Crowd Pleasing Cheetos Popcorn

On a recent trip to the Houston Rodeo, I discovered Cheetos Popcorn. What does Cheetos Popcorn taste like? It tastes like magic.

Homemade Cheetos popcorn in a big paper cup.

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Homemade Cheetos Popcorn

It’s hard to beat Cheetos Popcorn. I confess I love cheese popcorn. Walking to my seat for the Rodeo and concert I passed by somewhere I had to stop. That was the Cheeto Popcorn vendor. One bite and I knew this had to be a copycat recipe.

Cheetos Popcorn Recipe Ingredients

Here’s a list of what you need:

  • Coconut oil
  • Popcorn kernels
  • Seasoned salt
  • Cheddar cheese powder
  • Cheetos

Equipment and Ingredient Notes

Using the right equipment and ingredients will give you the best cheddar cheese popcorn with Cheetos. So let’s get started. I have lots of great ideas and recommendations.

Popcorn Popper

For this recipe, I use a Whirley Pop popcorn popper. I think it makes the best popcorn. It is a stovetop pot with a turning mechanism that you can rotate the bottom of the pop so nothing burns. I think this makes the popcorn cook evenly very well.

If you don’t have a popcorn popper, then use a large heavy-bottomed pot. An enameled Dutch oven is the best to use, then either a stainless steel or aluminum stockpot.

Popcorn Seasoned Salt

I also add seasoned salt to the oil when I put the popcorn into the pot. My reasoning on this is simply because movie theaters do it this way, and I think they make delicious popcorn. I really like to use Flavacol. Flavacol is a brand of seasoned salt made especially for popcorn.

Best Oil for Popping Corn

For the oil, I prefer coconut oil, Orville Redenbacher’s Popcorn oil, or even plain vegetable oil. All work well. My preference is coconut oil, then the Orville Redenbacher popcorn oil followed up by vegetable oil. All are good.

Which Popcorn Kernel is the Best

Now for the popcorn, I like to buy mushroom popcorn. Mushroom popcorn doesn’t mean that it is made from mushrooms, but it refers to how it pops. You need to look for this style of popcorn. It pops in a round shape.

Gourmet popcorn has often used this type of popcorn. I like it because I think that the kernels can take on flavoring better when it is round like this.

Cheddar Cheese Powder for Popcorn

Now that we have gotten that all out of the way, let’s talk about the cheese powder. I like Hoosier Hill’s Cheddar Cheese Powder I have purchased on Amazon. It is very flavorful and doesn’t taste artificial.

Most grocery stores sell popcorn seasoning, but often the Cheddar flavor is white Cheddar. So I didn’t use the brands that I found at the store.

You can buy a couple of boxes of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and use the macaroni for something else. For this recipe, I felt two packages of the dry cheese powder from two boxes of macaroni and cheese did a good job of getting the flavor intensity just right.

Or you can purchase the cheese powder at the grocery store. Your local store may have a good Cheddar cheese powder seasoning for popcorn. If it is available, you can buy it in your grocery store.

Homemade Cheetos Popcorn in a paper popcorn cup.

How to Make Cheetos Popcorn

  1. Place the oil, popcorn, and seasoned salt into a large pot over high heat.
  2. Place a lid on the pot and gently shake the pot as the popcorn cooks.
  3. When about 90% of the kernels have popped, remove the pot from the heat.
  4. Place the popcorn in a large bowl and quickly sprinkle it with Cheddar cheese powder.
  5. Stir to coat the popcorn with the cheese powder.
  6. Add Cheetos and stir them into the cheese popcorn.
  7. Serve immediately.

Recipe Tips

I like to mix the Cheetos and the cheese popcorn in about a 5:1 ratio. So that means 5 parts popcorn and 1 part Cheetos. Once the popcorn is popped, you will season it with the cheese powder, then add in your Cheetos.

I will say that this is really good when served warm. The Cheetos crisp perfectly this way. So I recommend eating this right away. If you are going to serve this at a party, I would put it in a crockpot on low.

Love popcorn? Try these recipes!

More Snack Recipes

Check out more of my easy snack recipes and the best DIY recipes here on CopyKat!

Homemade Cheetos Popcorn in a paper popcorn cup.

Crowd Pleasing Cheetos Popcorn

Homemade cheese popcorn and Cheetos are a match made in heaven. 
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cheese Popcorn, Cheetos Popcorn, Popcorn Recipes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 131kcal


  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 2 ounces cheddar cheese powder of the cheese mix from a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese or 1/3 cup Cheddar cheese powder
  • 3 cups Cheetos


  • Place the oil into a large heavy-bottomed pot over high heat.
  • Add popcorn and seasoned salt.
  • Place a lid on the pot.
  • Gently shake the pot as the popcorn cooks.
  • Cook until 90% of the popcorn pops.
  • Remove the popcorn from the heat.
  • Place the popcorn in a large bowl.
  • Quickly sprinkle the Cheddar cheese powder over the popcorn. Stir well to coat the popcorn with the cheese powder.
  • Add Cheetos and stir to combine.
  • Serve immediately.



Calories: 131kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 486mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 3g | Calcium: 105mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Randy

    5 stars
    Thanks for the info on what type of popcorn to use and where to get it!.(mushroom) So long store bought! lol

    • Bunny lady from the North

      Same here by us. I love going in their stores and they have very unique items. And cost is generally less than the things offered in the spice section of the grocery store and is in bigger quantities.

      • Stephanie

        5 stars
        I used to live in Southwest Michigan, I would drive town to Shipshewana to go shopping at the Amish grocery stores, I loved them.

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