Cheesy Dairy-Free Popcorn


Tony and I recently developed a new food addiction, popcorn. Easy to prepare and munch on while working, popcorn quickly became a daily dairy-free ritual in our home. We usually keep it simple with air-popped popcorn, a drizzle of coconut oil, and a sprinkle of sea salt. But once in a while, I get adventurous with the flavors, and make something like this cheesy dairy-free popcorn.

Cheesy Dairy-Free Popcorn Recipe - easy, healthy, vegan, allergy-friendly, and delicious!

The Secret to Cheesy Dairy-Free Popcorn

This easy cheesy dairy-free popcorn recipe gets its flavor boost from nutritional yeast. This is an ingredient that no one should be afraid of and that dairy-free and vegan foodies should adore. Though it can be overpowering, when used in moderation (note that some vegan recipes use a lot of nutritional yeast – please do not do this – it is a seasoning, not a flour!), nutritional yeast provides a savory quality that does give food a cheesy vibe. It works particularly well in recipes like this one, since it can be sprinkled on.

Nutritional yeast can be found in the bulk foods at natural food stores and some major grocers, though I often buy it online. Since it doesn’t weigh much, a good size container goes a long ways.

Cheesy Dairy-Free Popcorn Recipe - easy, healthy, vegan, allergy-friendly, and delicious!

Special Diet Notes: Cheesy Dairy-Free Popcorn

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, plant-based, vegetarian, and top food allergy-friendly.

Cheesy Dairy-Free Popcorn
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
I discovered this delicious popcorn recipe (and photo) from the Popcorn Board. Note that oil-popped popcorn only has 55 calories per cup! Skip the added margarine and season to taste with a little salt instead, and you've got yourself a downright healthy snack! 3 cups of popped popcorn is equivalent to one serving of grains. You can find more popcorn recipes at
Serves: 4 servings (10 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, grapeseed oil, coconut oil, or garlic flavored oil
  • ½ cup unpopped popcorn kernels
  • 1 tablespoon melted dairy-free buttery spread, optional
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder, optional
  • Fine sea salt, optional
  1. Place the oil and just 3 popcorn kernels in a large, heavy-bottomed pot with a lid.
  2. Heat the kernels over medium-high heat until at least one of the kernels pops.
  3. Add the remaining popcorn and cover.
  4. Once the corn begins to pop, shake the pot constantly over the heat to keep things moving.
  5. When the popping slows, remove the pot from the heat and dump the popcorn into a large serving bowl.
  6. Pour the dairy-free buttery spread over the popcorn, if desired, and toss to coat.
  7. Sprinkle the nutritional yeast and curry powder, if using, over the popcorn and toss to evenly distribute the seasonings.
  8. Season with salt, to taste, if desired.
  9. Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


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