Homemade Popcorn

a bowl of homemade popcorn on the counter

How To Make Stovetop Popcorn

Today, we’re sharing one of our very favorite snacks—homemade popcorn. This stuff is so good, so easy, and once you’ve mastered homemade popcorn, you’ll find yourself making it all the time. It’s a terrific anytime snack—it pairs perfectly with just about anything from family movie night to grown-up cocktail parties! You can flavor it with different seasonings for different crowds, or just eat it plain with a little salt when you’re feeling lazy. And best of all? It’s fun and SO easy to make the very best stovetop popcorn! You’ll just need three things: a good pan (with a heavy bottom and a lid), popcorn kernels, and a little oil. That’s it! The best popcorn ever—and yes, homemade popcorn is WAY better than the microwave stuff—is just a few minutes away.

homemade popcorn ingredients, kernels, butter, vegetable oil, salt, and nutritional yeast in bowls on a counter

Is Homemade Popcorn Healthy?

And is it really healthier to make your own popcorn? Yes and yes! Homemade popcorn isn’t just a million times tastier than bagged popcorn or the microwave stuff, it’s also much healthier. Popcorn is a really healthy snack when it’s not drenched in fake butter or drowned in heaps of salt like movie theater popcorn usually is. Popcorn is high in fiber and antioxidants and it has a low-glycemic index, too! It’s low in calories—plain popped corn has just about 100 calories in three cups, so feel free to go to town on that homemade popcorn! If you’re worried about health, you don’t have to eat it plain, though. You can just opt for healthier toppings—think olive oil and nutritional yeast, or curry powder and a sprinkle of coconut aminos, or even just a dusting of Parm and some cracked black pepper.

a whirly pop full of homemade popcorn
a dutch oven full of homemade popcorn

How To Make Popcorn at Home: A Step-by-Step Guide

Cooking popcorn is a lot of fun—you listen to the sound of the kernels as they pop and let that guide you! You get to shake a pan around! It’s definitely a good kitchen activity for older kids to help out with, too. Here’s how easy it is to make the best popcorn at home:

  1. Heat the vegetable oil and two kernels of popcorn over high heat in a covered skillet or Dutch oven. These two popcorn kernels are your tester kernels—they’re going to tell you when the oil is ready!
  2. Listen for the pop! Once you hear the two kernels pop, lift the lid and add the remaining kernels. Cover the pot again.
  3. Listen again! When you hear the sound of popping, hold the lid down and start shaking the pan around over the burner to agitate the kernels.
  4. Listen again! When you hear the popping begin to slow down, pull the pan off the heat. Leave it covered for one more minute and then…
  5. Pour popcorn into a large bowl! Top as desired! And speaking of popcorn seasonings….
browned butter in a small saucepan

Our Favorite Homemade Popcorn Seasoning

Adding flavor to homemade popcorn isn’t a must—if you like plain popcorn, go you! We’ve been known to snack on plain popcorn when we’re in need of a virtuous snacking experience. However, one of our favorite things about homemade popcorn is how versatile it can be! It’s a fantastic, edible blank slate. Once you’ve got the hang of making stovetop popcorn, you’ll probably be making it all the time and you should feel free to play around with toppings! Heaps of Parmesan cheese, salt & pepper, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, smoked paprika—the options are endless! Our very favorite way to flavor popcorn is with a rich and heady and umami-y combination of brown butter and nutritional yeast—simply brown some butter and toss the still-warm popcorn with the browned butter, nutritional yeast and a sprinkling of salt and gobble it up!

a dutch oven full of homemade popcorn

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