A beautifully packaged gift basket with microwave popcorn, boxes of candy, popcorn seasonings, and cardboard popcorn boxes.

We’re big fans of edible gifts here at Wholefully—they are easy and affordable to put together, and everyone appreciates the gift of something tasty! We whipped up this popcorn gift set as a quick Christmas gift or host/hostess gift idea, and it’s one of our favorite holiday food gifts we’ve ever created.

Why? Well, obviously, everyone loves popcorn! But also, this gift set costs just a few dollars to make, it takes less than 10 minutes to pull together, and it’s a beautiful gift for neighbors, teachers, delivery people, or anyone who deserves a little bit of quality time with the family. This popcorn set just begs to be used for a cozy family movie night snuggled up on the couch!

Even if you don’t need a holiday gift, our three homemade popcorn seasonings are a great option to have on hand in your own kitchen when the popcorn hankering strikes! We’ve got recipes for all three seasonings, plus a full tutorial on how to package them up in a cute popcorn gift set below. Let’s get popping!

Handmade popcorn seasoning in three flavors, cinnamon sugar, ranch, and dill pickle, are packed into reusable canning jars for gifting.

How do you make a homemade popcorn gift set?

Pulling together a good popcorn gift set requires just a quick trip to your favorite supermarket! You can customize your gift sets with whatever you think your giftee will like the most, but here’s what we used for ours:

  • A reusable woven basket
  • Popcorn boxes (hint: check the party supply section of your local supermarket)
  • Movie theatre-style candy boxes
  • Microwave popcorn bags (you can use a Ball® Wide Mouth Quart Jar of popping kernels instead if you know your giftee has a popcorn maker at home or doesn’t mind making stovetop popcorn).
  • Homemade popcorn seasonings (recipes below!) packaged up with our cute labels in Ball® Half-Pint Jars!

You can also include anything else that fits with the movie concession stand theme! Some other options to consider: movie rental gift cards, fancy sodas, chip bags, and movie-themed decorations.

We filled our baskets with crinkle-cut paper, and then layered the items until they looked beautiful and ready to gift! You can then wrap the basket in a cellophane basket wrap and tie on a bow if you’d like!

Overhead of a thoughtful movie night gift basket with classic snacks like candy and popcorn with homemade popcorn flavorings.

Can I make my own popcorn seasoning?

You sure can make your own popcorn seasoning—in fact, we recommend it! Not only can you fully customize your flavor, but making your own saves you tons of money.

What are some good seasonings to put on popcorn?

The popcorn flavor possibilities are almost endless—cheese popcorn, cheddar popcorn, spicy popcorn, sweet popcorn, oh my! We encourage you to experiment and land on your own favorite flavors—but we have done a lot of testing, and we’ve found that there are three flavors that will make almost everyone in the house happy, and that’s why we included them in this gift set! The ones we are making here are:

  • Ranch: A classic for a reason, this ranch popcorn seasoning is herby, rich, and totally savory.
  • Dill Pickle: Tangy is the perfect word to describe our dill pickle seasoning!
  • Cinnamon and Sugar: Almost like short-cut kettle corn, sprinkling on this seasoning gives you a sweet and spicy flavor that is perfect for fall and winter.

Top view of homemade seasonings in jars, two closed and one open. 

How do you store homemade popcorn seasoning?

Our popcorn seasonings are all shelf-stable, but we do recommend keeping them in an airtight container—which is the perfect use for a Ball® Jar! We’re putting ours in Ball® Half-Pint Jars, which hold enough to make a few batches of popcorn.

Wholefully Protip

We whipped up easy-to-print free popcorn seasoning labels for your Ball® Regular Mouth Jars! Just download and print these labels onto cardstock (make sure to print them at 100%), cut them out, and slide them under the ring when sealing up your seasoning.

Clove view of homemade labels on canning jar lids that read, "Handmade Popcorn Seasoning."

How do you get popcorn seasoning to stick?

Getting popcorn seasoning to stick is easy, thanks to the magic that is butter! If you’ve ever had homemade melted butter turn your popcorn soggy, no worries! You can solve that problem by making homemade clarified butter (which we cover in our movie theater popcorn recipe post), or you can just purchase ghee from the supermarket—which is already clarified butter—and use it melted on your popcorn. You can typically find ghee in the oil or international food sections of your store. Voila! No sogginess and perfect popcorn seasoning distribution!

Once the popcorn is well-coated in butter, just sprinkle on your seasoning of choice to taste and then toss or stir to distribute.

Wholefully Protip

Want to season your popcorn without adding butter or oil? No problem! Our handy trick is a coffee grinder. Yup! Use a coffee grinder to turn your favorite popcorn seasoning into a very fine powder (think powdered sugar consistency)—it will then adhere much better to popcorn without any fat on it.

Close view of popcorn seasoning sprinkling down onto fluffy popcorn in a red and white stripped popcorn box.

 
Three jars of homemade seasonings lying on their sides with popcorn spilling from a box all around them.

Homemade Popcorn Seasoning Recipes

Yield: 1 cup per seasoning (enough for multiple batches of popcorn)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

America's favorite movie snack gets even better with gourmet popcorn seasoning recipes. Plus, the seasonings make a great gift!

Ingredients

Ranch Popcorn Seasoning

  • 2 to 4 tablespoons fine sea salt, to taste, omit if using microwave popcorn
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried dill
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon celery seed
  • 2 teaspoons paprika

Dill Pickle Popcorn Seasoning

Cinnamon and Sugar Popcorn Seasoning

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients for your chosen seasoning to a small bowl and whisk until well combined.
  2. Transfer the seasoning to a Ball® Regular Mouth Half-Pint Jar. Print out the labels, cut them out, and then slide them above the flat lid of the jar, but below the ring. 

Notes

  • These seasonings will stick the best on buttered popcorn (like from our movie theatre popcorn method), but you can also get the seasoning to stick to air-popped popcorn by using a coffee grinder to grind the seasoning into a very fine powder. 
  • You’ll want to omit the salt (or at least greatly reduce the amount) if using these seasonings on microwave popcorn, which is almost always pre-salted.
  • The vinegar powder is a bit of a strange specialty ingredient for the dill pickle seasoning—we know!—but we promise it goes a long way to adding that tangy pickle flavor. Same with the vanilla powder for the cinnamon and sugar—100% optional, but it does elevate the flavor quite a bit!
  • How much to use of the seasoning on each batch of popcorn will depend on personal preference. Just remember to start small: you can always add more, but never remove the seasoning.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 172 Serving Size: 1/4 teaspoon
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 13Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 381mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 0g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

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