Make Air Fryer Popcorn for Your Next Movie Night

Popcorn in the air fryer? Yes, you can! Popping popcorn in your air fryer is a much healthier alternative to microwave popcorn and much easier (and cooler) than standing over a hot stove popping corn in a pot on the burner.

Air fryer popcorn is so easy, it allows you to have control over all your ingredients (unlike microwave versions), and it’s just plain fun. It also has this wonderful roasted flavor that you just can’t get out of a microwave.

Depending on the type of air fryer that you have, you can use a basket, an oven safe dish, or just pop it in the bottom of the fryer.

One note here, you will probably have to make some adjustments to temperature and time because not all air fryers are the same. The time and temperature here are guidelines, but you will need to see what works best with your fryer.

With that said, let’s make some air fryer popcorn!  

Air Fryer Popcorn

Before getting one, I didn’t really know if getting an air fryer would be worth it. What would I cook in it? Was it worth having another kitchen appliance I’d need to store? I’m happy to say, that there are lots of foods to cook in an air fryer. Prior to owning one, I didn’t realize this. 

Popcorn is always a healthy and fun snack. Popcorn kernels are one of my pantry staples. We most always have a container of non-GMO popcorn that I buy from Target or Walmart.

We typically pop it in an air popper and very occasionally, on the stovetop for fun. Making air fryer popcorn was something I just had to try. We avoid palm oil in our household. Most all microwave popcorn brands contain palm oil. So we always look for easy ways to enjoy it.

What You Need to Make Popcorn in Air Fryer

  • Popcorn kernels
  • Olive oil
  • Air fryer

Popcorn topping ideas:

  • Real butter
  • Himalayan sea salt
  • Coarse ground black pepper
  • Cayenne
  • Garlic powder
  • Stevia or monk fruit
  • Vietnamese cinnamon
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Chocolate chips
  • Palm oil free candy
  • Chipotle seasoning
  • Cajun seasoning

One of our family favorites is McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning. We use it on most things we would add salt and pepper to. It’s delicious and awesome on air fryer popcorn. Put real butter on it first, and then add the seasoning.

My husband likes sprinkling Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning on his popcorn. I cook with this spice mixture often.

How to Make Air Fryer Popcorn

Popping popcorn in an air fryer is a fun family activity. Be sure to get the kids involved in making it this way. They can measure out the kernels and mix them in the olive oil. Adults should handle the air fryer.

It takes just 15 minutes to make this snack, and it’s easy to do. Use this air fryer popcorn recipe and step-by-step directions for popcorn in an air fryer. Making popcorn is a fun event. Make some this weekend!

  1. Preheat air fryer to 390 degrees F.

  2. If you don’t have a basket for your air fryer or an oven save dish, you can make a “bowl” or pouch out of foil.

  3. Place the popcorn kernels in the basket, bowl, or foil and drizzle with a little olive oil or olive oil spray. Mix kernels so they have oil on them.

  4. Cook at 390 degrees F for 15 minutes. You should start to hear it popping at around the 10 minute mark. Check on it periodically and make sure that the air fryer lid is secure.

  5. Once the popcorn is done (the popping sounds will slow significantly or stop), carefully remove the basket, dish, or foil from the fryer.

  6. Toss out the kernels that didn’t pop, season your popcorn with the toppings of your choice, and serve while hot.

  7. Wipe out the air fryer after it has cooled. 

Notes

Air fryers have different capacity sizes and heating times. Start with this recipe for two servings. It uses 1/4 cup of popcorn kernels. Note how long it takes to make the popcorn.

If you have an extra large air fryer, you can add more kernels. However, it’s best to start with fewer kernels for the first few times. It’s really important you don’t add too many kernels.

popcorn in air fryer

Making Snacks at Home

Part of the fun of going to the movies is the popcorn. At our local theater, they make lots of different kinds, including jalapeno and caramel corn. It’s the only place my son, who has a palm oil allergy and palm oil intolerance, can enjoy movie theater popcorn.

What’s great about making air fryer popcorn is you can sort of recreate the event at home with all the comforts of home. Popcorn always adds to movie-watching, and you can make the popcorn-popping an event as well.

Yes, you CAN make popcorn in an air fryer. You may enjoy doing it this way and decide to forgo your air popper. 

There are many brands of pre-popped popcorn without palm oil. Read labels, and you will find it. Still, that’s an expensive way to enjoy popcorn when you can make it at home much more affordably. 

Since figuring out my son has allergic reactions to palm oil, we make most of our palm oil free snacks and treats at home. When you make foods yourself, you know exactly what’s in them. They are typically healthier too. 

If you make popcorn in the air fryer, please leave me a note about it in the Comments. I’d love to hear how it went and if you added any toppings.

Thank you for your interest in learning about ways to use an air fryer and how to make more foods at home. You can use it for snacks, meals and more. Learn how to make hash browns in air fryer and air fryer eggplant as well. One of our family favorites is to make air fryer home fries

air fryer popcorn
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Air Fryer Popcorn

You CAN make popcorn in an air fryer. This is a healthy and easy snack to make anytime. Use these topping suggestions and get creative. Whether you like it spicy, savory, or sweet, there's something for everyone.
Course Snack
Keyword air fryer popcorn, air fryer popcorn directions, air fryer popcorn recipe, airfryer popcorn, popcorn air fryer, popcorn in an air fryer
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 2

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup popcorn kernels
  • olive oil or olive oil cooking spray

Instructions

  • Preheat air fryer to 390 degrees F.
  • Place the popcorn kernels in the basket, bowl, or foil. Drizzle with a little olive oil or spray. Blend so the kernels are lightly coated.
  • Cook at 390 degrees F for 15 minutes. Around the 10 minute mark, you'll start to hear it pop. Check it periodically. Be sure the air fryer lid is secure.
  • Once the popping sounds slow significantly or stop, the popcorn is done. Carefully remove the basket, dish, or foil from the fryer.
  • Sort through and toss out the kernels that didn’t pop.
  • Season air fryer popcorn with toppings, and serve while hot.

Notes

If you don’t have a basket for your air fryer or an oven save dish, you can make a “bowl” or pouch out of foil.
Popcorn topping suggestions: 
  • Real butter
  • Himalayan sea salt, ground black pepper
  • Cayenne or garlic powder
  • Stevia or monk fruit
  • Vietnamese cinnamon
  • Chipotle or cajun seasoning
  • Palm oil free candy, chocolate chips, dried fruit, marshmallows

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