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Popcorn Patties with Pineapple Peanut Sauce

Popcorn Patties with Pineapple Peanut Sauce

This is one of the most fun recipes I’ve made in a long time.  And it all happened because of some leftover popcorn.

A few nights ago, the plan was to kick back with a bowl of popcorn and watch Serenity for the umpteenth time.  Turns out I made enough popcorn to last through practically all of the episodes of the entire Firefly series. I hate to waste food almost as much as I dislike day-old popcorn, so I wanted to repurpose it in some way. That’s when I remembered one of my brilliant recipe testers, Barbara Bryan, telling me about her popcorn focaccia recipe.

Well, in this heat, I wasn’t about to bake focaccia.  But the idea of using popcorn in recipes inspired me to come up with these popcorn patties that turned out even better than I imagined they would, especially because of the luscious pineapple peanut sauce I made to top them with.

I served the patties on a bed of lettuce with some fresh fruit, all topped with the creamy sauce.  It was a light, yet satisfying, and totally delicious lunch.  Because I didn’t want to turn the oven on, I sautéed them in a skillet, but you could certainly bake them if you prefer.  We enjoyed them as you see in the photo, but for a heartier meal, you could scoop everything into a tortilla or other flatbread and enjoy it as a wrap sandwich.

The sauce is so good, you could almost drink it.  I only put a small amount of sriracha in it, just to give it a little dimension, rather than letting the hot sauce take over.  If you prefer the sauce spicier, just add a bit more sriracha and even a bit more vinegar, if you like.  For us, however, the recipe below proved to be perfect as is.

If you try my popcorn patties, be sure to let me know – I’d love to hear what you think of them!

Popcorn Patties and Fruit with Sauce on the Side (and some popcorn!)

Popcorn Patties with Pineapple Peanut Sauce

4 cups popped popcorn (remove any unpopped kernels)

1/4 cup chopped yellow onion

1 clove garlic

1/2 cup peanuts, almonds, or cashews

1 cup cooked white beans, well drained and blotted dry

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

Salt and black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil (optional)

Pineapple Peanut Sauce (recipe follows)

Process the popcorn in a food processor until ground — it doesn’t need to be too finely ground.  Remove the ground popcorn from the food processor and set aside. You should have about 2 cups ground popcorn.

In the same food processor, combine the onion, garlic, and peanuts, and process until finely ground.  Add the white beans, nutritional yeast, parsley, 1 3/4 cups of the ground popcorn, and salt and pepper to taste, pulsing to combine well, while leaving some texture. The mixture should be firm and stay together when pressed. If it isn’t firm, add the remaining 1/4 cup of ground popcorn and process again.  Divide the mixture evenly into 4 balls and shape the balls into 4 patties.

If baking the patties: preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the patties on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake until lightly browned, about 20 minutes, turning once about halfway through.

If cooking on the stovetop:  heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the patties and cook until nicely browned on both sides, turning once, about 10 minutes total.

Serve with the Pineapple Peanut Sauce.

Makes 4 patties

Pineapple Peanut Sauce

1/2 cup fresh or canned pineapple chunks, blotted dry

1/4 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 teaspoon sriracha

1 teaspoon rice vinegar

Pinch salt

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.  Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.  The sauce is now ready to use.

Makes about 1 cup



{ 38 comments… add one }

  • Barbara Bryan July 9, 2012, 2:43 pm

    What a fun recipe! I can’t wait to try it. I used up the last of my popcorn flour last evening when I made Popcorn Bread, so I’ll have to make more. (The bread was amazingly delicious; I made the Popcorn Focaccia 11 days ago just before our 10 days of triple digit heat.) So when the heat wave broke, I made the loaf bread version. My sisters are arriving in about an hour (from California) and I think they will be up for trying your new recipe. I’m drooling just thinking about the flavors in your patties and in the sauce! And what a beautiful photo! Thanks for another wonderful recipe.

