Vegan Chili Cheese Popcorn – Nooch Popcorn

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Nooch popcorn is having a moment and I’m here for it. My vegan chili cheese popcorn is the answer to your salty, smoky, spicy healthy snack dreams.

Vegan Chili Cheese Popcorn - Nooch Popcorn

Anybody else a fan of chili cheese corn chips? Just me? Ok then.

When I was a kid, I loved chips. I was never much into candy or ice cream. But give me a bag of Doritos, Ruffles or corn chips and I was a happy girl. When my Grandma would bring home a variety pack of chips to take to school, I’d immediately snag a bag of the corn chips – plain, ranch, or my fave the chili cheese flavor.

If you’re judging me right now. No need. I haven’t always been a healthy eater. I didn’t even know that dietitians existed or that healthy eating was a thing until I was well into my college years. And today, while I strive to eat whole and healthy most of the time, when I want a treat, I go for it. What’s fun though is when I can take something I used to love and make a healthier version.

Try this Vegan Chili Cheese Popcorn (Nooch Popcorn) for a quick and nutritious snack! Click To Tweet

Anyway, I’ve always enjoyed the flavor combination of chili and cheese but not the heavy, greasy side effects. Nowadays, I still enjoy tortilla chips (plain and too often) as a base for nachos or to scoop salsa as a precursor to a Mexican meal but I can’t tell you the last time I had those little corn chips. I’m a lot more choosy about what goes into my body now but it doesn’t mean I’ve given up on flavor.

Chili Cheese Popcorn - Nooch Popcorn

That’s what inspired this recipe. That and I recently wrote a piece about nutritional yeast for US News and want to start using it a little more often in my meals. I’ve added it to roasted vegetables but not much else.

SO, I am really excited to share this recipe with you. It’s over the top on flavor and because of the nutritional yeast and whole grain popcorn (hello fiber!), it’s also a healthy snack option. Plus it’s easy and cuts a bunch of the junk you’d get in a typical chili cheese flavored snack.

Watch me make it in this short video courtesy of Food & Nutrition Magazine!

To compare:

At 160 calories for a 1 ounce serving (about 31 chips), here’s the ingredient list from a popular Chili Cheese Corn Chips brand:

Corn, Corn Oil, salt, whey, cheddar cheese. spices, whey protein concentrate, maltodextrin, tomato powder, monosodium glutamate, onion powder, more cheese Romano cheese, dextrose, sugar, buttermilk, butter, citric acid, natural flavor, sunflower oil, garlic powder, annotto extract, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, caramel color.

My Chili Cheese Flavored Popcorn comes in at about 160 calories for 4 cups ( assumingall of the kernels to pop and the seasoning sticks) and boasts this short ingredient list: 

Corn, avocado oil, salt, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, chipotle powder, smoked paprika.

Bonus: Your fingers will still be left slightly stained with red-orange, spicy goodness after enjoying this snack.

5 from 2 votes
Vegan Chili Cheese Popcorn - Nooch Popcorn
Vegan Chili Cheese Popcorn - Nooch Popcorn
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
10 mins
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Calories: 159 kcal
Author: Marisa Moore Nutrition
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp chipotle powder
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • ½ cup white popcorn kernels yields about 16 cups popped
  1. In a small bowl, mix the nutritional yeast through chipotle powder. Set aside. 

  2. Heat the avocado oil in a medium stockpot with a lid over medium-high heat. Add the popcorn kernels and allow it to pop. Shake the pot occasionally to make sure all kernels are covered in oil. Listen for the popping to slow, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. (You can also use an air popper or the microwave to pop the popcorn.)

  3. Transfer the warm popcorn to a large bowl. Sprinkle with seasoning. Mix to coat. Serve warm or let the popcorn cool completely and store in sealed container for a couple days. 

Recipe Notes

All images and content are copyright Marisa Moore Nutrition. Please do not copy or republish anything without prior permission. Feel free to share a link to this recipe via social media or tag me with your own creation at @marisamoore.

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Chili Cheese Popcorn - Nooch Popcorn
Amount Per Serving
Calories 159
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Vegan Chili Cheese Popcorn - Nooch Popcorn

14 Comments on Vegan Chili Cheese Popcorn – Nooch Popcorn

  1. Sonali- The Foodie Physician
    June 11, 2017 at 9:58 PM (1 year ago)
    What a great way to jazz up popcorn! This sounds so much better than any store bought stuff. Can't wait to try it!
    • Marisa
      June 12, 2017 at 8:10 AM (1 year ago)
      Thank you, Sonali! It's sooo much better than the store bought stuff :) Reply
  2. Serena Ball
    June 12, 2017 at 10:26 AM (1 year ago)
    Thanks for enlightening me on what the heck nooch popcorn is! I don't cook Sunday night, but make my kids popcorn and shakes. Thought I knew every popcorn recipe...but i've never popped it in avocado oil OR sprinkled on nooch. Is it Sunday night yet?! Reply
    • Marisa
      June 12, 2017 at 10:42 AM (1 year ago)
      LOL! I've been wanting to try it for a while and recently wrote an article on nutritional yeast so had to finally give it a go.And I love that you make popcorn and shakes on Sunday nights. What a fun way to end the weekend! I may need to start doing that. Reply
  3. Kelly Jones
    June 12, 2017 at 11:50 AM (1 year ago)
    With a dairy allergy, this is sounding delightful right now! May have to make it for an afternoon snack! Reply
    • Marisa
      June 12, 2017 at 11:55 AM (1 year ago)
      Definitely give it a try. I've had it twice since Friday! :) Reply
  4. Mona
    June 12, 2017 at 1:27 PM (1 year ago)
    Wow, what an awesome flavor combo. I just bought some nutritional yeast and was wondering how I would use it - now I know! Reply
    • Marisa
      June 12, 2017 at 1:41 PM (1 year ago)
      Thanks, Mona! It's quite tasty :) Reply
  5. Suzanne Dixon
    March 9, 2018 at 1:44 PM (9 months ago)
    Love the recipe and seeing what you're doing to improve peoples' health! I can't wait to try this one for myself!
    • Marisa
      March 9, 2018 at 3:32 PM (9 months ago)
      Thanks so much, Suzanne! Hope you love it! Reply
  6. Len
    March 9, 2018 at 3:46 PM (9 months ago)
    You can sub cayenne powder for the chipotle. Reply
    • Marisa
      March 9, 2018 at 4:02 PM (9 months ago)
      Hi Len. You can sub cayenne but it will lack of bit of the smoky flavor and you may want to use less cayenne as it's a lot hotten than chipotle. Enjoy! Reply

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