10 Popcorn Recipes Your Oscar Party Needs, Because Plain Buttered Kernels Simply Won't Do

Just because the Academy Awards are fancy and expensive doesn't mean your at-home festivities need to be. Your living room viewing party can be totally sparkly and impressive (or just sweatpants casual with tasty snacks) no matter what your budget looks like — and amazing, Oscar-worthy popcorn is just the ticket to fulfilling all of your snacking needs. Sweet and salty, spicy and sour, full on dessert style or totally classic, you'll be good to go no matter which route you choose. These options offer something for everyone.

It's easy to write popcorn off as an over-buttered salty indulgence reserved for movie theaters, but it's actually a super easy cupboard staple that can be dressed up in a million different ways. From 30-second tricks to more elaborate concoctions, popcorn is begging for a spot at your Oscar viewing party.

If you're feeling super dedicated to the event, you can also make some sparkly bags like I did. The blank little paper bags are available at most craft stores, and a little metallic paint or stamps can up your game in minutes.

Image: Jenna Wexler

Spicy Caramel Bacon Popcorn

Does this one even need explanation? This decadent recipe from A Cozy Kitchen combines all of the greatest things. The rich sweetness of buttery caramel is balanced by the saltiness of the bacon to deliver an irresistible combo you will not be able to put down.

Image: A Cozy Kitchen

Old Bay Stovetop Popcorn

Why didn’t I think of this? The genius little lady behind Blogging Over Thyme has revealed the ultimate lazy girl hack to savory popcorn in a pinch. Kind of like a lobster roll, but the popcorn version.

Image: Blogging Over Thyme

Popcorn with Rosemary Butter and Parmesan

This version from Food & Style is the classy, rustic, herb roasted chicken of popcorn. Is it weird to compare popcorn to chicken? The rosemary and parmesan are totally refined, yet the whole process will only set you back a few minutes (and just a few dollars).

Image: Food & Style

Roy Choi's Furikake Kettle Corn

This is a popcorn venture for the truly ambitious, but the final product will be worth the effort — and undoubtedly impress your guests. Joy The Baker shares Roi Choi’s tried and true recipe which includes bacon, Corn Pops (yes, those corn pops), dried pineapple, chives, and furikake, a sweet and savory Japanese staple made of fish flakes and a host of spices. Just trust me.

Image: Joy the Baker

Chile Lime Popcorn

There’s something about the combination of sour, salty, and spicy that is completely addictive. This simple recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe serves up just that with an irresistible mix of lime, butter, crushed red pepper, salt, and cumin. Personally, I might sub the red pepper flakes for cayenne to pack a little extra punch — but either way, this is a definite crowd pleaser.

Image: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Butter Toffee Popcorn

The cool thing about popcorn is that no matter how much sugary buttery goodness you add to it, it still manages to get away with being an anytime snack. Mel’s Kitchen Cafe does it again with this decadent twist on our snack du jour.

Image: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Dark Chocolate, Sea Salt, and Toasted Coconut Popcorn

In case you haven’t heard, we’re all about Girl Scout Cookie season. This brilliant recipe from Simply Scratch is essentially the grown-up Samoas of popcorn. Dark chocolate, sea salt, and toasted coconut add just enough sweetness, but not so much that you can’t manage handful after handful.

Image: Simply Scratch

Sweet and Salty Curried Popcorn

Curry? On popcorn? Yes, do it. This version from The Kitchn is super simple but brings big flavor. Plus, it’s pretty and golden if you’re really into sticking to the Oscar theme.

Image: The Kitchn

Candy Bar Caramel Corn

This popcorn from How Sweet It Is combines everything we love about snacking at the movies — and what better time to celebrate that love than the Academy Awards? The best part is you can use whatever candy bars you want. This popcorn is essentially a vehicle for putting everything you want in your mouth at once.

Image: How Sweet It Is

Sriracha Caramel Corn

I realize that this is the third caramel corn on the list, but this one has Sriracha. Sweet, spicy, and salty without being over the top, this Domestic Fits invention will disappear before Neil Patrick Harris has time to finish his opening song and dance.

Image: Domestic Fits