Caramel Popcorn with Rosemary

This popcorn- this sweet, salty, flecked with rosemary popcorn- was my dinner the other night.

Why? Because what was supposed to be my dinner didn’t really work out: I neglected to turn my oven off so the root vegetables I was roasting ended up, well, black. Then I burned my crispy kale, too. In the words of my 11 year old son:  it was an “epic fail” kind of night in the kitchen.

But then I made this popcorn. And I redeemed myself. Because this popcorn is pretty close to perfection.

Caramel Popcorn with Rosemary

I don’t necessarily suggest eating it for dinner (it’s not terrible for you, but it’s not really good for you, either), but it does makes a simple yet sophisticated snack. I plan to have a big bowl on hand for Thanksgiving Day.

The recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart’s Living and it states that it serves 8. I ate the whole bowl in two sittings. Hmmm. I did have a fair amount of unpopped kernels, so maybe I only made 6-7 servings, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. This stuff is addictive.

rosemary caramel corn

I made the original recipe a bit healthier by popping the corn in organic coconut oil; I also cut down on the butter and substituted maple syrup for the brown sugar and light corn syrup combo. I added a little more rosemary and used a bit less salt than the original recipe, too.

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Maple Rosemary Caramel Corn

This popcorn is my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging, an event managed by Haalo from Cook Almost Anything. This week is the 5th anniversary and Haalo is the host!

More popcorn recipes you might like:
Thanksgiving Popcorn from Food Blogga
Spiced Caramel Corn from Martha Stewart
Turtle Caramel Corn from Peabody
Party Popcorn from food52

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Recipe for Rosemary Caramel Popcorn

adapted from the December 2010 issue of Living magazine


  • *2 tablespoons organic coconut oil
  • *1/2 cup organic popcorn kernels
  • *1/2 stick organic unsalted butter the original recipe calls for a whole stick
  • *1/2 cup maple syrup
  • *1 1/2 tablespoon rosemary leaves
  • *3/4 teaspoon flaked sea salt I used a smoked sea salt; start with 1/2 teaspoon and add more to taste
  • *1/4 teaspoon baking soda


  • 1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
  • 2. Place corn kernels and oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and cover. Once kernels begin to pop, shake pot frequently; when popping slows to about 3 seconds between pops, remove from heat; uncover. Transfer to a large bowl.
  • 3. Cook butter and maple syrup in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until the mixture starts to turn amber (225 degrees F., if you have a candy thermometer).
  • 4. Remove from heat. Stir in rosemary, salt and baking soda. Pour over popcorn mixture; toss to coat. Spread out onto baking sheet.
  • 5. Bake about 45 minutes or until dried. Allow to cool and then break up into chunks before serving. This popcorn can be stored in an airtight container for about 3 days.

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36 thoughts on “Caramel Popcorn with Rosemary”

  1. Pingback: Back To Organic – Rosemary Sea Salt Caramel Popcorn
  2. Would it be okay to substitute agave syrup for the maple syrup? I don’t have any maple on hand, and it’s kind of expensive where I live. While I DO realize that 1/2 cup syrup isn’t all that much in comparison to the amount of popcorn, I want to use what I have on hand.

  3. I did this recipe tonight, love the sauce, love the smell, but I had a problem with the popcorn wilting and tasting soggy even after the “drying” time. Any idea on how to combat that? It’s a great alternative recipe! Thank you for the healthy suggestions!

    • Shan,
      I’ve made this a few times and never had that problem…did you spread the popcorn out into a single layer (so there is more exposed surface area) on the baking sheet and dry it for the full 45 minutes? You could try keeping it in the oven a little longer even, checking every 5 minutes, until it’s thoroughly dry, too. I’ll test the recipe again soon and see if there is anything else you could do…

  4. This looks delicious! I was wondering if there was an oil substitute for the butter, to make it vegan. Would olive oil serve the same purpose? Thanks!

    • Jaime,
      I would actually probably use something like Earth Balance (pretty sure that’s what it’s called and that it’s vegan)…you want something that functions like butter to make the caramel- I don’t think any oils would work the same way.

  5. I’ve made this for two different groups of folks now and everyone has loved this. Thanks for sharing the recipe, how to lighten it, and passing it along!

  6. Pingback: After After Party Prep | I Will Cook Better
  7. This must be the Kettle Korn of my dreams – just printed the recipe and will make it today…will be the perfect thing to munch while decorating the tree. Thanks!

  8. Ah! this looks so delicious. I love caramel popcorn but never added rosemary! and the butter keeps me away from enjoying it. When I really want to omit the butter, I make a caramel sauce with white and brown sugar and drizzle it over the popcorns and bake. Its not a real deal but thts my way of getting my popcorn caramel fix with not as much calories! It works!

  9. All I can say is WOW. So happy to have tapped into the online foodies.

    Followed you over here from Yummy Mummy, who I met at the BlogHer conference.

    Will be following you now!

  10. Thank you SO much for submitting your beautiful photo. I’m trying to highlight how wonderful food without meat can be, so every delicious submission is one step closer to that goal.

    I look forward to your future delicious submittions :)

    By the way, I’ve bookmarked your blog, you’ve done a fantastic job. It’s really beautiful.

  11. Wow, what great popcorn. I love the addition of rosemary.

    I’d love for you to submit some of your beautiful photos, and a link to your posts, to my vegetarian food photo gallery showcasing the best vegetarian/vegan dishes on the web.

    • Thanks so much for stopping by…I just submitted the photo to vegolicious and look forward to submitting more in the future!

  12. this sounds amazing! Jason loves rosemary, and I love sweet + savory… I am going to try this!

    I voted for you – great video!

  13. Sometimes the only way to cope with a day of kitchen disasters is to whip up a delicious bowl of popcorn. I have never thought to add rosemary to caramel popcorn, but the idea is just brilliant! Thank you for sharing, love. I hope you are having a relaxing Wednesday night!

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