Can you use a Ninja Foodi to make popcorn? Absolutely! This Ninja Foodi popcorn recipe is fast, cheap, and easy to make! Learn how to pop popcorn in the Ninja Foodi with my step-by-step directions. Get the great flavor of movie theater popcorn in a snack that’s naturally gluten free, vegetarian, plant based, and vegan. You’ll love the popcorn topping ideas, Ninja cooking tips, and more!
Did you know you can do popcorn in a Ninja? There are actually several ways to use your appliance as a Ninja popcorn maker.
For example, if you want to make popcorn in Ninja air fryer, just follow my Air Fryer Popcorn recipe. You may be able to make Ninja Foodi grill popcorn using the aircrisp function.
I can’t claim that it’s possible to use all the Ninja Foodi functions to make popcorn. Popping popcorn in a slow cooker doesn’t work. (That said, you can use the slow cooker to make Ninja Foodi caramel corn with popped kernels. Yum!)
This popcorn Ninja Foodi recipe uses the saute function on the device. It works much like cooking popcorn on the stovetop. And like cooking popcorn on the stove, you need to make sure the lid of the Ninja Foodi is on while popping.
I like cooking popcorn in the Ninja Foodi better than air popping popcorn. The Ninja Foodi popcorn is a bit sturdier and doesn’t “deflate” when hot butter is added. Additionally, I find it’s less likely to burn than microwave popcorn.
I guess you could say (IMHO) this is the best way to make popcorn for movie night. I hope it becomes your favorite cinema popcorn as well.
- ⭐ Popcorn in Ninja Foodi Benefits
- 🥘 Popcorn (Ninja Foodi) Ingredients
- 🍿 Ninja Foodi Popcorn No Oil
- 😋 Do you season popcorn before or after popping?
- 🔪 How to Make Popcorn in Ninja Foodi
- 🔥 Why is my popcorn burning before popping?
- ️🌡️ How long will fresh popcorn last?
- 🧂 How do you make popcorn taste better?
- 📋 Calories, Net Carbs, Protein
- 💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
- 👨🏾🍳 Other Snacks for Films
- The Disclaimer…
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
⭐ Popcorn in Ninja Foodi Benefits
Why make this popcorn Ninja Foodi recipe? Here are some reasons to add popcorn to your shopping list this week:
- Whole grain: Popcorn is a whole grain food that is rich in heart-healthy fiber. It’s also naturally gluten free and vegan.
- Cheap: Need to save money on groceries? A large container of plain popcorn kernels costs a few dollars in the United States. It only takes three tablespoons of unpopped kernels to make around 6 cups of popcorn. In other words, you are getting a large volume of food for your money.
- Easy: You only need two basic ingredients for this recipe and the cook time is under 5 minutes. If low-effort cooking is your thing, this one’s for you.
- Delicious: Popcorn is a tasty treat that tends to be loved even by picky eaters. It’s definitely a crowd pleaser!
🥘 Popcorn (Ninja Foodi) Ingredients
To make Popcorn in a Ninja Foodi, you’ll need these ingredients:
- ¼ cup popcorn kernels
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Get specific quantities of the ingredients in the recipe card at the bottom of the post!
You’re welcome to use another fat, such as lard or coconut oil, to pop your popcorn. In addition, you’ll want to have popcorn seasoning on hand. Basic salt and butter is fine, but here’s what I used:
- Melted butter
- Nutritional yeast (AKA “nooch”)
- Zahtar seasoning blend
You also need a Ninja Foodi for this recipe. I use a Ninja Foodi Deluxe XL 8-quart with the saute function. We’re using the vented lid (not the tendercrisp lid) for this recipe.
Don’t line Foodi with foil or parchment paper. The kernels may not pop if you do.
If you’ll be using popcorn seasonings, it’s helpful to have a lidded container to shake them with the popcorn.
Can popcorn get too old to pop?
It’s true- old popcorn kernels may not pop well. According to the FoodKeeper App, dry popcorn kernels can be kept in the pantry for up to 1-2 years. Look for popcorn in the bulk section of the store if you’re having trouble finding fresh popcorn kernels.
🍿 Ninja Foodi Popcorn No Oil
Can you make Ninja Foodi popcorn without oil? I tried this and I don’t recommend it. Only one or two kernels in the batch popped and the rest burned.
Then I threw the burnt popcorn kernels in the trash and they melted through the trash bag. (Doh! It’s frustrating to burn popcorn but don’t be like me- give it time to cool before throwing it out.)
😋 Do you season popcorn before or after popping?
For the best results, pop the popcorn first and season it after popping. That way you don’t have to worry your popcorn toppings will burn. (This is an especially big risk if using a sugar popcorn topping, like with kettle corn.)
🔪 How to Make Popcorn in Ninja Foodi
Heat the oil in the ceramic coated interior pot of the Ninja Foodi for 3 minutes on high saute. Add the popcorn kernels and cover the pot (leave the vent open). If the oil is hot enough, you should hear the kernels sizzle.
