This is the best vegan popcorn recipe! It's cheesy and buttery while still being dairy free. Made with vegan butter, nutritional yeast and salt, this popcorn has the best flavour. It makes the perfect healthy snack and you will love how easy it is to make on the stovetop or in a popcorn maker.
Why you will love this recipe:
- The flavour! This dairy free popcorn recipe is salty, buttery and cheesy while still being dairy free!
- Besides being dairy free it is gluten free, cheese free and lactose free.
- It's an easy, healthy snack.
- Besides being vegan this popcorn recipe is also vegetarian and plant based.
- It's such a flexible recipe - change up the seasonings to give it the flavour you love.
- You can make this vegan butter popcorn with no salt if you wish.
- You can make this popcorn either on the stovetop or in a popcorn maker.
- It's made with vegan butter, nutritional yeast and salt. No hard to find ingredients here!
Key ingredients and substitutions:
- Popcorn kernels - you can't make popcorn without popcorn kernels! There are many brands of popcorn kernels you can buy including one of the most popular, Orville Redenbacher. I recommend using non-GMO popcorn kernels if you can.
- Vegan butter - butter gives popcorn the most delicious flavour, but if you are vegan you can't eat regular butter since it comes from cows. Instead, vegan butter is used to give this popcorn that same delicious buttery flavour, just with no dairy, no lactose, and no animal products.
- Nutritional yeast - nutritional yeast is what gives this popcorn that yummy cheese taste, just with no cheese and no dairy! If you don't like cheesy popcorn you can simply omit this from the recipe.
- Salt - popcorn just isn't popcorn without salt. You can add as much or as little salt as you like and feel free to change up the flavour of the popcorn by using truffle salt, seasoning salt, garlic salt or onion salt!
What is nutritional yeast?
Nutritional yeast is a species of yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is the same type of yeast that’s used to bake bread and brew beer. However, nutritional yeast is an inactivated version of yeast, meaning that if you tried to use it to make bread or beer, it wouldn’t work well.
There are two types of nutritional yeast — unfortified and fortified. Fortified nutritional yeast is the most common type and offers the most health benefits. Nutritional yeast is low in sodium and calories, and it’s fat-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, and vegan.
Nutritional yeast is sold as thin flakes, granules, or powder. You can find it in the spice or condiment section at most grocery stores or in the bulk bins of health food stores.
Nutritional yeast health benefits:
Nutritional yeast has many health benefits. It is high in plant based protein, B vitamins and minerals. 5 grams, or 2 teaspoons, of fortified nutritional yeast contains 20 calories, 3 grams of protein, 0 grams of fat, 2 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, 246% of the DV for riboflavin (vitamin B2), 109% of the DV for niacin (vitamin B3), 212% of the DV for vitamin B6, 59% of the DV for folate (vitamin B9) and 313% of the DV for vitamin B12.
Nutritional yeast contains all nine essential amino acids that you must obtain from food, making it a high quality plant protein. It also contains trace minerals including zinc, selenium, manganese, and molybdenum. Additionally, nutritional yeast contains the antioxidants glutathione and selenomethionine.
How to make this recipe:
To make it on the stovetop:
First, add the coconut oil to a large pot on the stove on medium high heat.
Once the oil is melted, add 4-5 popcorn kernels to the pot and cover it with the lid. Once the kernels pop, remove them from the pot and add in the remaining popcorn kernels.
Cover the pot with the lid and continue to cook the remaining popcorn, shaking the pot frequently to allow the kernels to pop evenly. The popcorn only takes 1-2 minutes to pop so watch it closely.
When the popping dies down, remove the pot from the heat and transfer the popcorn to a large bowl.
Lastly, add all the remaining ingredients to the bowl, and toss the popcorn well to coat the popcorn evenly. Then enjoy!
To make in a popcorn maker:
Add the popcorn kernels two your popcorn maker and run the popcorn maker until the kernels are popped.
Transfer the popcorn to a large bowl and add the melted vegan butter, salt and nutritional yeast. Toss everything well until the popcorn is evenly coated. Then enjoy!
- Make sure you use a large pot if you make this popcorn on the stovetop. This recipe makes a big batch of popcorn, so if you use a pot that is too small it will overflow from the pot and make a big mess of your stovetop.
- This popcorn recipe makes a large batch of popcorn. If you are only serving one or two people you can cut it in half.
- While the popcorn is cooking on the stovetop, make sure to shake the pot frequently so that the kernels don't settle on the bottom of the pot and burn. They will only take a couple minutes to fully pop so watch the pot closely.
Variations and add ins:
- Instead of coconut oil you can use any type of cooking oil that you like to pop the popcorn.
- If you are avoiding salt, omit it from the recipe.
- You can omit the nutritional yeast from the recipe if you don't have it or don't want cheesy popcorn.
- To change up the flavour feel free to use other types of salt such as seasoning salt, dill, garlic salt, onion salt etc.
How to store:
Store any leftover popcorn in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Frequently asked questions:
Popcorn is made from corn kernels, which are plant based and safe for vegans to eat. However, where vegans need to be careful are with the toppings that are often added to popcorn. Many popcorn recipes are made with butter, which is not vegan. However, as long as you stick with dairy free and plant based toppings such as vegan butter, popcorn is a great option for vegans to eat.
Popcorn is a healthy snack that is low in calories, low in sugar, high in fiber and easy to make. How healthy a popcorn recipe is will depend on the toppings that are added and the serving size, but the great thing about popcorn is that you get to choose your own toppings to make it as healthy as you like!
To make popcorn vegan be sure to use vegan butter instead of dairy butter and to avoid any other dairy filled topping such as cheese.
Other recipes you will love:
- Vegan shrimp
- Vegan curry cashews
- Vegan blondies
- Plant based protein cookies
- Vegan mascarpone
- Vegan peanut butter oatmeal cookies
Since you made it this far we are basically best friends so be sure to follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok and Facebook where I share even more recipes and healthy living tips! And don’t forget to leave this recipe a star review before you go!
- 3 tablespoon coconut oil (or other cooking oil of choice)
- 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
- 4-6 tablespoon vegan butter, melted
- 3 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
- Add the coconut oil to a large pot on medium high heat.
- Once the oil is melted, add 4-5 popcorn kernels to the pot and cover it with the lid. Once the kernels pop, remove them from the pot and add in the remaining popcorn kernels.
- Cover the pot with the lid and continue to cook the remaining popcorn, shaking the pot frequently to allow the kernels to pop evenly.
- When the popping dies down, remove the pot from the heat and transfer the popcorn to a large bowl.
- Add all the remaining ingredients, and toss the popcorn well to coat the popcorn evenly. Then enjoy!
- Nutritional values are an estimate and will vary depending on the exact ingredients used and the serving size.
- Feel free to add other spices to the popcorn such as seasoning salt, onion powder, truffle salt, garlic powder etc.
- The popcorn kernels will only take 1-2 minutes to fully pop when you are cooking them so be sure to watch the pot closely so you don't overcook or burn the popcorn.
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