Nutrition

Nine Popcorn Recipes for Healthier Snacking

Get creative with these sweet and savory recipes.


It can be tough to find snack options that aren’t extremely processed and/or high in calories, sugar, sodium, or fat. Luckily, popcorn is actually a healthy snacking option when it’s not doused in butter. Popcorn is a whole grain, full of polyphenols, and relatively low in calories compared to other snack options.

While popcorn is delicious by itself, it can also be packed with flavor with the addition of different spices. If you’re looking to jazz up your bowl of popcorn, look no further than these healthy popcorn recipes.

Photo via Simply Shelli

1. Garlic and Dill Popcorn
via Simply Shellie

If you’re a fan of pickles, this recipe tastes similar. You can use stove-top or microwave popcorn—just make sure that it’s plain. Drizzle with dried dill, garlic, and butter, and you’ll have a tasty snack.

Photo via Jen’s Favorite Cookies

2. Toasted Coconut Popcorn
via Jen’s Favorite Cookies

For this sweet version, butter and sugar are melted together to create a sticky texture, while toasted coconut is sprinkled on top. If you prefer to use a more natural sweetener, such as maple syrup or honey, that will work, too.

Photo via Kitchen Concoctions

3. Sour Cream and Onion Popcorn
via Kitchen Concoctions

Instead of sour cream and onion chips, this popcorn has the same flavor without the fried element. The recipe calls for powdered buttermilk, but if you can’t find powdered buttermilk, you can use powdered milk. You may just have to add more salt because it’s sweeter than buttermilk.

Photo via Nithya’s Kitchen

4. Instant Pot Turmeric Popcorn
via Nithya’s Kitchen

The “sauté” mode on an Instant Pot is used to cook this popcorn, which is popped with coconut oil, turmeric, salt, and pepper. Once the popcorn is popped, shake it well so that the spices integrate well.

Photo via The Big Man’s World

5. Easy Cinnamon Bun Popcorn
via The Big Man’s World

If you’re looking for more of a filling snack, this recipe incorporates vanilla protein powder, in addition to cinnamon and sea salt. A blended protein powder or vegan brown rice powder work best for this popcorn.

Photo via Five Heart Home

6. Rosemary Parmesan Popcorn
via Five Heart Home

This popcorn recipe uses olive oil instead of butter and is tossed with black pepper, parmesan cheese, and fresh rosemary. To get the kernels out of the bag of popcorn, rip a tiny hole in the corner of the bag and shake them out.

Photo via Fit as a Mama Bear

7. Caramel Corn
via Fit as a Mama Bear

Instead of caramel corn that’s loaded with sugar, this version uses honey, maple syrup, and almond and peanut butters to keep it stuck together. It’s also topped with walnuts, pecans, and almonds for an extra crunch.

Photo via The Busy Baker

8. Oven Roasted Pizza Popcorn
via The Busy Baker

If you’re a pizza lover, this popcorn is the perfect pizza-flavored snack. It’s topped with oregano, basil, paprika, a dash of hot sauce, and more spices to give it that pizza zest. Besides eating the popcorn yourself, you can also pack it in small mason jars as a gift.

Photo via Celebrating Sweets

9. Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Popcorn
via Celebrating Sweets

Everything is better with chocolate, right? This recipe will cure your chocolate craving and is made with only four ingredients: dark chocolate, oil, popcorn, and sea salt.