How To Make Stovetop Popcorn (Our Favorite Real Food Snack)

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Finally, a quick after-school snack that you can feel great about! This easy snack fills the hungry hole in my snacky kids without having to cook all afternoon. And I love it too!

A wooden bowl of popcorn.

You don’t need a Whirley popper or microwave to make the best homemade popcorn, just a simple enamel or stainless pot with a lid. This perfect stovetop popcorn pops in oil and has a light butter flavor.

Plus, our secret ingredient will POP this recipe to the top of your favorite snack foods too!

Why I Love This Recipe

My friend, Jen, owns a store in Arkansas called Squitzo, and they sell the most amazing specialty oils and vinegar, and a huge variety of other unique pantry items.

I especially love the popped popcorn gift set on her site, and after the first time I made it, it has become the standard popcorn recipe in our house ever since.

If you happen to check out the Squizito online store and decide to buy, be sure to use this link and add code “ROOTS” for a 10% discount at checkout.

If you have snacky kids, then you should never forsake stovetop popcorn. Popcorn is incredibly frugal to make from scratch, and even when using the gourmet ingredients in this recipe, you can make it for less than $3.50 for the whole batch!

A young boy being handed a bowl of popcorn.

Is Popcorn Healthy

Popcorn is not to be reserved just for movie night. It's a good whole grain snack that is high in fiber and is more filling than other popular snack foods with much fewer calories. Making it from scratch with quality ingredients will ensure that you keep popcorn the truly healthy snack that it is.

Microwave popcorn is full of artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives that not only aren't good for you but also depreciate the flavor profile of popcorn.

Those of you who have been doing the real food thing for a long time might be thinking, “Are you seriously teaching people how to make popcorn?”

But keep in mind that a lot of people were not raised eating real food. And for them, it may be a revelation as to how simple it can be. I am passionate about encouraging and helping people make the switch to real food. It's much healthier and more sustainable.

A woman holding up a tiny jar of truffle sea salt.

The Best Popcorn Ingredients

  • Organic Popcorn – As I mentioned in my post and video on growing a garden from grocery store food, all popping corn sold in the United States is non-GMO. Organic foods are always non-GMO, but non-GMO does not necessarily mean organic.
  • Squizito Butter Infused Olive Oil – This oil gives the popcorn a delicious melted butter taste, but coconut oil, avocado oil, or plain olive oil can also be used. I don't recommend using butter as it tends to burn before the popcorn is popped. If you want to use a different oil, you can melt butter in a separate pan and add it once fully popped.
  • Black Truffle Sea Salt – This is the secret ingredient that takes this popcorn to a whole new level. I know that truffles can be kind of a strong flavor but trust me, in this recipe, it is just right! Grab your butter oil and truffle salt from Squizito (don't forget the discount code “ROOTS” for 10% off!)

A woman stirring salt into a bowl of popcorn.

Supplies Needed

  • Popcorn Pan with a Lid – My favorite popcorn pan is a nice, deep lightweight pan with a lid. As I mention in my post on why I love cast iron, you know that I use cast iron for most of my cooking. You could use a Dutch oven for this recipe, but I find that a lightweight pan is easier to maneuver when making stovetop popcorn. Plus, because I'm sliding this pot back and forth on my flat-top stove, I don't want to risk scratching it.
  • Oven Mitt – This comes in handy in case your pan gets hot.

How to Make Stovetop Popcorn

  1. Pour oil into the bottom of the pan. 
  2. Pour in popcorn, and spread to make an even single layer on the bottom of the pan.
  3. Shake the pan back and forth to coat the popcorn kernels with oil. 
  4. Place the pan with the popcorn on the stove, put the lid on, and turn the burner heat to medium-high. Pro Tip: It cooks really fast so don’t walk away! 
  5. Wait until you hear the first kernels begin to pop, and then begin to shake the pan back and forth on the burner. Continue to shake it until the popping slows down to about one pop every two seconds. Be careful not to leave it on too long or it will burn the popcorn. 
  6. Remove the pan from the heat, and carefully remove the lid to allow the steam to escape. 
  7. Add the secret ingredient, Black Truffle Sea Salt, and gently toss.

