Easy Vegan Popcorn Recipe (Nutrient Dense + Protein Powered)

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You’ll want to keep this easy vegan popcorn recipe book marked!

Find out how to make it, the ‘not-so-secret’ ingredient that adds a chunk of protein in a small package, and why it’s so nutrient dense!

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Disclaimer: Those at risk for choking or children should not consume popcorn – it is a choking hazard. You should do your own due diligence and work with your own health care provider to determine what foods and dietary pattern is suitable for your unique needs. This post is not personal dietary advice.
See our Disclaimers for more details.

Picture of popcorn in a bowl on a wood table. Title reads: Easy Vegan Popcorn Recipe (Nutrient dense and protein powered)

Why Make This Vegan Popcorn Recipe?

There are so many popcorn recipes out there, so why make this one?

Let me count the ways!

  • It’s Tasty – Tried + tested, and I keep coming back to these ingredients when ever I’m craving popcorn!
  • Quick– This recipe shouldn’t take you longer than 5 minutes (how’s that for quick?)
  • Simple– These ingredients aren’t novel!
  • Nutritious– This recipe comes packed with nutrients, fiber, and about the same amount of protein as 1/2 a cup cooked chickpeas (though- the amino acid profile is different)!
  • Animal Free– Especially if you are a ethical vegan (like myself) this might be super important for you!

What You’ll Need


  • Microwave
  • Microwave Pop Corn Maker (I used this one)!
  • A bowl
  • Measuring Scoops and Spoons (1/8th cup, 1 teaspoon and 1 tablespoon measures)


ingredients for the vegan popcorn recipe (popped popcorn, nutritional yeast, olive oil, and salt) with labels on a wood table.
  • Plain Popcorn Kernels– For this recipe, check out popcorn kernels with nothing else added. (we’ll add flavors later!)
  • Nutritional Yeast (can also choose ones fortified with vitamin B12) – This will add a cheesy/nutty flavor!
    Nutritional yeast is very nutrient dense, and includes several B vitamins, like biotin and vitamin B6!
    Not all nutritional yeast is fortified with vitamin B12 (a nutrient that plant based eaters (especially) should be meticulous about getting enough or talking to their doctor about supplementing). You can learn more about vitamin B12 fortified foods here!

    Nutritional yeast also packs a protein punch, with some having nearly 8 grams of protein per 0.6 ounce serving! That’s quite high for such a small volume.
  • Olive Oil – I choose olive oil specifically, because of it’s uniquely flavor profile that is both fruity and peppery! This fat also helps the nutritional yeast stick!

  • Salt (can optionally choose iodized salt)– A little salt helps bring out the flavor of the other ingredients! Some salts are iodized (in other words, they have iodine added to them). Check out the ingredients to see if iodine has been added. Iodine could potentially be a nutrient of concern especially on a poorly planned vegan diet or dairy free diet. (Learn more about vegan sources of iodine here) You should discuss dietary changes and supplements with your health care provider.


First, pop about 1/8th a cup of pop corn kernels in a microwave friendly popcorn popper (microwave times will vary – refer to the instructions of your popcorn popper).

hand holding popcorn kernels in a measuring cup. There is a popcorn bag and microwave popcorn popper in the background

Careful taking the popcorn out of the microwave (it can be hot)!

Transfer the popped popcorn to a bowl.

Drizzle the olive oil and than spread the nutritional yeast semi-evenly. You can then add a pinch of salt.

hand drizzling olive oil over plain popcorn in a bowl. There is also some salt and a measuring spoon with nutritional yeast in the background

While you could mix the popcorn, it tastes just fine without that!

vegan popcorn in a bowl on a wood table


Instead of using olive oil, you could use some other vegetable oils.

I wouldn’t recommend coconut oil, as that will change the the flavor too much.

Alternatively, you could melt some vegan butter on the popcorn, but then, it’s more likely that the recpie will take longer than 5 minutes!

Could you add some additional seasonings?

Sure, but that might detract from the cheesy vegan popcorn feel of this snack.


This is tastiest when eaten shortly after the popcorn has cooled down!

If you store it, it won’t taste as fresh – and may have more of a bland/stale taste.

close up of vegan popcorn in a bowl on a wood table

Easy Vegan Popcorn Recipe

Christine Milmine, RDN
This nutrient dense and protein powered recipe (one serving has about 6 grams of protein) only takes about 5 minutes!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 1
Calories 250 kcal


  • 1 Microwave Friendly Popcorn Popper
  • 1 Microwave
  • 1 Tablespoon Measure
  • 1 Teaspoon Measure
  • 1 1/8 th Cup Measure
  • 1 Bowl


  • 4 Cups Popped Popcorn (from about 1/8th a cup of popcorn kernals)
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive OIl
  • 1 Teaspoon Nutritional Yeast Vitamin B12 fortified nutritional yeast will add some vitamin B12
  • 1 pinch Salt Using iodized salt adds some iodine


  • Pop the 2 tablespoons of popcorn kernels in a microwave friendly popcorn popper according to the directions (time will vary).
    Be careful taking out hot items from the microwave!
  • Drizzle olive oil over the popped popcorn
  • Evenly shake on the nutritional yeast
  • Sprinkle the salt and enjoy! (you can toss the ingredients, but that's not required!)



  • Of course, it’s optional to get the salt with iodine and vitamin B12 fortified nutritional yeast (the recipe will lack these nutrients without that). 
  • Adding some dill or oregano seasoning give this a whole different flavor profile! 
Keyword popcorn, quick, vegan

Did you enjoy this recipe? Or do you prefer sweet popcorn (maple syrup drizzle anyone?) Let me know in the comments!
If you want to learn more about vegan snacks, check out these posts!
Whole Food Plant Based Snacks
Vegan Hiking Snacks
Harvest Snaps Baked Green Pea Snacks Review
Vegan Nugo Bars Review
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