“Nooch” (Nutritional Yeast) Popcorn
“Nooch” (a.k.a. Nutritional Yeast) Popcorn is super-easy to make on the stovetop, it’s naturally vegan and gluten-free, and I’m convinced it tastes even better than butter popcorn!
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 nutritional yeast.
How To Make the BEST Butter-Free Popcorn | 1-Minute Video
Nutritional Yeast Popcorn Ingredients:
Easy peasy! To make nooch popcorn, you simply 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 subtly-sweet undertone that everyone always loves. But avocado oil, olive oil, or safflower oil are good alternatives too.
- Nutritional yeast: So here’s the thing — not all brands of nooch are created equal. I’ve long been a fan of Bragg’s, but do some taste testing and see what you love best.
- 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.
- 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 Nooch Popcorn:
To make nooch popcorn, 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 pour a bunch of nooch into a large food storage container, along with your desired amount of salt. Set aside.
- Heat the oil. 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. To test when it is ready to go, just drop 3 or 4 popcorn kernels in the oil. 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 immediately so that the kernels don’t burn 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.
- Serve warm and enjoy! This popcorn 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, but will still taste good.)
Want to mix things up with 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!
- Everything bagel seasoning: Always delicious.
- Cayenne: Add a generous pinch of cayenne powder in with the nooch for a subtle kick.
- Parmesan cheese: Not vegan, but always a winner on popcorn.
- Other seasonings: Taco seasoning, Cajun seasoning, Italian seasoning, Za’atar seasoning, curry powder — whatever sounds good! Seasoning blends are a fun way to jazz up your popcorn.
- Finely-chopped fresh herbs: Basil, thyme, rosemary, cilantro, parsley or even mint can all be delicious!
- Truffle oil: Drizzle a little on the popcorn after it has popped (and before shaking it up with the nooch) and the flavor is unreal.
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 coconut oil, or enough to thoroughly coat the bottom of the pan
- 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 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).
If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!
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