Recipes > Snack > Homemade Microwave Popcorn Base Recipe

Homemade Microwave Popcorn Base Recipe

Popcorn is a whole grain, and when you make it from scratch, you get to control the ingredients!
homemade microwave popcorn in a blue bowl

This is one of our base recipes. Popcorn can be a delicious and healthy snack when you make your own. By making popcorn at home, you avoid unnecessary ingredients, unhealthy oils, and excessive salt found in ready-to-pop bags. All it takes is a brown bag or a large microwaveable bowl with a lid! The best part? You can flavor homemade microwave popcorn to YOUR taste!

Must Know Cooking Skills

For recipe success, learn how to:

Culinary Tips for How to Make Healthy Popcorn

Wondering how to make popcorn in the microwave with a bag? Use a brown lunch sack and be sure to fold over the top twice so you don’t have a popcorn explosion in your microwave!

But what about how to make popcorn in the microwave without a bag? You just need a large bowl with a lid.

Regardless of bag or bowl, do not burn the popcorn! It can happen in an instant and ruins the whole batch. Use your ears, and when it sounds like there is more than 2-3 seconds per between pops, stop the microwave. It’s better to pull the bag early than too late.

Let the bag or bowl rest for a few minutes before opening. There can be some delayed pops from kernels, and it will be super hot!

If you want to add spices or herbs to the popcorn, mix it with the oil first to distribute the flavor better.

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Popcorn Kernels: use any variety. Didn’t know there was more than one kind? Try this fun variety pack.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: use plain, infused, or even truffle oil. Don’t have extra virgin olive oil on hand? Substitute avocado or canola oil. If you can’t live without butter on your popcorn, that will work too.
  • Sea Salt: use any variety. Sea salt is a good choice because of its texture. Its small granules coat the popcorn better than kosher salt, but kosher or iodized salt still work!

Base Recipe Variations

Remember that this is a base recipe, so the goal is for you to customize it to your taste! Sweet, spicy, cheesy, or coated with herbs – the variations are endless! 

Use these ingredients for even more flavor and texture:

  • Spices: the sky is truly the limit here. Popcorn is a blank canvas to season to your taste! Use individual spices like chili powder, garlic powder, or smoked paprika, or use a spice blend like curry powder or garam masala.
  • Fresh or Dried Herbs: use any variety. Italian parsley, cilantro, basil, chives, and dill are some good fresh options. Dried thyme, rosemary, dill, oregano, or Italian seasoning could also provide great flavor.
  • Granulated Sugar: substitute brown or coconut sugar. If adding, use canola or avocado oil for a more neutral flavor.
  • Finely Grated Cheese: for best coating capability, use a grated cheese that resembles powder, like parmesan cheese.

Equipment Recommendations

Use these kitchen tools for recipe success:

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Is this Healthy Microwave Popcorn?

You bet! Popcorn is a whole grain, and when you make it from scratch, you control the ingredients! No palm oil, artificial flavors, or excess salt here. The featured ingredients in this recipe are popcorn, extra virgin olive oil, and optional spices and herbs.

Popcorn

Popcorn is a whole grain, which means it provides our bodies with vitamins, minerals, fiber, phytonutrients, and healthy fats. Fiber is important for digestion, satiety, stable blood sugar, good cholesterol, and healthy gut bacteria. Phytonutrients work as antioxidants to help fight off diseases and keep us healthy.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil is a key component of the Mediterranean Diet. It contains high amounts of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and polyphenols which may reduce inflammation. 

Spices and Herbs

Spices and herbs add flavor and nutrition to this recipe. Using spices and herbs decreases the need for more salt, which may help reduce hypertension risk and therefore promote heart health. Additionally, most spices and herbs contain powerful antioxidants which may help reduce inflammation in the body.

Learn more about health benefits of different foods and ingredients in our book, To Your Taste!

Serving Suggestions

This homemade microwave popcorn is a great snack on its own! You can also pair it with trail mix or nuts for additional fat and protein to help keep you satisfied until your next meal.

Homemade Microwave Popcorn Storage Tips

Popcon is best eaten fresh from the microwave, but you can make it in advance. Store in an airtight bag or container for no more than 2 days to ensure freshness.

Want more healthy snack recipes?

Try out these other delicious base recipes!

Trail Mix Base Recipe

Hummus Base Recipe

Greek Yogurt Smoothie Base Recipe

Energy Bites Base Recipe

Baked Oatmeal Cups Base Recipe

homemade microwave popcorn in a blue bowl

Homemade Microwave Popcorn Base Recipe

This is one of our base recipes. Popcorn can be a delicious and healthy snack when you make your own. By making popcorn at home, you avoid unnecessary ingredients, unhealthy oils, and excessive salt found in ready-to-pop bags. The best part? You can flavor homemade microwave popcorn to YOUR taste!
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Snack
Servings 5 cups

Ingredients
  

Base Recipe

  • ¼ cup popcorn kernels
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Mix-ins to YOUR taste

  • 1-2 Tablespoons finely grated cheese
  • 1-2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh herbs (½ teaspoon dried)
  • ¼-1 teaspoon spice(s)

Instructions
 

  • Add popcorn kernels to a brown paper lunch bag. Fold the top of the bag over twice to close shut. Place in the microwave and cook for 1-2 minutes or use the popcorn button and set the weight to 2 ounces. Microwave until there are about 2-3 seconds between pops.
  • In a large bowl, whisk to combine the oil, salt, and mix-ins to your taste. Add popped popcorn, and stir with your hands or a spatula until evenly coated. Enjoy!

Notes

If using sugar, use canola or avocado oil instead of extra virgin olive oil.
Keyword Homemade Microwave Popcorn

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