Butter Up 

Popcorn for your next movie night 

| Recipes | Rebekah Peppler

We test and taste every recipe we publish. While we collaborate with a lot of talented chefs, we adapt and tinker with everything in our test kitchen. (It smells really good in here). Our goal is to make sure every recipe works as well in your home kitchen as it does in ours. So go on, get cooking with confidence.


The time-honored French lemon-and-brown-butter sauce known as beurre meunière often dresses steamed vegetables and sautéed fish. At San Diego's Saltbox Dining & Drinking, chef Simon Dolinky uses it to transform the cinema-house favorite: popcorn. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and herb-laden finish of thyme and parsley to offset the rich sauce. Have the popcorn star in an upcoming movie marathon, award-show screening or sports final.

Brown-Butter-and-Lemon Popcorn

Yield: 18 to 20 cups

Cook Time: 20 minutes

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter

    2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme, divided

    1½ tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

    1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice

    2 tablespoons vegetable oil

    1 cup popcorn kernels

    ¼ cup thinly sliced chives

    Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. In a medium saucepot set over medium heat, add the butter and cook until it turns golden brown and smells toasted, about 8 minutes. Add 1½ tablespoons of the thyme and the parsley and cook for 10 seconds. Slowly add the lemon juice and set aside.

2. In a large stockpot set over medium heat, add the vegetable oil and the popcorn kernels. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid. Once the corn starts to pop (about 5 minutes), shake the pot constantly until the popcorn has finished popping (5 to 7 minutes more). Remove the pot from the heat, carefully remove the cover and toss the popcorn with the chives, the remaining ½ tablespoon of thyme and the reserved brown-butter sauce. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

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