42 popcorn recipes you have probably never tried

Vintage popcorn recipes

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Popcorn pie? Macaroni and popcorn? Popcorn omelet? If you thought popcorn balls and cheesy popcorn were about as adventurous as someone could get with those gorgeous popped kernels, you were wrong.

Here are 42 popcorn recipes that are actually really old even though they will probably be new to you — and you’ll find out all kinds of… unique ways to enjoy popcorn morning, noon and night.

These recipes were originally presented in a booklet that was created by Nelson’s Pop Corn company in Grinnell, Iowa, way back in 1916.

Now, we’re not going to vouch for how any of these dishes taste — especially the ones that involve sardines or parsnips — but we imagine that a few here might be worth a try. Are you ready to get poppin’?

Popcorn recipes to try

Popcorn recipes from 1916

In presenting you this little booklet, we have made an effort to give you something that would be of daily use in the home. In purchasing these recipes we feel that we have secured the same from the best-known recipe writer, Mrs. Mary Hamilton Talbott. Her recipes are known from coast to coast, as she is a well-known recipe writer for the leading periodicals.

You will find the recipes of great use in preparing the dainty dishes for a pleasant evening.

Popcorn has long been looked upon as a confection, and few people have realized its possibilities in cookery. It has, however, a recognized food value containing as high a percentage of protein — or body-building material — as matured sweet corn, and its fuel value a pound is equally as great. It should, therefore, be used frequently in every home.


1. Popcorn warm or cold — Popcorn may be served either as a hot or cold cereal. If the former way is desired, cover the popped kernels — and none pop better than Nelson’s — with cold water and allow them to soak overnight; then cook them in milk in the morning and serve with sugar and cream. A very tasty accompaniment to this may be made by washing some dates; cut them up and put them in a saucepan with just enough water to cover and allow them to simmer for five minutes, then drain and place around the hot popcorn, or mix them with it. Stewed apples, prunes, plumped raisins, fruit juice, or any kind of plain fruit also make a nice addition to popcorn served as a cereal.

2. Cheesy popcorn — An unusual but delicious way to serve corn, popped, as a cereal is to combine it with cheese, one of the varieties which is mild in flavor and soft in texture. When the popped corn is cooked, just before removing from the stove stir in a cup of grated cheese and a little butter and salt, allow to melt and become blended with the popcorn, then serve. This is eaten without cream and sugar.

3. Popcorn omelet — Popcorn makes a delicious addition to the breakfast omelet. Put enough popped corn through the meat grinder to make a cup and add to it a quarter of a cup of milk, allow it to soak a few minutes then add two well-beaten eggs (whipped separately), half a teaspoonful of salt, a few grains of paprika and a teaspoonful of chopped parsley, Melt one tablespoonful of butter in an omelet pan, turn in the mixture and cook with moderate heat until firm. Fold, turn out upon a hot platter and garnish with crisp bacon and a generous sprinkling of the unground popped corn.

4. Popcorn hash — Chop fine some cold boiled potatoes and any other vegetables desired that may be on hand. Put them into a buttered frying pan, heat quickly and thoroughly, and salt to taste. Then add a large spoonful of ground, popped corn, for each person to be served. When heated thoroughly, dish and serve.

5. Popcorn scrapple — Add to one cup of hominy and two cups of cornmeal enough boiling water to cook thoroughly in a double boiler until of the consistency for frying. Take from the fire and stir in two heaping cups of popped and ground corn, then pour into buttered pans and when cold slice and fry. This is especially good on a cold, snappy morning.

6. Popcorn and bacon — Just before the morning bacon, or sausage, is altogether cooked, add to the grease a generous handful of corn when popped; allow it to brown and serve with the meat. It adds a delicious, nutty flavor.


