Vegan Popcorn

Make this simple, affordable, and delicious Vegan Popcorn recipe that’s perfect for movie night! Nutritional Yeast Popcorn is easy to make and creates a delicious cheesy popcorn! Of course, DIY microwave popcorn is the best snack any night of the week!

Sprinkle some vegan parmesan cheese over the top for even more delicious flavor!

A bowl of vegan popcorn sits on a dark counter, with popcorn pieces sitting around the bowl and a small bowl of salt behind it.

Who knew that adding nutritional yeast to popcorn transforms it into a fun, cheesy snack! But it absolutely works!

If you want a cheesy popcorn for your next movie night, follow my tips to make popcorn nutritional yeast infused and it will be a hit!

This Vegan Popcorn is free of dairy and all those chemicals on microwave popcorn you can’t pronounce. This cheese popcorn recipe uses nutritional yeast flakes for a savory snack the whole family will love—and it only takes a few minutes to make!

Doesn’t that look so cheesy? I know!

Is popcorn vegan?

Popcorn is plant-based and therefore safe for vegans to eat. However, sometimes the seasonings in commercially sold popcorn is not vegan. It’s good to read labels and look for added dairy before buying and consuming store-bought popcorn.

Is movie theater popcorn vegan?

Most movie theater popcorn is vegan because popular movie theater chains, like AMC, make its popcorn with coconut oil and a mixture of seasonings that have been reported to be vegan.

How to Make Vegan Popcorn

This recipe uses only a few ingredients and a few steps to make the best homemade vegan popcorn ever!

  1. Make your homemade popcorn — see below for two ways to make it
  2. Mix the seasonings
  3. Coat popcorn with seasonings
  4. Enjoy!

How to Make Popcorn at Home

We’re going to discuss two ways to make homemade popcorn:

  • Stovetop Popcorn
  • Microwave Popcorn.

Stovetop Popcorn

To make stovetop popcorn, follow these instructions:

  1. Place the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot (one with a lid). Tilt the pan back and forth so the oil covers the bottom of the pan.
  2. Place the pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 – 3 kernels of popcorn and cover. Once these kernels have popped, the oil is hot enough. Remove the popped kernels with a slotted spoon.
  3. Add the rest of the popcorn kernels, shaking the pan to distribute them evenly across the bottom of the pan.
  4. The popcorn will begin popping. Shake the pan from time-to-time to ensure even popping.
  5. Leave the lid open slightly to allow steam to escape.
  6. Once the popping slows down, remove from heat (no one likes burnt popcorn).
  7. Immediately pour the popped popcorn onto the pan to add toppings.

Vegan Microwave Popcorn

Making this popcorn in the microwave is my favorite, because it’s just so easy.

  • Place the popcorn kernels in the popcorn popper.
  • Put 1/3 cup of popcorn in the popper bowl, put the lid on, and put it in the microwave for 3 minutes. (Microwaves vary so be sure to test this and watch it closely).
  • The popcorn will begin popping vigorously. Once it slows down several seconds between pops, stop the microwave and use oven mitts to remove the popcorn popper.
  • Transfer popped popcorn to the pan to add toppings.

Marly’s Tips

Microwaves vary so be sure to keep an eye on your popcorn. Once you hear the popping slow down, use oven mitts to remove the container from the microwave. No one likes burnt popcorn!

Looking down on a microwave popcorn maker full of freshly popped popcorn, a bowl of popped popcorn beside it and another bowl with popcorn waiting to be popped.

Yes, the microwave popcorn requires a special gadget. However, it’s cheap and once you have it, you can make your own microwave popcorn any time you want it, without all the chemicals.

My mom is the one that recommended this gadget to me. My mom! The pillar of trying out new things. No, not really, but she is pretty inventive. And she’s always been able to stretch a dollar a looooong way. It was a requirement as a single mother of four kids.

So, I wasn’t surprised she found this cheap tool that produces oodles and oodles of delicious, popped popcorn. See the link in the recipe card below.

The cool thing is you can use this popcorn popper over and over for years!

Vegan Popcorn Seasoning

Once the popcorn is popped, it’s time to transform it into a vegan Cheesy Popcorn recipe.

I love making popcorn with nutritional yeast flakes because it has such a great, cheesy flavoring and color too. You can also use a vegan butter substitute, but in this case I’m using vegetable oil.

To make the vegan popcorn seasoning, simply combine nutritional yeast flakes, paprika, turmeric, and salt.

A baking sheet is full of freshly popped popcorn with a bowl of nutritional yeast flakes beside it.

The cool thing is, you can make the final version of this DIY Microwave popcorn to taste like whatever you want. Here are some more vegan popcorn seasoning ideas:

  • Buttery DIY Microwave Popcorn — To make vegan butter popcorn, simply melt 1 – 2 tablespoons of Vegan Butter (I use Earth Balance) and pour it over the popcorn. I do this by pouring the popped popcorn in a baking pan so I can remove any unpopped kernels. It also makes it easier to spread the buttery mixture more evenly. Sprinkle with sea salt and voilà!
  • Vegan Parmasan Popcorn – Pour the popped popcorn in a baking pan, remove unpopped kernels, spray with vegetable cooking spray, and sprinkle with Vegan Parmesan and some salt.
  • Black Pepper Popcorn – Pour the popped popcorn in a baking pan, remove unpopped kernels, spray with vegetable cooking spray and sprinkle with ground black pepper and some salt.
  • BBQ Popcorn – Pour the popped popcorn in a baking pan, remove unpopped kernels, spray with vegetable cooking spray and sprinkle with bbq seasonings (I use McCormick’s GrillMates Brown Sugar Bourbon, or any kind of BBQ seasoning).

