There are some people in this world who offer you food suggestions, and you know that the correct response is to smile and nod politely, and immediately forget about whatever they’ve told you to make.
Usually, these people are the ones with gluten intolerances.
Then there are the people who, when they tell you to try out a recipe, you immediately drop whatever you’re doing to go to a grocery store and find all of the ingredients and then go home and start cooking.
Deb Perelman is one of those people.
I made the mistake of following Smitten Kitchen on Instagram, and when she posted a photo of last year’s popcorn party mix, I abandoned my plan to make shepherd’s pie and instead ran to the grocery store to pick up pretzels and a wheel of brie.
(The wheel of brie has nothing to do with this recipe. I bought brie because it is delicious, and I decided that if I was going to fall off the diet bandwagon, I might as well fall off it hard.)
This popcorn mix was completely worth not making the shepherd’s pie resulting in having to eat turkey leftovers for the eighth day in a row.
Smitten Kitchen’s Popcorn Party Mix
Lightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen
- 6 cups popped popcorn (if you use microwaved popcorn, get a plain one)
- 1 cup mixed nuts (I used a mix of cashews, almonds, brazil nuts, and pecans)
- 2 cups of lightly broken up pretzels
- 1 cup of lightly broken up melba toast crackers
- 7 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit (my oven corrects this to 225 degrees for convection). Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a super large bowl, mix popcorn, nuts, pretzels, and melba toast. Set that aside too.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter until it starts to brown (it will separate, the little bits will start to brown, and it will smell nutty). Remove from heat and whisk in all of the remaining ingredients.
- Pour the butter sauce over the popcorn mix and toss it really well so the sauce is evenly distributed. Spoon it out into a smooth layer on the baking sheets.
- Bake for 45 minutes, stirring halfway through so it cooks evenly.
- Let cool completely before storing in jars or large ziplock bags.