Updated May 21, 2023
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Let’s make some homemade microwave popcorn! This recipe is incredibly quick and easy, with just a few ingredients (though really, you only need one!). Plus, it’s much healthier than store-bought packets.
Warm, fresh popcorn is one of my favorite “go-to” healthy snacks. It’s light, low-calorie, and satisfies those crunchy, salty cravings. You can whip it up in a pot on the stove, but it’s even easier (like ridiculously easy) in the microwave.
The best part of homemade microwave popcorn is knowing you don’t have any funky additives, as you would with store-bought microwave popcorn. It’s just natural, freshly popped kernels. And with a pinch of salt and drizzle of butter, I guarantee this will be the only way you make popcorn in the future!
Microwave Popcorn – Just a Few Ingredients!
Technically, you only need corn kernels to make popcorn. But with a little oil, salt, and butter, it makes it taste 10x better.
- Popcorn Kernels: Any variety will work here, but I highly recommend organic popcorn as corn is one of the most prolific GMO and sprayed crops.
- Oil: Both olive or avocado oil work for this recipe. And yes, you can even make it without oil…read more below!
- Salt and Butter: These ingredients are of course optional, but boy do they turn a simple bowl of popcorn into an extra tasty one! Bonus – I’ve got a few more creative flavor ideas down below.
Find the printable recipe with measurements below.
3 Ways to Make Microwave Popcorn
Most recipes call for using a paper bag to make microwave popcorn. But I’ve tested two other ways that create perfectly popped results every time. For all of these methods, I mix the kernels with just a tiny amount of oil first. Here are your options:
In a Paper Bag
Add the popcorn kernels to a paper bag and fold over the the top twice. Microwave for about 2 to 4 minutes, stopping when you hear a few seconds between pops. Then, remove the bag from the oven.
In a Stasher Bag
Add the popcorn kernels to a large upright Stasher Bag and close the bag. Microwave for about 2 to 4 minutes, stopping when you hear a few seconds between pops. Then, remove the bag from the oven.
In a Glass Bowl
Add the popcorn kernels to a medium to large glass bowl (make sure it’s tempered glass) and place a ceramic dinner plate on top of the bowl to act as a lid. Microwave for 3 to 5 minutes, then stop when you hear a few seconds between pops.
Carefully remove the bowl from the oven (it will be hot), remove the plate, and let the bowl cool to the touch before diving in.
Do You Have to Use Oil?
No, you don’t. You can make microwave popcorn without any additional oil. But I’ll be honest, I think it tastes better and pops better with just a smidge of oil. I typically use 1/2 teaspoon of oil per 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels.
Add Some Fun Flavors To Your Popcorn
Butter and salt is my go-to seasoning, but the world is your oyster when it comes to flavoring up a bowl of popcorn!
- Make it sweet: Add a dash of cinnamon and sugar, or drizzle it with a bit of honey and butter.
- Bump up the savoriness: Can’t beat a garlic parmesan combo! Just add a sprinkle of garlic powder and parmesan cheese.
- Give it a spiced kick: Along with salt and butter, add a pinch of cayenne powder or chili powder for a bold, spiced flavor
- Add a hint of spicy tang: For my chili lime lovers, add a dash of chili powder with a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
Ways To Store Microwave Popcorn
Microwave popcorn is undoubtedly best when it’s fresh. But if you happened to pop a bit too much, you can store it an air-tight container or sealable bag. It will keep for 1-2 weeks. But here’s a few extra tips to make sure your popcorn stays fresh.
- Let the popcorn cool completely before storing away. Otherwise it will become soggy since you’re trapping in moisture from the heat.
- Don’t add any butter, salt, or flavorings as it can make the popcorn a bit softer. Store it plain, then add any toppings before serving again!
More Healthy Snack Ideas
Got a craving for the munchies? Here are a few more nibbles that will satisfy your hunger.
If you make this microwave popcorn, let me know how it turned out! I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.
Microwave Popcorn – 3 Easy Ways!
- ½ cup popcorn kernels
- ½ teaspoon olive oil or avocado oil, while oil isn't required, I do recommend it
- Optional: salt and butter
- In a small bowl, mix the popcorn kernels with the oil, so that they all have a light coating of oil.
In A Bag
- If microwaving the popcorn in a paper bag: add the popcorn kernels to a paper bag and fold over the the top twice. Microwave for 2 to 4 minutes (depending on the wattage of your microwave), stopping when you hear a few seconds between pops. Remove the bag from the oven (it will be hot), and pour the popcorn into a bowl.
In A Stasher Bag
- If microwaving the popcorn in a Stasher bag: add the popcorn kernels to a large upright Stasher Bag and close the bag. Microwave for 2 to 4 minutes (depending on the wattage of your microwave), stopping when you hear a few seconds between pops. Remove the bag from the oven (it will be hot), and pour the popcorn into a bowl.
In A Glass Bowl
- If microwaving the popcorn in a glass bowl: add the popcorn kernels to a medium to large glass bowl and place a ceramic dinner plate on top of the bowl to act as a lid. Microwave for 3 to 5 minutes (depending on the wattage of your microwave), stopping when you hear a few seconds between pops. Remove the bowl from the oven (it will be very hot), remove the plate, and let the bowl cool to the touch before enjoying.
- Optional: you can sprinkle kosher salt and drizzle butter on top of the popcorn before serving.
- If you opt to use a Stasher Bag, it really is best to use a large, upright bag versus a sandwich bag. The latter is just not big enough for all the popcorn once it pops.
- If using a glass bowl, make sure it’s tempered glass, which will prevent breaking or shattering.
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