Recipe: Spicy Garlic Parmesan Popcorn

By Managing Editor

Shonda Rhimes’s hit show “Scandal” has attained massive popularity, attracting millions of viewers each week, but the political drama is much more than a TV show to me—it has become an integral part of my weekly routine. “Scandal” is my mental escape from the many pressures I face as a college student.

Anyone who watches the show is likely aware of Olivia Pope’s obsession with popcorn and red wine, and it’s become a ritual for me to relax every Thursday night with my favorite bottle of wine and a big bowl of popcorn while receiving my weekly dose of Pope inspiration to “handle it” at work the next day.

“Scandal’s” fifth season will premiere on Sept. 24, giving me  just enough time to perfect some popcorn recipes including my favorite,  Spicy Garlic Parmesan Popcorn.

The recipe only takes about 10–15 minutes to prepare, and it pairs well with just about any red wine, making it the perfect snack for “Scandal” or any other must-see programming.

Begin by pouring two tablespoons of olive oil into a large pot and placing the pot over high heat. Once the oil begins to simmer, pour in one cup of popcorn kernels and cover the pot tightly with a lid.

As the popcorn begins popping, shake the pot vigorously over the stove’s burner. After about five minutes, the popping should slow down, and the popcorn should be fully cooked.

Remove the pot from the heat  to keep it from burning. Then pour your freshly cooked popcorn into a large bowl. Now it’s time to make the garlic butter.

In a small saucepan, heat three tablespoons of unsalted butter until fully melted. Then add two cloves of minced garlic and cook for one minute while stirring.

Let the garlic butter cool for about one minute before pouring it onto the popcorn. Sprinkle the popcorn with a half cup of finely grated Parmesan cheese and a half teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes. Toss the mixture to coat.

Finally, grab the popcorn and your favorite bottle of red wine and head to your living room to enjoy some “Scandal” reruns while you wait for the next season to begin.



3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup popcorn kernels

1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes



1. Warm olive oil in large, covered pot over high heat.

2. Add popcorn kernels to hot oil and cover, shaking vigorously over burner until popcorn begins popping.

3. Continue cooking and shaking the pot for five minutes or until popping subsides.

4. Remove pot from heat and transfer popcorn to large bowl, Set aside.

5. Melt butter in small saucepan. Add minced garlic and cook for one minute, stirring occasionally.

6. Pour garlic butter mixture over popcorn.

7. Sprinkle with Parmesan and crushed red pepper flakes and toss to coat.