These Spicy Palomitas are healthy, crunchy and spicy! Just toss fresh popped porcorn with my perfect blend spices, and you’re all set!

Palomitas in little bowls sprinkled with chili powder.
Spicy Palomitas make great healthy treats!

Palomitas de maiz is what we call them in Mexico. Palomitas in English mean popcorn or little doves. In our case, we will talk about the popcorn kind 🙂

One of my major snacking downfalls are chips, guacamole and salsa.  A glass of a classic margarita and a bowl of these appetizers — I call this a happy hour!  After a few nights of snacky-indulgence, the top button of my jeans won’t close.  Then I have to back off the chips and stick to a lighter snack. Spicy Palomitas do the job for me.

Why you’ll love Palomitas

  • Wholesome Snacking: Healthy spicy popcorn allows you to indulge in a snack that is both delicious and wholesome. Popcorn is a whole grain, providing fiber that can contribute to a satisfying snack.
  • This recipe is salty, smoky, and perfectly-spiced substitute for the munching most of us tend to do.
  • Controlled Ingredients: When you make your own healthy spicy popcorn, you have control over the ingredients. You can choose high-quality popcorn kernels, use heart-healthy oils, and customize the spice blend without excessive additives.
Palomitas in little bowls sprinkled with chili powder.


  • The seasoning: kosher salt, sugar, garlic powder, cumin, ground chipotle chile, and ground ancho chile.
  • Popped popcorn. 

What popcorn should I use?

For the popcorn I like to pop my own on the stove but you can use already made plain or butter popcorn. Microwave popcorn is another good option to have handy for those times that you want a quick snack.

I don’t add butter to my palomitas since I like to keep them on the lighter and just let the spices do the flavoring for me. If you’re watching your waistline, do it this way! I promise you won’t miss the butter (or the calories lol).

How To Make Spicy Palomitas

Making these spicy popcorn is super simple and all it requires is for you to make the spice blend and sprinkle it on top of the popped popcorn. This spice blend is delicious that you may want to make extra and store it to use as you start craving something healthy.

If you feel fancy, drizzle with some lime juice for an extra taste. So good!

Palomitas spread on the table with chili powder on the side.

Tips and Notes

  • You can increase the chile powder if you like it more spicy according to taste.
  • Even Coating: Right after popping, sprinkle the popcorn with the spice blend and toss. This step ensures that the spice mix adheres evenly to each piece.
  • Storage: If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container to maintain freshness.
Palomitas in little bowls sprinkled with chili powder.

Thank you for stopping by!

I hope you like this recipe! Do you have any questions I can help you with? Or if you made it, I would love it if you leave a comment or rating below.
Gracias!!!! xx, Ana

Print Recipe:

Palomitas in little bowls sprinkled with chili powder.

Spicy Palomitas

Servings 6 cups
Ana Frias
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
These Spicy Palomitas are healthy, crunchy and spicy! Just toss fresh popped porcorn with my perfect blend spices, and you're all set!
6 cups


  • ½ tablespoon kosher salt
  • ½ tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile
  • 1 tablespoon ground ancho chile
  • 6 cups plain popcorn popped


  • Mix all ingredients and sprinkle as much as you want over fresh popped popcorn.

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Serving: 1cups | Calories: 39kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 287mg | Potassium: 33mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g

The nutritional information and US conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data. If this is important to you, please verify with your favourite nutrition calculator and/or unit conversion tool.

This recipe was originally published in Oct 2013. The original recipe remains the same. Enjoy! 

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Wow! these Palomitas look so delish! My daughter is in a Spanish immersion program, and her teachers have introduced her to lots of delicious foods from south America and latin America. She loves all the spices and seasonings and I’m excited to share this recipe with her! She’ll love it!