7. Popcorn roast — Mix together two cups of bread crumbs, one-half a cup of chopped nut meats and of popped and ground corn, half a cup each of hot water and melted butter, one teaspoonful of onion juice, one teaspoonful of tomato catsup, one and one-half teaspoons of salt, one saltspoonful of pepper and one beaten egg. When mixed thoroughly put into a buttered mold and bake about an hour. Cover the first part of the time, then baste three times with hot butter. Turn into a hot dish, sprinkle with popped corn and serve with a brown sauce.

8. Popcorn cutlet — Mix two cups of bread crumbs, two cups of popped and ground corn — corn gives a nutty flavor — one cup of milk or cream, two eggs, and salt and pepper to taste; mold into cutlet form, flour and fry in hot butter as you do veal cutlet. Garnish with chopped parsley and tomato sauce.

9. Popcorn rolls — To one tablespoonful of butter and one teaspoonful of peanut butter add two and one-half tablespoons of hot water. When the butters are melted, stir into them one cup of finely ground, popped corn and a small quantity of bread crumbs, enough to make a paste which can be molded with the hands into small cakes, Fry these in butter until a delicate brown and serve with tomato sauce. These make a dainty luncheon or supper dish.


10. Popcorn soup — A very delicious soup may be made by cooking a can of peas in a quart of milk until soft, press through a sieve to remove outer covering of peas, add a. tablespoonful of onion juice, a tablespoonful of butter, pepper and salt to taste, and a good handful of corn when popped, mixed with a few breadcrumbs. After this has cooked up well, serve and add a teaspoonful of whole, popped grains to each plateful of soup. Corn may be used instead of the peas, and an equally good soup will result.

11. Stuffing for fowl or meats — Soak in cold water half a loaf of crumbed bread and an equal bulk of corn (after it is popped) until soft; squeeze and add a slice of onion, a tablespoonful of chopped parsley, salt and pepper to taste, and two well-beaten eggs. Put this in a pan with some butter and put in the oven long enough to brown slightly, stirring often, then use.

>> Also see: Buttery popcorn bread stuffing (1975)


12. Parsnips and popcorn — Wash, scrape and slice thin two good-sized parsnips and cook them until perfectly tender in two quarts of water. When they are nearly done add a teaspoon of salt and when altogether done a tablespoonful of flour mixed smooth with a little cold water. Stir well and let boil until the flour is cooked, then stir in half a cup of popped and ground corn. Let boil up once or twice, or until the corn is hot, and serve.

13. Popcorn with turnips or carrots — Mashed turnips or carrots can be made more tasty by stirring in a cup of corn, popped and ground.

14. Macaroni and popcorn recipe — Cook one cup of macaroni, broken into inch lengths, in boiling salted water until tender; drain and pour cold water through it to separate the pieces. Then add cream sauce made with four tablespoons of flour, the same quantity of butter, salt and pepper to taste, and a cup of milk; add two cups of corn, after it is popped and ground. Pour into a buttered baking dish, cover with buttered crumbs and a little grated cheese and bake until a golden brown.

15. Potato and popcorn balls — Mix two cups of hot mashed potatoes, one teaspoonful of chopped onion, one tablespoonful of chopped parsley, two tablespoons of butter, salt and pepper to taste, then shape them into small balls, open the center and put in some popped corn, place on a buttered dish, and cook in a moderate oven a quarter of an hour, sprinkle ground popped corn over them before removing from the oven, and serve alone or with tomato sauce.

16. Stuffing for onions — Cook together for five minutes one tablespoonful of bread crumbs, five tablespoons of ground, popped corn, two tablespoons of butter, two tablespoons of chopped parsley, salt and pepper to taste and a dash of paprika. Take from the fire and add one beaten egg. Remove the centers from onions, fill with this mixture and bake.

Old-fashioned popcorn recipes


17. Banana & popcorn salad — Cut bananas into halves, scoop out the centers of each and till with corn (after it is popped and ground), and serve on lettuce with mayonnaise dressing.

