Protein Popcorn (6 flavors!)


5 from 48 votes
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This protein popcorn packs in over 20 grams of protein per serving and is deliciously crispy and crunchy! A healthy snack that takes minutes to make.

protein popcorn

It’s no secret that adding protein to my meals helps keep me satisfied.

Main meals are easy, as I naturally eat foods high in protein then. However, it is my snacks that can be a little bit tricky.

Sure, I could have a protein shake or a hard boiled egg, but I love to do things differently. Instead, I’ve been enjoying a protein granola bar or protein muffin. Recently, I’ve been loving a big bowl of protein popcorn.

Does popcorn have protein? 

Popcorn is high in fiber and carbs, and does not contain much protein. A typical serving has just 3 grams of protein. Luckily, with a few tweaks, you can add tons of protein to it, while making it extremely delicious.

Why this protein popcorn recipe will be a snacking staple-

  • Over 20 grams of protein per serving. By using a half cup of protein powder, you are adding at least 40 grams of protein to the entire recipe. 
  • Ready in minutes. This is the snack you can make in less than 5 minutes, or prepare a big batch to be sorted for the week! 
  • Sweet or savory flavor options. Kettle corn, sea salt, or cinnamon bun- The flavor options are endless! We’ve included 6 flavor options.

What I love about this popcorn is how it tastes JUST like the flavored popcorn, minus all the calories and excess fat!

How to make protein popcorn

The easiest way to add more protein to popcorn is to toss through protein powder with it. It changes the flavor and packs in the protein. 

The Ingredients.

  • Air popped popcorn– You can either use pre-packaged air popped popcorn (no added sugar or salt) or pop your own! I prefer the latter option, as the popcorn tastes so much fresher and it’s easier to toss through the other ingredients. 
  • Cooking spray or coconut oil– A spritz of cooking oil over the popcorn helps the 
  • Salt– Just a pinch to balance out all the sweet ingredients. 
  • Cinnamon– Optional, but I love all things cinnamon. 
  • Granulated sweetener of choice– Erythritol, monk fruit sweetener, or granulated allulose. All have zero calories and carbs. 
  • Protein powder– Unflavored or flavored. 

The Instructions.

Start by air-popping your popcorn (or using an air fryer!). Let it cool slightly, before generously spraying it with cooking spray or coconut oil. Next, add the salt, cinnamon, sweetener, and protein powder. Give it a good mix and toss through with your hands until all the popcorn is seasoned. Transfer it to a bowl and enjoy immediately. 

popcorn protein

Flavor variations

  • Chocolate chip– Let the popcorn cool completely and omit the cinnamon. Toss through 1/2 cup of sugar free chocolate chips
  • Sweet and salty– Omit the cinnamon and double the salt and sweetener used. This tastes just like kettle corn. 
  • Cheddar cheese– Omit the cinnamon and sweetener and use an unflavored protein powder. Add cheddar cheese powder or seasoning. 
  • Caramel– Let the popcorn cool completely, then drizzle with sugar free caramel syrup. If you choose to add caramel, you must enjoy this popcorn the day it’s made. 
  • Sea salt– Use unflavored protein powder and omit the cinnamon and sweetener. 
  • Cinnamon bun– Double the amount of sweetener and cinnamon.

Storing and freezing instructions

  • To store: Leftover popcorn (flavored or unflavored) can be kept at room temperature for up to five days. 
  • To freeze: Do not freeze the popcorn, as it will become soggy and rancid. 
protein powder popcorn

More high protein recipes to try

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use pre-made popcorn?

Unless you are using pre-made popcorn with no added sugar or fat, I don’t recommend it. It already has flavorings added to it and, in most cases, is higher in fat and sugar.

Which protein powder is best?

While any protein powder works, I find casein or brown rice protein powder works best. They hold into the popcorn better and taste delicious. Whey protein clumps together and does not distribute very well.

Do I need to add oil?

Adding a spritz of cooking spray oil or coconut oil ensures the seasonings stick to the popcorn. If you are concerned about the calories, use a zero calorie cooking spray.

protein popcorn recipe

Protein Popcorn (6 Flavors!)

5 from 48 votes
This protein popcorn packs in over 20 grams of protein per serving and is deliciously crispy and crunchy! A healthy snack that takes minutes to make.
Servings: 2 servings
Prep: 1 minute
Cook: 1 minute
Total: 2 minutes



  • Add your popcorn into a large bowl.
  • Spritz the cooking spray over the popcorn and mix well. Toss through the protein powder, salt, cinnamon, and sweetener until the popcorn is well coated.
  • Transfer the popcorn into serving bowls and enjoy immediately.


