Spicy Chocolate Popcorn with Quinoa

Spicy Chocolate Popcorn with Quinoa | @alyssarimmer | recipe on queenoquinoa.me

We’re spicing things up over here. So, bring on the heat babayy!

I’m a serious spice addict. If it was acceptable to put hot sauce on everything, I would do it. (I mean even if it’s not, I’m probably going to do it anyway. I’m such a rebel. Watch out.)

As uncomfortable as it is, having my mouth on fire, feeling like I could open it and flames would come out, I kinda love it. It’s a twisted pleasure.  (Side bar, is it weird that I think of Harry Potter at every dragon reference?)

Spicy Chocolate Popcorn with Quinoa | @alyssarimmer | recipe on queenoquinoa.me

But then there’s this other demon I struggle. My inexplicable, complete and utter devotion to the mother of all sweets. Chocolate. Chocolate. Chocolate.

Everything tastes better with chocolate.

Is chocolate not every girl’s best friend? I mean really, what would our world be with out chocolate? You know, let my paint this picture for you.  It would be a cold, dark and gloomy place. No one would be happy, expect for those who abhor chocolate (sorry, but I think you’re of the minority if you fall in this category).  Every woman would be in constant state of anger and frustration. Everything would get on our nerves (even more than it already does).

Sounds pretty terrible (chime in here guys), doesn’t it?

Spicy Chocolate Popcorn with Quinoa | @alyssarimmer | recipe on queenoquinoa.me

So, I decided to listen to the two little devils on my shoulder, calling for spicy chocolate goodness. I didn’t want dessert (well that’s a lie, I always want dessert), I was craving something to snack on that would satisfy my serious sweet tooth. And so this spicy chocolate popcorn baby was born, and the dragon inside of me was jumping for joy.

This is probably the best late night movie snack on the planet. It’s popcorn. It’s chocolate. It’s nuts. It’s spicy. Oh, and there’s just a hint of salt. With a dash of quinoa. Oh, and it’s gluten-free, vegan and refined sugar-free.

Spicy chocolate popcorn with quinoa. Yeah, I did it. And yeah, it was totally awesome.

Spicy Chocolate Popcorn with Quinoa

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: About 6 cups

Serving Size: 1/2 cup


  • 5 - 6 cups popped popcorn
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts of choice (I used peanuts, but this would also rock with almonds)
  • 2 tablespoons whole quinoa (uncooked)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons nut butter of choice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (start with less and work your way up if you're not a fan of heat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Powdered stevia to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Add the popcorn to the baking sheet, then sprinkle with nuts making sure they're evenly dispersed.
  3. Heat the coconut oil over low heat in a small saucepan until it melts. Whisk in cocoa powder, coconut sugar, nut butter, cayenne and salt. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes until everything is fully combined and it has thickened only slightly. Taste and add stevia until you get your desired sweetness.
  4. Drizzle the chocolate sauce over the popcorn-nut mixture and gently mix all the ingredients together. I think it would be easiest to use your hands, but a wooden spoon or spatula would also work.
  5. Sprinkle the quinoa over the mixture.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring the mixture every ten minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool completely. I found this firmed up best in the fridge for about 1/2 an hour.
  8. Enjoy!
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About Queen of Quinoa

Alyssa Rimmer is the quinoa obsessed girl behind the gluten-free blog, the Queen of Quinoa. She loves experimenting with nutritious and whole-food ingredients, and seeks to encourage the everyday home chef that cooking and eating gluten-free can not only be healthy, but also delicious and fun. After struggling with stomach issues throughout her college years, Alyssa decided enough was enough and took her health into her own hands. She started by removing gluten from her diet and hasn’t looked back since. Two happy years have passed and her stomach issues have practically disappeared. Living gluten-free has also helped her to truly discover her passion for cooking and she has embraced her new lifestyle with open arms. With the Queen of Quinoa, Alyssa shares her gluten-free recipes, many of which are focused on the superfood quinoa, and discusses her journey to living a more fulfilled and healthy life. She now also cooks refined sugar-free and although not all her of recipes are vegan, she has loved learning and experimenting with vegan baking. She lives in Burlington, Vermont where she is surrounded by fresh, local produce and is always inspired by the fabulous seasonal ingredients that make this state so special. She is excited to share her recipes with you, as she helps to uncover the amazing world of quinoa.
This entry was posted in Allergy Friendly, Dairy-Free, Desserts, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Quinoa, Recipe Index, Refined Sugar-Free, Snacks, Soy-Free, Vegan and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Spicy Chocolate Popcorn with Quinoa

  1. This recipe is BRILLIANT for sooo many reasons. I have never thought to add quinoa to popcorn, but I have been loving it uncooked and toasted in granola or as a savory crunch. Then the chocolate and spices. One of my absolute favorite combos. This is an amazing recipe, I cannot wait to try!

  2. Dave Read says:

    Hi am I glad I came across this website as I too love chocolate and this is an ingenious recipe to have spicy chocolate with popcorn. Never in a million years would I have thought of this so thank you for the recipe and the great idea. Cant wait to try it.
    Dave Read recently posted..New Juicing Recipes for Year 2013: Best VegetablesMy Profile

  3. Chris says:

    Pretty sweet and spicy article! If you know what I mean… ;)

    I’m gonna try it out even today! Be sure to check out my blog about quinoa where you can find some other recipes and information if you’re interested :)


    Chris recently posted..Something you don’t yet know about quinoaMy Profile

  4. WOW! Is this ever one tasty recipe! I am so thrilled to have stumbled upon your blog. Keep up the great work and I look forward to sampling many more to come. :)

  5. Pingback: Spicy Chocolate Popcorn with Quinoa | Quest for a Smile

  6. Jennifer says:

    Great recipe!! Love everything you post.

    I recently posted a G&D free recipe for chicken fingers & sweet potato fries, check it out! http://www.jenniferbarthole.com/2013/04/chicken-fingers-french-fries.html

  7. Pingback: 25 Quinoa Dessert Recipes

  8. Deb says:

    Great looking recipe – I can’t wait to try this! I’ve never tried quinoa uncooked so I’m excited. Is there a substitute for coconut sugar, or where can I find this?

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  12. Kitty says:

    I’d like to try this, but am curious if you rinse the quinoa in any way to remove the bitterness caused by saponins. I find quinoa has a natural bitter taste unless rinsed. Some people are more sensitive to the soapy taste of saponins than others.
    Do you used a specific brand which may be pre-rinsed?

    • Hi Kitty, I actually don’t ever rinse my quinoa and never find that I have a bitter taste on any of the brands that I buy. All quinoa sold commercially, at least all the main brands, triple rinse their quinoa before it’s packaged, so I honestly don’t find the need. If you do find that quinoa is bitter, simple rinse it in a fine mesh strainer until the water runs clear.

      Hope you enjoy the popcorn :)

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