18. Simple sweet salad — Mix together one cup of chopped celery, one cup of raisins and one cup of popped and rolled corn and serve on lettuce or any salad green with mayonnaise dressing.

19. Apple & popcorn salad — Mix together one pint of apples cut into small matchlike pieces, half a pint of popcorn, after it is popped and rolled, and the same quantity of chopped celery, Dress with boiled dressing and serve in apple cups or on lettuce leaves.

20. Potato & popcorn salad — Cut into thin slices four good sized boiled white potatoes and add to them the crisp white portion of two bunches of celery, chopped, and two and one-half cups of corn, after it has been popped and ground, sprinkle with salt and pepper, mix with half a pint of mayonnaise and just before serving cover the salad with half a pint of whipped cream.


21. Popcorn tapenade — Cut bread into any shape and fry it in deep fat. Mix chopped olives and corn (popped) with mayonnaise and spread on the fried bread.

22. Popcorn-sardine spread on toast — Rub the yolks of hard-boiled eggs to a paste and add an equal quantity of sardines and corn (popped and ground.) Moisten with lemon juice and serve on rounds of toast.

23. Date-popcorn spread — Remove the stones from dates and fill the cavities with Neufchatel cheese into which ground, popped corn — corn for popping — has been worked. Serve with salted crackers. This is a delicious novelty for luncheon.


24. Popcorn-sardine sandwich — Put half a pint of corn, popped, through the grinder and mix it with six boned sardines, a little salt and pepper and enough tomato catsup, or strained tomato juice, to form a paste. Spread on hot buttered toast, sprinkle with grated cheese and serve at once.

25. Popcorn & fruit sandwich — Make a paste of cream cheese and corn, popped and ground, and spread it on a slice of brown bread, cover the top with raisins, currants or chopped figs and cover this with another slice of buttered bread. This makes a wholesome sandwich for the lunch box.

26. Sunday sandwich — For Sunday night supper when a light but nutritious bill of fare is wanted: Chop fine a cup of raisins and mix them with a cup of corn, after it has been popped and rolled; blend this with the white of an egg, well-whipped and seasoned with a pinch of salt. Spread between thin slices of buttered bread. Do not prepare until just before serving time.

27. Sweet sandwich — A dainty sweet sandwich is made by mixing strained honey with corn, popped and ground, and mashed ripe bananas and placing between slices of buttered bread.


28. Popcorn cream pudding — Soak a quarter of a box of gelatine in a quarter of a cup of cold water. Make a custard of two cups of milk, three egg yolks, a third of a cup of sugar and a third of a teaspoonful of salt; add the gelatine and strain into a pan set in cold water. Stir in two-thirds of a cup of corn, popped and ground, and a teaspoonful of almond extract, stirring until it begins to thicken. Then add the stiffly whipped whites of three eggs, mold, chill and serve garnished with the whole grains of popped corn. Whipped cream may be served with this pudding.

29. Popcorn custard recipe — Heat one quart of milk in a double boiler, when warm stir in the beaten yolks of four eggs, four tablespoons of granulated sugar and a scant tablespoonful of
cornstarch (mixed with a little cold water.) When this thickens add three-fourths of a cup of corn, after it is popped and ground, and a teaspoonful of almond extract. When cold, cover with a meringue, made by whipping the whites of the eggs to a stiff froth and adding slowly eight teaspoonsful of powdered sugar and a few spoonsful of tart jelly, preferably currant.

30. Prune and popcorn pudding — Pick over and wash half a pound of prunes and soak them an hour in two cups of cold water, boil until soft and remove the stones, being careful to retain all the meat of the prunes; add to them one cup of sugar, a small piece of stick cinnamon, one and a third cups of boiling water and let them simmer about ten minutes. Add one-third of a cup of cornstarch diluted with enough water to make it pour easily and cook five minutes. Remove the cinnamon, add a tablespoonful of lemon juice, the stiffly beaten whites of two eggs and half a cup of corn, after it is popped and ground, mold, chill and serve with plain or whipped cream.

