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Vegan Chilli ‘Cheese’ Popcorn

An easy and healthy recipe for vegan chilli 'cheese' popcorn made with nutritional yeast! Deliciously moreish, vegan and gluten-free.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
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Vegan Chilli Cheese Popcorn

I love popcorn – it’s one of my favourite snacks. And if it didn’t take up so much space, there would be a bag of this crunchy snack in my handbag 24/7. I’m definitely more of a savoury popcorn person, which is rather odd considering I have such a sweet tooth! The sweetest I will branch out in terms of popcorn is sweet + salty. Toffee popcorn? no thanks. I’ll take this vegan chilli “cheese” popcorn over that any day.

If you are wondering why the “cheese” is in quotation marks, it’s because there ain’t no cheese in this recipe! Of course, cheese is not vegan, but thanks to my special ingredient, you won’t be missing it!

Cue nutritional yeast. I know, I’m a little late to join the nutritional yeast bandwagon, but this stuff is seriously so good. If you are wondering what nutritional yeast is, it is flakes of a deactivated yeast with a cheesy, nutty taste. It is often used as a cheese alternative for vegans, and I can’t wait to try making vegan mac and cheese with it!

Words cannot describe how delicious this popcorn is. Its perfectly cheesy, spicy, garlicky and salty all at the same time. Everything just…works. Not too much heat, and just enough nutritional yeast for that ‘sophisticated’ cheesy flavour. And by ‘sophisticated’ I mean anything less cheesy than wotsits hahaha.

Vegan Chilli "Cheese" Popcorn | Shivani Loves Food

I’m not going to lie, after making this I sat on the sofa and ate almost the whole bowl whilst binge-watching Netflix. And I’m not even ashamed – because this popcorn is homemade its a lot healthier than microwave or ready made versions – woohoo!

This would be oh so perfect for a movie night or even a party with friends. You could also make a large batch of this on the weekend and pack into smaller bags for bringing to school/work as a healthier alternative to crisps. That’s if you can resist eating it before Monday….

If you make this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram @shivanilf – I love seeing your creations! You can also follow along on Pinterest and Facebook – I hope to see you there!

More healthy vegan snacks:

Vegan Chilli Cheese Popcorn

An easy + healthy recipe for vegan chilli “cheese” popcorn made with nutritional yeast for a savoury cheese flavour.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Servings: 2
Author: Shivani Raja


  • 1 tablespoon Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chilli Flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chilli Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 tablespoons Sunflower Oil
  • 1/2 cup Popping Corn


  • Prepare the flavour mix by mixing together the first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Use the back of a spoon to crush any particularly large nutritional yeast flakes into a finer powder.
  • In a large pan (the larger, the better) place the oil and 3-4 popcorn kernels and cover with the lid.
  • Turn the heat on to medium-high and wait for the first kernel to pop. Be patient! Once this happens, add the rest of the kernels and cover again.
  • Hover the pan over the heat and with one hand supporting the side and another on the lid, shake the pan to prevent burning. Every now and then, remove the lid partly to allow steam to escape. Keep shaking until popping slows to one kernel every 2-3 seconds, then remove from the heat. 
  • Transfer the popped corn to a large bowl and toss in the flavour mix. Serve hot.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag me on Instagram @shivani.lovesfood and use the hashtag #shivanilovesfood!


Vegan Chilli "Cheese" Popcorn | Shivani Loves Food
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