“Nooch” (a.k.a. Nutritional Yeast) Popcorn is super-easy to make on the stovetop, it’s naturally both vegan and gluten-free, and it’s always a crowd fave!
Guys, if you haven’t tried nooch popcorn yet — it’s time. ♡
I made the switch nearly a decade ago from making my stovetop popcorn with butter to making it with nutritional yeast instead — or “nooch”, for short — and I’ve gotta say, I haven’t looked back since. We are 100% obsessed with this popcorn in our house. And over the years, dozens upon dozens of friends who have tried our nooch popcorn recipe have become instantly obsessed as well.
It’s easy to whip up a quick batch in just 5 minutes with 4 pantry ingredients. And I’m telling you — the nooch adds this cheesy, buttery, nutty, magical flavor that is just downright irresistible with popcorn. Nutritional yeast is also obviously much lighter than butter, and it’s naturally gluten-free and vegan as well. So over the years, it has become our go-to snack to whip up when having people over to our place. Or anytime we need a good munchie for a road trip, or a picnic, or a happy hour with friends. Or — most often — when we’re hangin’ out at home watching Netflix on a weeknight and get a case of the munchies.
Nooch popcorn will always be there to save the day.
Let’s make some!!
Nooch Popcorn Recipe | 1-Minute Video
What Is Nutritional Yeast?
If you’re new to our starring ingredient here, you may be asking — just exactly what is nutritional yeast? I know, the name sounds hopelessly unappetizing. But nutritional yeast — or “nooch”, for short — is one of my favorite ingredients! It’s simply a deactivated yeast that is typically sold in a flaky or powdery form. It has an irresistibly cheesy, nutty, savory flavor. It’s naturally both vegan and gluten-free. And best of all, it’s a rich source of vitamins, protein and fiber.
I’ve long been partial to Bragg’s nutritional yeast, especially when making popcorn. But different brands of nooch can vary in flavor, so I recommend doing some taste-testing to see which one you love best. ♡
Nutritional Yeast Popcorn Ingredients:
The best thing about nooch popcorn? All of the ingredients are easy to keep on hand in your pantry so that you can pop up a quick batch when the craving strikes. You will need:
Popcorn kernels: I’m a big fan of the “jumbo” kernels, but any kind of popcorn kernels will do. (Here’s an Amazon link to my favorite brand, although it is usually considerably cheaper in stores.)
Oil: I’ve always used coconut oil for this recipe, which gives it a super-subtly-sweet undertone that everyone always comments on and loves. But avocado oil, olive oil, or safflower oil are good alternatives too.
Salt: Fine sea salt (or even regular iodonized table salt) will do. Just add however much you like, to taste.
Also, very importantly, you will need:
A saucepan or stockpot: I’ve written the recipe below to work in a medium saucepan. But feel free to increase the proportions a bit for it to work in a larger stockpot for a bigger batch.
Large food storage container (with a lid): It’s also essential to have some sort of large food storage container with a lid, such as this one, in order to shake the popcorn together with the nooch and salt.
How To Make Stovetop Popcorn:
To make stovetop popcorn with nutritional yeast, simply:
Prepare the nooch and salt. Before you begin popping the popcorn (or you can multitask this step while it’s popping), go ahead and shake a bunch of nooch into a large food storage container, along with your desired amount of salt. I recommend adding a liberal amount of nooch, and then if there is any extra, you can always shake it up with a second batch of popcorn afterwards.
Heat the oil. Next, in a medium saucepan, add enough oil to generously coat the bottom of the pan (about 2mm or so deep). Heat over medium-high heat until the oil is nice and hot. Then to test when the oil is ready to go, just drop 3 or 4 popcorn kernels into the pan. And once they pop, it’s ready!
Add the popcorn kernels. Add in enough popcorn kernels to cover the bottom of the saucepan in a single layer. (If you add any more, the saucepan will not have room for them once the pop!)
