anchovy and rosemary popcorn recipe

Ask Dr Rachel

We asked food scientist, Dr Rachel Edwards-Stuart what inspired this wonderfully unusual topping:

“Rosemary has been served with lamb for as long as anyone can remember. Anchovies can also be combined with lamb – the saltiness helps enhance the flavour of the roast lamb. It was their mutual pairing with this meat that led us to start experimenting with these ingredients. So what might seem like a daring and unusual popcorn topping is actually inspired by your Sunday roast.”

anchovy and rosemary popcorn recipe
anchovy and rosemary popcorn recipe

The saltiness of the anchovies perfectly compliments the satisfying crunch of popcorn in this surprisingly more-ish recipe. We love impressing guests by serving anchovy and rosemary popcorn as an unusual amuse-bouche at dinner parties.


Serves 2-3 people

25g of butter
A 50g tin of anchovies in oil
3 sprigs of rosemary
40g popcorn, popped

The exact quantity of rosemary is not crucial to the success of this recipe – add as little or as much as you like, both to the butter mix and to the garnish.



Pop the popcorn in your hot air popcorn maker or Whirley popper.


Prepare the rosemary by tearing the leaves off 2 of the sprigs and break each leaf in half. Take the third sprig, remove the leaves and chop finely for the garnish.


Place the anchovies, the anchovy oil from the tin, the butter, and the halved leaves from the 2 sprigs of rosemary in a pan.


Heat on a low temperature until the butter is lightly bubbling, then leave for about 30 minutes. Shake the pan regularly to ensure the butter flows over the anchovies. Avoid stirring or shaking too vigorously as this will cause the anchovies to break up.

anchovy and rosemary popcorn recipe

Sieve the butter mix into a glass or bowl to collect the flavoured butter. We like to keep the rosemary and anchovy mixture to use as a delicious pasta sauce.


If the butter has started to solidify, you will need to re-melt it in a pan. Pour the butter over the popcorn, add the chopped rosemary and shake it altogether in a sealed Tupperware container to ensure an even coating.


Enjoy with a chilled glass of Orvieto or try serving this popcorn with lamb, as a lighter alternative to roast potatoes.

anchovy and rosemary popcorn recipe Tip

Our recipes all serve 2-3 people. If you’re making popcorn for a big movie night or a party and you need to serve a larger group of people, you can simply scale the ingredients up. Larger quantities of popcorn can make it harder to coat the popcorn evenly though, so for best results, split your popcorn into a couple of bowls before dividing up and adding your topping.

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