When I want something sweet or my kids are asking for snacks, I love popping homemade, natural popcorn in the microwave. We’ve all heard the unhealthy horrors of how mad microwave popcorn is for you, so I set out to make real food microwave popcorn in a paper bag so that it’s both a good, healthy source of fiber and a yummy snack.

It’s got some coconut sugar and butter but it’s gluten free, doesn’t have additives, and has enough fiber I feel comfortable calling it a semi-healthy snack.

I admit I like it better cooked in coconut oil on the stove, but sometimes I don’t have that kind of time and/or I have kids who want 4 different flavors so the paper bag is just easier. (If you like it cooked in oil and just want to use our topping recipe, I totally recommend you cook Elise Bauer’s recipe  on the stovetop; she’s got it down to a science).

I’m giving you my coconut sugar variation, but there are so many toppings and infinite combinations. If coconut sugar and butter isn’t your thing, try Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, cayenne, turmeric, balsamic vinegar, cumin, chili powder, maple syrup, cocoa, nutritional yeast, or any combination that strikes you. Just mix it in with the butter or oil (and we LOVE coconut oil here, too) and you’re good to go.

Always use 1/4 cup of popcorn per microwave paper bag, and be super safe handling it coming out of the microwave. There will be steam and heat. Use mitts, and open the paper bag away from your face.

A word about ingredients, because some of you asked (this paragraph contains affiliate links). When it comes to popcorn, I think Orville Redenbacher Original pops far better than anything else we’ve tried. I also prefer the flavor and texture to others. As to butter, it’s Kerrygold or Plugra which I use for everything, both salted and unsalted. When I can find it, Plugra is my go-to; if not, I go with Kerrygold. We use sea salt and Madhava coconut sugar. These are Amazon affiliate links and you can also find them in your local grocery store. I never, ever recommend anything I haven’t tried and loved

Homemade Microwave Popcorn in a Paper Bag Recipe

1/4 cup popcorn kernels
Lunch-size plain brown paper bags
1 pinch fine salt (optional, to taste)
1 tbs. coconut sugar (substitute any sugar/spice you like)
1 tbs. melted butter (or any fat you like)

Stir all spices and toppings into melted butter or oil.

Place popcorn kernels in bag, fold over twice to seal.

Microwave Popcorn In Paper Bag folded over on towel

Lay flat in the microwave and pop on high until there are 2-3 seconds between each pop. In our microwave, that comes out to exactly 2 minutes almost every time. Listen closely.

VERY CAREFULLY remove the bag with oven mitts, set it on its bottom and open away from your face. Add melted butter or oil, close the top and shake carefully. Roll the bag down carefully and serve. Again, the contents are hot, especially any unpopped kernels.

Microwave Popcorn In Paper Bag finished product sitting up on towel with paper bag top folded over ready to serve

Note – My resident popcorn expert says when you double the sugar and butter, it turns from snack to dessert.

Hope you enjoy this paper bag popcorn as much as we do. It goes great with our fruit smoothies (the combo keeps teenage boys fueled for at least a few hours). 🙂

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