Pop that corn! Then once the kernels begin to pop, stay close by to keep an eye on them, giving the pan a good shake every 15 seconds or so in order to make sure that the kernels fall to the bottom of the pan. Let the popcorn continue popping until it slows down significantly and there are a few seconds remaining between pops. Then immediately…
Pour the popcorn into the storage container. And do so quickly so that the kernels don’t burn in the pan and the popcorn stays nice and hot. Then quickly place the lid on the container and give the popcorn a good 10-second shake until it is evenly coated with the nooch. Then…it’s popcorn time!
Serve warm and enjoy. This popcorn definitely tastes best right away. Although you’re welcome to store it in the food storage container for a few days. (It will just start to get a bit chewy over time, as cooked popcorn tends to do once it has set out awhile. But even if it’s chewy, it will still taste good.)
Want to customize your nooch popcorn? Feel free to also add in some:
Freshly-cracked black pepper: So simple, but it kicks the flavor up a big notch!
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Place 3-4 individual kernels in the pan. Once the kernels begin to pop, add in the rest of the kernels so that they form a single layer on the bottom of the pan. Cover the saucepan with a lid and give it a shake so that the kernels all get coated with the oil.
When the popcorn kernels start popping, give the pan a good shake every 15 seconds or so to help the un-popped kernels fall to the bottom. (This will also help prevent the popcorn from burning.) Once the popping slows down and there are a few seconds between pops, immediately transfer the popcorn to the prepared food storage container. Place the lid on the container, and give it a good shake for 10 seconds to coat the popcorn.
I’m afraid I have to agree with Eileen. What am I eating? This stuff just falls right to the bottom. I even tried using spray butter to make it stick but it still tasted totally crappy. I don’t know if I did something wrong but I’m a good cook so I tend to doubt that I screwed up popcorn. Not to mention this stuff is 70 calories per serving! So, after paying like $7 for this at the health food store, what else can I do with this stuff?
To Jennifer who did’t like the Nutrional Yeast on popcorn, I love to sprinkle it over Kernel corn, That I’ve cooked in the oven. I first heard about this Yeast from watching DR. OZ. He sprinkles it on popcorn, and vegetables! I ‘m wondering if it makes a difference in the brand name you used. I bought mine at HyVee here in Madison, WI. And it’s very powdery and sticks just fine to the hot kernel corn that I place in a bowl.
This is my favorite way to enjoy popcorn! A little extra oil tossed with the popped corn helps the yeast and salt stick. I recommend the Red Star brand yeast though. The texture is more like grated parmesan cheese than flakes and I think it sticks to the kernels better. Great with a little black pepper and garlic powder as well!
I know Red Star is a brand of yeast (the kind you put in yeast bread) But do they make a “nutritional Yeast” as well?
They make a number of different types of yeast, including nutritional. I’ve seen it online at a number of sites, for example
I’ve never purchased from them, so I can’t comment on that particular vendor. You might find it at a local health food store or amazon.com as well.
I tried this and have the same problem as one of the other posters. It just settles right to the bottom. Had to add some butter to try and get it to stick and it didn’t then either. The yeast just coagulated with the butter in clumps, but again not stuck to the popcorn. But the flavor was good when I would rub a clump of buttered yeast onto each bite of popcorn :)
Does anyone have a tip on getting it to stick to the popped corn?
Sorry about that! I recommend two things (which I’ll add back to the recipe) — using a little more coconut oil, and then also placing the popcorn in some sort of container (like tupperware) where you can shake it to help the nooch coat the popcorn. Good luck!
Have you ever tried tossing the yeast in at the beginning, effectively popping it on to the corn? I might give it a try…tasted great when I could rub some on the corn but it did not stick at all…
I haven’t tried that, Chris, but I’m not sure how nooch responds when (essentially) boiled. If it’s not sticking, I would use a little more coconut oil.
Yes I love this recipe. I have been making this for years. I put 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast, 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a coffee grinder. I make my popcorn with 1tablespoon coconut oil and 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. Very additive.
