Perfect Instant Pot Popcorn

This delicious, simple, and healthy fibre-rich instant pot popcorn is perfect for snacking. Made with just a few simple ingredients its gluten free, dairy free, and vegan!

instant pot popcorn in a paper bag on a wooden board with a book beside it for styling

Let’s Make Popcorn In An Instant Pot

 

There’s nothing like homemade popcorn. It’s warm, slightly crispy, and super flavourful fresh out of the pot. In this case it’s the Instant Pot!

While microwave popcorn is convenient, there are down-sides to this snack out of the bag. Instant pot popcorn is a great, healthier alternative to microwave popcorn and it’s so delicious you’ll make it again and again. 

side view of a brown bag of popcorn spilling out onto a wood board

Nutritional Benefits of Popcorn

 

Popcorn is a much-loved snack by many, but not all are equal when it comes to nutrition. Movie theatre popcorn for example can be loaded with extra calories and artificial flavourings, so while it’s fine to enjoy on occasion, making your own homemade popcorn, right from the kernel, is the way to go. 

Popcorn is actually a very nutritious food. Here’s what it contains:

  • B vitamins including B1, B3, and B6
  • Magnesium and iron along with other minerals
  • Antioxidants (specifically polyphenols) that can help reduce the risk of disease
  • Fibre…loads of it! To help boost digestive function and reduce the risk of heart disease

This tasty snack packs a nutritious punch, especially when made at home with natural whole-food ingredients! 

instant pot popcorn ingredients on a wooden board - popcorn kernels, coconut oil, seasonings

Instant Pot Popcorn Ingredients

 

Speaking of ingredients….here’s what you’ll need to make this delicious, hot, and perfectly crispy popcorn. When it comes to seasoning, the sky’s the limit, but I love to keep it simple so I’ll share what I used, and you can change it up if you like!

  • Whole popcorn kernels
  • Refined coconut oil or refined avocado oil (more details on oil choices below and why this is important!)
  • Sea salt
  • Seasoning salt of choice (I used my hubby’s Traegar Cirtus & Black Pepper spice mix which is actually for chicken but worked great for the popcorn)
  • Dried dill (optional) 

paper bag filled with instant pot popcorn

What kind of oil should I use for Instant Pot popcorn?

 

This is a very important thing to note when making Instant Pot popcorn as all oils have a different smoke point, meaning the temperature at which an oil will start to smoke and burn. Because you need high heat for making popcorn, you want to use an oil with a HIGH smoke point. 

This article from Masterclass is super helpful and shows the oils with the highest smoke points. I chose to give three of the best options for this Instant Pot popcorn. I used the first, but you can use any of the following or a mix of two, or all three!

  • Refined coconut oil (I used Nutiva’s Refined*)smoke point 450ºF
  • Refined avocado oil (Nutiva has a great option*)smoke point 520ºF
  • Ghee or Clarified Butter (great option if you do not need dairy free)- smoke point 450ºF

 

*contains affiliate links

Popped popcorn in an instant pot

How To Make Instant Pot Popcorn

 

To make the perfect popcorn in your IP you need to follow a few simple steps! Here’s what you’ll do:

 

1. HEAT your instant pot using the SAUTE setting. Press once to turn on SAUTE then press SAUTE again to adjust to MORE

instant pot with melted coconut oil inside

2.  ADD OIL to the instant pot and let it MELT and WARM for 2 MINUTES

3. ADD POPCORN KERNELS to the instant pot along with the salt and seasoning salt (if using), then STIR

instant pot with a glass lid on top and popcorn popping inside

4. COVER instant pot with a GLASS LID*** and wait another 2 MINUTES or so and the kernels will begin to pop. 

5. GENTLY SHAKE the instant pot after 1 MINUTE to redistribute the popcorn so more kernels pop, then pop another 2 MINUTES (or so) until popping ceases. 

