I’m making cheddar popcorn and most, if not all, call for cheddar powder that has to be ordered online. This is more of a project/curiosity, so I’d like to try with something I have on hand first.

I have packets of powder that come with Kraft Mac and Cheese and I also have the ubiquitous Kernel Seasons nacho cheddar sprinkling.

Will either of these work or should I try the internet?

  • This seems on-topic to me, substitutes are a common question. @MichaelN, welcome to the site. Is it just popcorn you want it to be a substitute for, or other applications as well?
    – GdD
    Dec 12, 2022 at 18:02
  • Why cheddar specifically? Which taste do you expect in an outcome? Cheddar can be of different maturity, and is usually replaced with Maasdam or Gouda cheese.
    – Rusurano
    Dec 13, 2022 at 6:47
  • Substitutions are absolutely on topic for SA. I don't get why folks are voting to close.
    – FuzzyChef
    Dec 13, 2022 at 21:54
  • If you need an explanation...I voted to close because this is less of a substitution question, and more of a "I have these two things in my pantry, will they work" - question. To me, that sounds much more opinion based. Popcorn is cheap and it is easy to make a small amount. Both options could simply be tried, and if the OP likes one...move forward. Otherwise, this moves into a question about all the possible cheese-like things that can be sprinkled on popcorn.
    – moscafj
    Dec 14, 2022 at 11:19

2 Answers 2


Both of those options could certainly work. Both are dehydrated powders that consist primarily of dehydrated cheese. Which one is better is going to be a matter of taste. The Kernel Seasons is specifically designed to go on popcorn, so it's more promising. However, it also adds a bunch of extra spices, so if you just wanted "cheddar" flavor, it's not your best friend.

The Mac and Cheese packet is also primarily dried cheese. However, it includes starch and emulsifiers, which might give the popcorn an unpleasantly gummy mouthfeel. You'd need to try it to see.

Other things I would personally try if I was substituting here include:

  • Cheddar low-carb cheese crisps, powdered in a blender
  • A mixture of dry "grated parmesan" and brewer's yeast (if you live near a natural foods store)

Good luck, and have fun with it.

  • I like the parmesan and yeast combo but would use the parmesan on the popcorn and keep the yeast in its native environment.
    – Willk
    Dec 14, 2022 at 2:00
  • 1
    I've used yeast extract flakes before as a vegan substitute, it wasn't bad but you don't want to overdo it. Also, you want to powder it first as the flakes were too big.
    – GdD
    Dec 14, 2022 at 16:31

I've had Kernel Seasons and aside from a slight sugar flavor, it's nice enough. I'd use it again.

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