Easy Vegan Popcorn

If you’re looking to move away from flavoring additives like diacetyl and chemicals used in microwave popcorn bags, you’re heading in the right direction because they’ve been linked to irreversible lung damage and other potential health risks. The good news is that if you’re not ready to ditch the microwave altogether, you still have options to enjoy your favorite snack through healthier methods. This recipe focuses on recreating an old favorite in a totally new way. The best part? It still takes 2.5 minutes and tastes even better than before.


This recipe makes about 2 servings…or just 1 if you’re feeling hungry! It’s easy to remake too (see serving suggestion notes).


This recipe requires 3 simple ingredients to make and can be modified with your favorite flavors (cinnamon, garlic, vegan chocolate, or even cocoa nibs!). For now, we’ll share a base for you to use as an easy go-to swap for bagged microwave popcorn.

  • Popcorn Kernels – 1 cap (2 tbsp)
  • Vegan Butter – 1 tbsp
  • (Not pictured) Pink Salt – 1 tsp

One thing you absolutely must have if you’re going to try this recipe is a microwave popcorn maker. You can opt for a countertop version to make this even healthier or go old-school with a stovetop method. Keep in mind cooking times will vary based on the device you are using. We love our Ecolution Micro-Pop Glass Popcorn Popper. We choose it specifically for the borosilicate glass bowl because it’s BPA-free, easier to clean and will hold up better over time. It’s a great way to ditch reusable items (especially the plastic that bagged popcorn comes in) and keep you with you snack clean.

You can also use popcorn oil to make this recipe, although I prefer Earth Balance (original). It can be found at most stores and is a great alternative to dairy butter. The vegetable based spread melts perfectly, so you won’t be missing out on any flavor here when you make the switch.

Cooking Time

If you’re using the same popcorn maker, it’ll take exactly 2 minutes and 30 seconds to cook up this fluffy goodness. However, cooking times may vary and it may take up to 5 minutes to do it on the stovetop…totally worth it if you ask me.


  1. Fill the inside of the cap with kernels (about 2 tbsp) and pour into the inside of the glass bowl of your popcorn maker.
  2. Add 1 tbsp of vegan butter to inside of the cap (you can add up to 2 tbsp if you want that “movie theatre” buttery style)
  3. Microwave for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Add to a medium sized bowl and toss with salt (now’s also the time to add in any optional sides you desire).

Alternative stovetop method: Heat vegan butter in a medium sized saucepan until thoroughly melted. Add 2 tbsp of kernels and cover. Shake the pan every minute or so to prevent your kernels from sticking. Your snack is ready once you hear 1-2 seconds pass between them popping. Enjoy!

Serving Suggestion

You can serve up this recipe as-is or you can add in some of my favorites like “nooch” (nutritional yeast) for a cheddar flavor or something sweeter like cinnamon with cocoa nibs for a little delight.

Note: If you’re ready for a second helping, just be sure to wait until your popcorn maker has completely cooled. No adjustments needed.

If you have questions, comments or have tried this recipe, please leave a note in the section below. Also, be sure to share your favorite dishes that you’d like to see vegan. I love a good challenge!

As always, thanks for your love & support.

‘Til next time!

Em 🌱

Emmy May, The Plant Based Bae
Emmy May, The Plant Based Bae

Hi! My name is Emmy May and I’m The Plant Based Bae. I was born and raised in the Midwest, and have called Southern California home for the past seven years. In 2018, I decided to switch to a vegan diet which led to me improving my overall quality of life and learning a lot about health & humanitarianism. Since then, I’ve had countless conversations with vigorous vegans and curious omnivores to share what I’ve learned along the way.

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