Low Sodium Garlic Parmesan Popcorn

garlic parmesan popcorn
Kaleigh McMordie, MCN, RDN, LD
Total Time: 10 min
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 5 min
Servings: 2 (2 cups each)

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

126 calories
7g fat
14g carbs
4g protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 (2 cups each)
Amount per serving  
Calories 126
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 3mg 1%
Sodium 71mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 0g  
Includes 0g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 4g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 66mg 5%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 69mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Did you know that popcorn is a whole grain? Whole grains are important because they provide fiber, vitamins, and healthy fat that are good for your heart, blood pressure, and waistline. Refined grains don’t contain nearly as many of these healthy components.

A serving of popcorn popped on your stovetop is a tasty snack that counts toward your daily serving of whole grains, and all you need to make it is a pan with a lid, your stove, a little oil, and popcorn kernels. Garlic and parmesan cheese add lots of flavor without added salt or butter.

Microwave popcorn, and especially movie theater popcorn, can be very high in sodium, fat, and other additives. Just one serving of microwave popcorn can have over 400 mg of sodium—and there are multiple servings in a bag! With this recipe, you'll be avoiding all that.


  • 2 teaspoons olive or avocado oil
  • 1/4 cup popcorn kernels
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons good quality parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder


  1. Heat oil in the bottom of a small saucepan over medium high heat. Add 2 or 3 kernels to the pan while heating.

  2. Once kernels start to pop, add remaining popcorn kernels and garlic. Cover the pan and cook, shaking the pan to keep kernels from burning.

  3. Once kernels have stopped popping, remove from heat and sprinkle the parmesan and garlic powder on top. Shake to coat popcorn evenly, then pour into bowls and enjoy.

    Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

    You can use avocado, grapeseed, or canola oil in place of olive oil. Add other spices like cinnamon, paprika, or chili powder if you’d like.

    Cooking and Serving Tips

    Shake the pan constantly to avoid burning the popcorn. Some kernels will remain unpopped. Do not add the garlic until you add all of the kernels, or it will burn.

    Be careful opening the lid, there will be hot steam!

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By Kaleigh McMordie, MCN, RDN, LD
Kaleigh McMordie, MCN, RDN, LD, is an intuitive eating registered dietitian with a master's in clinical nutrition.