Healthy Microwave Popcorn

Hi Friends!

Just popping in with another quick tip Tuesday for you! If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed one of my favorite snacks has resurfaced lately- POPCORN! I love it. A couple years ago I stopped buying the prepackaged popcorn and started making my own on the stovetop in my dutch oven. That was fine, but it was a lot of work! You have to constantly shake the pan around to keep it from burning and that thing gets heavy! So, last year I started making my own healthy microwave popcorn using a brown paper lunch sack!

Did you know popcorn is a whole grain? This easy microwave popcorn makes a nutritious and healthy snack.

You guys, this is so easy! Here’s what you do:


1. Measure out about 1/4 c popcorn kernals
2. Pour them into a paper lunch bag
3. Fold the top over several times and place in the microwave. Use the popcorn button and listen closely. When you hear the pops slow down to a couple seconds between pops, take it out.
4. Enjoy your popcorn! Season it if you wish…just don’t go overboard! I like mine just plain :)

If you want to add a TINY bit of oil to the bag and shake the kernals around in it before popping, you can. I’m talking like an 1/8th of a tsp. But I don’t think it’s necessary.


Side note- all 4 of my animals LOVE popcorn. Seriously obsessed.

Let’s chat: Do you like popcorn? Plain or seasoned? What’s your favorite popcorn flavor combo?


About Lindsay

Lindsay Livingston is a Registered Dietitian and new mom from Columbus, Ohio. On her blog, she shares simple, healthy recipes, nutrition tips, workouts and snapshots of her life. Follow her on Twitter @LeanGrnBeanBlog and Instagram @TheLeanGreenBean and be sure to subscribe via RSS or email so you never miss a post!


  1. I like mine seasoned. Lately my go-to flavor combination has been white cheddar and Old Bay. So good!
    Margot recently posted..Reflection 2012

  2. Someone told me about this tip a few months ago and I still have yet to try it but I LOVE it! It just seems so easy and really ensures you’re getting popcorn that isn’t entirely covered in oil or butter.
    Katie @ Talk Less, Say More recently posted..Meet Ellie!

  3. Popcorn is my all time favorite snack and to be honest, is my dinner so many nights when I’m too tired to cook. It’s great with cayenne ans nutritional yeast, plain, herb, salted caramel finishing salt & chocolate chips, or just a tiny drizzle of melted Earth Balance. Mmm!

    Add a side of chopped veg and a piece of lean protein and dinner is served. 😉

  4. I like mine SPICY! :)
    Presley @ Run Pretty recently posted..Hydration Station: Dasani Drops {Giveaway}

  5. My Mom tried this before and sent me some pitiful text about almost catching the house on fire it burned so bad. Emailing her this post!
    Erica { } recently posted..Detoxifying Berry Green Smoothie + Chia Seed Giveaway

  6. OMG awesome! Ok I actually didnt know you could pop popcorn without oil – I’ve never made my own – just the bagged stuff which I know is bad!
    Linz@ Itz Linz recently posted..How To Be A Faster Runner

  7. Popcorn is one of my very favorite snacks. We use an air popper, but it’s nice to know that making it in the microwave can be quick and healthy, too!
    Michelle @ Eat Move Balance recently posted..Friday’s Five: I did it!!

  8. Ahhh you have no idea how much I simply adore popcorn, I seriously even every single solitary night!!!
    I usually stick to the Costco singleserve a boxes but definitely want to give this a try!

    Do you think you can flavor it like you can stovetop popcorn?

  9. This is brilliant!! I cannot wait to try this! I used to have an air popper, but I forgot it at my parents house when I moved =(. I like mine plain, too, but sometimes I throw in some chopped jalapenos for some spice!
    Logan @ Mountains and Miles recently posted..Trail Report: Riverbend and Great Falls VA

  10. I still haven’t done the popcorn in a bag trick :) I want to try it! I like to top my popcorn with nutritional yeast. Nothing beats it.
    The Candid RD recently posted..Are Eggs Really Bad For Me? (Confused Day Tuesday)

  11. Do you know how much I LOVE POPCORN?!!!! It’s like an addiction! What a cool way to make it! Love it!
    Kierston recently posted..Time To Lace Up: Doing What Feels Right!

