Whole Food Plant-Based Living

Whole Food Plant Based, No Oil Popcorn & Seasoning Options

The crunchy, delicious treat of a bowl of popcorn doesn’t have to be unhealthy when you find out how easy it is to add flavor to plain – no oil, air-popped popcorn. No butter, oil or salt needed.

Sharing more on what I eat while following a whole food plant based diet using no oil. WFPB


When trying to eat heathy, choosing what to snack on can become a challenge. Fruit and cut-up veggies may only hit the spot sometimes. On days when I need something more, I head to my microwave and make a batch of no-oil, no or low salt seasoned air-popped popcorn.

Popcorn is a whole-grain food that can be eaten as part of a WFPB healthy diet. Unsalted, fat-free, air-popped popcorn is a healthy snack that only becomes unhealthy when it is coated in oil, butter and salt. It’s higher in antioxidants than many fruits and vegetables, it’s a good source of fiber and it’s a whole grain.

Bowl of No Oil Air popped popcorn with plant based seasoning on it.
Microwave Popcorn No Oil With a Spritz of Bragg Liquid Aminos and Nutritional Yeast

How to Make WFPB No-Oil Microwave Popcorn In Minutes

Microwave popcorn popper and popcorn

My go-to way of making a popcorn snack in the afternoon or for a Netflix binge is in a Presto PowerPop that goes in the microwave. Mine is an older model, now they are made clear with a black top.

Special paper discs called Concentrator Cups are sold separately(see end of post), but are needed to make the popcorn. One disc can be used over and over again. You will know when to change it when the popcorn placed in it no longer all gets popped.

I prefer white popcorn over yellow and look for organic on the label when I can find it at the supermarket or in bulk at my local health food store.

How Much Popcorn Do I Add to the Microwave Popper?

I add 3 level tablespoons of popcorn to the popper. In my microwave it takes a little less than 2 minutes to pop. I use the “Popcorn” option button on the microwave and it comes out perfect. If I don’t use this button and leave it in too long, it burns. So I have learned to listen and stop the microwave when the popping slows down to a few seconds between pops.

Brown Paper Lunch Bag Popcorn Popper

If you don’t have a microwave popper, you can also use a brown paper lunch bag to pop popcorn in the microwave. Here is how you do it:

  • Place 3 tablespoons of popcorn in the bag and fold the top over a few times to make sure it will stay closed.
  • Set in the microwave and hit the Popcorn setting button.
  • Depending on the wattage of your microwave and how much popcorn was added to the bag will determine how long it takes. Usually only a minute or two, so stay with it and listen for when the popping slows to only a few seconds in-between pops. Remove it then so it does not burn and pour the popped corn into a bowl.
  • If all the kernels were not popped, keep them in the bag and repeat the process.

No Salt Seasoning for Microwave Popcorn No Oil

No Salt or Oil Popcorn Seasonings

These are my go to seasonings when I make a bowl of popcorn, which is a few times a week or more.

They are my favorites as you can use any dry seasoning, spice or herb to add flavor to plain air-popped no oil popcorn while keeping the snack healthy.

When adding any dry seasoning to air-popped popcorn, you first have to mist the popped popcorn very lightly with a liquid.

For No Salt Seasonings: I use lemon or lime juice, vinegars, or water.

For Salted Seasonings: I use diluted Bragg Liquid Aminos, pickle juice, soy sauce or Sriracha when I want a little salty taste for my popcorn.

I pour water or one of the liquid choices into a small spray bottle like the blue glass one in the above photo.

When spraying the popcorn with a liquid, one or two sprays is enough as you only want enough water or liquid to make the dry seasoning stick to the popcorn. If you add too much, the popcorn will lose its crunch.

No Salt Seasoning Options

First choose what liquid you are going to spritz lightly on your bowl of popcorn, then add one or more of the following and then toss to coat the popcorn.

Nutritional Yeast:

If you have never used nutritional yeast, it has a nutty, cheesy flavor and adds vitamin B12, potassium, and protein to your popcorn. It is an inactivated form of yeast commonly used to leaven bread, nutritional yeast looks like red pepper flakes, only yellow, or powdered Parmesan cheese, with which it shares a similar flavor, despite being non-dairy.

Most supermarkets sell nutritional yeast. If you can’t find it, here is the kind I use: Nutritional Yeast

Dr. Gregers Spice Mix:

I made this mix after reading Dr. Gregers book, How Not to Diet. The first time I made it, I didn’t like it, now I do. I sprinkle it on everything for a no-salt seasoning with a little kick.

Dill Weed or Any Dried Herb: Mix the herbs with a sprinkle of onion and garlic powder. As you can see from the empty bottle, I like using dill the most and need to get more.

Chili-Lime Popcorn: Combine Sriracha, lime juice, and lime zest to add some spice to your popcorn.

Ciao Popcorn: Sprinkle a little bit of garlic powder and Italian seasoning over popcorn.