31. Quick dessert — A dainty and easily prepared desert is made by soaking a cup of raisins in warm water until they are well plumped, drain them and mix them with a cup of corn, after it is popped and ground. Serve with plain or whipped cream.

32. Popcorn macaroons — Mix half a cup of popped and rolled corn, half a package of chopped raisins, one cup of powdered sugar, the whites of two eggs and a tablespoonful of flour together and drop on greased brown paper by tablespoons and bake in a moderate oven until light brown.

33. Popcorn wafers — Cream together half a cup of granulated sugar and a quarter of a cup of butter; add one tablespoonful of milk, one well-beaten egg, one-quarter of a teaspoonful of salt, and one cup of popcorn, popped and ground. Mix into this one and one-half cups of pastry flour into which one teaspoonful of baking powder has been sifted, and half a teaspoonful of almond extract. Roll thin, cut into small rounds, or fancy shapes, and bake. These are nice for the afternoon tea table or the kiddies’ lunch box.

34. Popcorn and baked apples — Peel and core tart apples, scoop out the centers and fill with a mixture of corn, popped and ground, chopped raisins and a little lemon peel. Place in a baking dish and pour over them half a cup of water and dust with granulated sugar, Bake in a slow oven until tender, sprinkle with soft bread crumbs and sugar, bake ten minutes more and serve hot with cream or a thin custard.

35. Popcorn trifle recipe — Place cut up marshmallows in a dish set in boiling water, and when they are melted, cover saltines with about an inch of the mixture, then sprinkle over the top, very thick, corn, popped and rolled; set in a moderate oven until a delicate brown.

36. Popcorn marguerites — Make a paste of corn, popped and ground, and chopped raisins, mixed with boiled icing. Spread on vanilla wafers or crackers and put in the oven long enough to brown.

37. Popcorn pie recipe — Cream well together one large cup of granulated sugar, one heaping tablespoonful of butter and when very light, add the well-beaten yolks of three eggs, one cup of molasses and one teaspoonful of grated nutmeg and, lastly, the stiffly whipped whites of the eggs. Put this mixture into pans lined with a rich crust; before removing from the oven, cover the top thickly with snowy kernels of popcorn.

Old-fashioned popcorn recipes


38. Popcorn fudge — Boil together two cups of sugar, half a cup of maple syrup, half a cup of water and a third of a teaspoonful of salt until they will form a soft ball when dropped into cold water. Beat this slowly into the stiffly beaten whites of two eggs; when smooth, add two and one-half cups of corn, popped and ground. Pour into buttered pans and mark when cool.

39. Molasses popcorn candy — Boil together in a granite pan one pint of molasses, one cup of brown sugar, a tablespoonful of butter, and two tablespoons of vinegar until it becomes brittle when dropped into cold water. Just before removing from the fire add a large pinch of salt, a large cup of corn, popped, and half a teaspoonful of almond extract. Pour into buttered tins and mark into squares before it is cold.

40. Honey popcorn balls recipe — Boil one cup of strained honey until it will form a soft ball when dropped into cold water. Have ready a good-sized bowl of corn, popped, pour the honey over it, mold the corn into balls and stand them on greased paper. A cup of sugar and half a cup of water may be boiled to a syrup and used in the same way.

>> Also see: 7 ways to make popcorn balls (1956)

41. Chocolate popcorn — Cook together one cup of sugar, a quarter of a cup of syrup, half a cup of water and two ounces of grated chocolate together until it hardens when dropped into cold water. Pour this over two quarts of fluffy popped corn kernels, stir well with a fork in order to cover all the grains.

42. Dates stuffed with popcorn — Cut open the dates, remove the pits and fill the cavities with corn, popped and ground, mixed with a little bit of strained honey. Press the edges of the dates together and roll in confectioner’s sugar.

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