  12. I LOVE popcorn. My go to method has been to use the old-fashioned whirly pan thing (how’s that for a description? ) I put a tad of olive oil in the pan and then add salt when it’s all over. So good. I am going to try your method, though!
    misszippy recently posted..The 10-year rule

  13. I love homemade popcorn!
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  14. I have to try this…I gave up microwave popcorn years ago, but have burnt 2 skillets through making my own (like throwing the skillet out kind of burnt), so kinds swore off popcorn for a while.
    Carly @ Life in Training recently posted..Recipe – Bacon & Eggs Salad

  15. I love my seasoned! I sprinkle it with parmesan and garlic salt. Sooo good.
    Jenny @ The Wellness Journey recently posted..Motivation Monday {A weekend of victories & epic (but funny) fails}

  16. Just another example of how taking a few extra mins to control what goes into your food can be such a big difference.
    Brad Gouthro Fitness recently posted..How To Eat Sweets & Still Live Lean – Healthy Brownies Recipe – Gluten Free #LLTV

  17. This is how I make mine too! The pot/stove thing is way too much effort. I like to add cinnamon, cocoa powder, cacao nibs, and xylitol for a sweeter pop, or sriracha for some heat!

  18. I’m a popcorn-eating machine! I seriously just love it and usually have it as a snack in the evenings most nights :) I always make mine on the stovetop but hate how easily it burns. I had never even thought of putting it in a bag in the microwave – and since you don’t need to use any oil, it’s so healthy! LOVE :)

    (I get super passionate about my popcorn :P)
    Molly @ Just Your Average Athlete recently posted..Tidbit Tuesdays + a SUPERCANDY Winner

  19. I like to add a little chayanne pepper on mine! It adds just the right amount of spiciness. I will have to try making homemade popcorn. Ive never done it before.
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  20. I like mine with a tiny bit of extra virgin olive oil, rosemary, and a little Parmesan cheese! It’s so tasty.

  21. I have seen this done a couple of times now.. I need to try it. However, I have an air popper that is usually just as easy. Then again, all ya need here is a bag and the micro! Thanks for sharing!
    Haley @ fullnfit recently posted..Twenty Things I’m Thankful For..

  22. I love making stove top popcorn with coconut oil…it’s so buttery tasting! But I’m sure more than enough oil and salt so I should definitely try your version sometime :)
    Alexis @ Hummusapien recently posted..Paleo Almond Butter Zucchini Bars

  23. I LOVE popcorn – such a fun snack when you’re craving salty, crunchy goodness but aren’t in the mood for fresh cut veggies or something. I have an air popper at home that I use for mine, but would totally go this route if I didn’t have that! I like to add salt and sometimes pepper and always some grated parmesan, so yummy!
    Jess recently posted..My run-purpose. Lately.

  24. I love popcorn! Will definitely need to try this out :)
    Lindsay @ Live. Love. Nutrition. recently posted..The Last Long Run: 12 Miles

  25. Cathy F says:

    Popcorn on the stove cooked in coconut oil + a bit of salt is DIVINE!

  26. i love popcorn! i have a whirly popper that we use alot- this method looks easier, though the fire hazard scares me. now i’m in the mood for popcorn tonight!
    sarah k @ the pajama chef recently posted..SRC: Quick Chocolate Pudding

  27. Love this idea! Also for the cheap factor.
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  28. I am not a huge fan of popcorn. I hate that it gets stuck in my teeth – but my hubs loves the whirly pop.
    Kelly @ Cupcake Kelly’s recently posted..HLB Book Club

  29. I love popcorn! Thanks for posting this, Lindsay. I never knew that you can make popcorn using a paper bag. Very resourceful! Sounds pretty easy and simple too. Thanks again.
    Helen recently posted..My Weekend

  30. I make mine in pressure cooker. My boyfriend mentioned this method- will have to try because pressure cooker requires shaking and stirring like dutch oven.
    dixya @ food, pleasure, and health recently posted..Marvelous in my Monday & Few News Products to Try

  31. I didn’t know dogs and/or cats could eat popcorn! I thought it was one of those things they should avoid like Chocolate or Onions – well clearly not since yours are obsessed! lol. Oh I am having flashbacks of the days when I used to order the XL XL XL tub of popcorn at the movies and eat the whole thing before the movie even started! 😉
    GiGi Eats Celebrities recently posted..Angelina Jolie and Kale: Separated At Birth

  32. I bought bags and popcorn a few weeks ago but haven’t actually made myself popcorn tonight. I think tonight’s the night!
    Katie @ Live Half Full recently posted..What’s in my caddy?