Serving size is 3 cups of popcorn.
* Or air fried popcorn or microwave plain popcorn. 
** White sugar or brown sugar works.
TO STORE: Leftover popcorn (flavored or unflavored) can be kept at room temperature for up to five days. 
TO FREEZE: Do not freeze the popcorn, as it will become soggy and rancid. 


Serving: 1servingCalories: 143kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 23gFat: 3gSodium: 622mgPotassium: 83mgFiber: 1gVitamin A: 73IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 94mgIron: 2mgNET CARBS: 17g
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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  1. LOL at the burnt popcorn comment! That is the absolute WORST! This Cinnamon Bun Popcorn looks super yummy 🙂

  2. 1. This is the most genius snack I have ever heard of. Mostly because I eat popcorn every single day (not kidding at least 1-2 times per day)
    2. I always need protein or i feel like I’m eating air
    3. I would argue that cinnabon might be the most intoxicating scent in the world
    4. don’t forget about bath & body works. i have a MAPLE SEA SALT POPCORN candle from there that I refuse to ever get rid of directly next to my bed because it is the greatest thing i’ve ever spent unnecessary money on
    5. is there a sweet nose instead of a sweet tooth? because i have that.
    6. kettle corn kettle corn. i can’t wait

  3. Oh my goodness, Arman! This sounds so delicious. Grains are a rare treat for me and I chose to eat popcorn on my birthday this year. So that shows how much I enjoy it, and this version would be devine.

    1. Thanks so much, Linda! I hope you like coffee or tiramisu flavours- That’s my next one 🙂 (Hopefully your can celebrate a very early birthday 😉

  4. Your writing gets me every time! I could TOTALLY relate and ew to that burnt popcorn smell! This looks amazing! I use a very similar mix on top of my popcorn, but add in chili powder for a kick too! Gotta get that metabolism up!

  5. Soooo… I really like the smell of gasoline. And paint. And probably a whole host of other chemical nonsense that’s no good for me 😆 But if we’re talking food, then cinnamon anything wins. It’s torture to have to walk past a Cinnabon in the food court. Torture.

  6. FACK! Popcorn was and still is the SHEEZE my neeze! However, as you know, it does not agree with me… Nothing does – ugh! Did I tell you I had to go to the ER the other night? GAH – F.

    This pop corn kinda reminds me of when I tried putting some in my ice cream way back when. Ha! Oh the memories of me eating everything on the face of the planet.

  7. This is my popcorn story: once my friends and I burned the popcorn in the microwave SO BAD, the guys we were with unplugged the machine and took it outside so we wouldn’t set off the fire alarm. True heroes right there.

  8. Popcorn in the dorms while I’m trying to study is torturous. It draws me from my cave of intellect to bury my emotions in bowls of endless buttery popcorn.
    Pumpkin bread baking in the oven has my heart though. Don’t tell my friends though, or else they’ll torture me with that too.
    Fantastic idea with this popcorn, dude!

  9. Sounds wonderful and I’d be willing to be my son would love this! I might have to send him the mixture in a care package.

  10. I am totally making this popcorn to go along with my weekend Netflix binge watching date. I am so glamorous.

  11. hmm – i don’t remember any popcorn horror stories (my room was at the opposite end of the hall from the common area, which was inconvenient but at least I could avoid any burnt popcorn smells), but i do remember when the microwave broke when someone was using it and it wouldn’t open. so someone’s crackers and cheese stayed in the microwave for like a month. Glad I wasn’t around when they finally got it open…

  12. The boyfriend loves himself some popcorn – I am going to hafta be a great lady and make him some. 😉 Obviously, after I try it of course…so we’ll see if any actually gets over to him.

      1. Yes, you’re right my dear Almond and I meant to mention that I too love those vanilla cupcake Yankee Candles! 😉 😛

  13. Cinnamon popcorn – not a bad idea at all. Given that you added protein powder it should now become the go-to snack for all college kids who want not only popcorn but protein shakes yet hate cleaning the blender – this kills two birds with one stone 😉 .
    And I actually got that exact Vanilla Cupcake Yankee candke as a gift a few months ago but have yet to light it …. too precious. Or maybe I’m waiting for a special occasion.

  14. And now I want popcorn for breakfast. Fresh, buttery popcorn whipped up on the stove top. The Hubby and I might have a play day today so it could happen. Also play day is where you shuck all responsibilities and just play. 🙂