    • Robin July 9, 2012, 2:46 pm

      And thank YOU Barbara for providing the inspiration for these yummy patties! I can’t wait to hear what you think of it. The sauce may taste a bit sweet (depending on the sweetness of the pineapple) but we loved it — the whole meal, with the romaine lettuce and fruit, was so refreshing!

      Can’t wait to try your foccacia one of these days!

      • Stacey July 9, 2012, 8:40 pm

        Now we need the recipe for this popcorn foccacia as well! I wish I had brought my leftover popcorn home from the movies yesterday!

        • Barbara Bryan July 10, 2012, 9:19 am

          I originally found the recipe on line. Just google Popcorn Focaccia and it will come up. Here’s one site that has the recipe: http://italianfood.about.com/library/weekly/blbk21.htm. I just bought the book so I could see the other popcorn bread recipes in it. I made the popcorn pita and the popcorn loaf, but my favorite is still the popcorn focaccia! Good luck!

  • Mark July 9, 2012, 3:10 pm

    Sauce sounds fabulous!

    Didn’t realize y’all were Firefly fanatics, too. I STILL watch the episodes every quarter along with “Serenity.” Recently turned my 13 yr. old niece onto the series and she’s now in love with Nathan Fillion!

    • Robin July 9, 2012, 3:56 pm

      Yep, we love Firefly and watch the episodes and Serenity regularly too. Jon even quoted Shepherd Book in Vegan Unplugged: “A man can live on packaged food from here til Judgement Day, if he’s got enough rosemary.”

  • Carolyn July 9, 2012, 5:11 pm

    This recipe sounds very unusual and different, but very delicious as well! I’m also a Nathan Fillion fan. I love him in Castle and first saw him on the soap, One Life to Live. I somehow missed the Firefly series and Serentiy, but need to check them out sometime (with plenty of popcorn, of course) since I’ve heard so many good things about them.

    • Robin July 9, 2012, 5:20 pm

      Carolyn, you’re correct — the recipe is both unusual and delicious! I highly recommend the Firefly series and the Serenity movie. In my opinion, this is Nathan Fillion at his very best.

  • Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy July 10, 2012, 12:47 am

    oh my gosh! what a fun recipe! i’ve been eating so much popcorn lately ever since i found organic popping corn at my health food store! can’t wait to try this!

    • Robin July 10, 2012, 10:35 am

      It IS a fun recipe Caralyn. Makes a nice change from the usual veggie burgers — and the sauce is so refreshing and terrific with the salad too!

  • Lauren T July 10, 2012, 11:06 am

    This is so awesomely unique! I would’ve never thought to use popcorn in a recipe like this. I can’t wait to try it!

    • Robin July 10, 2012, 12:31 pm

      Hope you love it, Lauren! Let me know!

  • Sharon Miller July 10, 2012, 2:00 pm

    Can’t wait to try, the great thing is that popcorn is very high in fiber, so this is a bonus!

    • Robin July 10, 2012, 3:26 pm

      Very true, Sharon. Hope you enjoy!

  • Karen July 10, 2012, 3:18 pm

    That sounds seriously good! Methinks I’ll have to try that one. The patties remind me of how the veggie burgers look, but I’m sure the texture is dramatically different!

    • Robin July 10, 2012, 3:25 pm

      Karen, they’re actually similar to veggie burgers in texture — you just need to be sure to blot the white beans so there’s no extra moisture in the mixture. If it’s too moist, just add more ground up popcorn! They should hold together well when shaped into patties.

  • Paris July 10, 2012, 8:44 pm

    Hi robin!
    Yummy….will try…but what the heck is “sriracha”…even the guy at Whole Foods produce didn’t know.
    You used this in your recent slaw recipe too…which was delish, by the way!!!
    Sorry if you’ve covered this before, I am new here..
    Thank you,

    • Brittany July 10, 2012, 9:16 pm

      Paris – I had to reply to your comment because just a few hours ago I looked at an “I (heart) Sriracha” shirt to buy for my sister! Maybe you know it as “rooster sauce”? It’s a Thai hot sauce that comes in a plastic squeeze bottle with a green lid and a rooster stamped on the side. I got mine at Publix (supermarket chain in the southeast), so it’s not super exotic. If you Google it, you might recognize it in the pictures!

