The BEST Butter-Free Popcorn (Nooch Popcorn)

The BEST Butter-Free Popcorn (Nooch Popcorn) -- it's #vegan, #glutenfree, #dairyfree, healthier, and SO tasty!

I thought that most of the world knew this secret to amazing butter-free popcorn.  But after mentioning “nooch” a few times recently and getting blank looks, I realized it was definitely worth doing a post on the topic.  Especially because my friends and I are all obsessed with this popcorn.

And when I say obsessed, I mean obsessed.

It is pretty much assumed that someone will be making and bringing this popcorn anytime we get together with friends.  Our vegan and dairy-free friends love this popcorn because it’s butter-free.  And our non-vegan butter-loving friends all love it because it’s healthier and preservative-free.  But mostly everyone loves this nooch popcorn because it’s freaking delicious, and downright irresistible.  And it’s all thanks to one ingredient:



(Also known as…)

How To Make the BEST Butter-Free Popcorn | 1-Minute Video

The BEST Butter-Free Popcorn (Nooch Popcorn) -- it's #vegan, #glutenfree, #dairyfree, healthier, and SO tasty!

Nutritional yeast.

Ok, don’t freak out.  I know only sounds like The Most Unappetizing Name In The History Of Food.  But “nooch” (as we prefer to call it) is an absolute rockstar of an ingredient.

You can buy it in the health food section of most stores, either in a container like this or in bulk.  And as you can see, it’s basically just a zillion yellow flakes (or some brands are more powdery) made from deactivated yeast.  People love it because it’s vegan, it’s dairy-free, it’s gluten-free (double-check specific brands for certification), it’s packed with a bunch of vitamins (especially B-vitamins, folic acid, selenium, zinc and protein), it’s low-fat, and it contains no added sugars or preservatives.

But the real reason to try nutritional yeast is because of the flavor.  It’s hard to describe, but I give it a cross between nutty, cheesy, a little salty, and deliciously savory.  You can use it to help flavor all sorts of foods, but it’s especially fantastic on popcorn.

The BEST Butter-Free Popcorn (Nooch Popcorn) -- it's #vegan, #glutenfree, #dairyfree, healthier, and SO tasty!

Without a doubt, the flavor of nooch is slightly different than butter.  When trying it for the first time, most of my friends usually have to give it a moment’s thought to decide what they think of the taste.  But after a few bites…and then a few more bites…and then a few more bites…they eventually dive in and cannot stop eating it.  It’s almost a problem how irresistible this stuff is.  Almost.  :)

The BEST Butter-Free Popcorn (Nooch Popcorn) -- it's #vegan, #glutenfree, #dairyfree, healthier, and SO tasty!

The good news, too, is that this nooch popcorn can be homemade on the stove in just a matter of minutes.  Here’s the how to:

The BEST Butter-Free Popcorn (Nooch Popcorn) -- it's #vegan, #glutenfree, #dairyfree, healthier, and SO tasty!

First, gather your three main ingredients:

  • popcorn kernels (my friend, Sarah, recently turned me onto the “jumbo” popcorn from Pop Secret – amazing!)
  • nutritional yeast (the more powder-y, the better, but any will do)
  • high-heat oil (I usually prefer grapeseed or coconut oil, but canola or vegetable oil also work)

The BEST Butter-Free Popcorn (Nooch Popcorn) -- it's #vegan, #glutenfree, #dairyfree, healthier, and SO tasty!

Add about 1 Tbsp. of oil to a medium saucepan and crank up the heat to high.  Then add in your popcorn kernels in a single layer, and cover the pan.

Once the kernels start popping, give the pan a few shakes every now and then to help settle the kernels to the bottom.  This helps prevent burning and makes sure all of those kernels get popped.

The BEST Butter-Free Popcorn (Nooch Popcorn) -- it's #vegan, #glutenfree, #dairyfree, healthier, and SO tasty!

Once the popcorn is done popping, immediately transfer it to a large bowl.  Then douse it — or, ahem — add your desired amount of nutritional yeast, and toss to combine while the popcorn is still warm.  I also like to add a teaspoon or two of salt.

To help the nooch and salt stick to the popcorn, I recommend actually adding it to a large bowl with a lid (like Tupperware) while the popcorn is still hot.  Then cover the bowl, and give it a few really good shakes.  The steam from the popcorn will help the toppings stick to it, and will also divide the toppings more evenly.

Then dive in and enjoy!

And if this is your first time trying nooch popcorn, you have to promise to let me know what you think of it.  :)

The BEST Butter-Free Popcorn (Nooch Popcorn) -- it's #vegan, #glutenfree, #dairyfree, healthier, and SO tasty!

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The BEST Butter-Free Popcorn (Nooch Popcorn)

Nooch popcorn is the BEST butter-free popcorn! It’s also vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and made with no artificial ingredients.


