Cheesy Vegan Popcorn (gluten-free)

Image of two white bowls of Cheesy Vegan Popcorn on light pink plaster background, surrounded by scattered pieces of popcorn, a linen napkin and a glass jar of nutritional yeast.

I realised recently that there are hardly any savoury snack recipes on my blog. As someone who has a definite savoury tooth, this is unacceptable! So this week I wanted to share a recipe with you that I’ve been making a variation of at home for years – Cheesy Vegan Popcorn.

If you’ve recently turned vegan, you’ll know how frustrating it can be not eating the same snacks you used to love. For me, savoury snacks were my favourite foods and I found it tough giving up those that contained dairy. Therefore when I first turned vegan, I started making this popcorn as a substitute for all the snacks I loved. Pretty soon I couldn’t stop! It’s delicious: savoury, salty and creamy. It’s rich without being heavy, and flavourful without being overpowering. The perfect combination!

I make this Cheesy Vegan Popcorn as a movie night snack, or for evenings when we’re having friends over. The Healthful Ideas inspired this recipe with her own cheesy popcorn, which I loved but wanted to make my own version of. It requires minimal effort: simply mix the seasoning together, pop the corn and go! It’s a great alternative to store-bought popcorn as it’s really cheap to make and contains healthier ingredients. Plus I always find store-bought too salty – with this recipe, you can control that yourself.

A Note on Ingredients

This Cheesy Vegan Popcorn is exactly that – vegan. Therefore please don’t expect it to taste just the same as dairy cheese. Whilst it does have a really delicious savoury taste, it’s not the same as eating cheddar! The cheesy flavour comes mainly from the nutritional yeast used in this recipe. If you’re vegan you probably know this ingredient well as it’s a staple in many dishes! It has a savoury, cheesy flavour and is often used to flavour vegan snacks. You can find it in most health food stores, and in addition many supermarkets now sell it, too.

Cheesy Vegan Popcorn

This delicious Cheesy Vegan Popcorn is the perfect movie night snack. Made with nutritional yeast and smoked paprika, it's quick to make and quicker to eat!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time7 mins
Total Time12 mins
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American, comfort food, gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian
Keyword: easy, popcorn, quick, vegan cheese
Servings: 2 people


  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil or vegan butter
  • cup popping corn kernels


  • In a small bowl, mix together the nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, turmeric and sea salt. Set aside.
  • In a large saucepan with a lid, heat the coconut oil on a medium-high heat for 1 minute.
  • Add three of the popping corn kernels to the pan, put the lid back on and shake it (using oven gloves - it gets hot!).
  • When you can hear that the kernels have popped, remove the lid and scoop them out with a spoon.
  • Add the rest of the corn kernels to the pan, replace the lid and shake vigorously.
  • Wait for them to pop, shaking the pan every 5-8 seconds to stop any popcorn burning.
  • When there is a break of about 6 seconds between the popping, remove the pan from the heat. (Accept that you won't have popped all the corn - it's just the way it goes!)
  • Place the popcorn in a large bowl, sprinkle over the seasoning (adding a little more melted coconut oil/vegan butter if needed) and mix with a large spoon to combine.
  • Enjoy!

Looking for more savoury vegan snacks? Try my Hot & Colourful Root Vegetable Chips, 4 Layer Vegan Summer Dip, or my Healthy Hummus!

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