Yup, this truly is the BEST butter-free popcorn! Nooch (love the name!) is fantastic, it also makes exceptional vegan garlic bread – mix olive oil, nooch, and minced garlic into a soft-butter consistency paste, spread on bread, broil and enjoy! This popcorn is a lot more bang for your calorie buck though – I highly recommend it! : )
This is basically how I have been making my popcorn for a few years now but I recently kicked it up a notch by adding a couple dashes of cayenne. OMG and I thought it was addictive before…
The best tip is to reduce the yeast in powder with your finger or whatever you like and THEN combine it with melted coconut oil and salt in a small bowl and mix it well!! Then you can drizzle this over your popcorn !!
This is the only way not to loose all the ingredients at the bottom of your bowl :)
What if you air pop your popcorn? Will this work? I have an air popper that I love, and I usually use a little vegan-friendly Earth Balance melted and tossed on the popcorn, which is delicious but I can’t always get an even distribution. Seems like air popping won’t work with the nooch?
Well, the coconut oil really helps the nooch to stick to the popcorn. But you could air-pop the popcorn and then toss it with a little melted coconut oil before adding the nooch if you’d like.
It is addictive b/c it mimics MSG in the brain
Being in my seventh decade, I have consumed a great deal of popcorn. In my bachelor day I ate it two or three times a day. Tonight I had my first experience with unbuttered “nooch” popcorn. I can say without reservation that it was one of the most disappointing, bad tasting waste of popcorn kernels. Never again , never again will I subject my taste buds to that nasty stuff.
I like to sprinkle a bit of soy sauce on the popcorn before adding the brewer’s yeast. It helps it to stick and adds a bit of saltiness, as well.
If you have nutritional yeast left I highly recommend this pizza from my vegan junk food cookbook by lane gold, which is by far the greatest thing,
Minced clove of garlic sautéed in two tbsp olive oil 4 tablespoons garlic 1 1/4 cup non dairy milk 1/2 cup vega broth 1/2 cup nutritional yeast 1 can white beans 1 teaspoon salt and pepper thrown on top of your favorite veegN crust and toss some vegan strips and pesto on top! Tooooooooo die for goodness.
But personally love this popcorn…
Tried your recipe and it was really good! Thank you!
My children and I loved our nooch popcorn! Didn’t even miss the butter!! Yummy!!
Thanks Brenna, that’s awesome!
Just wanted to share what I did that really helped the Nooch stick to the popcorn….I placed the Nooch & salt in a seed grinder and ground it for 20-30 seconds. Also, try adding some cumin for a delicious variation.
Thanks for your tips Liah! : )
After reading about this product I purchased flaked nutritional yeast at the Bulk Barn store and was much cheaper than buying it on Amazon. The price for 100g was $2.34. I am about to give it a try on my popcorn so I hope all the reviews I have read measure up to my expectations. I should add that I live in Ontario and I do not know if the United States have Bulk Barn stores. If not, perhaps there are other bulk food stores that probably carry this product. Good luck.
Nooch works best for me on top of stove popped corn, which is super easy to make. Then I pour it all into a large bowl and liberally douse first with nutritional yeast, then sprinkle with sea salt. Best advice so far? DON’T SHAKE IT DOWN. Grab off the top and it seems to naturally fall at a decent rate to nicely flavor the underlying popcorn. :)
Thanks for sharing, Brit! : )
I’ve been using nutritional yeast on popcorn for years and love it. At an art film theater in Bar Harbor, Maine there are shakers of it alongside the salt.
Lilianne, are you talking about Reel Pizza?! My dad used to live in Bar Harbor (until a year or so ago), and we love that place!
