Vegan Popcorn

Dive into a vegan popcorn paradise! Explore all the best brands and discover how to tell if your favorite movie theater popcorn or microwavable popcorn is vegan. Plus, check out our super easy homemade popcorn recipe!
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A glass bowl of popped vegan popcorn.
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Three cheers for popcorn! Pip, pip, hurray! When it comes to choosing a healthy and satisfying snack, vegan popcorn is pretty much top of the list. It’s easy to turn snack time into a guilt-free fiesta when you choose a whole food option like this one—swapping out dairy-filled butter for ingenious plant-based alternatives that’ll make your taste buds do a happy dance. As for tasty toppings and sensational seasonings, the list is almost literally endless!

From movie nights to midnight munchies, these vegan popcorn brands are taking the ordinary to extraordinary. Ultimately proving that you don’t need even a small amount of animal products to create an incredible popcorn flavor. We’re sharing the best vegan popcorn brands that promote delicious taste, kindness, and the joy of guilt-free snacking!

If you’re anxious to learn more about this ancient snack food (we are!), keep reading!

Is Popcorn Vegan?

Popcorn itself, in its most fundamental form, is vegan-friendly. It is made from dried corn kernels, a plant-based ingredient. Popcorn is essentially a whole grain snack that undergoes a simple process of heating to create the familiar, fluffy popcorn we know and love. This basic version of popcorn is entirely free from animal products.

However, when we talk about the vegan status of popcorn, it’s essential to distinguish between the popcorn itself and the toppings or flavorings that can be added to it, especially when you’re enjoying it pre-seasoned from a microwavable bag or at a movie theater. The concern for vegans often arises from the toppings commonly associated with popcorn, such as butter, which is not vegan. Of course, popcorn can be easily (and deliciously) made with vegan butter.

Is Movie Theater Popcorn Vegan?

Movie theater popcorn can be a bit of a conundrum for vegans. Movie theater popcorn is usually vegan, but not always. While popcorn itself is a plant-based snack made from corn kernels, the issue lies in the preparation and toppings. In its most basic form, plain popcorn is undoubtedly vegan-friendly. It’s the buttery topping that often poses the problem.

Traditional movie theater butter is made butter flavors giving it that signature savory, buttery taste. Surprisingly, many butter flavorings are in fact vegan!

Here are some key things to consider when determining if movie theater popcorn is vegan:

  • Butter Substitute: Most theaters use synthetic butter flavorings that don’t contain dairy, but some do use animal-based butter. It’s worth asking the theater staff about their specific buttery topping to confirm whether it’s vegan, especially if you go there frequently.
  • Toppings and Flavors: Beyond butter, theaters may offer a variety of flavorings and seasonings for popcorn. While some of these flavorings are vegan-friendly (such as nutritional yeast, salt, or hot sauce), others might contain non-vegan ingredients like cheese powders. Always check with the theater staff or the ingredient labels if available.
  • Customization: Many theaters allow you to customize your popcorn order. If you’re unsure about the ingredients in the pre-made popcorn, consider asking for a plain, unbuttered batch and then adding your own vegan-friendly seasonings or toppings.

If you’re concerned about the vegan options at your local theater, you can always bring your own vegan snacks. Just be sure to check the theater’s policy on outside food and beverages before you do so.

Vegan Microwave Popcorn Brands

We love that these brands are vegan-friendly as well as delicious! All of these microwave popcorn brands can be found online or in your local grocery store. Add your own tasty toppings once popped or enjoy simply as prepared.

Golden Fluff

The Golden Fluff brand offers a premium snack known for its irresistibly light and crispy texture. Crafted with high-quality, non-GMO popcorn kernels, it offers a perfect balance of buttery flavor that delights taste buds. Kosher, sugar-free, vegan-friendly, and dairy-free.

A red and orange box of Golden Fluff microwave, vegan-friendly popcorn against a white background.
Traditional and tasty Golden Fluff vegan-friendly microwave popcorn (Source: Golden Fluff Amazon page)

Jolly Time

This well-established popcorn brand is recognized for its wide variety of delicious popcorn products. Known for using high-quality ingredients, Jolly Time offers a tasty and reliable popcorn experience for popcorn enthusiasts of all ages. The Simply Popped version is dairy-free, gluten-free, and kosher using only three simple ingredients.

