Get ready to make a unique and easy recipe – Popcorn Salad. This recipe combines the goodness of popcorn with a medley of savory ingredients for a flavor explosion like no other.
Have you heard of popcorn salad? It may seem a little different, but it really is a perfect salad.
Recently a video clip of food network star Molly Yeh on an episode of her show Girl Meets Farm has been circling the internet calling salad with popcorn one of those classic midwestern dishes.
I put this in the category of pasta salad or potato salads when you think of classic potluck side dishes. Whether you are familiar with this popcorn variety salad or not, this is one you have to try.
There is no sour cream, dijon mustard, or sugar snap peas in my recipe for salad with popcorn. We just use a heaping cup cheddar cheese for real cheese goodness and a fresh crumbled cup bacon all mixed with fresh popped popcorn kernels to give you a perfect mix of popcorn you can serve as a side dish any time.
It may seem an odd dish, but this kind of salad makes for a great conversation piece at the dinner table. And you will be surprised how many people come back for more!
What is Popcorn Salad?
Savory Popcorn Salad is an unexpected twist on a classic snack. It’s a mixture of freshly popped popcorn, crispy bacon, cheesy mayonnaise dressing, and crunchy veggies. That gives you a salad with a perfect contrast of textures and flavors.
What Ingredients are in Popcorn Salad?
- Popped Corn: any type of popcorn is great so long as it is freshly popped and not sweet!
- Bacon Crumbles: Infuses smoky, savory notes.
- Mayonnaise: Creates a luscious base for the salad.
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese: Adds a rich, tangy flavor.
- Celery: Provides a refreshing, crisp element.
- Yellow Onion: Introduces a hint of sharpness.
- Sliced Water Chestnuts: Deliver an extra layer of crunch.
Pro Tip: Use freshly popped plain popcorn for the best texture. Old popcorn won’t give the right texture to this retro recipe.
How to Make Popcorn Salad:
- Mix all the ingredients (except the popcorn) in a large bowl, and chill the mayonnaise mixture if needed.
- Add the freshly popped popcorn in a large serving bowl and mix well.
- Serve immediately.
Pro Tip: Crumble the bacon just before adding it for maximum crispiness.
Can you use microwave popcorn to make Popcorn Salad?
Yes you can use microwave popcorn to make salad with popcorn! Just be aware that any flavorings in your popcorn bag will affect the end flavor of the salad.
I prefer to use plain popcorn kernels and pop them in a brown paper bag in the microwave. Just add 1/3 cup of corn to a brown paper bag, fold it over 3 times and cook on high for 3 minutes.
Perfectly fresh popped corn without oil or butter or any other flavor additions.
Pro Tip: Do not use kettle corn unless you like a sweeter mayo salad. I also do not like butter lovers because the strong buttery smell overpowers the cheese in the dish.
How Long Does Popcorn Salad Last?
This Salad is best enjoyed fresh. You will be surprised how fast it goes. But you can store leftovers of this salad in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
How to Store Popcorn Salad:
Store popcorn salad covered in an airtight container in the fridge. You want to keep this cold and covered to maintain its texture and flavor.
Can You Freeze Popcorn Salad?
No, you cannot freeze this popcorn salad recipe. The texture of the popcorn and consistency of the dressing completely changes when you freeze it and then thaw it.
Is Salad with Popcorn a Fast Dish?
Yes, popcorn salad is a perfect dish when you need something fast and last minute. With just a few simple steps, you can whip up this salad in no time. And other than the popcorn, no cooking is required.
Can You Make Popcorn Salad Ahead of Time?
Yes you can make this salad recipe ahead of time! Prep the mayo-based dressing with all the ingredients a few hours in advance or even the day before, and let it chill in the fridge until the next day.
Wait to add the popcorn until just before serving to keep it perfectly crunchy.
Is Popcorn Salad Gluten Free?
Yes, microwave popcorn salad is gluten free! Every ingredient in this dish is naturally gluten free. That makes it one of those perfect salad recipes you can serve to almost anyone.
What to Serve with Popcorn Salad:
You can serve almost anything with vegetable salad with popcorn.
I think this salad pairs wonderfully with grilled chicken, burgers, or hot dogs. It’s also a fantastic side for picnics and barbecues.
When to Serve Popcorn Salad:
This salad can be enjoyed year-round. It’s ideal for summer gatherings, family dinners, and even as a unique addition to your Thanksgiving or Christmas table.
My favorite place to serve this iconic midwestern dish is at potlucks or themed parties where a popcorn salad will be an interesting talking point.
Additional Salad Recipes You’ll Love…
- Beet Goat Cheese Arugula Salad
- Roquefort Pear Salad
- Avocado Chicken Salad
- Green Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash
- Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad
- Best Greek Salad
- Watergate Salad
- Cold Brown Rice Salad
- Broccoli Cauliflower Salad
- Cold Greek Pasta Salad
- Old Fashioned Caramel Apple Salad
- Old Fashioned Fruit Salad with Sour Cream
- Pistachio Chicken Salad
- Farro Salad
Whether you need a fast easy side dish or something no one else will bring, this popcorn salad is a great dish for any occasion!
- In a bowl, mix all ingredients except the popcorn.
- Add popcorn and serve immediately.
- Serve cold.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 451Total Fat: 40gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 59mgSodium: 671mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 14g