Cheesy Vegan BBQ Popcorn Recipe

cheesy vegan bbq popcorn recipe

This Cheesy Vegan BBQ Popcorn is easy to make and has a cheesy nutty taste from nutritional yeast and a smoky BBQ flavour from smoked paprika. I’m using popcorn cooked in steamed coconut oil (suitable for cooking) but you can use air popped popcorn if you prefer – the downside is the seasoning doesn’t stick to the corn. Suitable for vegan, dairy free, gluten free and plant based diets.

Nutritional yeast is high in B vitamins, certain brands have added B12. Most western diets, vegan or not, are low in B12 and could benefit from supplementation and B12 nutritional yeast is a delicious way to get your RDA. It may look like fish food and have an unfortunate name but nutritional yeast is a must have ingredient for a healthy cook.

Dairy free cheesy vegan bbq popcorn

Cheesy Vegan BBQ Popcorn Recipe

  • Total time: 10m
  • Yield: 2 servings
  • Calories: 130 cal


  • 25g Popcorn kernels
  • 1 tbsp Coconut oil, use steamed or other coconut oil that’s suitable for cooking
  • 2 tbsp Nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp Smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Garlic salt


  1. Melt the coconut oil in a heavy bottomed pan on a high heat.
  2. Add a few kernels and when they start to pop remove from the heat and then add all of the kernels.
  3. Wait 30 seconds and then return to the heat with the lid on to start popping.
  4. When the pops are 1-2 seconds between remove from the heat and put the lid ajar to let out the steam.
  5. Sprinkle on the nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, salt and garlic salt.
  6. Eat while it’s fresh as it will go chewy if left for more than a few hours.

Cheesy Vegan BBQ Popcorn Video Recipe


  • I use steamed coconut oil to make this as it has a high smoke point so is suitable for healthy cooking.
  • I recommend using a cooking coconut oil or other oil with a high smoke point to make this healthy dish.
  • Other oils with a high smoke point are avocado oil, rice bran oil, macadamia nut oil – all are over 250 °C / 480 °F
  • Use an unrefined salt that is high in minerals such as sea salt, pink Himalayan salt or rock salt.

Healthy cheesy  bbq popcorn suitable for vegans

To be honest, anything will taste good with these seasonings – garlic, salt, nutritional yeast and smoked paprika. I could add to most savoury dishes! But they do work particularly well with fresh crispy popcorn. If you’re following an oil-free diet it’s worth investing in an air popcorn machine. They are like a hairdryer only with a hole for popping corn and are great fun to use – but a tad messy.

cheesy vegan bbq popcorn easy recipe

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5 thoughts on “Cheesy Vegan BBQ Popcorn”

  1. Thanks for this recipe. It looks delicious. But it is in fact not suitable for a Plant-Based diet. Plant-Based excludes all oils!!

    1. Hello, thanks for your comment – but do you have a source for this? A plant-based diet in my opinion, and many sources I’ve looked at, excludes highly refined oils and contains a small about of natural unrefined oils such as cold-pressed and raw coconut oil but I’m happy to stand corrected. I do see lots of recipes that say plant-based use vegan cheese that is very high in unhealthy oils and other additives and I don’t consider that plant-based. I don’t often cook with oils (I haven’t made a cooked recipe with oil in over a year on the site) and this is just a small amount and I mention using air popped corn instead.

      1. Thanks so much for your reply. I’ve been browsing through your other recipes and did notice that you rarely use oil, which is awesome for me!! They all look so delicious, by the way.

        The diet is called Whole Foods Plant-Based, or Plant-Based for short. There is SO MUCH misinformation about it online, though, and many many blogs are labeling their recipes as plant-based when they’re not. They confuse Vegan and Plant-Based. The main difference is that the WFPB Diet is all about eating whole foods, and oil isn’t one of them. Oils are highly processed, no matter what type of oil. They are also extremely high in saturated fats. Another difference between being Vegan or Plant-Based is that Vegans can eat an unlimited amount of junk food and still be Vegan, but the WFPB Diet doesn’t include junk food.

        This diet is so amazing that it has changed my life in unexpected ways. If you have some extra time to read about it, I totally recommend it! It’s so interesting!

        Here are a few links:

        1. Hi LR,

          I totally agree that there is a lot of misunderstanding that plant-based and vegan are the same when they are not at all. This dilution of what plant-based means is frustrating.

          Many of the plant-based definitions are along the lines of it “excludes or minimises highly refined foods like bleached flour, refined sugar, and oil”.

          I do disagree that all oils are highly processed – I’ve made my own olive and coconut oil in the past.

          There is a big difference between chemically extracted oils using solvents and cold pressed, unfiltered and unrefined oils. Only a few years ago people were advocating eating a lot of coconut oil and I’ve always thought this should be something consumed in moderation. No oil diets have been growing in the last few years and it’s often discussed here. Any recipe with coconut oil can use coconut butter instead and I’ve made a recipe for this

          None of my recipes are fried in oil and it’s occasionally an optional ingredient that people can leave out, every recipe can be made without oil and I almost always write about this.

          Everyones has a different definition of a diet and that’s fine, I’ve been vegan for over 30 years and plant-based for over 10 of those and there are so many different ideas within those and different people saying foods that should be excluded for vegans – like mushrooms, figs, palm oil, soya and so on. You’ve just got to do what is right for you.

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