I’ve been making this for years! I LOVE NOOCH POPCORN. Here’s the deal, IMO/experience, you need more than one TBS of oil (I use coconut.) let it cook in extra oil, maybe 2-3 TBS. then, after it is done, top with more melted oil or even earth balance… THEN add sea salt or real salt or Himalayan salt, and LOTS of NOOCH. It will stick when it is oily. Another variation I’ve enjoyed is adding a sprinkling of cayenne pepper. Think spicy Cheetos, healthier version! Ooh, I’m going to make some NOW!?
Thank you Tracy, we’re so happy you like it as much as we do! Thanks also for sharing your experience with it, that’s super helpful! :)
I’ve been eating my popcorn with nutritional yeast for years. I use my Nutri Bullet to grind the yeast into a fine powder I add a bit of salt and keep it in a shaker. I airpop the popcorn add a bit of melted vegan butter and sprinkle away. Yum!
Awesome Kelly, thanks for sharing with us! :)
I’ve was introduced to nutritional yeast when a friend made popcorn with it. Delicious! Now I’m hooked on it. I sprinkle it on my salads, sautéed veggies and rice, and sometimes on my pasta. Yum!
Yay, isn’t it yummy?! :)
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!
You’re very welcome Leaann, we’re happy it was a hit with your family! :)
Nutritional Yeast is great. Gentle Chef has a recipe here https://thegentlechef.com/blog/?p=1779 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.
Thanks for sharing with us Lynne! :)
Made this today added a little cayenne pepper my husband loved it.
We’re glad it was a hit Nichole, thanks for giving the recipe a try! :)
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!
Hi Beianna, we’re glad to hear that! :)
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!
Thanks for sharing with us Gia — we’re happy you’re a fan!
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! ?
Yes, we totally agree! :D
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! :)
Can nooch be used on air popped popcorn?
We think that should work fine — we hope you enjoy the recipe!
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.
Interesting, I’ll have to try the blender tip!
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!
Thanks, Austin — we hope you enjoy it! And as for the camera info, here’s all the info: https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/photography-resources/ :)
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!
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!
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!
Will this work with an air popper?
So excited getting ready to try this now!
I am so glad I happened upon this 2 days ago. I made popcorn last night and used “nooch” and I have to agree, I sincerely enjoyed the taste without the butter. So much that this will be my “go to” seasoning on popcorn in the place of the butter. I had to laugh at the fact the the bottle clearly states it is good on popcorn and I never thought to do so until I read your blog.
Thanks for posting this on your site some time ago for the late comers like myself to enjoy. I look forward to trying some of your recipes.
I’ve made this a couple of times. We like it but it did make us all cough a bit due to the fine nutritional yeast. The first attempt In the air popper without oil was worse. I use coconut oil now which helps but my daughter still calls it cough corn?
Will this work with air popped popcorn?
I cam’t believe that in my three years of being vegan, I still haven’t tried nutritional yeast! I hear people talk about it all the time, so I might just have to try this recipe!
I make popcorn in an air popper. Will this work or does it need the oil to stick to the popcorn.
Unfortunately, I’ve found that oil is essential to helping the nooch stick to the popcorn.
Oh I’ve been making this for years. Except I melt a bit of butter in the corn pan after dumping the popped corn into the big bowl. Then I drizzle the butter and then sprinkle the salt and Nooch. My husband (ever wary of healthy things), actually asks for nooch popcorn now. We love it.
I’ve made this for years! With coconut oil, too! One of my fav ways to eat popcorn!!! :)
Ive never heard of this product but anxious to try it as, like you, love popcorn. We the popcorn salt right in the popper; can we add the Nooch the same way? Thank you for sharing.
Does anyone know the nutritional breakdown for this recipe?
OMG. I haven’t left a comment online anywhere in ages, but I have to tell you that my kids and I have called it “nooch” for years, and I thought we were the only ones!!
This is my favorite…… Try it with the tiniest drizzle of pure maple syrup. Sweet/salty/noochy
I’ve been making this with truffle salt, nooch and white cheddar popcorn seasoning, oh and melted ghee! It’s unreal!