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Believe it or not, you can make your own delicious, low-fat microwave popcorn using standard popping corn and a brown paper lunch bag. It works perfectly.

Recipe Summary

2 mins
3 mins
5 mins

Skip the store-bought stuff and make this incredibly simple microwave popcorn from-scratch. 

Microwave Popcorn Ingredients

You can make this microwave popcorn with just three, easy-to-find ingredients. Of course, you can adjust the recipe to suit your flavor preferences and what you have on hand. Here's what you'll need:   

Unpopped Popcorn
This is different from the individual bags of microwavable popcorn kernels you may have sitting in the back of your pantry. Since you'll be adding your own oil and salt, opt for plain popping corn (this can usually be found in jars or canisters in the popcorn aisle). 

Unlike other homemade popcorn recipes, this recipe calls for vegetable oil instead of butter. This makes it a slightly lighter option. 

This microwave popcorn is simply seasoned with salt. Of course, you can add other spices and seasonings to suit your taste. 

How to Make Popcorn In the Microwave

Microwave popcorn spilling out of a white paper bag
Credit: Christina

You'll find the full, step-by-step recipe below — but here's a brief overview of what you can expect when you make this microwave popcorn recipe: 

Mix the unpopped popcorn and oil in a small bowl, then transfer to a brown paper bag and sprinkle with salt. Fold the top of the bag to seal in the ingredients. Microwave to popcorn, carefully open the bag to avoid the steam, and pour into a serving bowl. 

How Long to Microwave Popcorn

If you microwave it on full power, the popcorn should be fully popped within about 2 ½ to 3 minutes. You'll know the popcorn is finished cooking when there's about a two-second gap between pops. 

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"I'll definitely make it again," says Sadie Spence. "Simple and super healthy, depending on what you put on it. So much faster than the stovetop and it tastes the same!"

"I am so impressed," raves Sheila. "I have never heard of just using a paper bag like this, but it really works. I made my version of kettle corn using 1/4 cup kernels, 1 teaspoon oil, 1 tablespoon sugar, and a few shakes for salt."

"My husband and I are making this almost everyday," according to aprall. "We're calorie counting and this is a great, easy snack fix which you can doctor up based on whatever taste you're craving."

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams


Original recipe yields 3 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • In a cup or small bowl, mix together the unpopped popcorn and oil. Pour the coated corn into a brown paper lunch sack, and sprinkle in the salt. Fold the top of the bag over twice to seal in the ingredients.

  • Cook in the microwave at full power for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes, or until you hear pauses of about 2 seconds between pops. Carefully open the bag to avoid steam, and pour into a serving bowl.


A few kernels will remain unpopped. Longer cooking may pop the rest, but will burn some of the already-popped kernels, so it is not recommended.

Nutrition Facts

137 calories; protein 4.1g; carbohydrates 24.6g; fat 3.1g; sodium 388.6mg. Full Nutrition