  • 3-4 Tablespoons oil, or enough to coat the bottom of the pan (any high heat oil will do — coconut oil, grapeseed oil, canola oil, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, or more*/less to taste
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt, to taste


Add oil to a large metal stockpot over medium-high heat. Place 3-4 individual kernels in the pan and cover.  Once they pop, uncover the pan and add in the rest of the kernels so that they form a single layer on the bottom of the pan.  Cover, and give the pot a shake so that they all get coated with the oil.

Once the popcorn kernels start popping furiously, give the pot a good shake every 15 seconds or so to help the un-popped kernels fall to the bottom, which prevents burning. When the popping dies down, immediately pour the popcorn it into a large mixing bowl (one that has a lid, like tupperware), and sprinkle with nutritional yeast and salt. Cover, and give it a good shake to combine.

Serve and enjoy!

*I actually highly recommend adding 2-3 times as much nooch.  I like as much of it as possible to stick to my kernels, although quite a bit of it naturally falls off.

**If the nooch isn’t sticking, you may also need to use a bit more coconut oil, or you can try closing the lid on the popcorn completely while it’s cooking (which won’t let the kernels dry out as much, which will help the nooch stick to them better).

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If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

The BEST Butter-Free Popcorn (Nooch Popcorn) -- it's #vegan, #glutenfree, #dairyfree, healthier, and SO tasty!

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167 comments on “The BEST Butter-Free Popcorn (Nooch Popcorn)”

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  3. I’m not a big fan of cheesy popcorn but my family is. I made this for them and they loved it! Thanks for the recipe!

  4. Nutritional Yeast is great.  Gentle Chef has a recipe here  for a cheesy sprinkle that you can use on popcorn or potato chips.  The secret is that there must be some moisture on the chips or popcorn for the sprinkle to stick.  All Vegan of course.  

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  8. Made this today added a little cayenne pepper my husband loved it.  

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  10. I love nutritional yeast on my popcorn. Ac8i love it on alot of things.  Including avacado toast and roasted cauliflower….um yum! I tried your tubberwear trick and it made a significant difference. Now I don’t have to add all that extra oil to my puffy corn! Even my boyfriend, who has been know to use half a sick of butter and a generous amount of parmigiano, ate an entire batch of this! Oh and I’m totally calling it “nooch” from now on!

  11. Perfect recipe, thank you. I love incorporating nutritional yeast into my recipes. I bought an old fashioned popcorn popper that I love and it’s so easy to use. Wabash valley.

    If interested I make Parmesan like topping for my salads. A recipe from everyday detox cookbook. 1 cup finely chopped walnuts, 3 tbsp. nutritional yeast and 1/4 teaspoon himalyan salt. So good and so easy. 

    Thanks again! Can’t wait to have this delicious and heksthy popcorn again!

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  14. Popcorn is my absolute favorite nighttime snack, and now here’s an idea to make it healthier? Yes, please, just have to find some nooch! ?

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  20. I’ve been putting nutritional yeast (I wish they would come up with a more catchy name) on my popcorn for years not knowing that anyone else did it! It makes my popcorn like crack, and my dairy-eating friends are amazed by it too until they ask what the seasoning is and they get a little freaked out. 

    • Yeah, we’re so glad you love it! They definitely should come up with a catchier name though, for sure! :)

  21.  Can nooch be used on air popped popcorn?

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  23. The suggestion to run the yeast and salt in a blender before adding it to the popcorn is on the right track. Smaller particle size works better when electrostatic attraction is the principle adhesion mechanism. If you have a mortar and pestle, hand grinding the salt (which acts as an abrasive to break down the yeast) with the yeast will produce even smaller particles than using a blender, but it is a fair amount of manual labor. Adding some cayenne sounds like a nice addition too.

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  26. love the recipe the popcorn sounds so awsome! iam going to try it pretty soon i was wondering if you mind telling me what camera did you use for your pictures they look great! the picture is so clear!

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  35. Yummy stuff! Been making this for years w/either coconut oil (stove top) or pour locally made EVOO on corn popped from my air popper…Also only use Organic popcorn. Happy, Healthy snacking!

    Rating: 5
  36. Long -time follower. First time noocher. Pretty darn good. I do miss the occasional butter- soaked soggy kernel. Pondering how I can achieve this with the nooch. Thanks for the post!

    Rating: 4
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  38. Ohhhh I’m so happy to see this out there in the world! I learned this “secret recipe” from a girlfriend years ago, and I’ve called it “crack” ever since. We add Spike seasoning as well and usually use grapeseed oil versus coconut oil. So simple, and so, so delicious. Thanks for all your great recipes and ideas – you truly are the food blogger that I trust the most :)! Whenever I’m browsing recipes and realize one is a Gimmie Some Oven goodie, I know it’s going to be a winner. So thank you for that :)!! Cheers!

  39. Will this work with an air popper?

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