Nacho Popcorn:  Mix nutritional yeast, garlic and onion powder, cumin, paprika, and chili powder and then mix well and you may think it tastes almost like Doritos.

Low Salt Seasoning Options for Microwave No Oil Popcorn

Seasons for no oil air or microwave popped popcorn.

When I want to add a salty flavor to my air-popped popcorn, I do so very sparingly and am amazed that using only a small bit of any of these seasonings ups the flavor.

Bragg Liquid Aminos comes in large bottles and also a small spray bottle size. I like the spray bottle that makes it easy to lightly mist the popcorn so the addition of a dry seasoning will stick to the popcorn.

  • Liquid Aminos can be diluted with water to lessen the amount of sodium. I mix it in the spray bottle with water 50/50 mix.

Old Bay Popcorn: This is my favorite way to enjoy a bowl of slightly salty air-popped popcorn. I give the popcorn a very light spray of water and then sprinkle on about a 1/8 -1/4 teaspoon of Old Bay Seasoning and mix well.

Cheesy Popcorn: Spray popped popcorn one or two times with diluted liquid aminos and then shake nutritional yeast over it. Mix with a large spoon so the nutritional yeast sticks to the popcorn.

Everything Popcorn: Lightly spritz popcorn with diluted Bragg Liquid Aminos and then shake on garlic powder, onion powder, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds to copy the flavor of an everything bagel. If using the actual Everything But the Bagel Seasoning that does have salt in it already, I spritz with water not the liquid aminos.

These are only a few seasonings that I have tried and liked, but the fun is in experimenting to come up with new mixes to enjoy your air-popped popcorn so you do not miss the unhealthy butter, oil and salt laden popcorn that you may have eaten in the past.


My WFPB – No Oil Popcorn Making Supplies

Next Friday for my WFBP, no oil post, I will be sharing what I have found makes it easy to enjoy and actually crave a plate or bowl full of vegetables.

Until then, if you want to find some new WFPB, no oil meal recipes to try, check out the recipes that this mother and daughter WFPB, no oil team post: Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures

Bowl of No Oil Air popped popcorn with plant based seasoning on it. Text overlay says WFPB No Oil Popcorn Seasoning Options

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13 Comments

  1. You may want to think about growing dill in your boxes. It is VERY easy to grow and dry. So, much better than what you buy in the store and saves a lot $$. Loved this. I make popcorn daily to have around for snacking. But, just season with sea salt. Will give these a try. Thank you!

    1. Hi Amy – I love dill and did try growing it in a pot a few times, but it has always died when every other herb I have planted has thrived. I do have an empty square in one of the elevated planters that I can plant some and see if it grows there.

  2. You have become such an inspiration for me. I find myself wanting to eat late at night because I am a real night owl. I look at your picture and tell myself I won’t be able to reach my goals if I don’t eat right. Thanks so much for helping me with suggestions on making my food more tasty and for another website for recipes.

  3. I am so impressed that you have really made a lifestyle change and 100% followed through with it.
    i’m guessing feeling physically better is a wonderful feedback loop – that stops any feeling of missing out on something in its tracks.

    I think you might have an extra word in the sentence: Unsalted, fat-free, air-popped popcorn is a healthy snack that only becomes unhealthy when it is NOT coated in oil, butter and salt.

  4. Love this post. Your advice for healthful eating could be extending the lives of people, and improving the quality of life for many, Diane! Keep it up.

    Why have I never thought of diluting Bragg’s Liquid Aminos and putting it in a spray bottle?! Thank you.

    We love air-popped corn at our house. I recently upgraded an old (like 1980s) popper with a WestBend Popcorn On Demand $49 model, and I like it so much that I bought another as a gift. Does a great job quickly. Our favorite popcorn is Arrowhead Mills organic yellow.

    1. Hi Barbara – I had one of the WestBend poppers back in the day too. :-) It worked great. I will look for the Arrowhead Mills next time I need to get more popcorn. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  5. Thanks Diane! I am more of a snack/small meal person than a dinner/lunch person so I will be using this info. I truly appreciate the fact that (like your DIY’s) you’ve done all the heavy lifting and I can just follow your directions! Saves me a bunch of time and increases the odds that I will follow through!

    Thanks Again 😊✨

    1. Hi Robin – Thanks :-) I enjoy sharing what I have learned and that works for me in hopes that it may inspire others to live their best life from decorating, food, DIY and more.

  6. I use a fair amount of nutritional yeast, but I don’t care for the Braggs brand. I think it tastes bitter. I like the KAL unfortified brand the best. I am also not a big fan of the Sari brand that a lot of the you tubers seem to like. I have found there are big differences in how the different brands taste, so if people just trying it for the first time don’t like it, try a different brand.

    1. Hi Pam – Thank you so much for sharing about the KAL brand of nutritional yeast. I can’t say I like the Bragg brand very much either, but thought all brands would taste the same. I will look for it and give it a try. :-)