Give Your Popcorn A South Of The Border Spin

December 10, 2013   15 Comments

Snack Girl is sitting in a sleeting mess of a storm. She is dreaming of white sand and turquoise water.

Chili Lime Popcorn

Yes, I like to envision the tropics when my toes become frozen. One of my very favorite dream vacation destinations is in Mexico somewhere around Tulum. To think, all I would have to do is buy a plane ticket and I could be there……

Since I can’t afford the ticket, I like to make popcorn that costs me a mere 10 cents per serving. Popcorn with chili powder and lime is MY get away.

This is one of my new favorite popcorn recipes. Check out my other ideas for changing up popcorn:

How do you serve popcorn?

Chili-Lime Popcorn Recipe

1.6 from 24 reviews

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3 cups air-popped popcorn (1/4 cup unpopped)
¼ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ slice medium sized lime
salt to taste (see note)


While popcorn is popping, stir together chili powder and cumin in a small bowl. Place popcorn in a large bowl and squeeze the lime slice over the popcorn. Toss the popcorn and then sprinkle on the chili powder and cumin mix. Taste and adjust for salt. Enjoy!

Note: Commercial chili powder has salt added to it in different amounts depending on the brand. Add salt to your preference after you mix the popcorn.

Nutrition Facts

104 calories, 1.5 g fat, 0.0 g saturated fat, 21.3 g carbohydrates, 0.6 g sugar, 3.5 g protein, 4.3 g fiber, 11 mg sodium, 1 Freestyle SmartPt

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only. See all Snack Girl Recipes

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Boy, that sounds yummy! I am going to have to try that one one. We Texans love our Mexican food flavors all year long. I saw your link to your drizzled chocolate popcorn above, also, and I remembered wanting to try that one, too. All the more reason now because I recently saw a bag of popcorn drizzled with chocolate for $2.50/bag. And the bag was so small! I just can't seem to make myself buy any flavored and dressed up bagged popcorn when I know I can make it myself for such a cheap price because Snack Girl shows me how and inspired me to do it! I was thinking of even making the chocolate one for my Christmas treat bags for teachers at school next week and sprinkling on some Christmas sprinkles while the chocolate was warm, or tossing in a few Christmas M&Ms. Thanks for all these yummy & great inspirations, SG!

Chile powder bought from the Mexican food isle at your store does not typically have any salt, so that would be the best choice for this recipe if you are watching your salt intake.

Citric acid powder mixed with the chile powder is an alternative to lime and can often be found in the canning sectioln of your grocer.

Personally, I like to shake a little Lousiana hot sauce on my popcorn once in awhile. : )

I like the chocolate idea mixed with a little cayenne or chile powder to give it a little zip.

Kashmiri chile powder (very hot) is a flavorful choice too. Thanks SG.

As I_Fortuna said, above, you could use citric acid powder to mix with the spices, but I've found it hard to find just citric acid.

However, in the baking aisle look for True Lemon or True Lime. They are crystallized versions of the two fruits and includes powdered citric acid. I use them all the time in cooking especially the lemon. Only problem with the air-popped popcorn however is there is nothing to stick those powders on the popcorn with. That would be the one advantage of the real lime juice but only if you can spritz it more evenly. If you don't mind some oil then you could potentially dissolve the True Lime/Lemon in oil and then use those manual pump action spritzers then apply the other, non-dissolvable, spices that might gum up the works. OR use real peppers and make flavored oils.

Does the lime make popcorn soggy?

I love popcorn and always have the lowfat microwave on hand for a snack. I finally broke down and bought an air popper and it is so fast and easy. Does anyone have any ideas for getting the buttery taste without adding a ton of calories? I used some of the powder flavoring but it does not do much for me. I know the microwave is not good for you which is why I want to use the air popper. Thanks !!

@laxmom16 - It's honestly really difficult to get a get that buttery taste in a super healthy way. There's a product called Buttery Flavored Topping (, your best bet is just to use it very sparingly. It really does give that "butter fix" that you're after and a little goes a long way.

A little movie theater secret is that most theaters are not using the same salt that you use at home.... That are actually using a product call Flavacol which a seasoning made very specifically for popcorn. It does contain salt but it also helps to flavor the popcorn.

If you're sodium conscious I would recommend that you checkout the reduced salt version, Flavacol RS - This gives you all the taste benefits but 30% less sodium than standard Flavacol.

I hope this helps your popcorn taste great!

I use the Mexican "fruit seasoning" Valentina is one brand. It does have salt but not much - has the chili,lime and other goodies already together - Yummy!!

@Judith - it does get a wee bit soggy - but I didn't mind it because the flavor was so good. It may not be for everyone. Thanks for your question!

Citric acid powder used for canning may be found in the canning section of the market near the Ball jars usually. Also, you can grind up a Vit. C tablet, same thing. I had forgotten that there are flavorings side by side next to the popcorn at the grocery also. If you are into making your own, try using a small amount of citric acid at first at first to see if you like it. : )…

This is the link for True Lime on Votacost site. This will give you the lime flavor in powder form. Good for baking too. : )

how large is a serving?

Love the idea of using True Lime or Lemon. I usually spray my air popped corn (organic only) with coconut oil spray then add nutritional yeast and no salt.

Just made the popcorn this morning. A nice snack that fits into the Weight watchers plan. Love the microwave instructions. Pretty much all of my popcorn popped!!

My favorite low calorie treat is hot air pop corn spritz ed with the vinegar of my choice.

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