Easy Stovetop Popcorn

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I’m not a fan of the chemicals, artificial flavors, and preservatives in microwave popcorn (actually, we don’t use a microwave at all… here’s why.) However, we do like popcorn as a crunchy, savory snack on family movie or game nights.

We decided to look up the old-fashioned way to make popcorn and discovered it’s actually not hard at all to make your own stovetop popcorn!

Is Stovetop Popcorn Healthy?

Healthy is a pretty relative term. I’ve learned over the years that what is healthy for one person, may not be so great for another. I avoided all grains for years while I worked to reverse my autoimmune disease, and now that I am in remission I can handle grains occasionally.

The good news is corn is a whole, unprocessed grain, and it’s easy to find organic, non-GMO options. And even when you buy organic varieties, it’s fairly inexpensive.

So far, so good, right? But what about healthy toppings?

Make Amazing Popcorn With Natural Ingredients

I consider popcorn to be a blank canvas just waiting for inspiration. On its own, popcorn has a nice toasty, nutty flavor, but it is a little dry and begs for a bit more. We’ve had a lot of fun experimenting with different ways to season our popcorn.

  1. The first step is to choose your fat. We’ve used grass-fed butter, coconut oil, and infused olive oil. I like the nutrients and healthy fat profile of those options.
  2. After drizzling on the butter or oil, I toss it with a combination of herbs, spices, and Himalayan salt. Here are some ideas for inspiration:

How to Make Stovetop Popcorn

There are several ways to pop popcorn, all of which are, in my opinion, better alternatives to pre-packaged microwave popcorn.

  1. You can still use a microwave and pop popcorn kernels in a brown paper bag. But like I said, we don’t have a microwave.
  2. Try a hand-powered stovetop popcorn maker like this one. (But I prefer using a pot I already have.)
  3. You can also use an air popper. This method is probably the fastest and easiest in terms of cleanup. It’s a simple countertop appliance that circulates hot air around the kernels until they pop.
  4. If like me you like to minimize the number of small one-use appliances in my kitchen, then stovetop popcorn is for you!

Tip: To make stovetop popcorn you need a large pot with a lid, coconut oil (or another healthy oil with a high smoke point), and the popcorn. Pour a little oil and just a couple of popcorn kernels into the pot and let it heat up. When the test kernels pop, you’ll know your oil is ready! Turn off the heat, add the remaining kernels, put on the lid, give the pan a good shake to coat them, and let it sit for a minute. Then turn the heat back on and wait for the popping!

Note: Keep in mind that when popcorn pops, it expands about 40 times its pre-popped size, so don’t overfill your pot! Half a cup of kernels will make about 14 cups of popped corn.

Stovetop Popcorn Recipe

Make delicious, crunchy popcorn at home with all natural ingredients with this easy stovetop recipe.
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 8 minutes
Calories 55kcal
Author Katie Wells





  • In a large pot on the stove, heat the oil and three popcorn kernels, covered, over medium-high heat.
  • When the three kernels have popped, remove the pot from the heat and add the remaining popcorn kernels.
  • Give the pot a little shake to evenly distribute the kernels across the bottom.
  • Cover the pot and let sit for one minute.
  • Return the pot to the heat and cook, cocking the lid slightly to allow steam to escape, and shaking the pot occasionally.
  • When the popping slows considerably, remove the pot from the heat, wait a moment for the popping to stop completely,, and pour the finished popcorn into a large bowl.
  • Top with desired toppings and enjoy!


Nutrition Facts
Stovetop Popcorn Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 55 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Sodium 1mg0%
Potassium 19mg1%
Carbohydrates 5g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 1g2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


You can use whatever oil you’d like for cooking the popcorn, but make sure it has a high smoke point — don’t use butter though. It will burn.

Do you make stovetop popcorn? What are your favorite toppings?

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


6 responses to “Easy Stovetop Popcorn”

  1. Denise Wiggins Avatar
    Denise Wiggins

    My daughter-in-law pops popcorn in her Instapot on the steam setting. It’s the same basic steps as the stovetop method, except once the test kernel pops, add the remaining kernels and replace the lid and let it pop until the popping slows or stops.
    I’ve tried it a couple of times and had it turn out great one time and not so great another (I don’t think I used enough coconut oil). I’ll definitely try it again.

  2. Terry Avatar

    5 stars
    Hi Katie. Your link is to the aluminum Whirley-Pop instead of the stainless steel. I know you wouldn’t want this. Just a heads up. I love our stainless steel one. For as often as we make popcorn, it suits us well. Also, I’ve purchased real cheese powder on Amazon that is very tasty. Amazon description:
    “Judee’s White Cheddar Cheese Powder 24 oz made from Real Cheddar Cheese, Non GMO, rBST Hormone Free, No Added Colorings, Made in USA, Dedicated Gluten & Nut Free Facility”. This is the one we get: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B086WLG9WG/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=wellnessmama-20&linkId=9c981df064b6e966e4a2aec622fd0a09&language=en_US

    My family loves it!

  3. Pam Avatar

    I would love to try this stovetop version, but unfortunately I have an electric glass cooktop so the “shaking” part is a no-no. LOL. Unless, of course, I lift the hot pot off the stove while holding down the lid and give it a few shakes. Has anyone else used a stovetop method on their electric stovetop? If so, has it been successful?

  4. Daisy Avatar

    5 stars
    I love stovetop popcorn! Just oil, organic corn and a little bit of salt. It’s the best way to make it and it smells delicious! We got rid of our microwave this year and have not looked back.

  5. Judi Olivier Avatar
    Judi Olivier

    For those who like the microwave option you can buy a glass popper online for about 12-13 bucks. Mine makes just enough for me and you can add butter to the lid which will then melt down into the corn. The lid has little holes in it for this purpose. So much better than the bag kind!

4.20 from 5 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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