A white and blue box of Jolly Time Simply Popped Sea Salt popcorn against a white background.
Vegan-friendly Simply Popped Sea Salt Popcorn by Jolly Time (Source: Jolly Time Amazon page)

Nature’s Crush

Popcorn by Nature’s Crush is a wholesome snack brand celebrated for its commitment to organic and natural ingredients. They focus on guilt-free indulgence with unique non-GMO flavor profiles. Choose from three delicious blends: Herb, Tex-Mex, and Zesty. Also, PFOA-free, gluten-free, and all-natural.

A black and red bag of Nature's Crush vegan microwave popcorn against a white background.
Herb and spice-filled Nature’s Crush Microwave Popcorn in Original Blend 23 (Source: Nature’s Crush Amazon page)

Popsmith

This amazing popcorn is the rockstar of snacks, whipping up small-batch, gourmet goodness that’s like a party in your mouth. With flavors that dance from sweet to savory, it’s a taste adventure in every kernel. Get ready to snack like a boss with Popsmith’s playful and premium popcorn creations! Both of Popsmith’s flavors, Oh Sooo Buttery and Classic Kettle, are both vegan! They even sell an adorable popcorn popper and Movie Night Bundle. Totally in love!

Two blue and purple boxes of Popsmith popcorn next to a purple popcorn popper and a bowl of prepared popcorn on blue napkins.
Super fun Popsmith Vegan Kettle Popcorn, along with their signature popcorn popper! (Source: @ilovepopsmith on Instagram)

Smude’s

Smude’s popcorn is a flavor sensation known for its unique use of cold-pressed sunflower oil, creating a wholesome and delicious every day snack. This brand takes pride in its non-GMO popcorn kernels and three simply healthy ingredients. With a perfect balance of crispiness and natural goodness, Smude’s popcorn delivers a tasty treat for those seeking a wholesome snack.

A white and green box with a sunflower of Smude's all natural microwave popcorn against a white background.
Simple and delicious Smude’s All Natural Microwave Popcorn (Source: Smude’s Amazon page)

Best Vegan-Friendly Packaged Popcorn Brands

Already prepared vegan popcorn is great for grab-and-go, parties, and anytime snacking. These best-selling brands are popular for a good reason! Their flavors are fantastic, though keep in mind that not every flavor is vegan-friendly. We’ve listed the most scrumptious plant-based options below:

Trader Joe’s

Although Trader Joe’s only has this one vegan-friendly bagged popcorn option, it’s still worth noting. It’s inexpensive, yummy, organic, and only has three ingredients: popcorn, olive oil, and sea salt. If you’re in TJ’s snack aisle, make sure to grab a bag (or two!) for an anytime, savory snack option.

A green bag of Trader Joe's organic olive oil popcorn against a white background.
Organic Olive Oil Prepared Popcorn by Trader Joe’s (Source: Trader Joe’s Amazon page)

Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop

Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop popcorn is known for its popular flavors and commitment to using non-GMO popcorn. The brand delivers a satisfying and crunchy snack experience. Vegan-friendly flavors include Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn and Salted Maple Kettle Corn.

A purple bag of Angie's Boom Chicka Pop Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn Popcorn against a white background.
Sensational Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn by Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop (Source: Angie’s Amazon page)

Husk Organics

This delicious popcorn brand is a natural delight, known for its commitment to organic farming and sustainable practices. Grown without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, their non-GMO popcorn kernels result in a clean and wholesome snacking experience. Husk Organic offers a guilt-free and flavorful popcorn option for those who appreciate the goodness of organic ingredients. Choose from unique Pink Himalayan Salt, Kale and Broccoli, and Cayenne and Ginger flavors.

