Instant Pot Popcorn

Make this Instant Pot Popcorn with just three ingredients. It’s healthy, delicious and made with real food ingredients that’s actually good for your family.

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Instant Pot Popcorn spilling out of a glass bowl on it's side

It’s like clockwork… right after my kids take a shower after dinner, they come downstairs and start making popcorn. Pretty much every night, they make their real food popcorn recipe (that’s made with just three ingredients) and then we all watch an episode of Studio C (it’s a sketch comedy show like a clean, family-friendly version of Saturday Night Live).

I love these family traditions. It always involves food and entertainment – sometimes it’s a board game, drawing contests, or a couple of episodes of our favorite comedy show.

But the thing I really love is that my boys make this healthy, delicious version of popcorn that’s made with just three ingredients. We don’t own a microwave (read 5 reasons to get rid of your microwave) so we can’t use microwave popcorn (which is usually coated with artificial ingredients and preservatives).

We used an air popper for years to make popcorn – not knowing there was a better way – and thought popcorn was supposed to take like cardboard. Yep, that air popper makes the blandest popcorn ever. Until we found a better way…

Now, we make popcorn in our Instant Pot. Wait, what? You can do that? Oh yeah! It’s so good and so easy that even my 6 year old can make it on his own (with adult supervision, of course).

Closeup of popcorn cooking in the Instant Pot with the lid partially taken off

So what’s so special about the Instant Pot? It’s a 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Cooker – including a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, saute/browning, yogurt maker, steamer and warmer. Plus, it has a stainless steel cooking pot and steam rack. It does so much in one little kitchen appliance.

If you’re just getting started with the Instant Pot, check out my quick start guide Top 10 Instant Pot Tips and Tricks You Need to Know.

Instant Pot Recipes Made Simple

Are you struggling to find the time to cook healthy meals for your family?

Do you wish you could find one-pot meals that are simple and easy to make… and your family will love?

You’re about to find out how simple it is to make healthy, one-pot meals with your Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker with my cookbook Instant Pot Recipes Made Simple. You can download it instantly to your phone, computer or e-reader, so it’s portable and can go with you anywhere!

With this book, you’ll get:

  • Tried-and-true recipes the whole family will love – including pot roast, spaghetti, tacos, carnitas, soups, and easy breakfast meals
  • Instant Pot starter guide on how to use the buttons, tips and tricks, and more
  • Printable shopping lists for ingredients
  • Step-by-step video lesson on how to use your Instant Pot, pressure cooker safety, and some of my favorite tips and tricks
  • Two-week meal plan that you can put into action for no-stress weeknight dinners

Instant Pot Recipes Made Simple ebook cover

How to Make Instant Pot Popcorn

This recipe is pretty easy to follow but be sure you let the coconut oil get sizzling hot. If you add the kernels too soon they will burn on the bottom. I personally find this way of making popcorn really easy to do but it does quality popcorn kernels. I’ve found lower quality popcorn kernels don’t work as well. Also, if you’re looking for a fool-proof way to make popcorn try the Whirley Pop. It’s so easy to use and can be done over the stove-top.

So the secret to Instant Pot Popcorn is… the coconut oil.

We’ve tried using butter, avocado oil, olive oil and NOTHING will give popcorn that rich flavor like coconut oil. And the funny thing is that there isn’t a strong coconut flavor on the finished popcorn. It’s just a way to give it that rich layer that tastes amazing.

In fact, movie popcorn is often made with coconut oil (though they do use some other additives and the “butter” is anything but real butter). But the coconut oil is what gives the popcorn that delicious flavor.

Step by step photos for making Instant Pot Popcorn

Where to Get Kitchen Pantry Essentials

I get my baking supplies like baking soda, baking powder, vanilla extract, etc. either on Amazon or my local health food store usually.

P.s. Looking for tips to transition to a real food or healthy gluten-free lifestyle? Check out my free Real Food Guide email course and e-book.

