Homemade popcorn has always been a favorite snack. It’s cheaper and healthier than commercial snack foods. It’s also easy to make naturally flavorful stovetop popcorn.
Last year our devotion to homemade popcorn stepped up a notch. With all the news about how recycling isn’t really recycled, we decided to do zero-waste swaps as much as possible. This involved shopping in bulk with reusable containers, skipping the plastic-wrapped vegetables, and canning homemade salsa.
It also meant cutting back on our packaged snack foods. That was probably the hardest part. Do you know how many coffee shops wrap their gluten-free baked goods? And most quick snack food comes individually wrapped.
Flavorful stovetop popcorn was our solution to all of this. We ordered a big bag of kernels online and made it nearly every week.
Why Make Stovetop Popcorn?
Stovetop popcorn is easier than you might think.
- It’s easier than a reusable microwaveable container because you can make a HUGE amount all at once.
- It also tastes better than microwaved popcorn. (Don’t believe me, do your own taste test! Stovetop popcorn is crunchier and has a toastier flavor).
- I will admit a hot air popper is appealing… however, our tiny townhouse kitchen doesn’t have room for extra appliances.
- Stovetop popcorn can also be made on a camp stove, making it a perfect snack for cottages, camping, and backpacking trips.
- Best of all, stovetop popcorn is so easy that my kids can safely be left to make it all on their own!
The best part of homemade popcorn is that you can experiment with flavor.
Our favorite flavors are za’atar, smokey paprika, and ranch. However, when you eat popcorn as much as we do, it’s good to have a few different flavors to try.
The exact amount of salt will depend on whether you’re using butter or olive oil. I’ve included a smaller amount, so just add 1/4 tsp more salt if you’re not using butter.
- Smokey Paprika: 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp nutritional yeast
- Sweet Cinnamon: 1 Tbsp brown sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ginger
- Curry: 2 tsp curry powder, 1/4 tsp salt
- Rosemary Garlic: 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 2 Tbsp diced rosemary, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp nutritional yeast
- Pesto: 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 4 tsp dried basil, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp nutritional yeast
- Ranch: 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp dried dill, and 1/4 tsp salt
- Mexican: 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp ground cumin, 1/4 tsp chili powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp nutritional yeast
- Cheese: 3 tsp cheese powder (natural grated dried cheese is best), 1/8 tsp mustard powder, 1/4 tsp salt
- Za’atar: This Middle Eastern spice mix is often premixed with salt. However, if yours isn’t salted then add 1/4 tsp of salt to your popcorn, otherwise use 1 tsp of za’atar.
- Maple: Mix 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup with the butter before pouring over the popcorn.
- 1/4 cup popcorn kernels
- 1 Tbsp oil (for the bottom of the pot)
- 1/4 cup melted butter or olive oil (for after popping)
- 1/4 tsp salt or a flavor mix (see the section above)
- Take a large pot (at least 8 cups), and put 1 Tbsp of oil on the bottom of the pot. Pour in the popcorn kernels and put the lid on the pot.
- Turn the stove on medium-high and leave the pot on the burner for about 1-3 minutes (depending on how fast it takes for your burner to heat up).
- Once the oil starts sizzling, vigorously shake the pot to agitate the kernels.
- After a minute the kernels should start to pop. Keep shaking the pot until most of the popping stops.
- As soon as the popping stops, dump the popcorn in a big bowl. Leave the pot to cool for a minute while you prepare your flavoring mix.
- After a minute, put the 1/4 cup of butter into the pot to melt. If you’re using oil, then you can skip this step and just pour the oil over the popcorn.
- After you’ve added the butter, sprinkle on the flavorings. Toss to make sure everything is well coated.
- Serve right away or store in an airtight container as a snack for school lunches.
- This recipe makes about 8 cups of popcorn, which will serve 4 people. We usually make triple this amount because Brad is really proud of his huge popcorn bowl. We also like to eat a lot of popcorn and the leftovers are perfect for school snacks.