps to stick the different ingredients together so when you eat a bite, you get a taste of the different flavors.
  4. Spread the popcorn mixture out evenly on wax paper.
  5. Shake the candy sprinkles over the popcorn mixture.
  6. Let cool for at least 30 minutes. Break into pieces and serve.

Budget-Friendly Ideas

By putting these snacks in small zip-lock bags, they become portable for taking to work for that afternoon slump many of us get. They are much less expensive than buying snacks out of a vending machine. If you are planning a trip, whether by plane or car, tuck a few little packages of these special treats in your travel bag to soothe hunger pangs or for a boost of energy. Going to the movies? Take a bag along in your purse. With just a little planning ahead, you will be pleased with the effort. You can't beat the price and convenience!

"Love is sharing your popcorn..."

— Charles Schultz, cartoonist and creator of comic strip "Peanuts"

© 2013 Thelma Raker Coffone