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Instant Pot Popcorn (+ 7 Yummy Seasonings)

Skip the store-bought microwave popcorn and make Homemade Instant Pot Popcorn with just two simple ingredients. It’s easy, creates less mess and in a matter of minutes you’ll have delicious popcorn that turns out perfect every single time.

For many people, the best part of movie night is all about the snacks! Unfortunately, if you are trying to eat healthier, most traditional snacks like potato chips, nachos and candy just are a good choice for you. But there is great news! This Instant Pop Popcorn is super delicious, healthy and easy snack that will allow you to enjoy movie night without feeling like you are missing out!

This Instant Pot Popcorn recipe is just one more reason I love my Instant Pot. It has become my favorite kitchen appliance! I use it to so many easy instant pot recipes, Corn on the Cob, Instant Pot Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Instant Pot Lime Cilantro Rice and now my favorite snack of all…popcorn!

Why We Love this Recipe

  • Healthy snack: Instant Pot Popcorn is a healthy, gluten-free, whole grain snack that’s low calorie, high in fiber and contains more antioxidants than some fruits and vegetables. And with this recipe, you get to control what type of oil is used to pop it. It’s a much healthier option than prepackaged microwave popcorn often contains PFOA and is loaded with artificial flavors.
  • Super easy: There’s no need for a special kind of popcorn maker. If have an Instant Pot or a Ninja Foodi, this recipe is as easy as it comes. Two ingredients and less than 15 minutes is all it takes to make your own popcorn. 
  • Tasty: You can control what goes into your popcorn when making it and flavoring it. Experiment with different flavors by using your favorite seasonings to make perfect popcorn.

Recipe Ingredients

  • ½ Cup of Popcorn Kernels
  • 2 Tablespoons Oil (see best oil suggestions below)

How to Make Homemade Instant Pot Popcorn

  1. Set the temperature setting on your Instant Pot to the saute mode and immediately place the oil inside your instant pot.
  2. Allow the oil to heat up for about 2 minutes, or until your instant pot displays the word “hot” before placing your popcorn kernels, in a single layer, into the melted oil in the inner pot.
  3. Stir for about 1 minute before putting a clear glass lid on the top you can see through.
  4. In about 2-3 minutes of heating while covered, you will start to hear the popcorn kernels pop.
  5. Let it pop for about 5 minutes or until most of the remaining kernels have popped. Carefully remove the popcorn from the pot, serve and enjoy!

Store leftovers in an airtight container for a day or two.

What Kind of Oil is Best?

With Instant Pot popcorn, you only use 2 tablespoons of oil per batch. There are several oils you can use, though some are healthier options than others while others may better to avoid.

  • Healthier oils with high smoke points to consider avocado oil, olive oil and especially unrefined coconut oil.
  • Less healthier options are refined oils like vegetable oil, peanut oil canola oil, grapeseed oil.

Why does my Buttered Popcorn Get Soggy?

The key to being able to add melted butter to your popcorn, just like movie theater popcorn, without it getting soggy is to use clarified butter or ghee. The water that’s in butter is what makes your popcorn soggy, not the fat. It’s super easy to make your own clarified butter with these simple steps

  1. Melt a stick of butter and allow it to simmer in a pan stove top.
  2. Once you the see the milk solids (looks like foam) scrape it off using a slotted spoon.
  3. Turn the heat down to medium and put the pan on the stove. You’ll need to really watch it at this point so that it doesn’t turn brown.
  4. Allow to simmer for a few more minutes, removing any remaining solids that come to the surface.
  5. Remove and cool and you’ve got your own homemade ghee to drizzle over the top of your popped corn.

Because all the milk solids have been removed you can store leftover ghee at room temperature in an airtight container.

instant pot popcorn in bowl in front of instant pot

Toppings for Pop Corn

It is super fun to set up a popcorn station on movie night. Set out a large bowl of popcorn for each person and let the whole family join in choosing their own toppings. Using homemade toppings gives this popcorn a gourmet touch that’s even better than the popcorn you get in movie theaters.

If you’re adding popcorn salt or other seasonings, you’ll want to add them to hot popcorn. The steam helps the seasonings stick. You can also spritz it a little with a little clarified butter or some extra virgin coconut oil or olive oil to help dry seasonings stick better.

  • Cajun Popcorn: Sugar free Cajun seasoning blend or make your own using paprika, garlic powder, chili powder and a little salt.
  • Italian Popcorn: Parmesan cheese with a dry Italian seasoning blend
  • Southwest Popcorn: Chili powder, cumin and Tajin
  • Curry Popcorn: Curry powder, turmeric and cayenne
  • Ranch Popcorn: Dry Ranch Salad dressing seasoning mix
  • Potpourri Popcorn: Add in some dried fruits, nuts and seeds to add more protein and flavor
  • Chocolate Popcorn: Drizzle your popcorn with a little bit of melted sugar free chocolate chips.

Tips for Making Instant Pot Movie Popcorn

  • You’ll want to be able to see your popcorn kernels as they are popping to ensure they aren’t burning. If you don’t have the Instant pot glass lid, you’ll want to remove the regular lid to take peek at it every 2-30 seconds after the first couple of minutes. 
  • Popcorn won’t pop in your instant pop? Older kernels are one the main reasons you have kernels that don’t pop well. Even when they do, they can have a stale taste. For best results, always use fresh popcorn kernels. 
  • To get a more even pop, after every minute of popping, stir the popcorn or shake your instant pot to move around the popcorn. Unpopped kernels like to sometimes rest on already popped popcorn, which results in them not getting enough heat to pop.
  • If you want buttery popcorn without adding it once it’s popped, you can add 2 tablespoons of butter with the oil to the Instant Pot. Once it’s melted, you can add your popcorn kernels. You can’t use butter alone because it has a lower smoking point and burns quicker.
  • Store leftover popcorn kernels in an airtight container in a cool fry place in your pantry. Don’t store them in the refrigerator, because it can cause them to dry out and ruin quicker.

Want More Healthy Snack Recipes?

popcorn in a gray bowl with overflowing onto counter

Instant Pot Popcorn

Published By Stephanie
Skip the store-bought microwave popcorn and make Homemade Instant Pot Popcorn with just two simple ingredients. It’s easy, creates less mess and in a matter of minutes you'll have delicious popcorn that turns out perfect every single time.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 2 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 14 mins
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 139 kcal

Equipment

  • Instant Pot

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup popcorn kernels
  • 2 T Oil see notes for type of oil

Instructions
 

  • Set the temperature setting on your Instant Pot to the saute mode and immediately place the oil inside your instant pot.
  • Allow the oil to heat up for about 2 minutes, or until your instant pot displays the word “hot” before placing your popcorn kernels, in a single layer, into the melted oil in the inner pot.
  • Stir for about 1 minute before putting a clear glass lid on the top you can see through.
  • In about 2-3 minutes of heating while covered, you will start to hear the popcorn kernels pop.
  • Let it pop for about 5 minutes or until most of the remaining kernels have popped. Carefully remove the popcorn from the pot and serve!

Notes

  • Heathier oils with high smoke points to consider avocado oil, olive oil and especially unrefined coconut oil.
  • Less healthier options are refined oils like vegetable oil, peanut oil canola oil, grapeseed oil.

Nutrition

Calories: 139kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 2gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 56mgFiber: 3gSugar: 1gCalcium: 1mgIron: 1mg
Keyword snacks
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Recipe Rating




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