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Flavored with nutritional yeast, this cheesy vegan popcorn is a must have snack for snuggling on the couch and watching a movie!
Popcorn is one of my favorite snacks - it's inexpensive, just the right amount of indulgent, and super easy to make. I keep a jar full of popcorn kernels on hand at all times.
I was buying like 3 bags of White Cheddar Skinny Pop popcorn a week for a while (no lie). Which is super delicious - and the flavor is vegan, of course! But already-popped store-bought popcorn is pretty pricey compared to just making it yourself at home.
You could totally buy a popcorn maker like this one - but if you're like me, you already have way too many appliances and absolutely no room in your kitchen cupboards. I recommend just using a big pot you already own and follow what I call the Pioneer Woman method.
- Cooking oil: Like canola or vegetable oil.
- Popcorn kernels
- Nutritional yeast: For a cheesy flavor. You can omit this.
- Vegan butter
- Salt: To taste
How to Make Vegan Stovetop Popcorn
If you aren't familiar with the Pioneer Woman's method of making popcorn, check out her post here. It may not have completely originated from her, but that's where I
First, grab a large pot. I use my cast iron dutch oven. Add in 2 teaspoon of oil and 3 popcorn kernels. Heat it on medium-high heat until all 3 kernels have popped. Remove the popped kernels and pour in ½ cup of kernels.
Cover the pot and remove it from the heat for 1 minute. This will help all of the kernels heat up at a similar rate and reduce the chance of burning. Put the pot back on the heat. Make sure you're giving the pot a shake pretty frequently, every 20 seconds or so.
It'll take 2-3 minutes for the kernels to start popping. Keep shaking! Once the popping starts to slow, remove the pot from the heat but keep it covered. When the popping stops completely, it's finished, woot!
Time to add in the seasoning. For this cheesy vegan popcorn, we'll be using nutritional yeast, salt, and melted vegan butter. Feel free to experiment with other seasonings and let me know what you come up with!
How do I make oil-free vegan popcorn? For the stovetop method, oil is necessary. It's also crucial to help any kind of seasoning stick to the popcorn. But you can use an air popper to make oil-free popcorn.
Which oil is best? Choose an oil with a high smoke point because that pot is gonna get hot. Olive oil is not a good choice. Oils with a high smoke point include avocado oil, grapeseed oil, and canola oil. My choice is usually grapeseed oil.
What are some other seasonings ideas for homemade popcorn? I have a few ideas! Some are simple, some are crazy. Hang in there.
- Dill and onion powder
- Garlic parmesan (using vegan parmesan)
- Cracked pepper and salt
- Peanut butter (melt it and drizzle!)
- Chocolate chips (throw some in while the popcorn is still warm so they get a little melty)
- Cashew bacon bits and nutritional yeast
- In a large pot, add in the oil and 3 popcorn kernels. Turn the heat to medium-high.
- Once the 3 kernels have popped, the pot is now hot enough. Remove the popcorn pieces from the pot and add in the remaining popcorn kernels.
- Cover the pot and remove from the heat for 1 minute. Shake the pot a few times.
- Put the pot back on the heat. Shake frequently (every 15-20 seconds or so).
- After a couple of minutes, you'll hear the popcorn start popping. Keep shaking. Remove from heat when the popping slows down. Keep the lid on!
- Once the popcorn stops popping, it's ready to get cheesy!
- Add in the nutritional yeast, salt, and vegan butter. Give it a good toss to coat the popcorn. Alternatively, you can season the popcorn with dill, garlic, vegan parmesan, etc.