This family classic is sure to surprise because, yes, it does have freshly popped popcorn. Popcorn salad is guaranteed to be delicious and be requested again!
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About Popcorn Salad
I have a soft spot for retro recipes, and this popcorn salad definitely fits the bill.
Not only is it a rare find at parties and potlucks, it’s also one of those dishes that surprise you. The ingredients may seem a little odd, but for whatever reason, they just work together.
Once you’ve tried it, I promise this is one of the recipes you’ll want to make again and again.
What’s in popcorn salad?
The ingredients in this salad are not that uncommon (except for one key difference) but that’s also what makes it so classically good.
To start, this salad has a creamy base, thanks to the mayonnaise.
And there are also fresh veggies, thanks to the celery, carrots, and chives.
Bacon and cheese also make an appearance, and c’mon, what dish isn’t made better by bacon and cheese?
Water chestnuts come next, adding a delicate crunch.
And, finally, there’s a lot freshly popped popcorn.
Wait… there’s actually popped popcorn in this salad?
Yes! I know it’s a little outside-the-box, but trust me, once you’ve tasted this salad, you’ll find yourself wondering what else you can add popcorn to.
We all have weird flavor combinations that we love, and this popcorn salad will be a new one to add to the list.
Can you make this salad in advance?
You can make this salad in advance, but I do not recommend mixing in the popcorn until you’re ready to serve the salad.
So if making this to serve later, mix together all of the fresh ingredients (mayonnaise, veggies, bacon, cheese) and store them separately from the popcorn. When ready to serve, mix in the popcorn and serve as normal.
Can you save the leftovers of this salad?
I wish I had better news here, but no, this salad does not make for good leftovers. Because of the airy-nature of the popcorn, the clock starts ticking the minute it touches the mayonnaise mixture.
For best results, this salad should be eaten within 2-4 hours of being mixed. I know that might not seem like very long, but thankfully, this tends to be a dish that’s eaten just as quickly.
Notes & tips for this popcorn salad recipe
- For this recipe, I used pre-cooked bacon to make preparation easier, but you can totally use freshly cooked bacon instead.
- Whenever I’m working with popcorn, I like to use an extra large mixing bowl. This 13 quart mixing bowl is my favorite.
More Retro Recipes
How do you make popcorn salad?
This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.
Step 1 – Add mayonnaise, celery, cheddar cheese, water chestnuts, carrots, and chives in a large bowl, then mix ingredients thoroughly.
Step 2 – Add popcorn to an extra large mixing bowl, then add mayonnaise mixture.
Step 3 – Use a spatula to gently mix all of the ingredients together.
Step 4 – Add to a serving bowl of your choice, then garnish with more cheddar cheese, bacon, and celery.
Step 5 – Serve and enjoy!
- In a 13 quart mixing bowl (or whatever large bowl you have) add popped popcorn. Add mayonnaise mixture on top and use the spatula to gently stir together until popcorn is coated.
- Spoon salad into a serving bowl of your choice, then sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup bacon, and any additional celery on top.
- Serve popcorn salad immediately. Because of the popcorn, this salad does not make good leftovers, so be sure to eat up while you can!
I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I'm not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.