The popcorn kernels should start popping in 1-2 minutes. Make sure you get that lid on before it starts or the kernels will go flying!
It takes only 2-4 minutes to pop the kernels. Turn the Ninja Foodi off but leave the lid on.
A few kernels will keep popping for several minutes. When you don’t hear the popping anymore, you can remove the lid.
Discard the unpopped kernels and put the popcorn in a food-safe lidded container. Drizzle with butter (or vegan butter) and add seasonings. Give the popcorn a shake to coat it.
That’s all there is to it! I love how this recipe is convenient like microwave popcorn, but you can flavor it as you wish.
🔥 Why is my popcorn burning before popping?
There are a few reasons popcorn kernels burn before they pop. Here are some common issues:
- The popcorn kernels were too old
- There was no oil (or not enough oil) in the pot
- You didn’t shut off the heat early enough
️🌡️ How long will fresh popcorn last?
Homemade popcorn in the Ninja Foodi doesn’t store well and is best eaten the same day.
How to make popcorn crispy again? Try reheating the popcorn in an oven preheated to 250F (121C) for 5 minutes. Unfortunately, old popcorn is never as good as fresh popcorn.
🧂 How do you make popcorn taste better?
Wondering how to make popcorn taste good? The secret is to use popcorn seasonings! You can flavor it like kettle corn with sugar (or sugar substitute), or try one of these:
- Ranch seasoning
- Seasoned salt
- Everything bagel seasoning
- Garam masala
- BBQ seasoning
- Cinnamon sugar
- Chili powder
- Parmesan cheese and basil (for pizza popcorn!)
📋 Calories, Net Carbs, Protein
One serving of this Ninja Foodi popcorn recipe has 267 calories, 13.7 grams net carbs, and 3.8 grams protein. Nutrition information accounts for half the popcorn kernels and oil (the amount that popped), plus popcorn toppings.
Popcorn may fit in some relaxed low carb diets but it is not a keto friendly food.
💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 2 recipe (transition or weight maintenance). This recipe serves one as usually only about half the kernels pop. The total calories were figured using 2 tablespoons of unpopped popcorn kernels, 1 tablespoon of oil, plus the popcorn toppings. The nutrition information will vary depending on how much of your popcorn pops.
This recipe is an easy way to pop popcorn without a popcorn maker. It can also make a high calorie or a low calorie snack, depending on what you need.
Four cups of popcorn, from two tablespoons of kernels, is only around 87 calories. That’s without any added butter or oil, of course. Most popcorn recipes, including this one, provide more calories from added fats than from the actual popcorn.
You do need some oil to cook popcorn in the Ninja Foodi. But if you use a little cooking spray instead of butter to hold the seasonings on, you’ll save 50 calories per serving.
One tablespoon of butter adds 100 calories and one tablespoon of oil adds 120 calories. If you tend to generously drizzle popcorn with oil or butter, you are likely adding hundreds of extra calories to your snack. It can add up, potentially contributing to impeding a weight loss goal.
You can make Instant Pot popcorn using the saute function. Simply follow the recipe below, using your Instant Pot (or another multicooker). Keep in mind that you may need to make slight adjustments to the cooking time based on your device.
You can make popcorn in a pressure cooker like the Ninja Foodi using the directions below. There’s no need to use the pressure cooking function because popcorn cooks so fast. Make life easier and stick with the saute setting!
The moisture in your popcorn kernels impacts how big or small it pops. In fact, if your kernels contain too much or too little moisture, they may not pop at all.
No, freezing popcorn will not make it pop better. Popcorn kernels should be at room temperature prior to popping.
No, you do not need to wash or rinse popcorn before popping. Some suggest that you may be able to revive old popcorn kernels by soaking before popping. If you have old kernels that are headed to the trash, this may be something to try first.
If too much steam is trapped in the pot while popcorn cooks on the stove, it can turn out chewy. We keep the vent open on the lid of the Ninja Foodi to prevent this.
👨🏾🍳 Other Snacks for Films
Looking for the best snacks for cinema? After making popcorn in a Ninja Foodi, try these:
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats no sugar post. Let's get cooking!
Ninja Foodi Popcorn Recipe
- ¼ cup popcorn kernels
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ tablespoon butter (optional)
- popcorn seasonings (optional)
- Heat the oil in the ceramic coated interior pot of the Ninja Foodi for 3 minutes on high saute. Add the popcorn kernels and cover the pot (leave the vent open). If the oil is hot enough, you should hear the kernels sizzle.
- The popcorn kernels should start popping in 1-2 minutes. Make sure you get that lid on before it starts or the kernels will go flying!
- It takes only 2-4 minutes to pop the kernels. Turn the Ninja Foodi off but leave the lid on. A few kernels will keep popping for several minutes. When you don’t hear the popping anymore, you can remove the lid.
- Discard the unpopped kernels and put the popcorn in a food-safe lidded container. If desired, drizzle with butter and add seasonings. (I used ½ tablespoon nutritional yeast and ½ teaspoon zahtar seasoning blend.) Give the popcorn a shake to coat it. Eat up!