A man taking a handful of popcorn from a bowl.

FAQ's

Does stovetop popcorn need oil?

The oil in this recipe adds flavor and nutrition. If you need to omit oil due to dietary restrictions, simply use enough water in the bottom of the pan so the popcorn is just covered but not floating, and follow the popping instructions above.

What kind of oil is best for stovetop popcorn?

Due to the higher temperature popcorn needs to pop, cooking oil with a high smoke point such as olive, coconut, and avocado oils are best for making stovetop popcorn.

Canola oil also has a higher smoke point, but I do not recommend it because it is highly processed ridding it of important nutritional benefits.

A bowl of popcorn flavored with dried herbs.

What should I use if I don't have black truffle sea salt?

Popcorn naturally has a mild flavor, so it compliments a variety of flavor options. Feel free to play around with seasonings to identify your family's favorite. Some popular combinations are as follows:

  • Ranch – Lightly sprinkle popcorn with a little dried dill, chives, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
  • Taco – Lightly sprinkle popcorn with a little dried cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt.
  • Parmesan Garlic – Lightly sprinkle popcorn with Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and salt.
  • Seasoning Blends – Do you have a favorite seasoning blend? Popular blends like “Everything Bagel” or steak seasonings work well for popcorn too!
  • Cinnamon and Sugar – Make it a sweet treat with a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar.

Cocoa cream pie with a slice removed.

Other Recipes From My Kitchen

If you make this recipe, be sure to give it a star rating on the recipe card below! Thanks!

A wooden bowl of popcorn.

How To Make Stovetop Popcorn (Our Favorite Real Food Snack)

Learn how to make the best butter flavor stovetop popcorn with a special secret ingredient. No Whirley popper or microwave needed!
4.41 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Stovetop Popcorn
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 7 servings
Calories: 79kcal
Author: Jessica Sowards
Cost: $3.50

Equipment

  • 1 6 Quart Pot w/Lid
  • Oven Mitt

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Organic Popcorn
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter Infused Squizito Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Black Truffle Sea Salt

Instructions

  • Pour oil into the bottom of the pan.
  • Pour in popcorn, and spread to make an even single layer on the bottom of the pan.
  • Shake the pan back and forth to coat the popcorn kernels with oil.
  • Place the pan with the popcorn on the stove and put the lid on, and turn the burner heat to medium-high. Pro Tip: It cooks really fast so don’t walk away!
  • Wait until you hear the first kernels begin to pop, and then begin to shake the pan back and forth on the burner.
  • Continue to shake it until the popping slows down to about one pop every two seconds.
  • Remove the pan from the heat, and carefully remove the lid to allow the steam to escape.
  • Add the black truffle sea salt, and gently toss.

Video

Notes

The oil in this recipe adds flavor and nutrition. If you need to omit oil due to dietary restrictions, simply use enough water to to the bottom of the pan so the popcorn is just covered but not floating, and follow the popping instructions above.
Due to the higher temperature popcorn needs to pop, cooking oil with a high smoke point such as olive, coconut, and avocado oils are best for making stovetop popcorn. Canola oil also has a higher smoke point, but I do not recommend it because it is highly processed ridding it of important nutritional benefits.
Popcorn naturally has a mild flavor, so it compliments a variety of flavor options. Feel free to play around with seasonings to identify your family's favorite. Some popular combinations are as follows:
  • Ranch – Lightly sprinkle popcorn with a little dried dill, chives, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
  • Taco – Lightly sprinkle popcorn with a little dried cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt.
  • Parmesan Garlic – Lightly sprinkle popcorn with Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and salt.
  • Seasoning Blends – Do you have a favorite seasoning blend? Popular blends like “Everything Bagel” seasonings work well for popcorn too!
  • Cinnamon and Sugar – Make it a sweet treat with a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar.

Nutrition

Serving: 7Cups | Calories: 79kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 84mg | Potassium: 32mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg
I want to share this beautiful life with others and teach them the lessons we've learned along the way. Welcome to Roots and Refuge, friend. I am so glad you're here.

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