When family movie night rolls around, finding the best movie night snacks becomes the most important task known to man. It’s a quest for some families that rivals the hunt for the holy grail. How do you please everyone with all of their different likes, dislikes, taste buds, and even allergies? Finding the best family movie night snacks is easier once you start sampling different foods and taking notes.
Try to have something savory, something salty, and something sweet for everyone to choose from. Then, see what’s a hit and what’s not. Experiment around everyone’s preferences for variety.
The best movie night snacks for your family or friends will include something that the whole group can get excited about. Snacks that are crunchy, sweet, salty, and easy to eat with your hands work really well.
Here are a few of our family favorites:
- Home popped popcorn with avocado oil and sea salt.
- Quick nachos
- Toasted (fried) rice paper wrappers
If you’re short on time, don’t overlook the quick, simple classics like:
- Tortilla chips and salsa
- Favorite bagged cookies
- Pre-cut veggies and dip
Savory popcorn recipes
- We love popcorn. Popcorn is a movie classic. It’s an incredibly versatile vehicle for almost any flavor. It’s also relatively “healthy” as we’ve been told as long as you keep the puddles of butter away from it. And, it’s darn cheap if you do it right.
We usually get a small back of popping corn from a store near us for a few dollars, and that bag will last at least a month depending on how often we make popcorn.
Lately, we’ve been popping our own in a big pot right on the burner of our stove, old school style. It’s so much easier than you might think, and with the right oil and salt the classic flavor is amazing.
The key for us has been finding the right oil. We’ve been using a specific type of avocado oil from Amazon that, I swear, tastes like butter. We usually add some good quality Hawaiian salt or just some good kosher salt, and we’re crunching away to our favorite movie night classics.
- If you need a little more flavor than the classic salt and butter (or avocado oil if you’re like us), then try adding some sprinkled seasonings. Ground herbs and spices are great on popcorn.
Curry powder works really well. In fact, anything in that same range of flavors works great. Paprika and chili powder will be a hit with fans of hot and spicy foods. And, you can control how hot your popcorn is when you’re adding the spice yourself.
You can also try something more along the lines of herbs with ground dill, thyme, or oregano. Try different combinations of all of them to see what you like best too. Honestly, just grab what you have in the pantry and experiment.
- Quick special note for furikake popcorn. I’m not a huge fan, but my daughters absolutely love it. My youngest will put it on everything. If you’re not familiar, it’s a Japanese condiment that is usually sprinkled on rice and many other dishes. It’s also very popular here in Hawaii. Furikake fries are definitely a thing.
It’s pretty easy to find on the Asian aisle at most large grocery stores. Just make a batch of fresh popcorn, and sprinkle furikake to taste.
Sweet flavored popcorn recipes
- It’s pretty easy to get a kettle corn type of flavor with just some salt and a little sugar sprinkled on plain popcorn. You won’t get that fresh-from-the-kettle fair style treat, but it’ll be a great alternative. We like this better than the pop-in-a bag kettle corn you find in stores these days.
- We also really like cinnamon and sugar flavored popcorn on movie night too. This one is simple to make, and you can spice it up with a bit of chili powder for a little kick.
- If you have a little time and don’t mind a little cleanup, try melting some chocolate chips in the microwave and then drizzling it over a fresh batch of popcorn. Let it cool, and enjoy in front of your favorite family movie.
Good movie snacks besides popcorn
Popcorn is almost synonymous with movie night. But, sometimes you want to branch out and try something different. There are tons of fun, delicious snacks that go well with family movie night. It just really depends on your tastes, the amount of time you have, and how much hassle you want to deal with.
Here are a few ideas that our family has tried and really enjoyed.
- As mentioned above, we love to do a semi-fancy batch of nachos for the family when we have time. The beauty of movie night nachos is that you can switch up the toppings from time to time, and you have a whole different flavor experience.
We live in Hawaii, and Kalua pork (or Kalua pig as it’s actually called here) is pretty widely available. Cheddar and jack cheese with Kalua pork and cilantro is absolutely amazing.
There’s also a Costco near us, so sometimes we’ll do a shredded chicken nacho plate with some of our rotisserie chicken leftovers. Also great with cilantro and green onions.
- We all love french fries here. Love them. We like to make Irish nachos with them. But, we like just a hot, crispy plate of fries too. Great as a finger food, and great for almost any dip.
- Frozen…tater…tots! They’re super quick and easy. They’re not quite french french fries, but they’re also super versatile and fun. Tater tots are also great as a finger food.
Our favorite way to prepare them is either in a skillet with a tiny bit of olive or avocado oil, or in our air fryer. Either way, we usually start them in the microwave, because we’re impatient like that.
We’re very into cajun tots at the moment, but you can season yours however you like. For cajun tots, I usually add garlic salt, chili powder, paprika, cumin, and some Lawry’s seasoning salt.
Any dip you can think of will probably work with tater tots. Ranch, BBQ, cheese, you name it.
- Here’s a quick plug for a recent snack discovery. On a whim we decided to try frying rice paper wrappers in a little bit of olive oil and sprinkling a little salt on them while they’re hot. It’s amazing! They are so crunchy and light. You can go throught quite a few of them if you’re paying attention.
Give it a try if you find yourself with spring roll wrappers laying around.
Healthy movie night snacks
We do try to eat as healthy as possible most of the time. We allow ourselves the freedom to splurge now and then. Call it cheat night if you like. We just call it indulging. But we’ve also found some delicious and creative ways to watch our diet and still have fun during movie night.
Also, just remember that when made without tons of butter and salt, popcorn is a relatively healthy snack.
- Baked or roasted chickpeas are an amazing way to get a crunchy snack and not destroy your diet. Just like popcorn (and tater tots, and french fries…) you can do almost anything with chickpeas.
Once you’ve rinsed and dried them well, put them on a large cookie sheet with just a little bit of olive oil and roll them around to coat them all. Cooking time and temperature is a bit dependent on your oven and your environment because you’re looking to dry them out and get them really crunchy. About a half hour at 400 degrees is a good starting point though.
You can add just about any seasonings you want to crunchy roasted chickpeas.
- Don’t forget about the old faithful of healthy snacks…crudités. Yep, chopped up veggies and some dip.
One of the great things about crudités is that you can experiment with flavors, colors, and textures. It’s also a great way to get kids into veggies. When our kids were younger, we started having them pick one vegetable to munch on each week at the store that they had never tried before. It worked wonders. You could do exactly the same with crudités.
Carrots, celery, and cauliflower seem to be the go-to choices for store bought crudités, but don’t forget about snow peas, sugar snap peas, radishes, and anything else crunchy that you can eat raw.
And, sometimes it’s all about the dip! Get creative with what you place out with your crudités. Your kids, and the adults, will thank you.
Last-minute movie night snacks
If you need something last-minute, don’t be ashamed of grabbing a couple bags of chips, maybe some bake-at-home cookie dough, and get going on that Miyazaki marathon.
Sometimes it’s all about the presentation anyway. If you’re trying to impress, just make sure you have some nice bowls to throw the chips in. And even pre-made cookie dough bought from the grocery store will fill your house with amazing and cozy smells.
And, let’s be honest. When the lights go down and everyone is settling in together to enjoy family movie night, no one’s going to care about fancy snack prep. They just want something easy and delicious so they can enjoy being with loved ones and getting sucked into a great story.