Old Bay Seasoned Popcorn or Crab Corn

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Old Bay Seasoned Popcorn, also known as “crab corn” is a delicious salty way to enjoy your favorite movie night snack!

popcorn in a bowl with old bay seasoning next to it
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Delicious Old Bay Seasoned Popcorn

Old Bay seasoned popcorn, often referred to as “crab corn,” is a delightful twist on the classic snack that infuses the zesty and slightly spicy flavors of the famous Old Bay seasoning. This seasoning, a well-loved staple in American kitchens, particularly in the Mid-Atlantic region, is most commonly associated with seafood, especially crabs. The unique blend of celery salt, paprika, black pepper, and various other spices gives Old Bay its distinctive taste, which pairs surprisingly well with the light, airy texture of popped corn. When sprinkled over freshly popped popcorn, Old Bay seasoning transforms the snack into an irresistible treat that is both savory and slightly tangy, with just a hint of heat. This makes it a popular choice not only for movie nights and casual gatherings but also as a novel addition to parties and events where a unique, regionally-inspired snack is appreciated.

Crab corn is more than just a snack; it’s a culinary expression of regional flavor that resonates particularly with those who have a fondness for the traditions and tastes of the Chesapeake Bay area. The combination of popcorn and Old Bay is not only a nod to the beloved seafood practices of the region but also an innovative way to enjoy a familiar seasoning in a new and exciting form. This snack is versatile, serving as a perfect accompaniment to a variety of beverages, from cold beers to crisp white wines, making it an excellent choice for social occasions. Whether it’s enjoyed in a cozy living room or served at a festive gathering, Old Bay seasoned popcorn offers a uniquely flavorful experience that captivates the palate and celebrates a cherished American culinary tradition.

popcorn in a bowl with old bay seasoning next to it

Tips and Tricks for Making Flavored Popcorn

Choose the Right Corn: Opt for high-quality popcorn kernels for better texture and flavor. Mushroom kernels are a great choice as they pop into round, full shapes that catch seasonings well.

Popping Method: You can pop your corn using a stovetop, an air popper, or a microwave. Stovetop popping in a pot with a little oil often yields the best flavor and texture. If you’re using an air popper or microwave, you can drizzle melted butter or oil over the popcorn to help the seasoning stick.

Seasoning Timing: For the best flavor, season your popcorn while it’s still warm. This helps the Old Bay seasoning adhere better and evenly coat the popcorn.

Balancing the Seasoning: Old Bay seasoning is flavorful and can be quite salty. Start with a small amount, taste, and then add more if needed. It’s easier to add more seasoning than to fix an overly salty batch.

Use Melted Butter or Oil: Lightly drizzle melted butter or a neutral oil (like canola or vegetable oil) over the popcorn before adding the seasoning. This not only adds flavor but also helps the seasoning to evenly distribute.

Mix Thoroughly: After adding the Old Bay seasoning, toss the popcorn well. This ensures that each kernel gets an even coating of the spices.

Adding Extras: For an additional kick, consider mixing in a small amount of garlic powder, cayenne pepper, or lemon zest with the Old Bay. These can complement the seasoning’s flavor profile.

Adjust Heat: If you prefer a spicier version, you can add extra black pepper or a pinch of cayenne pepper to the Old Bay seasoning.

Storage: If you have leftovers, store the popcorn in an airtight container to keep it fresh and crispy. It’s best consumed within a day.

Experiment with Quantities: The amount of Old Bay seasoning required can vary based on personal taste and the amount of popcorn. Experiment with different quantities to find your perfect balance.

Other Delicious Snack Recipes

Popcorn is a versatile snack that can be enjoyed with a variety of accompaniments. Here’s a list of things you might enjoy with popcorn:

Movies or TV Shows: Classic combo! Enjoying popcorn while watching your favorite films or series enhances the experience.

Soft Drinks: A cold soda or a refreshing lemonade pairs well with the salty taste of popcorn.

Chocolate: Try mixing in some chocolate pieces with your popcorn for a sweet and salty treat.

Cheese: Sprinkle some grated cheese over your popcorn for a cheesy delight.

Spices and Herbs: Experiment with different seasonings like chili powder, garlic powder, or dried herbs for extra flavor.

Nuts: Mix in some almonds, peanuts, or cashews for an added crunch.

Dried Fruits: Raisins, cranberries, or apricots can add a sweet and chewy dimension.

Caramel or Honey: For a sweet version, drizzle some caramel or honey over your popcorn.

Board Games or Puzzles: Popcorn makes a great snack during game nights with friends or family.

Wine or Craft Beer: Pair your popcorn with a glass of wine or a craft beer for a sophisticated twist.

Ice Cream: You can even sprinkle some popcorn over ice cream for a unique dessert.

Reading a Book: Enjoying popcorn while reading is a cozy way to relax.

If you enjoy this crab corn try these other favorite snacks next:

Old Bay Seasoned Popcorn Recipe

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crab corn, popcorn in a bowl with old bay seasoning on the side.

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A bowl of Old Bay seasoned popcorn.

Crab Corn

This delicious old bay flavored popcorn is a great way to enjoy your favorite low carb snack!
Course Popcorn
Cuisine American
Keyword diet snacks, homemade popcorn, low carb snacks, movie night snacks, old bay seasoning, popcorn
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 142kcal
Author Courtney ODell


  • 2 cups premium popcorn
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Old Bay Seasoning- sprinkled to taste
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder


  • Set a large, tall pot on the stove and the heat to high.
  • When warm, add olive oil and butter, stirring so the butter doesn't burn.
  • When the oil/butter is shiny, add one popcorn kernel and stir.
  • When first kernel pops, add the rest of the popcorn, put lid to the pot.
  • Grab pot handles (use a potholder so hot steam won't burn you), and slowly shake over stove, keeping it as close to the stove as possible.
  • Move continuously while corn is popping. Once kernels stop popping for about 10 seconds in between pops, remove from stove and immediately transfer to a bowl.
  • Sprinkle Old Bay, sugar and garlic powder over popcorn, while stirring batch, to evenly distribute. It HAS to happen right as the corn is hot because it will hold more moisture and allow the seasoning to stick without adding extra butter.
  • If you'd like additional butter, drizzle 2 tbsp melted butter with a little Old Bay sprinkled in over popped corn.
  • Enjoy!


Crab corn tastes just like a crab boil- or Utz’ crab chips- without the fish. It’s easy to make this addictive summer treat!


Serving: 1g | Calories: 142kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 77mg | Sugar: 2g

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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  1. Maria says:

    This looks great! My husband and I just moved to Maryland a couple of months ago and have been loving all the delicious seafood here! And I love your take on the popcorn here! Sounds awesome!!!!