The World's Best Popcorn

I learned to make popcorn from scratch from a pro—my mom!  Here’s my healthy version of mom’s classic technique for making sure every kernel pops without burning.

Servings 5.3 (Recipe makes 16 cups; 1 serving = 3 cups)
Calories 130 kcal


  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels, organic
  • 2 tbsp virgin coconut oil
  • 1 dash sea salt or pink Himalayan salt (optional)


  1. Cover the bottom of a medium stockpot with the 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Place the pot on the stovetop (without the cover) over medium high heat.

  2. Add three popcorn kernels to the pot, cover, and allow them to "pop".  Once the three kernels have popped, remove the cover and quickly add the rest of the popcorn kernels in an even layer.  Put the cover back on,and remove the pot from the heat for 30 seconds. (This allows the oil to heat evenly, and brings all of the kernels to a near-popping temperature so that when you return the pot to the heat, they will all pop at about the same time).

  3. Return the pot to the heat. If you don’t have a cover with a steam release hole in it, leave the lid slightly ajar to let the steam release (this will produce drier and crunchier popcorn).  Very soon, the popcorn will begin to pop rapidly and all at once.  Shake the pot by moving it back and forth over the burner to prevent the popcorn from burning. When the popping starts to taper off (several seconds between pops), take the pot off of the heat, remove the cover, and quickly transfer the popcorn to a large bowl.

  4. Season with a dash of sea salt, if desired. 

Recipe Notes

To distribute the salt more evenly, you can add it to the oil in the pot before popping.

VARIATION: You may want to try some other fun toppings, such as taco seasoning, parmesan cheese, nutritional yeast, curry powder, or smoked paprika.

NUTRITION PER SERVING: 130 kcal; 6 g total fat; 4 g saturated fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 29 mg sodium, 17 g carbohydrate; 3 g dietary fiber; 0 g total sugars; 0 g added sugars; 2.5 g protein.

Recipe updated from The Science of Skinny (DaCapo, 2012) by Dee McCaffrey.