If it were possible to be labeled a popcornaholic, I think I would qualify.  Anywhere and everywhere that I smell popcorn, I have such intense cravings.  When coworkers make a bag of popcorn at work, I nearly always come home and make some the same evening because that craving just follows me through the day.  Somehow I ended up with a husband who doesn’t particularly care for it (which, as far as I’m concerned, makes about as much sense as Ross not liking ice cream.)

So, one might say, I really didn’t need do go and do something to make popcorn even more crave-worthy to myself.  But once I had the idea to dress it up with browned butter, garlic, Parmesan and thyme, I really couldn’t put the idea out of my mind.  It was everything I hoped it would be – popcorn, but better.  So much better.  I’m quite sure one of my best friends would call this “fancy pants popcorn” and I suppose that would be accurate.  But don’t worry if you can’t help eating it in big, less than fancy handfuls.  I won’t tell.

  • Yield 6-8 servings


  • 2-3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 clove garlic, grated (or finely minced)
  • ½ tsp. fresh thyme leaves, minced
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
  • 2-3 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • 01

    Place the butter in a small skillet over medium heat.  Melt the butter completely.  Continue to cook, whisking frequently, until the butter foams, bubbles slightly, and begins to brown.  Continue whisking until the butter is evenly browned, being careful not to burn.  Just before it is finished, stir in the garlic and thyme.  Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

  • 02

    In a popcorn popper (I adore my Whirley Pop), heat the olive oil over medium high heat.  Add the kernels to the pot, cover, and cook, stirring, until all the kernels are popped.  (If you don’t have an air popper, try this method for stovetop popcorn.)  Remove from the heat, add in the browned butter mixture along with the grated Parmesan and stir well to coat evenly.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, and stir once more.