Microwave Popcorn in a Paper Bag


I grew up on oil-popped popcorn. My family used an old aluminum electric popcorn popper from Jolly Time brand popcorn. It had line inside showing you how much oil to put in before you added popcorn kernels. Popcorn was a traditional evening snack when we watched movies together or played cards.

Our old oil popcorn popper.

As an adult, I continued to enjoy popcorn. We made huge bags of it at the fire station and our housefund, a fund we all contributed money into for pantry items, bought Costco-sized boxes of microwave popcorn. We loved the convenience of the microwave popcorn until we watched a news program about the hazards of chemicals contained in microwave popcorn. So back we went to oil-popped popcorn. And I kept this up until ditching oil several years ago, then no more popcorn…cue sad face…

But then I discovered that you can make popcorn in a paper bag in the microwave! All the convenience of microwave popcorn, no toxic chemicals from commercial popcorn bags, and no oil!

Making Microwave Popcorn in a Paper Bag

This process is super easy! All you need is a paper bag, some popcorn kernels, and a microwave. Here’s my video explaining the process and you can watch it happen in real time:

Trimazing! Microwave Popcorn

Learn how to make oil-free popcorn in your microwave from trimazing.com

You don’t need a special bag, a lunch sack size or one you get mushrooms in at the market is perfect.

Popcorn kernels, a regular paper bag, and a microwave are all you need!

I even reuse the bags over and over again. We keep the used popcorn bags in our pantry with the kernels.

Add cup of your favorite kernels.

cup of kernels is all you need.

Roll down the top a couple folds and set your bag in the microwave.

Just fold down the top a couple times.

Microwave for about 2 minutes, depending upon your microwave, and listen for the popping to slow down to about one pop every 3 seconds. Stop the microwave at this point so the popcorn doesn’t burn.

Perfectly popped popcorn!

Doesn’t that look great? And it’s in a handy, ready-to-eat container!

Popcorn Toppings without Oil

The only issue with oil-free popcorn is that toppings, like salt, don’t stick to the popped corn. I happen to love plain popcorn without salt, but I know I’m in the minority here. So here’s my fix for that. Put some tamari, soy sauce, or liquid aminos in a little spray bottle (Bragg’s even sells a little spray bottle full of their aminos if you don’t want to make your own), then lightly spritz your popcorn. This fine mist won’t make your popcorn soggy, but it will moisten the surface enough for dry toppings to stick. It adds a lot of great flavor and saltiness too, so you may not even need to salt your popcorn. I love to top mine with nutritional yeast and smoked paprika after spraying with tamari or aminos.

So if you’ve been missing popcorn with your whole food, plant-based, oil-free way of eating, give this a try. I think you’ll be thrilled to have popcorn back in your life!

Print Pin
4.75 from 4 votes

Microwave Popcorn in a Paper Bag

Course Snack
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Kids, Nut-Free, Soy-Free
Keyword Popcorn
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 3 minutes
Servings 1
Author Cindy Thompson, MS, NBC-HWC | Trimazing! Health & Lifestyle Coaching


  • cup popcorn kernels
  • paper bag
  • spray bottle of tamari, soy sauce, liquid aminos, coconut aminos, etc. optional
  • nutritional yeast optional
  • smoked paprika optional
  • salt optional


  • Put ⅓ cup popcorn kernels into the paper bag. Fold down the top of the bag a couple times.
  • Lay bag of kernels in the microwave and set for 2 minutes. Microwave and listen for popping to slow down, about 1 pop every 3 seconds and then remove the bag of popped corn.
  • Spray with tamari, soy sauce, liquid or coconut aminos if desired and sprinkle with dry topping of choice. I love nutritional yeast and smoked paprika.


Trimazing! Microwave Popcorn

Learn how to make oil-free popcorn in your microwave from trimazing.com

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  1. Kim Schonebaum on March 26, 2022 at 1:29 pm

    I’m looking for a jolly time popcorn popper like the one pictured. We grow popcorn and enjoy making our own.

    • Cindy Thompson, Trimazing! Health & Lifestyle Coaching on March 28, 2022 at 9:56 pm

      I’d recommend looking at thrift stores as I don’t think they are made anymore. I know I donated mine as we no longer cook with oil.

4.75 from 4 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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