Air Fryer Popcorn

Learn how to make popcorn in the air fryer with no added oil, fat, or sugar! Ready in under 10 minutes, it’s the perfect quick and easy snack with plenty of flavor options!

air fryer popcorn

Air Fryer Popcorn

When it comes to healthy snacks, my favorite recipes to make are peanut butter oatmeal energy balls, no bake oatmeal bars, and air fryer popcorn. 

I wholeheartedly admit that I am obsessed with my air fryer. My mom bought me one as a housewarming gift and I have used it almost every single day. For my birthday this year, a friend also got me an air fryer, so now I have both the Tefal one and the Ninja one.

While I often use my air fryer to cook vegetables or proteins, my very favorite things to make are snacks. I love using it to make both sweet and savory snacks, and one I make almost daily is popcorn! 

Can you make popcorn in the air fryer? 

Like many foods, popcorn too CAN be made in an air fryer. While ever so slightly more cumbersome than other foods, it’s been a game changer in my snacking game. 

As such, I’ve been meaning to share this air fryer popcorn recipe for quite some time. It’s great for those of us without a microwave and those of us who don’t have the time to make it on the stovetop. It’s healthy and low calorie and takes less than 10 minutes to make.

No oil and no butter are needed, but you’d never tell. It tastes exactly like any freshly popped popcorn and can be easily customized with a plethora of flavors. My personal favorite is tossing through salt and sugar for the ultimate kettle corn. 

I had to babysit my neighbor’s son the other night and made some of this popcorn as an evening snack and now my neighbors are converted to this new air fryer hack!

How do you make air fryer popcorn? 

The Ingredients

  • Popcorn kernels– Easy to find in your local supermarket. 
  • Salt– To toss through the popcorn once the popcorn has been cooked. 
  • Flavorings– Optional, but there are tons of flavor options depending on your taste! 

The Instructions

Start by lining the base of the air fryer basket with tin foil, allowing around half an inch around the sides. After you’ve done that, preheat the air fryer at 200C/400F for 5 minutes. Next, add the popcorn kernels into it, ensuring they are in a single layer. Now, place the air fryer basket into the air fryer and cook at 200C/400F for 8-9 minutes. Once the timer goes off, keep the air fryer basket in place for 20-30 seconds, for any extra kernels to continue popping.

Now, remove the air fryer basket from the air fryer and transfer the popcorn into a large mixing bowl. Toss with salt and any flavorings you enjoy, and serve immediately. 

popcorn kernels in the air fryer

Tips to make the best popcorn

  • Only cover the base of the basket with tin foil, NOT the entire basket. The vents/air holes help with popping the kernels. 
  • Do not overcrowd the air fryer basket with kernels, as this can actually burn the hinges of the air fryer. If you’d like to make a larger portion of popcorn, prepare it in batches. 
  • Don’t add any flavorings or oil to the kernels before popping. This can and must be done after they have been popped. 

Flavor ideas

While this popcorn tastes delicious on its own, here are some flavor ideas for some fun and variety!

  • Butter– Add 2 tablespoons of melted butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil into a bowl and whisk together. Transfer it into a food spritzer bottle and spray over the salted popcorn. 
  • White cheddar– Spritz the popcorn with cooking spray, then toss through popcorn cheese flavoring or nutritional yeast. 
  • Kettle corn– Spritz the popcorn with cooking spray and toss through 2 tablespoons of any granulated sweetener (sugar or sugar substitute) and salt. 
  • Chocolate chip– Toss through 2 tablespoons of mini chocolate chips. 
  • Spicy– Drizzle sriracha or hot sauce over the popcorn. 

Storing popcorn

  • To store: Leftover popcorn can be stored at room temperature, in a sealable container or ziplock bag. It will remain fresh for up to 1 week. 

air fried popcorn

More snack recipes to try

air fryer popcorn

Air Fryer Popcorn

Learn how to make popcorn in your air fryer without oil, butter, or sugar! Ready in under 10 minutes, it makes the perfect healthy snack!
5 from 5 votes
Print Rate
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 9 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 77kcal
Author: Arman


  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1 teaspoon salt to serve * See notes


  • Preheat the air fryer at 200C/400F for 5 minutes.
  • Line the base of the air fryer basket with tin foil. Place the popcorn kernels in a single layer on top of it.
  • Place the air fryer basket in the air fryer and cook for 8 minutes. Let the popcorn sit in the air fryer for a further 30 seconds, to allow excess popping.
  • Remove the air fryer basket and place the popcorn into a mixing bowl. Toss with salt and your favorite seasonings and enjoy immediately.


* Flavor options included in the body of the post.
TO STORE: Like microwave or stovetop popcorn, air fryer popcorn can be stored at room temperature in a sealed container. The popcorn will remain fresh for up to 1 week. 


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 77kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 583mg | Potassium: 56mg | Fiber: 3g | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg | NET CARBS: 12g
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

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