Pop-Nooch: Healthy, Plant-Based “Cheesy” Popcorn

To snack, or not to snack – that is the never-ending question. When it comes to this yummy, plant-based healthy popcorn recipe, the answer always comes pretty easily. SNACK! I love popcorn. Light, airy, crunchy with endless topping possibilities; I could eat it everyday. I even had a popcorn bar at my wedding. That was one of the few wedding details my husband and I agreed on right away (maybe he knew that I would finish planning the wedding as long as there was popcorn on the other side of that insanely stressful rainbow). I’m always exploring different popcorn topping options. I recently made a peanut butter popcorn that truly did not go well. I learned natural peanut butter doesn’t melt no matter how many times you put it in the microwave telling yourself “it just needs 30 more seconds.” It was very, very messy.

But this vegan popcorn recipe is the apple of my eye. This is where my love affair with nutritional yeast truly began. For those who do not know, nutritional yeast (also known as nooch) is a supplement popular for vegetarians and vegans. It is packed with vitamins and gives food a cheesy, nutty flavor. I like to think of it as a healthy “cheese spice.” Who could dislike a cheese spice? So look past its weird name and give this snack a chance. 

This healthy, popcorn recipe is vegan thanks to vegan butter. You can find it in the health food section of most grocery stores. I do not notice a difference in taste between vegan butter and dairy butter, but maybe butter connoisseurs can. You can use whichever butter you prefer. I have also made it with dairy butter and thought it was equally delicious.   

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Quick Recommendations:

I decided to try nutritional yeast as a popcorn topping after trying Nu Foods @nuvegfood in Denver. Ok, Ok – I’ll be the first to admit that their popcorn recipe is way better than mine. Mine is simply a quick, basic, yummy, healthy snack. It cannot compete. (Oh boy, now you have to look past the weird name and the fact that I just insulted my own recipe). You can find Nu Foods healthy, plant based snacks here: https://www.nuvegfood.com/

Since I’ve dug this recipe a pretty deep hole, let me mention one last thing before I wrap this up. The Salbree Original Popcorn Maker is the way to make popcorn. This is not an ad and I do not receive any commission from this recommendation, I simply love the product. The last popcorn maker I owned had a lid that melted (yes, melted). So popcorn would go shooting across my kitchen anytime I tried to make it (my dogs were thrilled). I’ve been using the Sabre popcorn maker for 1.5 years now and have never had a problem with it. It is mess free, hassle free, and consistently makes perfect popcorn. 

Without further digging…

A Few Notes about Pop-Nooch: Healthy, Plant-Based “Cheesy” Popcorn:

  • Pro-tip: When melting the butter, use a microwavable safe mug. The handle will make it easier to pour so there will be less mess.
  • I used vegan butter in this recipe, but any butter will do the trick!
  • Put the butter in the microwave for ~30 seconds
  • Nutritional yeast is good for you…it is full of protein and B vitamins. Don’t take my word for it, check out what Healthline has to say: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/nutritional-yeast
  • Looking for a sweeter snack, check out Lu’s Fuffy Ultra Soft Sweet Vegan Star Bread: http://ifyougiveagirlanoven.com/sweet-vegan-star-bread/
  • Pour ½ the popcorn, butter, and nutritional yeast into bowl – mix well. Doing this in two parts will help it spread evenly throughout the popcorn.

Pop-Nooch: Healthy, Plant-Based “Cheesy” Popcorn

5 from 2 votes
Recipe by Ifyougiveagirlanoven@gmail.com Course: SnackDifficulty: Easy
Cooking time



This “cheesy” snack is healthy and so easy to make. Give it a pop and it will quickly become your go-to favorite.


  • ½ cup popcorn kernels (about 16 cups popped)

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • ⅓ cup nutritional yeast

  • sprinkle of salt (optional)


  • Pop ½ cup popcorn kernels
  • Melt butter
  • Place ½ of the popped popcorn into large bowl. Pour ½ butter over popcorn. Sprinkle ½ of the nutritional yeast onto popcorn. Stir and repeat!
  • Sprinkle salt to salt if desired

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