  33. What a great idea! I’ve heard so many bad things about the store bought microwave popcorn, this is so easy and so healthy! Who would have thought!
    Lisa @ RunWiki recently posted..A letter of apology to my body

  34. I wonder-could you make this with the white paper sacks too? Has anyone tried it with those??
    Stephanie recently posted..February Foodie Penpals Reveal Day

  35. This is my most FAVORITE way to make popcorn! It’s so much easier than dragging out the air popper. Also, I reuse the brown paper bags each time. It’s awesome. It’s probably healthiest before I put a smidgen of butter on it, right? Haha. Love it!
    Ashley @ The Preppy Runner recently posted..GF Triple Chocolate Cookies

  36. I LOVE Popcorn!
    I like to make it stove top with a little olive oil, popcorn salt & season it with nutritional yeast & garlic powder.
    There’s not better indulgence!

  37. That’s cool… and so healthy without all the added butter and salt in the pre-packaged kind. Very cool.
    Pavement Runner recently posted..#RnRPAS: Half Marathon Recap

  38. I have to try this!
    Akaleistar recently posted..Queen of Fashion

  39. I do this same thing!

    My favorite way to eat it though is to add a little bit of garlic grapeseed oil, some rosemary blend seasoning, and a sprinkle of shredded parmigiano reggiano. Seriously sounds gourmet, but so easy!
    Carrie @ Season It Already! recently posted..I Eat Chocolate Every Day

  40. Yum!! I am a total popcorn lover too :) I typically make my popcorn on the stove, and it takes just about as long as the microwave!
    Tara | Treble in the Kitchen recently posted..Salmon Burgers as my New Go-To

  41. Spicing it up different ways is fun! Love the last pic with your dog!!!
    Jody – Fit at 55 recently posted..Gratitude Monday & Friends, Weather AND YMX!

  42. so need to try this brown bag method! of course, I like adding reese’s pieces to soften in my popcorn… hmmmm, will need to replace that and try different seasonings. Like black pepper sounds yummy.
    Christine @ Oatmeal Bowl recently posted..10 Ways to Help Relieve Anxiety Symptoms [Naturally]

  43. Yes! I love homemade microwave popcorn- I make it the same way, and then sprinkle with a little extra virgin olive oil and nutritional yeast… sooo good!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..Wiaw Munchkin Edition + Carrot Chips

  44. This is awesome. I too am a popcorn lover (among other things :)).
    Thanks for sharing!!
    Cori @ olivetorun recently posted..Writing In The Raw

  45. I LOVE brown bag popcorn. It’s so easy, and who would have thought?! I discovered that over the summer after a tip from a friend, and I’m never looking back.
    Ang @ Nutty for Life recently posted..Marvelous In My [Half-Marathon] Monday

  46. We enjoy reading the great variety in the suggested ingredients to finish the popcorn flavoring. Some spices are healthier—cinnamon and turmeric top our list. We unplugged the microwave and use an air popper for the health of it. And, we try to find corn labelled non-GMO. That’s a challenge.


  1. […] theNo air popper?  No problem.  Head over to Lindsay’s site for directions on Healthy Microwave Popcorn! […]

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  4. […] I first made some Microwave popcorn using Lindsay’s method of a lunch bag and kernels in the microwave. I was really impressed at how easy and sinless this popcorn treat was. I will definitely be making this again OFTEN! Check out the recipe here. […]

  5. […] With only a few calories per bite, whole grain, air-popped or homemade microwave popcorn is perfect for those mindless carried munchies.  Add a sprinkle of ground cinnamon, cocoa powder, […]

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  7. […] How to make Homemade Healthy Microwave Popcorn – How to make healthy microwave popcorn using just popcorn kernals and a brown paper lunch bag […]

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  8. […] How to make Homemade Healthy Microwave Popcorn – How to make healthy microwave popcorn using just popcorn kernals and a brown paper lunch bag […]

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  9. […] How to make Homemade Healthy Microwave Popcorn – How to make healthy microwave popcorn using just popcorn kernals and a brown paper lunch bag […]

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  10. […] How to make Homemade Healthy Microwave Popcorn – How to make healthy microwave popcorn using just popcorn kernals and a brown paper lunch bag […]

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  13. […] HAVE to try this.  I already had brown paper lunch bags and popcorn kernels, so as soon as I read Lindsay’s post on her The Lean Green Bean blog, I ran into the kitchen, where I did […]

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