A pink, orange and green bag of Husk Organics popcorn against a white background.
Three scrumptious flavors of vegan Husk Organics popcorn! (Source: Husk Organics Amazon page)

Lesser Evil

The superhero of guilt-free vegan snacking, Lesser Evil is rocking organic and non-GMO ingredients like capes. With flavors that are like a party for your taste buds and none of the fake stuff, it’s popcorn that’s seriously good and seriously good for you. It’s hard to choose between flavors like Chocolate Candy Candy, Homer’s Blend, Himalayan Pink Salt, White Chocolate and Matcha, White Cheddar, Avocado-licious, Fiery Hot, Oh My Ghee, Himalayan Gold, Himalayan Sweetness, Pumpkin Spice, and Celebration!

A bag of Lesser Evil popcorn next to a brown and black box of more Lesser Evil bags of prepared popcorn on a white background.
One of the fantastic vegan flavors of Lesser Evil Popcorn (Source: Lesser Evil Amazon page)

Safe and Fair

The sweet snack rebel! All the taste, none of the allergens. It’s popcorn that plays by its own rules – safe, fair, and totally irresistible! With mouthwatering flavors such as Strawberry Shortcake, Birthday Cake, Dark Chocolaty, Honeycrisp Apple Pie, Key Lime Pie, and Wedding Cake, you could serve any of these as an after-dinner dessert! Non-GMO, gluten-free, kosher, and absolutely awesome!

A white bag of Safe and Fair vegan popcorn in Strawberry Shortcake flavor against a white background.
Strawberry Shortcake Safe and Fair Vegan Popcorn (only one of the delicious dessert flavors)! (Source: The Safe and Fair Food Company Amazon page)

Skinny Pop

This popcorn brand is a great choice if you love a light and airy snack with simple and natural ingredients. Made with just popcorn, sunflower oil, and a sprinkle of salt, it’s a minimalist’s dream. Skinny Pop offers a guilt-free and delicious popcorn experience without compromising on flavor. Skinny Pop sells White Cheddar, Sea Salt & Pepper, Kettle Corn, Twist of Lime, and Organic flavors.

A green, white and red bag of Skinny Pop popcorn against a white background.
Vegan-friendly Skinny Pop Popcorn (Source: Skinny Pop Amazon page)

Vegan Popcorn Seasoning Options

If you’re a die-hard popcorn fan, there’s nothing better than finding new vegan popcorn seasonings to up the ante. Whether it’s in a powder, liquid, or spray, you can always have your own way with your favorite flavor enhancers. Pro-Tip: Spray your popcorn with a plant-based oil, vinegar, or even water before sprinkling on your seasonings for more staying power!

Powdered Vegan Popcorn Seasonings

Three plastic bottles of Tabitha Brown all-purpose seasonings with black lids on a white background.
Vegan and salt-free seasonings by Tabitha Brown/McCormick (Source: McCormick Amazon store page)

Pour Over Toppings

Vegan Popcorn Savory Sprays

Vegan Popcorn Brand FAQs

Is Skinny Popcorn vegan?

Some flavors (but not all) of SkinnyPop popcorn are vegan. The vegan-friendly options to look out for are Original, Dairy-Free White Cheddar, Sea Salt & Pepper, and Sweet & Salty Kettle.

Is movie theater popcorn vegan?

Sometimes. Movie theater concession areas that use a plant-based oil (such as canola, olive, coconut, or vegetable) instead of animal-based butter are vegan-friendly. A number of theaters also use margarine, which is usually accidentally vegan. Your best bet is to double-check the website or ask an associate at the concession stand before buying.

Can vegans eat popcorn?

Yes! Popcorn in its natural state (without any butter) is simply corn. It’s the toppings that are put on the finished popcorn that are sometimes not vegan-friendly.

Where can I find Tabitha Brown vegan popcorn?

Tabitha Brown’s popcorn at Target was a limited release, and we are very hopeful that they will bring it back one day!

Popcorn Kernels: Back to Basics

When it comes to un-popped kernels, there are endless brands to choose from both in stores and online. Here are a list of the most popular, tried-and-true brands. If you look closely at each one, you’ll discover that there are at least a few different varieties to choose from, including white, yellow, red, and blue!