A graphic for a free ebook and email course when you subscribe to a mailing list

Did you try this Instant Pot Popcorn recipe? Don’t forget to rate the recipe and comment below to let me know how it went. You can also FOLLOW ME on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

Instant Pot Popcorn in a glass bowl on it's side

Instant Pot Popcorn

Don't Mess With Mama
Make this Instant Pot Popcorn with just three ingredients. It's healthy, delicious and made with real food ingredients that's actually good for your family.
4.89 from 43 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 186 kcal



  • 2 tbsp butter


  • Turn Instant Pot on to the Saute (High) setting. Wait 5 minutes to allow the temperature to get high.
  • Add coconut oil and let it melt. Tilt the Instant Pot to swirl around coconut oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Make sure the oil is sizzling hot (put a drop a water to check that it sizzles). NOTE: If you skip this step, the popcorn will stick to the bottom and burn.
  • Add popcorn kernels and use a spatula to coat the popcorn well. Stir for about 30 seconds. Cover with a clear Instant Pot lid.
  • It will take about 2 minutes for the popcorn to start popping. Do NOT take off the lid. Use the lid to see when most of the popcorn is popped (about 3/4 done or about 3-4 minutes), and then turn it off (letting the rest of the kernels pop for another 30 seconds or so).
  • Remove the lid and then take out the inner pot. Pour the popcorn into a large bowl and let it sit for about 2-3 minutes to let the coconut oil set in. This adds to the flavor. 
  • Add butter (optional) and salt to taste. 


Coconut oil will make the best popcorn because it's a high heat oil. It also adds a lot of flavor. 
If you find that your popcorn kernels aren't popping, it could be the quality of the kernels. Try a different brand or batch of popcorn. 


Calories: 186kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 2gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 124mgPotassium: 56mgFiber: 2gVitamin A: 175IUIron: 0.6mg
Keyword healthy popcorn, homemade popcorn
Tried this recipe?Mention @dontmesswithmama on Instagram

Closeup of popcorn in a bowl in front of an Instant Pot



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  1. Has anyone tried something other than coconut oil? I really don’t like the taste of coconut oil, so any alternatives would be great!

    1. Thank you for that feedback. I’ve only done it with the stainless steel inner pot. It could be the non-stick doesn’t work well with this recipe. I would suggest trying a different brand of popcorn. That definitely affects whether it will pop.

  2. I only buy unrefined virgin coconut oil but the smoke point is lower then most other oils I thought. Do you use the unrefined extra virgin? I worry about frying at too high of temp with it. Would love to try it otherwise tho!

  3. 4 stars
    After making the mistake of using Orville Redenbacher popcorn (I hadn’t read the comment about that, and like that commenter, I thought it was a “high quality brand”), and having three terrible back-to-back experiences in the course of an hour where the popcorn wouldn’t pop before it burned, I was about ready to throw in the towel. I had a not-pretty moment in front of my family where I vented all of my frustrations and said I am apparently “too stupid” to learn to make popcorn in an Instant Pot, so they should not even ask again.

    After I cooled off, I found the comment about not using O.R. popcorn, so I felt pretty bad about my behavior (and yes, I apologized). I tried the organic Raley’s brand two days later and it really did work! Tasted great – I didn’t add butter afterward and only a little salt. My entire family LOVED it – even my 6yo daughter who has always disliked popcorn! Definite win.

    I would rate it a 5, but I’m still having trouble with a couple of things:

    1. I have the Instant Pot glass lid, but for the life of me, I don’t know how you’re supposed to see through it to tell if the kernels are popped! The glass steams up, and then when the kernels pop, oil builds up with the condensation. I can barely make out that there is white color in the bottom of the pot, and there is absolutely no way I can see clearly enough to tell when most of the kernels have popped. Am I doing something wrong here? Instead, I am relying on the timer and the sound of popping slowing down. Not very reliable, but it works okay.

    2. It seems like I need to wash the entire pot for each subsequent batch. We have a movie night each week with a large crowd, and I’d need to make at least four of these batches to satisfy everyone. At first, I tried dumping the popped corn and then just starting over, but the second batch barely popped at all. If I take the time to soak the pot in hot soapy water and wash it out before starting again, I get near perfect results every time now. Has anyone had a better experience with making repeat batches in quick succession?

    All in all, my family loves the recipe, and the few difficulties I have left might be due to my lack of know-how with the Instant Pot itself. Any additional tips would be greatly appreciated. 🙂