TikTok's Viral Lemon Sea Salt Popcorn Is a Must for Movie Nights

If you're looking for a tasty twist on your average microwave popcorn, this is it.

Bowl of popcorn with lemon, rosemary, and sea salt with blue border

AnnaIleysh / Getty Images; Design: Better Homes & Gardens

Snack enthusiasts will tell you that nothing tops a bowl of freshly popped popcorn—it's crunchy, salty, buttery, and totally satisfying. So it’s not surprising that TikTok is obsessed with the newly trending lemon sea salt popcorn, a creative upgrade to this snack time staple. The original video from TikTok creator @leels_ has gotten more than 18 million views and 2.7 million likes, and she calls it "another episode of cooking without really cooking." Her simple additional steps really turn the ordinary snack into an extraordinary one—plus, you probably already have all of the ingredients in your pantry.

“Yesterday someone gave me a lemony piece of popcorn, and I have not stopped thinking about it, so we're gonna make it,” she says while going at a lemon with a cerated melon baller (she didn't have a zester at the moment).

To make it, she microwaves a bag of butter popcorn, puts a couple teaspoons of sea salt and the zest of a lemon into a small bowl, and pours the freshly-popped popcorn in a separate larger bowl. She then spoons the zest and salt on top and combines it by stirring gently, then squeezes half of the lemon directly into the popcorn mixture. To finish it off, she gives it one last mix.

There were plenty of users who had suggestions on how to elevate the recipe even further, like using air-popped popcorn and adding garlic salt to the mix. Another commenter wrote that as a classic Mexican snack, they typically add lime juice, salt, and a little hot sauce.

While she ends the video by saying that it might've been easier to use lemon salt, that wouldn't give it the same bright flavor as real lemon juice does, as one commenter pointed out. 

There’s no shortage of viral snack idea inspiration on TikTok: Fruit roll up ice cream treats have led to a shortage of the chewy fruit snacks, and butter boards continue to trend as the go-to spread for your next gathering. As for popcorn, you’ll find your fair share of those videos, too, with everything from colorful kettlecorn to spicy chamoy-coated kernels. 

If you're a savory snack person, this lemon sea salt popcorn is definitely worth a try—and the next time you host a summer movie night, you know exactly how to impress your guests.

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