How to Make Popcorn on the Stovetop (plus nacho seasoning recipe)

stovetop popcorn in snack containers

Stovetop popcorn is a huge hit for snack time at our house. Every one of us devours it (some of us shoveling it in at frightening rates – you know who you are 😉). 

But the good news with this popcorn recipe – it is a healthy and nutritious treat that is perfectly acceptable to eat by the handful. 

We love to eat stovetop popcorn on family movie nights. Saving a few cups of popcorn for the next day’s lunch has become a routine for us. Adding a healthy homemade popcorn seasoning mix adds to the nutrition and spices up a old classic with new punch.

Two of our favourite homemade seasonings are Nacho and Everything Bagel. If a seasoning mix recipe seems like too much work, try some oregano and Parmesan cheese to brighten up your typical popcorn flavour profile.

Nutrition Facts for Popcorn Recipe

homemade stovetop popcorn in snack jars

Popcorn nutrition is mostly overlooked. People think of fake butter flavoured goop and loads of salt and dismiss the nutritious nuggets underneath all of that.

In reality, popcorn is a versatile and healthy snack that people with special diets can enjoy. It is naturally gluten free and common allergen friendly.

Is Popcorn a Carb?

Popcorn is 77 percent carbs. But, there is plenty of fiber  in popcorn which helps with digestion, keeping blood sugar level. Fiber is not digested, but instead passes through the body. Fiber also helps keep us feeling full, so popcorn is a filling, healthy carb centered snack.

Fiber is recommended at 20 to 30 grams per day but most people don’t even get half that. Four cups of this stovetop popcorn recipe without the seasoning contains 4.6 grams of fiber, or 19 percent of your recommended daily intake. Not bad!

For another high fiber, delicious snack, try these Fudgy Black Bean Brownies.

Other Nutrition Facts for Popcorn

Popcorn nutrition includes a good amount of iron, magnesium, and zinc. In four cups, you’ll get 6% of your daily iron  11 percent of your daily magnesium, and 9% of your daily zinc. Adding nutritional seasonings will boost that even further.

How to Make Stovetop Popcorn Recipe

stovetop popcorn
  • Start with a large stockpot or high sided frying pan with a lid. Place your pan on the stovetop on high heat, keeping the lid close by.
  • Add in 2 tablespoons of high heat oil such as coconut oil, avocado oil, or ghee. I love using coconut oil because it adds a delicious flavour to the finished popcorn. It isn’t overly coconutty, just tasty. Butter has the tendency to brown and get bitter before the pan is hot enough to pop the seeds.
  • Add in your popcorn kernels. You will need a little over 2 tbs per person for 4 cups of popped stovetop popcorn each. I recommend popping 1/2 cup of kernels.
  • Wait until you hear the popping sound, then add the lid. Shake the pan every once in a while while the popping continues, to prevent sticking and burning and to make sure all kernels have equal opportunity to pop. We are all about equality up in here.

The amount you end up with will depend greatly on the popcorn brand quality, the freshness, and plain old luck. Some of those little kernels guys just want to stay in their shell and not pop.

This is because you will inevitably end up with un-popped kernels. Approximately 10 to 25 percent of your kernels may not pop, depending on the factors mentioned. 

Here is a little popcorn kernel to cup fact sheet for you:


2 tbps

1/4 cup (2oz.)

1/2 cup (4oz.)

3/4 cup (6oz.)

1 cup (8oz.)


3.5 – 4 cups

7 – 8 cups

14 – 16 cups

21 – 24 cups

28 – 32 cups

And just for fun, here is a slow motion video of popcorn exploding. So cool!

Add Your Homemade Popcorn Seasoning Recipe

There are a ton of delicious ways to flavour popcorn and creating a homemade popcorn seasoning recipe is a really fun experiment.

I’ve made everything from peanut butter and honey popcorn to protein powder and powdered peanut butter with chocolate chips as sweet options.

