Is Popcorn Vegan Friendly? The Answer May Surprise You!

Popcorn is a great choice for entertaining guests at parties or watching movies.

You might be wondering if popcorn can be eaten by vegans or guests who are vegan.

Here are the facts.

Is it still vegan if it’s wrapped in wrappers?

Is there anything else that makes it vegan?

Is Popcorn Vegan Friendly?

Popcorn Is Vegan

Yes, popcorn can be made vegan.

Popcorn is made from corn kernels.

Popcorn is made when the kernel is heated, and pressure builds up.

The outer hull then “pops” and becomes crispy and crunchy.

Popcorn that contains animal ingredients like butter or cheese is not vegan.

This is often the case for traditional popcorn sold at fairs and movie theaters.

Butter is used in many commercial popcorn brands.

Popcorn can be made vegan by using oil in place of butter.

You can also add flavor to your popcorn with other ingredients like sea salt and nutritional yeast.

You can experiment with your favorite herbs and spices.

How Do You Tell If Popcorn Is Vegan?

How Do You Tell If Popcorn Is Vegan

Even if you’ve only been vegan for a few months, you probably know how to read ingredient labels.

Popcorn labeled “made with real butter” and “cheesy” can be easily crossed off your wish list.

Next, you should check the allergens section.

The main reason a particular popcorn is vegan or non-vegan will be dairy.

This is usually indicated by the “Contains Milk” label at the bottom.

Do a thorough inspection of all ingredients to ensure no hidden ingredients, such as meat flavorings or other similar substances.

Ingredients You Should Check Out

How to Make Popcorn

Palm Oil

Although this product is plant-derived, strict vegans condemn its production of it.

It damages the natural habitats of animals and destroys soils in the area where it is produced.

Artificial Colors

Artificial colors are usually synthetic and do not come from animals.

However, vegans have ethical concerns about using animals for testing purposes.


Another product that can be synthetically manufactured is sucrose.

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It does not come from animals or plants, but it does use animals to test, which is contrary to the ethical views of vegans.

How To Make Vegan-Friendly Popcorn

How To Make Vegan-Friendly Popcorn

You are completely controlling the popcorn you eat as long as you don’t use any non-vegan ingredients.

It is simple and inexpensive to buy popcorn kernels then cook them.

This method is cheaper than buying the most expensive alternative, and you have complete control over what is added.

These are just a few of the many options available to make vegan-friendly popcorn.

Popcorn On The Stove

Popcorn can be made on the stove using oil or air popping the kernels to make it healthier.

Heat In Oil

You can find much vegan-friendly cooking oil available on the market.

We prefer coconut oil for sweet popcorn and olive oil or canola oils when adding savory flavors to our popcorn.

Heat oil on medium heat.

Add three test kernels to the pan.

After your test kernels are popped, add your remaining kernels to the container in an even layer.

Close the lid.

For about 20 seconds, turn off the heat until you hear popping.

The heat should be turned up again, ensuring the lid is still on.

Give the pan a good shake every now and then to ensure that nothing burns.

If the popping sound ends, turn off the heat and remove the lid.

Top with your favorite seasonings.


Air-Popped Popcorn

You don’t have to use oil for any reason.

Simply heat the popcorn without oil.

Pop your popcorn in a dry skillet as long as the heat is not too high.

This is the most healthful option and can be used for sweet, savory, and natural foods!

Microwave Popcorn

Although microwave popcorn has been around since the 1940s, it wasn’t until the 1980s that it became popular.

In 1981, the first “bag” for this product was patented.

Microwave popcorn is, in general, as vegan as any other kind of popcorn, despite its history.

We mean that it comes with the same caveats as any other type of popcorn: make sure to check its cooking method and what toppings it has.

Some toppings can make the product non-vegan, but microwave popcorn is more likely available in limited flavors.

Always check the label for a vegan-friendly label and take a closer look at the ingredients.

While it is possible to use palm oil, it is complex whether palm oil is vegan or not.

Many vegans might prefer to skip such corn.

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The chemicals used in the production of microwave popcorn have been criticized and the palm oil issue.

Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) are toxic in the coatings that make these bags oil- and water-resistant.

These chemicals can contaminate water, soil, and air and make bags slow to biodegrade.

These bags can also be very difficult to recycle.

It is possible to make microwave popcorn at home.