Popped popcorn in an instant pot

6. REMOVE LID, transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with the dried dill, or top with melted butter/vegan butter, or other seasoning of choice. 

7. Enjoy hot!

 

***You can use ANY glass pot lid you have that will cover the instant pot (it doesn’t have to be a perfect fit), or you can buy the Instant Pot glass lid accessory here. (affiliate link)

close up side view of a brown bag of popcorn spilling out onto a wood board

More Seasoning Ideas for Homemade Popcorn

 

The combination of the hot freshly popped popcorn, sea salt, the citrus and black pepper*, and dill is seriously perfection. I also decided to drizzle my popcorn with a little bit of vegan butter for the cherry on top! 

Here are some more seasoning ideas for this delicious instant pot popcorn recipe:

  • Nacho Cheeze – Add some cheesy goodness to this popcorn by swapping out the seasoning salt for organic taco seasoning* and toss the hot popcorn with 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast* for a plant-based cheesy twist. 
  • Sweet Cinnamon – Change out the savoury for sweet by omitting the salt, seasoning salt, and dill, and using 1/2 tablespoon of coconut palm sugar with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon to toss with the hot popcorn (then drizzle with vegan butter for a touch of salty richness!).
  • Magic Caramel – make Pinch Of Yum’s magic date caramel sauce and lightly drizzle over the popcorn (just use salt, not the seasoning salt or dill), for some serious goodness. 

*contians affiliate links

I hope you loved this recipe and will try this amazing version of homemade popcorn…in the Instant Pot! Be sure to pin the photo below the recipe to save this one for later!

close up side view of a brown bag of popcorn spilling out onto a wood board

Perfect Instant Pot Popcorn

Yield: Makes 6-8 cups
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

This delicious and healthy instant pot popcorn is the perfect snack! It's gluten free, dairy free, vegan and simple to make.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1 tablespoon refined coconut oil or avocado oil* (see notes)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoning salt of your choice (I used Traeger Citrus & Black Pepper seasoning)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill (optional, but delicious!)

Instructions

      1. HEAT your instant pot using the SAUTE setting. Press once to turn on SAUTE then press SAUTE again to adjust to MORE. 
      2. ADD OIL to the instant pot and let it MELT and WARM for 2 MINUTES
      3. ADD POPCORN KERNELS to the instant pot along with the salt and seasoning salt (if using), then STIR
      4. COVER instant pot with a GLASS LID* and wait another 2 MINUTES or so and the kernels will begin to pop.
      5. GENTLY SHAKE the instant pot after 1 MINUTE to redistribute the popcorn so more kernels pop, then pop another 2 MINUTES (or so) until popping ceases.
      6. REMOVE LID, transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with the dried dill, or top with melted butter/vegan butter, or other seasoning of choice.
      7. Enjoy HOT!

Notes

  1. When making Instant Pot popcorn you need to use an oil with a HIGH smoke point. All oils have a different smoke point, meaning the temperature at which an oil will start to smoke and burn. Do not use regular butter or olive oil. Instead choose any of the following:
    Refined coconut oil - smoke point 450ºF
    Refined avocado oil - smoke point 520ºF
    Ghee or Clarified Butter - smoke point 450ºF
  2. Instant Pot has a glass lid accessory you can purchase (see product recommendations below) OR you can use ANY glass lid for a pot that you have that will fit the top of the instant pot. It does not have to be a perfect fit but should seal so that no steam releases when the popcorn is cooking.

Pin me!

Perfect Instant Pot Popcorn pin 2

 

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Christal // NITK

Author: Christal Sczebel

Christal is the creator of Nutrition in the Kitch. She's a Certified Nutritional Consultant, twice published author, gluten and dairy free recipe developer, food photographer, speaker, wife, and mama. Christal loves good food, all things wellness, and loves to travel. Her wellness philosophy is centred around balance and sustainable health, life's way too short for boring diets and restriction!

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