Cheesy Vegan Popcorn | The Healthful Ideas

Cheesy Vegan Popcorn

January 14, 2016
Cheesy Vegan Popcorn - a delicious healthy twist on the classic. Popped the old-fashioned way on the stove with coconut oil and then spiced to perfecting. Ridiculously easy to make! |

Cheesy Vegan Popcorn?!

Yes, that’s right! And it’s so delicious you won’t even miss the cheese.

It’s salty, cheesy, and satisfying. It’s basically everything you want from popcorn.

I always loved the popcorn you buy at movie theaters. The cheese & ham flavor was my favorite. The only problem was it was so salty, I was stuggling even then, when I didn’t care about healthy food. You know when something is so salty, it almost burns your mouth and you can still feel it on your tongue hours later? Well, this popcorn has none of that. There’s just the right amount of salt, and the GOOD kind of salt, I might add. The kind full of minerals, not the stripped version we call table salt. I love sea salt.

What’s the secret to achieve the cheesy flavor without any cheese? NUTRITIONAL YEAST! It’s delicious and it’s the perfect addition to any savory vegan dish!

FUN FACT: Did you know that January 19th is a national Popcorn Day?? I didn’t either! But now I do and I’m sharing this just in time for you to celebrate this monumental day haha! Enjoy!

Cheesy Vegan Popcorn - a delicious healthy twist on the classic. Popped the old-fashioned way on the stove with coconut oil and then spiced to perfecting. Ridiculously easy to make! |

Salt is actually good for you, contrary to the popular belief. Okay, okay, maybe not in popcorn but everyone cheats sometimes and if we didn’t have fun with food what’s the point?

Anyways, sea salt (or himmalayan pink salt)  is good for you because it contains a lot of minerals. Sea salt is generaly higher in the mineral content than himalayan pink salt but both of them are eaqualy good. Salt and water is actually a match made in heaven because together they keep you hydrated. If you eat too much salt your’re dehydrated. If you drink too much water by itself, you’re also dehydrated (I know! But it’s actually true!). HOWEVER, if you combine a glass of water with a pinch of sea salt, you have the ultimate weapon againt dehydration!

If you consume a lot of processed salt (table salt) on a daily basis, maybe sea salt with water isn’t the best for you at this stage. For me, when I first started eating better I went cold turkey on salt. I either added a tiny bit or I didn’t add it at all to anything. And that really helped me rediscover what food ACTUALLY TASTES LIKE! Then after a month or so, I started adding sea salt back into my diet. It almost came naturally, you know? Like, I was finally rid of the table salt residue inside my body and started craving salt again.

To sum it up, sea salt is good for you so try to add sea salt instead of table salt to food when you’re cooking at home. Also, when you buy pre-packaged foods, look at the ingredients list and try to stay away from products that are high in table salt or ideally, don’t buy those products at all.

Now let’s talk about this delicious bowl of popcorn!!

Cheesy Vegan Popcorn - a delicious healthy twist on the classic. Popped the old-fashioned way on the stove with coconut oil and then spiced to perfecting. Ridiculously easy to make! |

An important thing about popcorn is when you’re buying the corn kernels, always, and I mean ALWAYS buy organic corn kernels. Corn that isn’t certified organic is most likely GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) and we don’t want none of that in our body!

So what exactly is nutritional yeast?

First off, it’s not the same as the regular yeast you’d use for making bread. It’d deactivated yeast so don’t worry about getting bloated like a loaf of bread. Nutritional yeast has many benefits apart from adding a great flavor to vegan dishes.

It’s very nutritious, hence the name, and it’s particulary rich in B vitamins. It’s a source of vitamin B12, which is great news for vegetarians since most of vitamin B12 is sourced from animals. On top of that, it’s also a complete protein which helps you to keep your energy levels high when you’re working out. And as a bonus, it’s also full of fiber so it’s awesome for gut health. If your concern is gluten, then you don’t have to worry, nutritional yeast is gluten-free! (Though, I’d always check the package to be sure!) One thing nutritional yeast isn’t is raw. It has to be pasturised in order to destroy the yeast that helps raise the bread. But unless you’re a hardcore raw vegan (which I doubt you are, I mean, you’re reading a post about popcorn) I don’t think that’s a problem for anyone.

So all in all, nutritional yeast is your best friend when it comes to cooking healthy food. It’s so versatile—you can make pasta sauces, dips, dressings, crackers, vegan cheeses, etc. The possibilities are endless!

Making your own popcorn seems intimidating at first but it’s actually incredibly simple! I’d never go back to eating microwave popcorn again! Not only because of the nasty ingredients, but also because of the damage microwave does to the popcorn and essentially to you! Did you know you should stand at least 10 meters away from a microwave when you’re using it so the radiation doesn’t hit you?

I have to admit I did burn the popcorn the first time I made it like a year ago. Okay maybe I burned it a few more times after that, but after you get the hang of it, it’s really easy and satisfying because you know you made your own popcorn from scratch!

The secret is to keep shaking the pot. Like literally put oven gloves on, lift the pot and shake it so the popcorn keeps popping but it’s not constantly on the heat. It’s also great to prevent the kernels from burning on one side and to make sure it’s all evenly popped. That being said, don’t try to pop each and every kernel as that’d result in burning the ones that are already popped!