      Hope that helps 🙂

      • Paris July 10, 2012, 10:05 pm

        Ohhhhhhhh! Rooster Sauce!!!
        I do recall that. It is really good too!
        That’s funny… a t-shirt that says “I Heart Sriracha”!
        Thank you so much Brittany,

  • Eugenia Swingle July 12, 2012, 6:12 pm

    Those patties sound delish. But I have to admit, the first thing I thought of with the sauce was SPRING ROLLS! I am making some tomorrow for dinner and my husband isn’t a fan of peanut sauce as much as I am, so this might be an awesome substitute for a plain peanut sauce. I will definitely try the patty and the sauce!

  • Jeane M. July 15, 2012, 11:15 pm

    Omg, popcorn as patties count me in! I love watching flicks as much as munching popcorn while viewing them and I love to try out this new discovery of mine. Got my eye on your blog now.

  • Betsy DiJulio July 16, 2012, 7:19 am

    What a great idea! I wish movie theatres would serve THESE!

    • Robin July 16, 2012, 11:16 am

      Thanks, Betsy! Fun to imagine them at theatre concessions! 😉

  • Bridget July 16, 2012, 10:25 am

    I have to say that the title made me say EW. Then the recipe made me want to try it. This one is going on the to-do-list!

    • Robin July 16, 2012, 11:17 am

      I’m glad you read the recipe Bridget — I know the fun title is a bit startling, but once you taste it: YUM!

  • Lea July 17, 2012, 3:28 pm

    We tried the patties on Sunday. They were great! I was surprised by how light they were although that makes sense as popcorn is quite light itself. We loved the sauce too. I think I will doctor up the leftover sauce to make an Asian-y salad dressing. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Robin July 17, 2012, 3:33 pm

      I love how light these are, Lea. Especially in this hot weather. I’m so happy that you enjoyed them. I love to use the sauce as a salad dressing too!

  • Lyndsay O. July 17, 2012, 5:44 pm

    I can’t believe you like Firefly/Serenity as well! My father is OBSESSED!

    The recipe looks fantastic as well 🙂

    • Robin July 17, 2012, 5:49 pm

      Oh, yes, Lyndsay, we’re very obsessed with Serenity and Firefly — we watch them regularly — straight through! Does your Dad do the same?

      • Lyndsay O. July 17, 2012, 5:53 pm

        Yes, he watches them on the regular. He also goes to screenings of Serenity where and when he can find them. He’s definitely a fanatic.

  • erin July 18, 2012, 1:53 pm

    i’ve made mashed potato patties, and chickpea patties, but i’ve never even thought about popcorn patties! sounds like something fun & different- i can’t wait to try it 🙂

  • jetippins76 July 22, 2012, 1:49 pm

    oh wow.. this does sound like fun! This is on my list for next weekend!!

  • Brendaveggie August 1, 2012, 1:45 pm

    I used stale popcorn and these burgers were still fantastic. I added the mixture(crumbles, in this case) with rice and veggies, and voila! Thank you for this very creative idea. xo

    • Robin August 1, 2012, 5:26 pm

      Brenda, I’m so glad you liked them. It’s a fun way to use up popcorn, that’s for sure!

  • Lacey February 5, 2016, 12:06 am

    Firefly reference AND finally a way to use leftover popcorn?!?! You are awesome.

  • JoAnn March 14, 2016, 11:00 am

    What is the purpose of “nutritional yeast”?
    I don’t bake bread, so I’m not familiar with it.

  • Michelle January 17, 2020, 4:26 pm

    What do you recommend for the siracha sauce?

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