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Patriotic Popcorn

3 Reviews

Patriotic Popcorn, 4th of July, summer food

Hi friends!  It’s Amber from Dessert Now, Dinner Later!  I’m back with a super fun snack to have over this memorial day weekend, or you can totally save this recipe for the 4th of July.  This Patriotic Popcorn is so fun for kids to eat!  They love the bright colors, and since it’s kettle corn, it’s sweet and salty…the best of both worlds!

Patriotic Popcorn, 4th of July, summer food

You will not believe how simple this Patriotic Popcorn is to make.  I was actually kind of nervous because I haven’t ever made popcorn on the stovetop before.  I am an air popper or microwave popcorn girl, but it’s not much more difficult to pop corn on the stovetop.

Patriotic Popcorn, 4th of July, summer food

Basically you take a big pot, I used my 5qt stock pot; the pot has to have a lid  because we don’t want hot oil and popcorn getting in your face!  Add oil to the pot and wait until it’s nice and hot.  Then add the sugar, food coloring, and popcorn kernels; I give it a quick stir  to coat everything well.  Put the lid on, and once it starts popping, SHAKE that pot back and forth until most of the kernels have popped.  If you leave it on too long it will burn and that would be sad.

Patriotic Popcorn, 4th of July, summer food

See?!  Simple enough right?  I started with white (no food coloring), then I did blue, and then red.  I did have to clean out my pot after each use, but the color sticks to the popcorn as it’s popping.  It really wasn’t very much effort to make, and it’s actually kind of fun to watch if you have a clear lid, like I do.

Patriotic Popcorn, 4th of July, summer food

Why Does Popcorn Pop?

There is a tiny drop of water inside each kernel of popcorn.

As the kernel is heated, the water turns to steam, exerting pressure on the hull of the kernel.

When the pressure becomes too great, the kernel pops!

Will Any Dry Corn Pop?

No, the corn at your local grocery is called sweet corn, and it won’t pop.

Only the kernels from popcorn cobs will pop.

Does Popcorn Contain Carbs?

Popcorn does contain carbs, but it isn’t really a bad thing.

One-fifth of the carbohydrates in popcorn are in the form of dietary fiber, which is good for your overall health.

If cooked correctly, popcorn makes a healthy snack.

I hope you enjoy this fun holiday treat!

Patriotic Popcorn

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Patriotic Popcorn, 4th of July, summer food

Patriotic Popcorn

4.34 from 3 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 16 , 1-cup servings (from 3 batches)


  • 1 Tbsp Canola or Vegetable Oil
  • 3 to 4 Tbsp White Sugar
  • 1/8 tsp Gel Food Coloring approximately, Wilton or Americolor
  • 1/2 cup Popcorn Kernels
  • Salt to taste


  • In a 5qt pot that has a lid, heat the oil on medium-high heat until hot.
  • Add the sugar, food coloring, and popcorn kernels.
  • Give it a quick stir with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon and place the lid on the pot.
  • Wait until the kernels start to pop and then, using hot pads, shake the pot vigorously, back and forth, until most of the kernels are popped. If you leave it on too long, the sugar will burn.
  • Remove kettle corn from heat, and pour the popcorn into a large heat-proof bowl.
  • Add salt while it's still hot until desired saltiness.
  • Wash out the pot, dry it well, and repeat the process for the other colors.


*No food coloring needed for white popcorn. Each batch makes about 5 cups of popped corn (more or less).
Recipe courtesy of Amber at Dessert Now, Dinner Later! and lightly altered/re-written from Food Pusher
store in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks
Nutrition Facts
Patriotic Popcorn
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 32
% Daily Value*
Carbohydrates 5.5g2%
Fiber 0.5g2%
Sugar 2.8g3%
Protein 0.4g1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Want More Popcorn Recipes?

Soft & Gooey Marshmallow Popcorn  ||  Pot of Gold Popcorn

Popcorn Collage

 Easy Kettle Corn  || Pumpkin Spice Marshmallow Popcorn

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4 Things You Should STOP Doing When Grilling!

About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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Recipe Rating


  • I love making these Patriotic Popcorn using strawberry, blueberry and vanilla flavors rather than using food color, but definitely going to try this way too .

    • Reply
    • That sounds amazing!!

      • Reply
  • Hi Amber, thanks for sharing this recipe!! Just a quick question… When using the food coloring, does it have to be the gel kind, or can it be the liquid kind? Thanks!

    • Reply
    • Hi Jamie, the gel food coloring has better color and consistency. 🙂

      • Reply
  • This is so cute! I am going to have to try this recipe!

    • Reply
  • I love how pretty and tasty this popcorn looks! perfect for this weekend!

    • Reply
  • This looks so fun, my kids would love it! I was going to make colored caramel corn with them this weekend, but this looks so much easier – and WAY less butter and sugar too! Can’t wait to try it!

    • Reply
    • Which is always a good thing!

      • Reply

4 Things You Should STOP Doing When Grilling!