This is an easy vegan BBQ popcorn recipe with maple syrup, smoked paprika, chipotle powder and more. It’s smoky, sweet, spicy, and savory. It’s texture is crunchy and light. As you snack, it doesn’t leave seasoning all over your fingers, as some BBQ flavored popcorn recipes do. In the end, it’s a homemade smoky maple BBQ popcorn that dares you not to finish the entire bowl.
While it’s awesome for everyday snacking, it seems like it would also be a great gift at the holidays, like Christmas. I would be thrilled to get a tin of smoky maple BBQ popcorn and maybe you know some folks that would love it too? 😊
A few things…
- You’ll need freshly popped popcorn. Pop your popcorn however you want, whether it’s in an air popper, in the microwave, or on the stove. Just make sure it’s plain.
- Using a candy thermometer is essential. It makes sure you nail the temperature on the maple syrup sauce.
- You’ll need to move quickly. Once you remove the sauce from the stove, it will start to set up. Right away, stir in the liquid smoke, and then, stir in the BBQ seasoning mix. Immediately pour it over the popcorn, and then, mix the popcorn with the smoky maple syrup BBQ sauce.
This vegan BBQ popcorn recipe makes ~11-13 cups. Once it’s completely cool, you can store it in an airtight container for ~3-5 days.
Smoky Maple BBQ Popcorn
11-13 cups freshly popped popcorn (from ⅓ cup popcorn kernels)
1¼ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp chipotle powder
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking soda
5 Tbsp vegan butter (I used Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks)
⅓ cup maple syrup
¼ tsp liquid smoke (I used Wright’s Hickory Liquid Smoke)
1. Preheat the oven to 300º F. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. Next, sift through the popped popcorn and remove any unpopped kernels. Then, place the popped popcorn in a very large mixing bowl.
3. In a small bowl, add the smoked paprika, chipotle powder, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and baking soda. Mix together and set aside.
4. In a small saucepan, add the vegan butter and maple syrup. Whisk until the butter melts, and then, lower in a candy thermometer. Continue whisking until the maple syrup sauce reaches a temperature of 230º F. Then, remove the saucepan from heat.
5. Stir the liquid smoke into the maple syrup sauce. Then, stir in the seasoning mixture from the small bowl.
6. Immediately pour ½ the BBQ maple syrup sauce over the popcorn. Stir the popcorn around with a spatula. Then, add the remaining sauce, and mix it around until every piece of popcorn has a bit of sauce on it.
7. Spread the BBQ popcorn evenly across the parchment paper. Bake at 300º F for 10 minutes.
8. Remove from the oven, and stir it around. Return to the oven and bake at 300ºF for another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir around again.
9. When cool enough to handle, break up any pieces of smoky maple BBQ popcorn that are stuck together. When completely cool, serve. Store in an airtight container for ~3-5 days.