Popcorn Kernel Colors

  • White – Smaller, crispy, crunchy, neutral flavor, compact. Best for creating caramel and kettle corn.
  • Yellow – Large (pops to 45x its size), inexpensive, and easy to eat. Choose when making microwave, movie theater, and stovetop popcorn.
  • Red – Smallest, soft, hull-less, crispy, and added antioxidants. A wise choice if popcorn hulls get stuck in or on your teeth.
  • Blue – Not as well known, but have the highest amount of antioxidants and the most neutral flavor. Pick this type when using a home popcorn maker or if you want to cover in your own seasoning blend.

Fun Facts About Popcorn

  • Did you know that popcorn pieces have been discovered in Mexico that date to approximately 3600 B.C.? Whoa!
  • Corn kernels need a temperature of about 400-600 degrees to pop.
  • Most corn used for popcorn is produced in the United States, specifically in Kentucky, Iowa, Nebraska, Indiana, and Illinois.
  • To pop properly, the kernels need 14% humidity to burst open and create popcorn we can eat.

More Salty Snack Recipes to Try

Vegan Halloween Recipe Peanut Butter Popcorn With Chocolate Chips and Candy
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Homemade Vegan Popcorn

Author: Gina House | World of Vegan
5 from 6 votes
If you've run out of bags of microwave or pre-packaged popcorn, don't despair! It's super easy to make your own popcorn at home. All you need is a microwave or stovetop and some tasty popcorn kernels. This recipe is quick and pop-ilicious any time of day!
A glass bowl of popped vegan popcorn.
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 2

Equipment

  • 1 sturdy pot with lid 3-6 quart size

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil , coconut, canola, or grapeseed are best
  • ½ cup popcorn kernels

Instructions

  • Place a sturdy pot on the stovetop over medium high heat.
  • Add a tablespoon of oil (with a high smoking point, like coconut, canola, or grapeseed) to the bottom of the pan with 2-3 popcorn kernels. Cover with lid.
  • When you hear the kernels popping, take off of the heat, remove the lid, and add a half cup of kernels. Place back on heated stovetop. Cover and shake well.
  • While the popcorn pops, make sure to continue to shake occasionally so that the popcorn won't burn. When the time between pops begins to slow down, that's an indication that it's just about done.
  • When the popcorn is done, take off of the heat, and turn off the burner. Pour popped corn into a large bowl and add any toppings you wish. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Microwave Popcorn Method: Fill a brown paper sandwich bag, silicone popcorn maker, or glass popcorn popper with 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels. If using a bag, fold the top over at least twice before placing in the microwave. Cook in microwave for 1.5-2.5 minutes, depending on the power of your machine. Once you hear a lull in popping, that’s when to take the popcorn out. Pour into a good sized bowl and season with vegan butter or oil, salt, and other seasonings of your choice. This portion serves 1-2 people.
  • Seasonings and Toppings: Vegan butter, flavored oil, nutritional yeast, vegan cheese, dry herbs and seasonings, melted chocolate, candy, pretzels, vegan caramel, or any thing you like!

Nutrition

Calories: 214kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 112mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 0.4g | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 1mg
Course — Appetizer or Snack
Cuisine — American
Love this Recipe? Leave a Rating!And follow @Vegan on Instagram for more.
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Recipe Rating




6 comments
  1. 5 stars
    Cannot think of a movie night without a bag of this. We often run out of popcorn. With this recipe, we won’t have that problem any more! Thanks!

  2. 5 stars
    So much better than store bought!

  3. Andrea White says:

    5 stars
    So simple and so tasty!

  4. 5 stars
    Love the roundup of vegan popcorn brands and the easy popcorn recipe! Love the topping ideas!!

  5. 5 stars
    Popcorn is my all-time favorite snack! I love all of the new vegan popcorn options available now – yay! Hope you love this simple recipe and Happy Popping!

  6. 5 stars
    Olive oil, nutritional yeast, and salt!! The best vegan popcorn! Thanks for the suggestion of dried herbs… delicious!

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