Want to learn how to make low-calorie, cheesy vegan popcorn from scratch? Say no more. It only takes 4 ingredients and less than 5 minutes! You'll be Netflix & chillin' with a bowl of popcorn in no time.
Popcorn is by far our favorite snack to eat when we're hungry (which is all the time). It's low-calorie and high-fiber, so you can eat lots of it! That means you trick your brain into thinking you're full. Genius, right?
There's also a huge benefit to the stovetop or air-popped popcorn versus traditional microwave popcorn. No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. Plus, it's way cheaper! Snacking can get real expensive, but we want to show you it doesn't have to be.
If you're ready to level up your health and ditch the chips, it's time to make this recipe. Heck, if you just want to add an extra snack to your chips, we won't judge.
This popcorn turns out perfectly every time: salty and extra cheesy.
🍲 Key ingredients
- Popcorn kernels: check this out. In 3 ½ ounces of popcorn kernels, there are 13 grams of protein, 15 grams of fiber, and only 387 calories! We've hit the motherload of snackfood. This is such a cheap grocery item that you can easily buy in bulk. No need to be picky on brands. Any kind will do the trick.
- Nutritional yeast: the ultimate cheesy companion to this savoury popcorn. We have a big love for nutritional yeast for so many reasons. It's our secret vegan superfood and adds umami, cheese-like flavor to sauces, snacks, and this popcorn. It's a great source of B vitamins and packs a whopping 8 grams of protein in just a quarter cup.
- Neutral oil: a neutral oil is a key in this recipe so the taste of the popcorn doesn't become altered. To take it one step further, we have a secret to share in order to ensure the salt and nooch stick: spray oil. This will ensure an even coat all over the popcorn without too many highly-dense oil calories. We use avocado oil in this recipe, but any neutral oil will do.
- Salt: you're not going to make movie-quality popcorn without adding salt. This should be a no-brainer. We've put it here as a key ingredient because if you miss this one, it just won't taste the same.
To start this popcorn, you'll heat about a tablespoon of oil in a large pot over medium-high. Then, add a single kernel and put the lid on. Wait until the kernel pops before the next step.
Once it pops, add the rest of the popcorn kernels and put the lid back on. Here comes the fun part! Vigorously shake the pot back and forth to make sure all the kernels are coated in the hot oil.
Let the pot continue to heat over medium-high, shaking it regularly until all the kernels are popped or at least until the popping has slowed down. It should be about 3 seconds in between popping sounds before you stop shaking.
Once the popcorn has finished, remove your pot from the heat and transfer the popcorn into a large bowl. Allow it to cool for a minute or so, then spray some oil on one surface of the popcorn, add salt and nooch, toss the popcorn, and repeat until you achieve your desired results.
This popcorn is best when eaten immediately. However, you can keep it for up to 1-2 days in an airtight container on the counter. We recently came across a little hack about storing popped popcorn in the freezer for up to 2 weeks, but it usually gets eaten before we reach that point.
💭 Budget tips
We think everyone should be able to eat better for less, so here are a few tricks to make this recipe even more affordable:
- Buy your nutritional yeast at a bulk food store because it's usually cheaper
- Use a spray bottle and oil instead of buying it pre-made
- Stick to no-name kernels instead of a name brand to save even more
🍴 Tasting notes
This popcorn will be your next go-to movie night snack. It's:
- Extra cheesy
If you try this popcorn, please rate it and leave us a comment below! Want to stay up-to-date with new recipes? Subscribe to our newsletter or connect with Broke Bank Vegan on social media. Happy eating!
Cheesy Vegan Popcorn
- Popcorn maker or stock pot
- Large bowl
- ½ cup popcorn kernels ($0.48)
- 1 tbsp neutral oil for cooking ($0.12)
- 1 tbsp neutral spray oil for topping ($0.12)
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast ($0.72)
- 1 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
- Sea salt to taste ($0.01)
- To start, heat about a tablespoon of oil in a large pot over medium-high. Add a single kernel and put the lid on the pot. Wait until the kernel pops before adding the rest.
- Once the kernel has popped, add the rest of the popcorn kernels in, then put the lid back on. At this point, vigorously shake the pot back and forth to ensure all the kernels are coated in oil.
- Continue to shake the pot over medium-high (to prevent burning) until all the kernels are popped. You'll know the popcorn is done when there are about 3 seconds between popping sounds.
- Once the kernels have finished popping, remove your pot from the heat. Transfer popcorn into a large mixing bowl and allow it to cool, about 1 minute.
- Lastly, spray a little oil on one surface of the popcorn, sprinkle salt and nutritional yeast over top, toss the popcorn, and repeat until you achieve desired results. Enjoy!
- For best results, we blend our nutritional yeast before making this recipe. We find it sticks better to the popcorn.
- Each serving is approximately one cup.
- You can adjust the toppings to fit your preferred taste.
♻️ Similar recipes
For more tasty snack ideas, check out our:
- Creamy Moroccan hummus that you won't be able to get enough of.
- Guacamole and tortilla chips because who doesn't love warm tortilla chips?
- Baked buffalo cauliflower wings to dunk in some homemade creamy vegan ranch.
- Homemade salsa fresca if you're in a snacking mood for something light and spicy.
Of course not! Our popcorn maker just broke, so we decided to make this recipe on the stovetop.
No, you don't have to use spray oil for this recipe. We just find it the toppings stick much better when you do. If you're using liquid oil, make sure to only add small amounts at a time.
Of course! For an even lower calorie snack, you can make this without oil. Although, it does help the toppings adhere better.