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How To Make Popcorn On The Stove

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You know those nights when the kids have already had dinner and they need to go to bed in an hour, but they are still hungry? Yep…I knew you would know what I am talking about! 

Let me show you how to make popcorn on the stove. It’s a lifesaver for times like those…

pinterest pin for popcorn

Well, popcorn to the rescue! It is the perfect late night snack because it fills you up without making you uncomfortably full before bed.

It’s also nice and warm when it first comes off of the stove, and there is something comforting in that. And also take comfort in knowing that this recipe is clean eating compliant and kid friendly!   

Why Is Microwave Popcorn So Bad? 

Do you remember years ago when the news started talking about popcorn lung? It was a nickname for a condition caused by small particles released into the air when popcorn was microwaved.

It was said to cause lung damage and contribute to respiratory issues and was specifically caused by chemicals added to microwave popcorn for flavor.

Without going in to specifics about the chemical reactions, the fact that chemicals were being added to popcorn was enough for me to find another way to make popcorn! 

Healthy Snacks For Kids At School

My kids love popcorn and for a while I was sending popcorn in their school lunch. But I started noticing that they would eat the popcorn and bring home the rest of their food.

It turns out that they eat popcorn so slowly that they didn’t have time to eat the rest of their meal…I should have known, considering they take 2 hours to eat dinner…

a picture of popcorn in a bowl

I no longer let them take popcorn to school, but we still eat it at home! It’s perfect as a late night snack…but really, we eat it anytime of day. 

Healthy Late Night Snack

I already mentioned it, but it is worth mentioning it again! 

Popcorn is the PERFECT late night snack and even better at movie night! Here are just a few other reasons why it’s so awesome:

  • It takes a long time to eat – so if you snack when you are bored, this will keep you busy for a while!
  • You can make it in 5 minutes
  • Organic Popcorn kernels are cheap! Check out Trader Joes or the bulk bins at the supermarket
  • It’s the perfect vehicle for almost any flavor – add garlic powder, salt, nutritional yeast or cinnamon
  • It fills you up but doesn’t make you feel sick if you eat too much (that’s important to me!)
  • It just tastes good! 

Popcorn has many health benefits too! Read more about them HERE.

a picture of popcorn in a bowl

At this point…I’m thinking that I can’t believe I wrote a whole post about popcorn, LOL! Our love for popcorn must run deep!!

Stovetop Popcorn Needs A Little Oil

There is a science behind the reason why popcorn needs oil, but this is a food blog and not a science class 🙂 So I will keep it simple. 

The oil spreads out on the bottom of the pan and helps to evenly heat the pan. This way, the popcorn cooks evenly and there is less chance of burning. 

You can use olive oil, but we like to use avocado oil. I have also heard of using coconut oil but my kids don’t coconut flavor, so I haven’t tried it…let me know if you do! 

The other nice thing about using oil is that your toppings will stick easier. You can sprinkle some fine salt over the top right before serving. 

How Do You Make Popcorn Step By Step?

Making popcorn is surprisingly simple. Let me break it down for you! 

picture of two popcorn bags with popcorn

How to make popcorn on the stove:

Step 1: Add some oil to your pan or dutch oven. Measure your popcorn and add it to the pot

Step 2: Cover the pan (or dutch oven) and turn the stove on to medium high

Step 3: Watch it the whole time. Once it heats up, you will start to hear the kernels pop. 

Step 4: When the popping slows down, turn off the heat and remove the pan from the stove. 

Step 5: Remove the lid, let cool for a minute, then enjoy!

You will notice that there are unpopped kernels. There is no real way to prevent this. If you pop it until all kernels are popped, the rest of the popcorn will begin to burn. 

Just throw away the unpopped kernels (no you cannot repop them!) so no one accidentally eats them.

How To Make Homemade Popcorn Taste Good

If you are not a fan of plain popcorn, spray it the cooked popcorn with nonstick spray and sprinkle it with salt, nutritional yeast, garlic powder or cinnamon. 

You could try drizzling it with melted butter, but it will get soggy….and really…is that healthy?

Either way it is better than eating chemicals in your microwave popcorn! 

Now go on and give it a try! I would love to hear what you think! Also, be sure to let me know if you find any delicious flavor combinations. 


As always, grab the kids and get them involved! Here are just a few things they could learn from making this recipe with you! 

  • How to use the stove
  • How to make popcorn on the stove!

Looking for an online cooking class designed to teach kids real kitchen techniques? Check out our Apricot Kids course. Click HERE for the Deets!

Looking for more snack recipes? Check these out:

How to Make Homemade Tortilla Chips Crunchy and Delicious

Healthy Strawberry Muffins

How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds

The Best Clean Eating Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

popcorn in a red and white popcorn box

How to Make Popcorn On The Stove

Yield: 4 people
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 7 minutes

Stovetop popcorn is easy and delicious! Give it a try today!


  • 1 teaspoon Avocado Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Popcorn Kernels


1. Add 1 teaspoon Avocado oil to your pan or dutch oven.

2. Add 1 Tablespoon of popcorn kernels to the pan.

3. Cover the pan (or dutch oven) and turn the stove on to medium high. If possible, use a glass lid.

4. Once the pan heats up, you will start to hear the kernels pop. 

5. When the popping slows down, turn off the heat and remove the pan from the stove. 

6. Remove the lid, let cool for a minute, then enjoy!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 4 people
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 29Saturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g

Did you make this recipe?

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By on August 1st, 2019

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8 thoughts on “How To Make Popcorn On The Stove”

  1. 5 stars
    Such a fun cooking activity and I can vouch I used to make stovetop popcorn with my dad! I’m in my 40’s now and remember just how good it made the house smell and we both loved eating it too!

  2. 5 stars
    I remember making popcorn this way and will keep it in mind again. But I also had an amazing air-popper machine that we used a lot when my boys were little. It made such a great noise!


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