Homemade Kettle Popcorn

Quick Homemade Kettle Popcorn

Why Homemade Kettle Corn?

Who knew you could make homemade kettle corn so quick…and with only 3 ingredients and a pot!?

My family have never been kettle corn lovers , but, I realized that’s only because we haven’t had good kettle corn. When we eat popcorn while watching a family movie, it has always been the microwavable butter popcorn. We only recently realized they sold microwavable kettle corn and now we have been hooked.

The one problem I have with microwave kettle corn though, is the lack of crispyness. It’s sweet but without that texture, it could never measure up to the real stuff…or now…homemade kettle corn! 

When you go to the fair and get a fresh bag of kettle corn it always has that satisfying crunch from the thin layer of sugar coating. I was so excited when this recipe did the same thing! I honestly wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the two. 

If you aren’t convinced yet to switch to the homemade version here’s some more reasons:

  • Quick: Obviously homemade popcorn is not quicker than bagged popcorn but by spending a few extra minutes preparing, you get a much more satisfying, gourmet popcorn. Also, it only takes 8 minutes so….
  • Cheaper: Buying popcorn kernels will always be cheaper than bagged and microwaveable popcorn.
  • Tastes better: Again, homemade kettle corn has that classic, homey taste & texture that bagged or microwave popcorn can’t mimic.
  • Less Greasy: The fact that homemade popcorn hardens and doesn’t leave your hands greasy or sticky is a huge plus for me!
  • Few un-popped kernels: It seems like when you make a bag of popcorn in the microwave, half of it is still sitting at the bottom of the bowl in kernels. Not only is this a waste but now you have to dodge kernels while trying to concentrate on your movie! This homemade popcorn pops almost every kernel leaving your movie experience distraction free:)
  • Less Additives: This popcorn contains 3 ingredients: olive oil, granulated sugar, and popcorn kernels. It is so much more comforting when you know what goes in your food and eventually your mouth.

Making Quick Homemade Kettle corn

Sometimes digging out the popcorn air-popper and setting it all up is kind of a hassle, or you don’t even have one. This is why I love this recipe; All you need is a pan and the ingredients.

What pan should I use?

As long as the pan is big enough to hold the amount of popcorn you want it is good! Keep in mind that a 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels (8 tbsp) will yield about 16 cups of popped popcorn (4 qt.)

A pot like this would work or the pan I use looks more like this and it works great as well. 

Get the oil hot & Pop that corn!

You will set your stove to a medium-high heat and add the butter and a couple kernels. I love this trick because you don’t have to guess to know when the oil is hot enough. When it’s ready a kernel or two will pop and then you can add the rest.

Another great tip I learned (who knows where) is to stir the sugar and kernels together in a bowl before adding them to the pan. This makes it so you don’t have to risk your hand by stirring everything together once it is in the hot pan and it also ensures that every piece of popcorn will be evenly coated with sugar.

Now, you cover it up and shake the pan every 5 seconds to make sure none of it burns to the bottom. Just give it a nice shake and then rest for 5 seconds and do it again. It goes pretty quick and the amount of time just depends on how much you are making. 

All that’s left is a few shakes of salt and a couple minutes of cooling and you have perfectly crispy, salty, and sweet popcorn.

Is Popcorn Healthy?

Now, let’s be clear that by it’s nature, kettle popcorn is not necessarily “healthy”. It has granulated sugar which, yes, we know should not be consumed often and in large quantities; however, I am a firm believer that we can serve our bodies by letting it enjoy delicious foods & then taking care of it by feeding it the nutrients it needs to function at it’s best. This is worthwhile for our emotional health & physical health; our bodies are amazing and so capable of handling some non-nutritious foods.


All this being said, popcorn alone actually does have many positive, nutritious qualities. It is a 100% whole grain and high in fiber, calcium, folate, and many other very important vitamins & minerals. 

Olive oil

This recipe uses olive oil, NOT butter. There is a time and place for butter but in this popcorn, butter doesn’t bring anything extra to the table. 

Olive oil also has some incredibly beneficial characteristics…and I refuse to let my nutrition background and classes go to waste so here you go: 

    • It helps prevent neuro-degenerative diseases, meaning, your brain likes it because it slows down it’s natural degrading process.
    • It benefits your cardiovascular system: This is because olive oil is a good fat. These fats (nuts, seeds, fish, canola & olive oil) lower LDL which creates a plaque that inhibits your blood flow. This can eventually lead to heart attacks and strokes…so eat your fats!
    •  Energy-sustaining & yielding: Lipids/Fats are very dense in calories and thus energy. They are even more dense in energy than carbs & protein. This is is also a key nutrient that satisfies our hunger ques and keeps us full longer.

Fats have such a bad wrap but when we try to stick to the natural, good forms of fat they contain so many great qualities that are often overlooked. Just because they share the name with a “bad” cultural stereotype of being “fat” doesn’t mean they are correlated. 


If you are watching your sugar intake or you want a little bit of a lighter snack, there is a LOWER SUGAR VARIATION in the recipe notes. This variation in the popcorn doesn’t taste quite like original kettle corn but it is still a very satisfying snack! 


Don’t be afraid of a little sugar. Know that you can take care of your body by being conscious of the ingredients you use, enjoying the blessing of delicious food, and then allowing your body to do it’s magic. 

 I hope you give this recipe a try and hey!..Why not enjoy it while your at it!

Homemade Kettle Popcorn

Quick Homemade Kettle Corn

Adapted from Tastes Lovely blog
This homemade kettle popcorn is crunchy, sweet, salty, and perfect for a quick movie night snack! And....you only need a pot and a few ingredients!
Prep Time 3 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 8 mins
Course Snack
Servings 11 cups


  • No need for special equipment


  • ¼ cup Olive oil
  • cup Sugar
  • ½ cup Popcorn kernels
  • Salt to taste


  • Set out a large popcorn bowl to prep for when the popcorn is done.
  • Add the oil to a large pot with a lid with no holes and place on medium-high heat.
  • Add a few kernels to the oil and place the lid on until you hear a pop.
  • While you are waiting, combine the sugar and kernels in a cereal bowl to make sure the sugar will be spread evenly amongst the popcorn.
  • Once you hear a pop, immediately pour the sugar and the rest of the kernels into the pot and return the lid.
  • Use hot pads to vigorously shake the pot every 5 seconds until you don't hear anymore popping.
  • Open the lid and pour the popcorn into the prepped bowl
  • Shake some salt over the popcorn, stir with a large spoon, then shake some more salt to make sure it is evenly dispersed and salted to your liking.
  • The popcorn should dry fairly quickly and by stirring it you prevent it from drying together.
  • Enjoy!


Lower sugar variation: 
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • salt to taste

Other fun Movie Night snacks



When you make a recipe, take a picture,  post it and tag me!

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