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Salted Caramel Pecan Popcorn

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We’re on to Day 2 of popcorn week and I’m excited to share this Salted Caramel Pecan Popcorn with you because this recipe got the most votes in my Facebook poll. Honestly, I can’t blame you, this popcorn is pretty addictive. 

A serving of caramel corn in a paper cup.

Buttery dark caramel with a touch of salt makes the perfect candy coating for popcorn and pecans. Even though this popcorn is pretty cheap and definitely easy to make, I think you’ll agree it definitely tips the balance to full gourmet popcorn. 

First things first, the popcorn. 

Yes, you can make this recipe with microwave popcorn. I don’t know why you’d want to, because I’ve got an easy tutorial on making Dutch oven popcorn and making it from scratch is so much cheaper and better. Plus, I love cooking in my Chantal Dutch oven which you can find available here on Amazon. But if you do go the microwave route, use the most plain or lightly seasoned microwave popcorn you can find. 

Up second, butter. 

Use unsalted butter. It’s important for how your finished popcorn will turn out. Different brands of butter have varying amounts of salt in them so if you’re using salted butter you could inadvertently end up with very salted caramel pecan popcorn.  A close up image of the popcorn that shows the texture of the caramel on the popcorn and pecans.

Next, nuts. 

Less expensive pecan pieces or chopped pecans are where it’s at. The bigger the pieces, the more likely they’ll sink to the bottom of the popcorn bowl. You could also substitute toasted sliced almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, your favorite nuts…

And last, the brown sugar.

You can use light brown sugar or dark brown sugar depending on what you have on hand. I prefer dark brown sugar, because I think it has more depth of flavor, but they will both work great! 


  1. To make salted caramel pecan popcorn you’ll start with 12 cups of popped popcorn. Take the time to sort out any unpopped kernels. By the time the popcorn is coated in the caramel they’ll be hard to pick out and you don’t want to hurt your teeth.A bowl of popped popcorn next to pecans, brown sugar, and butter.
  2. In a Dutch oven or pot, you’ll melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the pecans and brown sugar and bring the mixture to a boil, allowing to boil 3 minutes.A dutch oven filled with caramel that is boiling.
  3. Quickly stir in the baking soda and salt until dissolved and remove from the heat.A close up image that shows the texture of the caramel after the baking soda and salt are added.
  4. Carefully stir in the popcorn taking care not to break apart the popped popcorn kernels and also taking care not to burn yourself. It’s hot!A blue dutch oven of caramel corn with a wooden spoon.
  5. Spread the coated popcorn out on a parchment covered cookie sheet and allow it to cool and dry completely. It’s important that you let it dry completely before you store the popcorn or it won’t stay crunchy. Store it in a large ziplock bag! The caramel corn is spread out on a lined cookie sheet to let cool.

This pretty popcorn also makes a great gift. Just package it up pretty and they’ll never know it was a cheap and easy DIY gift instead of $15 popcorn from the specialty shop!!

A paper cup with a serving of Salted Caramel Pecan Popcorn

Salted Caramel Pecan Popcorn

Yield: 12 cups
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Buttery dark caramel with a touch of salt makes the perfect candy coating for popcorn and pecans.



  1. Before beginning, sort out and discard any unpopped popcorn kernels.
  2. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. In a Dutch oven or large pot, add the butter, pecan pieces and brown sugar.
  4. Over medium heat bring the mixture to a boil. Allow to boil for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. After 3 minutes, stir in the baking soda and salt and immediately remove from the heat.
  6. Stir the popcorn into the caramel mixture taking care not to break the popcorn kernels or burn yourself.
  7. Spread the caramel coated popcorn onto the prepared baking sheet and allow to cool and dry completely.
  8. Store in an airtight container.


*Feel free to substitute your favorite chopped nuts in place of the pecans.

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Buttery dark caramel with a touch of salt makes the perfect candy coating for popcorn and pecans.

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