How to Make Salt and Vinegar Popcorn

Popcorn can make a flavorful and healthy snack when prepared correctly. Air-popped or popcorn made with minimal oil is a low-calorie, filling snack option with portions coming in at roughly 35 calories per cup. While salt is a classic option for adding flavor, those looking to minimize their sodium intake can turn to many other, and often more flavorful, seasonings. Herbed popcorn is becoming widely popular, with most grocery stores selling it prepared. Flavors like barbecue, Old Bay, and salt and vinegar are easy to make at home and provide a healthy alternative to favorite potato chip flavors. With a little insight and a technique or two, homemade salt and vinegar popcorn seasoning is easy to assemble and add to freshly popped popcorn fresh from the stove.

Salt and Vinegar Popcorn Seasoning Recipe

Total Time: 10 minutes | Prep Time: 5 minutes | Serves: 6 cups


  • 6 cups freshly popped popcorn
  • 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic salt


  1. Use an air popper or a hand-cranked popcorn maker on a stovetop over medium to medium-high heat to make freshly popped popcorn. Keep in mind that one tablespoon of unpopped kernels yields about one cup of popped popcorn.

  2. Pour the popped popcorn into a large mixing bowl and add the butter and olive oil.

  3. Use salad tongs to toss the popcorn and evenly distribute the melting butter and olive oil.

  4. Next add the vinegar powder and salt, again tossing to evenly coat all of the popcorn.

  5. Serve hot with a refreshing drink to calm sour-puckered cheeks.

Try flavoring popcorn with other flavors like Italian herbs, Old Bay seasoning or even with melted compound butter such as bacon–cheddar or sage-infused compound butter.

Tips for Homemade Salt and Vinegar Popcorn

If you do not have vinegar powder on hand, it is possible to pour a quarter cup of vinegar into a spray bottle for easy use. Lightly spritz the popcorn with the vinegar to give it the right level of flavor. Avoiding a soggy snack is easy when you spray vinegar on popcorn.

Depending on the level of sourness you prefer, the amount of vinegar or vinegar powder can be adjusted to your liking. The easiest way to control the level of salt and vinegar flavor is to mix together the vinegar powder and salt in a small jar or shaker. This allows you to add as much as you like to toss the popcorn to begin with. Taste the popcorn to evaluate how much more you should add before pouring on more homemade salt and vinegar popcorn seasoning and toss again. It is always easier to add more than it is to remove too much flavor once it is incorporated into the salt and vinegar popcorn.

Other ingredients can be added to enhance or complement the salt and vinegar flavors. For example, coarsely ground black pepper is a good addition to this flavor profile. Other spices, like a hint of smoked paprika, onion powder or cumin also enhance the flavor without overpowering the salt and vinegar when added in moderation. And, if you are among those who believe that garlic makes everything better, try trading in garlic salt for regular salt.