Oil free Vegan Cheese Popcorn

The recipes that I like to create most are healthier versions of products that I can find in the store. My new idea was to create popcorn, but then without all the unnecessary added oil and salt/sugar. But then the question: how do you make oil free popcorn? And how do you make it tasty with less or no salt at all? How will any seasoning stick to the popcorn without using oil? I’ll show you this today with this oil free vegan cheese popcorn recipe.

Whether I’m on the go, watching Netflix or crave something crispy I go for popcorn. I never understood why popcorn needs to be so salty, oily and/or sugary. So what are the options? You can buy ready made popcorn in the store, but that’s like 5 times more expensive than popping your own popcorn and you don’t know how much oil/salt/sugar is used. Or you can buy flavored popcorn in a paper bag and pop it at home in the microwave, but you have again no idea as to how this is flavored and how much sugar, oil or salt is used. So I started to experiment with making popcorn on the stove with less/no oil and sometimes it worked, but more often I would end up with burned popcorn or popcorn that wasn’t fully popped.

How to make oil free popcorn?

There are three ways to do so.

  1. Place the popcorn kernels in a bowl, cover with a plate and pop in the microwave for about 7 minutes. I don’t own a microwave and I think this method will not allow you to make (quickly) bigger batches.
  2. Alternatively, you can place the popcorn kernels in a paper bag. Close it loosely and microwave it. Again: this is for smaller batches and you’ll need a microwave.
  3. Or you get a simple and inexpensive hot air popper/popcorn maker and you have the most fun popping quickly perfect popcorn. It’s so convenient and long term way cheaper.

How to make tasty popcorn?

I also wanted to regulate the amount of salt in my popcorn and in this recipe I’m not using any salt at all. Although plain popcorn is just fine to eat, I find it a bit boring. There is a little ”trick” to it though. Since I’m not using any oil at all the seasoning will not stick to the popcorn. So how do you make the seasoning stick? You need a little spray bottle that you’ll use to lightly spray your popcorn with. This will make your seasoning stick to the popcorn. I bought this one in the drugstore at the travel section where they sell travel size bottles.

I find this method really the perfect way to make oil-free popcorn with a delicious taste. A simple, fast and great quick snack!  Just add water in your spray bottle, but you can also use water with a little bit of apple vinegar or the juice of a jar of pickles. Trust me, this is really delicious and works perfect! Just spray, add your herbs and spices and enjoy!

Popcorn tips

There are many variations that you can season your popcorn with. Sweet popcorn with for example cacao. Or savory popcorn with dill and salt. This cheesy popcorn recipe is my favorite though.

What’s your favorite popcorn topping?

how to make oil free popcorn

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
how to make oil free popcorn

Cheesy Oil Free Popcorn

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 3.7 from 3 reviews
  • Author: The Green Creator
  • Cook Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 5 mins
  • Yield: one bowl 1x
  • Category: snack, savory, sweet
  • Cuisine: plantbased, vegan, healthy, oil free, salt free, gluten free, dairy free


Always perfectly popped popcorn without any oil, but with a delicious ”vegan cheese” seasoning that actually sticks to your popcorn.


  • half a cup (about 50 grams) of organic popcorn kernels
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • ½ tablespoon garlic powder
  • 12 tablespoons of onion powder
  • water in a spray bottle
  • air popper or popcorn maker
  • other seasoning options:
  • Instead of water you can also use water mixed with apple cider vinegar or the liquid of pickle seasoning (dill). Other seasonings options are dried dill or chlorella.


  1. While getting my seasings out I like to switch on my air popper for just 30 seconds so it can preheat. Add the popcorn kernels in the air popper. Place a bowl in front of the air popper to catch the popcorn. In a few minutes you’ll have fresh perfectly popped warm popcorn.
  2. Meanwhile fill your spray bottle with water (or any of the other suggestions).
  3. When the popcorn is done spray the popcorn lightly with water and immediately add the seasonings over the popcorn. If you wait the water will dry up and the seasoning will not stick to the popcorn. Make sure your seasoning is powdery. If it’s too grainy it will not stick that well to your popcorn. You can make any seasoning more powdery in a mortar or dry (coffee) grinder/blender.



10 thoughts on “Oil free Vegan Cheese Popcorn”

    • Hi Lady Blabla,

      Nope, dr. Greger came up with this 🙂 I refer to him a a lot, you might want to check out my other posts.

  1. So nasty tasting and smelling. I like all the ingredients, but together they created a smelly mess. Threw away the popcorn, but then had to get up during the night to take the trash outside so we could sleep. My guess is the onion powder amount is incorrect. Tablespoons??

    • Hi Jennifer,

      I’m so sorry to read this, but I think I know what might have gone wrong. Too much acv gives it a really nasty smell…

      Hope this helps.



Leave a Comment

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.