I also love making popcorn with my Everything Bagel Seasoning that I use to make DIY Bagel Chips. Or even this Chipotle Parmesan seasoning from Jen Around the World!

For a delicious sweet popcorn, try this Caramel Popcorn recipe from When Is Dinner?

Or, this awesome Nacho Cheesy Popcorn Seasoning Recipe I’m going to share with you today!

seasoning recipe mix

This Nacho Popcorn Seasoning Recipe is made with the ultra umami, cheesy tasting nutritional yeast.

Nutritional yeast is a product packed with protein, minerals, and vitamins. It is perfect for vegans and people who are lactose intolerant or dairy free, for adding a delicious cheesy umami flavour to foods. 

It also contains antioxidants, helping to protect our bodies from free radical damage.

Nutritional Yeast Benefits

Per 1 ounce:

  • 78 calories
  • 14 grams of protein (all 9 essential amino acids – extremely rare in non-animal products)
  • 0.9 grams of fat
  •  8 grams of carbs
  • 7 grams of fiber
  •  13.6 micrograms of B12 (that is 227 percent of your Daily Value!)

Nutritional yeast is 71 percent protein with all nine essential amino acids. This is an extremely rare event in plant based foods. Typically, you can only obtain all of the essential amino acids from animal products, making nutritional yeast an excellent alternative for vegans and vegetarians.

(See also: The Ultimate Guide to Protein)

Furthermore, nutritional yeast is astounding for its vitamin B12 content. This is another crucial vitamin that is typically only found naturally in animal products.

Other nutritional yeast benefits include over 100 percent of your daily value of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, and folate.

For another tasty treat, try these 

nacho seasoning mix
popcorn seasoning with butter

Okay, let’s get to the recipe! These spices are all versatile and if you don’t have one or more of them, don’t sweat it! As long as you have the nutritional yeast, garlic powder, salt, and some of the spices, you will be good to go. Adapt to personal tastes and heat preference.

  • Tablespoons of Nutritional Yeast
  • 3 teaspoons dried onion flakes or 1.5 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp mustard powder (optional)

Mix altogether. You can then add this mixture to some butter, oil, vegan butter, or just directly on hot freshly popped kernels.

popcorn recipe seasoning poured on popcorn
popcorn recipe pinterest graphic
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stovetop popcorn in snack containers
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5 from 3 votes

Stovetop Popcorn with Nacho Seasoning

Here is how to make healthier popcorn on your stovetop with a diy seasoning recipe to spice up movie night or your lunch box.
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword carbs, diy, dry mix, from scratch, gluten free, high fiber, kid friendly, kids recipes, quick, vegan
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 16 cups
Calories 101kcal
Author Rach


  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil or other high heat oil
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • 2 Tbsp of Nutritional Yeast
  • 3 tsp dried onion flakes or 1.5 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp mustard powder optional


  • Start with a large stockpot or high sided frying pan with a lid. Place your pan on the stovetop on high heat, keeping the lid close by
  • Add in 2 tablespoons of high heat oil such as coconut oil, avocado oil, or ghee
  • Add in popcorn kernels
  • Wait until you hear the popping sound, then add the lid. Shake the pan every once in a while while the popping continues, to prevent sticking and burning and to make sure all kernels have equal opportunity to pop.

For the Nacho Popcorn Seasoning

  • Add all ingredients and mix well
  • Store in a container or add to melted butter or oil, or pour directly onto hot popcorn


Calories: 101kcal
nacho popcorn recipe
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5 stars
We love popcorn, we will definitely have to try your recipe!

I love nooch! I’ll have to try this method out 🙂 Looks perfect for a movie night!


5 stars
My FAVORITE kind of popcorn!!!

Andrew Burnie

5 stars
I’m normally a salty butter or cheddar popcorn guy and I had no idea how well everything bagel or nacho seasoning would work, but needless to say I’m a convert! The nacho flavour especially, I like the kick of the cayenne!

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