This allows you to avoid the use of palm oil, non-vegan products, and PFCs.

You simply need to add the raw kernels to a microwave-safe bowl.

Any microwavable container can work.

Cover with a vented lid and let it cook.

As long as the bowl retains enough steam, it can be covered with any type of cover.

You can either saute the corn in oil or let the heat cook the corn.

Once the corn has been popped, you have complete control over what toppings to put on it.

What Ingredients To Avoid?

What Ingredients Should You Avoid When Making Popcorn

Two things might prevent popcorn from being vegan-friendly

Popcorn Kernels Can Be Cooked In Butter Or Animal-Derived Oil: 

Contrary to popular belief, popcorn kernels don’t need to be heated in butter or oil to pop (as described below).

While some prefer popcorn made with butter or oil, other vegan-friendly options.

Non-vegan Flavorings and Toppings are added once the popcorn is cooked.

There are many vegan-friendly popcorn toppings that you can make yourself.

However, vegans should always check the label and ask the seller about the ingredients.

Popcorn Nutrition

Popcorn Nutrition

Popcorn is delicious and healthy.

In its original form, popcorn is gluten-free without any toppings or flavorings.

The United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service states that it has a high level of fiber (14.5g/100g), protein (12.94g/100g), as well as low levels of sugar (less than 1g/100g), saturated fat (5g/100g), etc.

This contrasts with many crisps, which are much lower in fiber protein and higher in saturated fat.

Popcorn is also 100% whole grain, so it’s an excellent choice for vegan snacks.

You can make your popcorn healthy or unhealthy depending on how it is cooked and what you add.

You can order your next batch of popcorn kernels and get creative with your popcorn creations.

If they’re really delicious, please share them with us!

Vegan Popcorn Brands

Vegan Popcorn Brands

Check out these top-rated vegan popcorn brands:

Angie’s Boomchickapop Sea Salt Popcorn

Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP salt popcorn only has three ingredients: popcorn and sunflower oil.

It is also gluten-free.

Pop Art Thai Coconut Curry Popcorn

Pop Art’s vegan, non-GMO and gluten-free popcorn is one-of-a-kind.

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This gourmet snack is a favorite of ours!

Skinnypop Sea Salt And Pepper Popcorn

There’s nothing better than classic sea salt popcorn.

But sometimes, you just need something more.

SkinnyPop’s non-GMO sea salt and pepper popcorn is a perfect choice.

Newman’s Own

Newman’s Own Popcorn offers two vegan options:

Tinder White Popcorn or Sea Salt Popcorn.

The rest of their products contain real milk and butter.

White cheddar is a common ingredient in microwave popcorn.

These add flavor to the final product.

365 By

The No Oil or Salt Added flavor of this brand’s only vegan popcorn.

They also have organic popped popcorn kernels.

Organic popcorn is just as healthy as regular popcorn.

Organic popcorn is high in Vitamin E and can be eaten vegan if no dairy products or other additives have been added.


Smartfood has only one flavor without any non-vegan ingredients.

It is Sweet and Salty Kettle Corn Smartfood popcorn.

Other flavors may contain milk products or non-vegan ingredients.

You should carefully read the label on all products to ensure they are safe and vegan.

Final Thoughts

How to Do Popcorn

Vegan doesn’t mean you should forgo delicious popcorn.

There are plenty of vegan popcorn brands you can choose from.

There are many great options for microwave popcorn and movie popcorn.

These popcorns can be vegan, but you need to be careful.

Vegan popcorn brands stick to their natural flavors.

They use vegan ingredients such as avocado oil to ensure that the popcorn is vegan.


  • Mary M. Cameron

    Mary M. Cameron is a registered dietitian nutritionist with a Bachelor's degree in Nutrition Science from the University of California, Davis and a Master's degree in Public Health Nutrition from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). With over 8 years of experience in the nutrition field, Mary is an expert in weight management, plant-based nutrition, and overall health and wellness. As an author at FitGAG, she shares her knowledge and expertise on a variety of topics, including nutrition plans, healthy recipes, and overall health and wellness tips. Mary believes that nutrition is the foundation of overall health and wellness, and she strives to inspire her readers to prioritize a balanced and varied diet, while also incorporating physical activity and self-care into their daily routines. Through her articles, Mary aims to empower her readers to make informed decisions about their nutrition and lifestyle choices, and to help them achieve their health and wellness goals.

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