Homemade Microwave Popcorn (gluten-free, vegan)

homemade microwave popcorn

I am behind the eight ball again. The reason? Another busy weekend filled with a handgun class, much-needed fiance time, and cookies from Mom — and not enough time spent food blogging.

I did, however, come up with the time to make homemade microwave popcorn. Have you ever tried this? I love popcorn, but reading the ingredients list on the side of the box never fails to give me the heebie-jeebies. Most of the ingredients are unpronounceable, and I know it’s because of whatever is in that “butter” flavoring. And while no one can deny that the “butter” is delicious, I can’t reconcile my concept of popcorn as basically a harmless snack food with the knowledge that, in fact, I have no idea what I am putting in my body when I eat it.

Thank god for Erica over at Coffee and Quinoa, who has a great technique for microwaving your own popcorn. All you need is a brown paper bag and popcorn kernels, as well as the willingness to burn your first few batches as you figure out the timing on your microwave.

Of course, the coconut oil I used doesn’t taste the same as butter. To get a more decadent flavor, I highly recommend using a few tablespoons of nutritional yeast. Vegans will swear up and down that this yellow flakey powder tastes like cheese. It doesn’t really. But it does have almost a buttery, cheesy flavor — a little fatty, a little nutty, and a little like when you stick your nose in a bowl of yeast right after you’re done proofing it to make bread.

Timings below are approximate, and you’ll want to experiment to find what’s right for you. You can also, like Erica did, add curry powder or other seasonings instead of the nutritional yeast, or experiment with other oils, etc. Just don’t add the seasonings before microwaving, as I did the first time…you’ll end up with little burnt bits.

Homemade Microwave Popcorn
  • 1/4 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil, solid
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  1. Place popcorn kernels, coconut oil, and salt in brown paper lunch bag. Fold over the top of the bag three times and shake to distribute.
  2. Microwave (probably on top of a paper towel) for 1.5 to 2.5 minutes, or until there are a few seconds between each pop. Not every kernel will pop!
  3. Remove from microwave. Sprinkle on nutritional yeast and more salt, if desired, or whatever spices you like. Reclose the bag and shake to distribute. Serve and enjoy!

8 thoughts on “Homemade Microwave Popcorn (gluten-free, vegan)

    • Yep, sorry! Changed the recipe to reflect that — you fold the top over three times. Also, I would recommend placing a paper towel under the bag so there’s less of a mess 🙂

    • It’s much faster than you would expect — my microwave did it in about 1 minute, 25 seconds. And I’d recommend stopping the microwave the second you hear a three-second pause! It might take you a few times, but you will get it figured out — luckily, coconut oil and popcorn kernels come in fairly large packages 🙂

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