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.
Beware the glass bowl method! I’ve been microwaving my popcorn for over a year in a Pyrex bowl and today it exploded in my microwave oven! I just read on their website to not microwave PC in pyrex! Paper bag method for me from now on!
Thank you for posting this recipe! Such a great reminder of the usefulness of brown paper bags and so easy to add the seasonings and shake it through. A very easy, tasty low calorie snack for when I feel peckish in the evenings. Yum!
Which size of standing stasher bag did you use? “Mega” or “mid?” Thank you!
You can use either, depending on how much you’d like to make. But I usually use the mega size.
Thank you so much for posting this recipe. I’m on weight watchers and was looking for an easy way to make popcorn without buying an air popper. The glass bowl method worked perfectly for me!
Glass bowl method works a treat
Happy you found the popcorn method that works best for you Paul!
I made mine in a 2½ qt Blue Cornflower Corning Ware bowl with glass lid. Made two batches tonight and worked great! Thanks for the tips and options!
I love popcorn! Thanks for such a fun recipe! I’ll definitely make it next weekend.
Hope you love this recipe!
WHAT IS A STASHER BAG?
It’s a silicone bag. You can find it linked on the Shop page on my website.
How do you tell if a glass bowl is tempered?
do i add the butter into the paper bag before popping it or do i add butter after it’s done?
You drizzle the melted butter on the popcorn after it’s done and you’ve placed it in a bowl.
Can you use a ceramic bowl or does it have to be glass?
Ceramic should be okay!
Do not use glass bowl to make popcorn in microwave! My large favorite bowl got so hot it completely cracked and broke while cooking the popcorn for 2 minutes!
Hi Jan – Oh no! Is your glass bowl tempered glass? As mentioned in the bowl, you should always make sure to use tempered glass.
Thank you, exactly what I needed to know!
Enjoy your popcorn! :)
First let me say that I am so glad I found this post. I am now able to enjoy fresh, delicious popcorn in a matter of minutes using your easy instructions. I am using the glass bowl method with non-GMO kernels and olive oil and it works like a charm!
However, I would greatly discourage the use of paper bags for cooking. According to the FDA, the ink, glue, and recycled materials in brown paper bags may emit toxic fumes when the bag is heated. And there goes your “healthy” snack!
I really hate to spoil the party, but I just thought this was important enough to share. It is a shame that something as commonplace and innocent-looking as a paper bag can be harmful, but, unfortunately, that is the state of our world these days.
I was looking to buy a microwave popcorn popper. I Googled and found your recipe. I made it with the glass bowl.. I topped it with it with a butter and salt and shook it with the lid on and it is yummy!! Thank you!!
Glad this recipe worked out perfectly Tammy!
Hi Lisa, I have been popping corn throughout January as part of my diet, but can I check your calorie values?
You say 82g Popcorn has 41calories,
however according to the USDA 40 grams of popcorn kernels contains 120 calories,
and according to Holland and Barret 100g contains 375calories
This explains why my low calorie dient not going as well as I hoped!
Hi Geoff – the nutrition information is per serving. And for this recipe there’s 8 servings. If you ate the whole bag, that would be 328 calories. Hope that helps!
Can’t recommend the glass bowl, mine was just shot by a corn home astray.
Otherwise, great recipe!
Hi. I can’t wait to try this but where do you source your paper bags from? I wouldn’t know where to look or what size is needed. Thanks
I get mine from my local grocery store. They’re usually in the aisle with plastic sandwich bags.
A paper lunch bag like you’d send a bag lunch in for work or school.
Yum! I love this! I used the glass bowl method. But, does it matter what type of oil i use?
Any oil works here!
This is my preferred method of making popcorn Also a great topping is the dry ranch dressing.
I add extra dry dill weed. OMG so good. Also try butter kosher salt and pepper. Yummy!
Love the idea of adding dill weed :)
Could you please let me know how much is a portion? Thank you
Each serving should be about one cup or so.
Hi Lisa, I remember trying the glass bowl version down and the glass broke. Do you know if this is likely to happen?
Hi Alicia – I would make sure any glass bowl you’re using is tempered glass and safe for the microwave.
I sprinkle nutritional yeast on my popcorn for incredible flavor and a touch of protein.
Great idea for a topping Juanita!
I LOVE IT
Glad you enjoyed this microwave popcorn method!
Is there anyway to make this without a microwave? Would it work in a pan on the hob for example?
Yes, you can make it on the stovetop as well. I will be making another recipe for that in the future :)
Just made the paper bag version. Delicious! Question: Am I the only one who’s really bothered by all the unpopped kernels? The only thing worse is burnt popped kernels! Sigh.
I get a lot of old maids with the microwave. Only had 6 the last time I made it on the stove top.
Could you add any flavourings before you cook instead of after please?
It’s best to add them afterwards.
What!?! Oh my goodness, I love you. You have saved our popcorn journey. We usually do the stove top but lately my pot got all wonky (i think?) and its been burning every time! This is amazing! Thank you for all your great ideas :)
Hope your popcorn turns out great with this method Michelle!
A great snack that is so easy tp make. We like a few dashes of cayenne with fresh lime juice and Bragg Liquid Aminos. Delicious!
Love your topping idea! Sounds delicious.
Wondering what variation you like—bag, Stasher or glass bowl? I always make mine on the stove. This is easier. Thanks for this recipe.
I normally will use either a paper bag or glass bowl :) Hope you enjoy this recipe Michelle!
Hi Lisa! Is the entire recipe 41 cal for one person?
I’ve divided this recipe into about 8 servings, and the nutritional information will always be per serving.
This was such a quick and easy snack that is way better than any store bought version I have tried! Can’t wait to make this again tonight for movie night!
We love popcorn here especially my daughter and hubby! I can’t wait to try these ways. Excited to show my daughter this recipe!
Hope your daughter enjoys this popcorn recipe :)
I love making popcorn at home and agree it’s much healthier than bought. Like the suggestions for ways to flavor it, too.
Hope you enjoy the different flavor variations Caroline :)
I had no idea you could make popcorn like this in the microwave! I always thought you needed a popcorn maker. My kids will be so excited because I won’t buy them pre-bagged popcorn because I’ve heard so many negative things about them, but this we can do!
Not at all! Making them yourself with fresh kernels is much better than the packaged ones :)
I would have never thought to make popcorn like this at home! Such a great idea!
So easy to make right at home!
Simple solutions to healthier versions is why we follow your work. Great example today!
Thanks Hillary! Hope you enjoy this new recipe for an easy, homemade snack.
Wow, this is great! Never knew you could pop the kernels like this, can’t wait to try it!
Let me know which method ends up being your favorite!
Hello downshiftology i know this is of. The subject but can you do a vegan paleo victoria sponge cake. as on a strict food life style because of my eczema. Thank
PS- gonna make one of your chocolate. Chia seed chocolate pudding for my brother ( as i cant have it ) cause hes been really excited about it
Thanks God Bless 🙏🏼😄
I will definitely keep that in mind Mal!