This Buttermilk Ranch Popcorn is salty, crunchy, tangy, and totally addictive!
The funniest thing happened last month.
My mom was staying with us for a couple of weeks after the baby was born. One morning she was preparing Owen’s breakfast, and she accidentally made him a cup of chocolate milk with buttermilk instead of regular milk. He took one sip and spat it out in disgust. I don’t think he’s ever going to let her forget the mistake. He’s still talking about it: “Remember when Nana made me chocolate milk with BUTTERMILK?!” he asks, widening his eyes for extra emphasis.
Or, when I’m making him a drink: “Don’t use BUTTERMILK Mommy!”
If only he knew that the buttermilk he despises is the key ingredient in his beloved waffles. I try to keep a carton on hand, but I don’t always have it, and when I don’t–and we can’t make waffles on Sunday morning–he’s catastrophically disappointed.
This is a rather long-winded explanation for why I recently picked up a box of powdered buttermilk. It keeps forever on the shelf, so you’re never out. And since you can prepare only as much as you need for a recipe, you never have an excess of buttermilk to either use up or waste.
Oh, and as I recently discovered, you can also use it to make insanely delicious popcorn ↓↓↓
To be perfectly honest, I’m not the hugest fan of ranch dressing, but I love ranch-flavored snacks. Is that weird? Cool Ranch Doritos are my weakness. If there is a bag in the house I won’t stop until I’m licking the last few powdery crumbs from my fingers. Not exactly a healthy indulgence.
But this buttermilk ranch popcorn? It’s actually not that bad for you. I pop a heaping 2/3 cup of popcorn kernels in just three tablespoons of oil (I used canola, but you can use olive oil, coconut oil–whatever you like), and then toss it with just two tablespoons of melted butter. Then I add all that delicious tangy, herby flavor: powdered buttermilk, dried dill, kosher salt, garlic and onion powder.
This recipe was loosely inspired by one I saw in Cook’s Country magazine a few years ago, but I played with the ratios of ingredients and left out the chopped fresh cilantro, because who puts cilantro in ranch dressing? I think my version gets it just right.
Whenever we have friends over, I love to put out a big bowl of popcorn to have with drinks. It’s much healthier than chips and dip or cheese and crackers, and you can really have fun with the flavors! I usually make this rosemary truffle popcorn, but this buttermilk ranch version will definitely be in the regular rotation.
Don’t you want to dive right in?
Buttermilk Ranch Popcorn
This buttermilk ranch popcorn is salty, crunchy, tangy, and totally addictive!
- 3 Tablespoons canola oil (or any neutral oil)
- 2/3 cup popcorn kernels
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 2 Tablespoons powdered buttermilk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- 1/4 teaspooon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Pour the oil into a large pot with a lid. Add a few popcorn kernels, cover the pot, and place over medium-high heat. As soon as you hear them pop add the remaining kernels and cover the pot again. Cook, shaking the pot occasionally, until the popping slows almost to a stop, 3 to 5 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat and pour the butter over the popcorn. Sprinkle with about 2/3 of the buttermilk mixture. Cover the pot and give it a good shake to coat the popcorn evenly. Taste and add a little more of the buttermilk mixture if you want more salt and flavor.