Video: How To Make Microwave Popcorn in a Plain Paper Bag

updated May 2, 2019
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(Image credit: Rebecca Blumhagen)

Do you love the convenience of microwave popcorn, but hate the overload of salt, oil, and other additives in most store-bought brands? Try making your own microwave popcorn from scratch! All you need is some popcorn kernels and a paper bag.

This method is quicker and cleaner than making popcorn on the stove, and doesn’t require any special equipment like an air popper. And it’s much cheaper than buying packaged microwave popcorn — you can even reuse the bag multiple times.

This cooking method is ideal for making recipes like Homemade Cracker Jack or Salted Dark Chocolate Popcorn, since it allows you to start with completely plain popcorn. But if you want to add your own combination of salt, spices, or other flavorings to the finished popcorn, you may want to toss it with a little oil or melted butter after popping, or spray it with an olive oil or coconut oil spray, which will help the seasonings stick.

However you end up eating it, you’ll be happy to have this DIY microwave popcorn recipe in your back pocket for any last-minute cravings. Happy snacking!

How To Make Microwave Popcorn (Without Buying Microwave Popcorn)

Makes 5 to 10 cups popcorn

What You Need

1/4 to 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
Salt or other seasonings of choice (optional)

Paper lunch bag (use an extra-large lunch bag if popping 1/2 cup kernels)


  1. Place the popcorn kernels in the bag: Depending on how much popcorn you need, you can use 1/4 to 1/2 cup kernels.
  2. Fold the bag: Fold the top of the bag down three times, making sure to leave plenty of room inside the bag for the popped kernels.
  3. Microwave the bag: Microwave the bag on HIGH for 4 minutes. But stay close by — depending on the power of your microwave, the popcorn may be done in as little as 2 minutes. Listen carefully and stop the microwave when the popping slows to about 2 seconds between pops.
  4. Season the popcorn (optional): Pour the popcorn into a bowl and add salt or other seasonings, if you like.
  5. Save the bag: As long as the bag doesn’t have any holes or tears, you can reuse it for your next batch of microwave popcorn.

Recipe Notes

  • Spraying the popped popcorn with a little olive oil or coconut oil spray will help the salt or other seasonings stick to the kernels.
  • Need some ideas for flavoring your popcorn? Here are 8 ideas to try.