DIY Microwave Popcorn: Vegan Cheesy Popcorn Recipe

Make this simple, affordable, and delicious DIY Microwave Popcorn with a Vegan Cheesy Popcorn Recipe that’s free of both dairy and all those chemicals 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!

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

Doesn’t that look so cheesy? I know!

Ok, I’m calling this post DIY Microwave Popcorn, but I’m being upfront by telling you, it’s kind of mislabeled. Because this is not like the bags of microwave popcorn you buy in the store. And making this popcorn requires a special gadget. But it’s a cheap gadget and once you’ve got it, you can make your own microwave popcorn any time you want it, without all the chemicals. Suh-WEET! As a bonus I’m also including a Vegan Cheesy Popcorn recipe too.

How to Make Popcorn at Home

OK. Let’s talk logistics. I know you’re probably curious about the gadget. My mom is the one that recommended it 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 gadget that produces oodles and oodles of delicious popped popcorn. It’s a Nordic Ware Popcorn Popper and here it is at Target for $8.99. Not too bad!

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

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

How to Make Vegan Cheesy Popcorn

The cool thing is, you can make the final version of this DIY Microwave popcorn to taste like whatever you want. Here’s how I make it: I begin by putting 1/3 cup of popcorn in the popper bowl, put the lid on, and put it in the microwave for 3 minutes.

[Note: microwaves vary so be sure to keep an eye on your popcorn. No one, I repeat, no one likes burnt popcorn. Over and out.]

I usually stand nearby as the popcorn is popping and I’ve noticed that right about 2:40, it will begin to slow down in its popping. If it slows dramatically, I stop it. Use a kitchen towel to remove the popcorn popper from the microwave and be sure not to touch the lid because it will release steam. One thing I’ve learned over the years…steam is hot!

How you proceed from here is up to you. I’ve left a recipe below for Vegan Cheesy Popcorn. I know, that sounds kind of crazy, but it’s not. I promise. It’s simply adding a nutritional yeast flakes concoction over the popcorn. It’s delish!

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.

Tips to Adapt this Recipe:

Other alternatives to Vegan Cheesy Popcorn that we’ve tried that are also super tasty?

  • Buttery DIY Microwave Popcorn – simply melt 1 – 2 tablespoons of Vegan Butter (our preference is Earth Balance) and pour it over the popcorn. I prefer to 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 Parmasagn 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…I would send you a link, but their site only shows disgusting pictures of grilled meat with this product. So just write it down and buy some. Or some other kind of BBQ seasoning)
A bowl of vegan cheesy popcorn sits on a baking sheet with lots of popped popcorn around it, a bowl of salt and unpopped popcorn beside it.

You can see that your options become kind of expansive. Right?

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 and whatever else. You know most of those workers are high school aged kids and I used to work at a high school. I know there’s a “whatever else” or two that happens sometimes. If you’re gonna buy the popcorn in the theater, just be sure to be extra nice to the kids working behind the counter. 🙂

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


  • 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
  • Vegetable Spray
  • 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • Sea salt to taste
  • * Nordic Ware Microwave Popcorn Popper see photo in the post


  • Place the popcorn kernels in the Nordic Ware 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).
  • In the meantime, place the nutritional yeast flakes (aka, Nooch), paprika, and turmeric in a small bowl. Stir to combine.
  • 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.
  • Pour the popped popcorn into a baking dish, removing unpopped kernels. Spread it across the pan. Spray generously 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.


There’s a link of the Nordic Ware Popcorn Popper in the post, but you can typically find these at Target and on Amazon.


Updated by Marly · Permalink