Cheesy Vegan Popcorn - a delicious healthy twist on the classic. Popped the old-fashioned way on the stove with coconut oil and then spiced to perfecting. Ridiculously easy to make! |

In the recipe I use 1/4 cup corn kernels, but feel free to double or tripple the recipe. However, I’d always pop 1/4 cup at a time, because greater amount means more time on the heat and you could end up with a big batch of burned popcorn. So take it slow and shake shake shake! (I may or may not listened to Shake it off while making the popcorn).

The whole thing from the second you add the kernels into the pot to the second you take it off the heat takes only a few minutes. It’s so quick you won’t believe how easy it is!

If you try this let me know how it went! :)

And f you already know how to make popcorn on the stove, what’s your favorite way to season it?

Cheesy Vegan Popcorn - a delicious healthy twist on the classic. Popped the old-fashioned way on the stove with coconut oil and then spiced to perfecting. Ridiculously easy to make! |

4.5 from 2 reviews
Cheesy Vegan Popcorn
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Cheesy Popcorn with no cheese?! The secret is nutritional yeast! It gives it the cheesy, nutty, salty taste simillar to cheese! It's really delicious and semi-healthy. I you want to make a bigger batch of this you can just double or triple the recipe. However I recommend always doing ¼ cup of corn kernels at a time because if you did a more at once, it would take longer you could burn the popcorn.
Serves: 3 cups
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder (for color)
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper (more or less depending on your preference)
  • ¼ tsp paprika powder
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • sea salt to taste (1/4-1/2 tsp)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • ¼ cup corn kernels
  1. First start with the spices.
  2. Into a small bowl add the nutritional yeast, turmeric, cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic, onion, and sea salt. Stir to combine and set aside.
  3. Heat a big pot with the coconut oil over high heat. have a lid for the pot prepared.
  4. When the pot seems hot enough, add 2-3 corn kernels and cover with a lid. Shake the pot a little and wait for all 3 to pop. When they do, remove the lid (carefully, there's A LOT of steam!) and remove the kernels with a spoon.
  5. Add the rest of the kernels and cover with a lid.
  6. Keep the heat on high and shake the pot holding the lid so there's no steam escaping. (use oven gloves, because again, everything is very hot)
  7. When it starts popping, which should be immediately,, shake the pot every 3-5 seconds so the popcorn doesn't burn.
  8. When there are 5 second gaps between popping, remove from heat immediatelly.
  9. Don't try to pop each and every kernel or you'll burn the popcorn.
  10. Carefully remove the lid and transfer the popcorn into a big bowl. Add the seasoning and mix quickly and well so the popcorn is evenly coated. If the seasoning doesn't stick, you can add 1tsp melted coconut oil and mix again.
  11. Best served immediatelly.

Cheesy Vegan Popcorn - a delicious healthy twist on the classic. Popped the old-fashioned way on the stove with coconut oil and then spiced to perfecting. Ridiculously easy to make! |

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  • Reply Sean October 18, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    Try Hippy Pop Popcorn made with Nutritional Yeast. It’s delicious, go get some at

  • Reply Tiffani October 26, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    Thanks for sharing. Popcorn is my all time favorite snack and I like stove top, not that microwaved processed junk that leaves a film of I don’t know what in your mouth long after you have eaten it. I have heard from a few people about nutritional yeast since I am starting to remove dairy from my diet. I am definitely going to try this. Thanks again for sharing!

    • thehealthfulideas
      Reply thehealthfulideas October 27, 2016 at 12:38 am

      I know, right? I know exactly what you’re talking about! I hate microwaved popcorn now, though I used to love it when I was younger. Nutritional yeast is amazing. :) Not only on popcorn but in dressings, on avocado toast, in pasta, basically in everything is what I’m trying to say haha.

  • Reply Krista Nile October 27, 2016 at 3:31 am

    I had no idea about national popcorn day!! This recipe looks amazing!

    • thehealthfulideas
      Reply thehealthfulideas October 27, 2016 at 9:10 am

      Me neither! There are so many food days you wouldn’t believe. If anything, it gives you an excuse to stuff your face with your favorite food haha (chocolate covered cherry day I’m looking at you).

  • Reply courtney October 27, 2016 at 4:22 am

    I basically live on popcorn and that just looks delicious!

    La Belle Sirene 

    • thehealthfulideas
      Reply thehealthfulideas October 27, 2016 at 9:04 am

      Haha popcorn is the best, right? Thanks!

  • Reply LizZ Holla October 27, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    HAHA, Nooch has become my absolute GO-TO for everything. It’s like my Franks sauce I put that ish on EVERYTHING! LOL

    • thehealthfulideas
      Reply thehealthfulideas October 27, 2016 at 8:32 pm

      Same here! The obsession is REAL haha

  • Reply Rachael March 27, 2017 at 11:45 pm

    Delicious recipe! I airpop my popcorn, pour coconut oil on it, then sprinkle this seasoning over it. It doesn’t exactly taste like cheddar, but it is delicious!!

    • Veronika | thehealthfulideas
      Reply Veronika | thehealthfulideas March 29, 2017 at 7:15 am

      That’s also a good idea! Makes me crave popcorn now haha! ;)

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