How to Get Nutritional Yeast to Stick to Popcorn

Once your popcorn is popped, you’ll want to season it. And, of course, the next question is, how do you get that seasoning to stick to the popcorn?

If you’ve used the stove-top method, there is some oil in the popping process. That oil will help the popcorn toppings stick to the popcorn.

However, the microwave popcorn will need some help. Simply adding nutritional yeast flakes over microwaved popcorn won’t work. That’s why I recommend giving it a spray of vegetable cooking spray.

If you don’t like vegetable cooking spray and want to increase the buttery flavor, melt some vegan butter and drizzle it over the popped popcorn. Be sure to toss the popcorn to make sure it’s all evenly coated.

Then sprinkle the seasonings on the popcorn. I like spreading the popcorn across a pan to make sure the kernels are evenly coated.

Some people refer to nutritional yeast flakes as Nooch. I like it. Short and sweet. So, if you wanted you could call this Nooch Popcorn. I won’t tell anyone.

A close-up shot of popcorn on a baking sheet with lots of cheesy nutritional yeast flakes sprinkled on top.

We love making up a bowl of popcorn and watching a movie on a Friday night. In fact, between you and me and the seat cushions, we will make a batch of this stuff and sneak it into the movie theaters too. Don’t tell anyone I told you that. Mkay?

I don’t want to get kicked out of the theater. But I also don’t want to eat that $20 container of movie theater popcorn that’s covered in chemicals and fat and salt!

Vegan Popcorn Brands

If you’re not into making your own vegan popcorn, there are some favorite vegan popcorn brands you can buy in the store. I’m not sure if these are intentionally or accidentally vegan popcorn, but we get to enjoy it either way:

  • SkinnyPop makes several varieties of vegan popcorn — such as the Original, Sea Salt & Pepper, Vegan White Cheddar Popcorn (it’s dairy-free), Sweet & Salty Kettle.
  • Angie’s Boom Chicka-Pop Salted Caramel actually has “vegan” on the bag!
  • 365 Everyday Value Original Flavored Popcorn.

Best Vegan Snacks

Here are some more vegan snack recipes you will love:

  • This Vegan Popcorn Trail Mix is lightly sweet and so tasty in every bite
  • Get out the bowls for this sweet, Caramel Snack Mix — it’s everyone’s favorite
  • This Vegan Puppy Chow is easy to make and addictively delicious, thanks to the combination of chocolate and peanut butter flavors!
A bowl of popcorn sits on a baking sheet with lots of popped popcorn around it, a bowl of salt and unpopped popcorn beside it.

I hope you love this recipe as we do! Have you tried it? Be sure and leave a comment and a rating of this recipe below and then take a quick photo and share it with me using #namelymarly on Instagram. I love seeing your creations!

The best DIY Microwave Popcorn with a recipe for Nooch Popcorn. It's butter-free, healthy, affordable, and OH so delicious!

Vegan Cheesy Popcorn

The best DIY Microwave Popcorn with a bonus Vegan Cheesy Popcorn recipe. It’s butter-free, healthy, affordable, and OH so delicious!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Vegan Cheesy Popcorn
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 7 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 111kcal
Author: Namely Marly

Ingredients

  • cup popcorn kernels
  • Vegetable Spray
  • 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • Sea salt to taste

Instructions

Saucepan Popcorn

  • Add 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy bottomed pot with a lid. Tilt the pan back and forh to make sure the oil is distributed across the pan. Place over medium-high heat and add 2 popcorn kernels. When these kernels pop, the oil is hot enough. Use a slotted spoon to remove the popcorn.
  • Add the remaining popcorn, shaking the pan to coat the corn and to distribute the kernels evenly across the bottom of hte pan. Tilt the lid slightly to vent the steam. Place on the heat and cook and shake. The kernels will pop vigorously. Once the popping slows down, remove the pan from heat.

Microwave Popcorn

  • Place the popcorn kernels in the microwave popcorn popper. Place the lid on the container and microwave for approximately 3 minutes. (Microwaves vary so be sure to test this and watch closely so your popcorn doesn't burn).
  • Use a kitchen towel to remove the container from the microwave, being careful not to jostle the lid, because steam will be released. Once it’s on the counter, carefully remove the lid.

For the Seasoned Popcorn

  • In the meantime, place the nutritional yeast flakes, paprika, and turmeric in a small bowl. Stir to combine.
  • Pour the popped popcorn into a baking pan, removing unpopped kernels and discard. Spread popped popcorn across the pan. Spray with vegetable cooking spray. Sprinkle the Nooch mixture over the popcorn and use your hands or a spoon to distribute the seasonings throughout the popcorn.
  • Pour the seasoned popcorn into a serving bowl. It’s fun to serve this while it’s still warm, but you can also store it in an airtight container and enjoy later too.

Notes

Nutritional information is provided for microwaved popcorn.
Nutrition Facts
Vegan Cheesy Popcorn
Amount Per Serving
Calories 111 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Sodium 2mg0%
Potassium 114mg3%
Carbohydrates 21g7%
Fiber 3g12%
Protein 4g8%
Iron 1.2mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Enjoy!

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5 Responses to Vegan Popcorn

    • It’s so true, Rebecca! I honestly never liked the weird film that would coat my mouth after eating store-bought microwave popcorn. It’s just another example of how fresh is best!! 🙂

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