Just buy some paper lunch bags and a tub of plain popcorn kernels and you’re on your way to making your own homemade microwave popcorn bags.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret of the microwave popcorn industry: They’re lying to us.
You see, you don’t need to buy premixed, pre-salted, or pre-flavored microwavable bags of popcorn for movie night. You can create even more flavor packed popcorn in your microwave with your own Homemade Microwave Popcorn using a brown paper bag.
Scroll down to read more about how it all comes together or click here to jump straight down to the recipe.
Video: DIY Microwave Popcorn Bags
Making Homemade Popcorn
You can just take plain popcorn kernels, toss them in a paper bag, and pop them yourself in the microwave. Really. It works!
You get wonderful, fresh popcorn, just like out of a hot-air popper, in about two-three minutes. It’s hardly any extra effort, it’s less expensive, and you end up with a wonderful healthy snack.
Instead of dousing my bowl of popcorn with butter, I’ll use an olive-oil mister to lightly coat it so my toppings will stick. I have topping ideas below.
So don’t be fooled by the microwave popcorn in the store — you can make your own at home to save money, your health, and the environment. It’s a win-win-win!
Oh, but if you don’t have any brown paper lunch bags and you want to make popcorn right now, you absolutely can make popcorn in a pot on the stove.
How To Use A Paper Bag To Microwave Popcorn:
Measure ¼ cup popcorn kernels.
Put them into a regular paper lunch bag.
Make a ¾-inch fold at the top of the bag and then fold it over 5-7 times. It’ll unroll a bit. No worries.
Put the bag in the microwave. Set the microwave for 4 minutes. Let it pop until there is a pause in the popping. You want to listen for it because the cooking time with different microwaves varies.
Note that when you microwave popcorn in a paper bag like this, there is more of a chance of burning the popcorn than with the store-bought version. Once you’ve done it a few times though and get to know your microwave, you’ll have perfect popped popcorn every time.
As the bag was microwaving, it unrolls some more. Again, no worries.
Open the bag very slowly and carefully. It’s super steamy and hot in there!
There it is. Easy and good. No lies here.
Flavor Your Homemade Popcorn
I’ve kept it simple and healthy for this recipe with just a little oil and salt at the end, but you can play around with the flavors. You can also toss the popcorn kernels with a very small amount of oil before popping if you’d like.
After it’s popped? My favorite topping is Nutritional Yeast. It has a wonderful nutty, cheesy flavor — and it’s good for you, too!
You could also go for a classic movie theater popcorn by drizzling on some melted butter. Or go sweet by tossing the popcorn with a little cinnamon sugar. You can also play around with savory seasonings like garlic powder, chili powder, or our homemade salt and vinegar seasoning.
Let me know in the comments how you like to season your popcorn.Print
- 1/4 cup popcorn kernels
- Olive Oil spray
- Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
- Place ¼ cup dry corn kernels in a small paper bag. Be sure the bag has no staples or other metal in it.
- Fold the bag over a few times and place in the microwave. Microwave on high for about 2-3 minutes, just as you would with the store-bought packages. Once there are about two seconds between pops, hit the stop button so it doesn’t burn. There will be a few unpopped kernels, but that’s okay.
- Pour into a bowl and spritz with olive oil. Sprinkled with salt and pepper. Toss or stir to evenly coat, and enjoy! (And don’t forget to save the bag for next time!)
Love this recipe? I’d appreciate it if you could scroll down and add a *5 star rating* to help others know they’ll love it as well!
This post originally appeared in September 2015 and was revised and republished in October 2023.