Easy Microwave Popcorn In A Bag (Nutritional Facts)

Written By: Gloria Tsang, RD

Title: Founding Registered Dietitian

Alumni: University of British Columbia

Last Updated on:

What would a movie night in be without a big bowl of popcorn to munch on? Popcorn can be a really healthy snack due to its low calories and high fiber content – if you pop your own popcorn, you’re in control of what goes into it. If you resort to packaged bagged microwave popcorns, do you know what other food additives come along?

Microwave Popcorn Nutritional Facts: Commercial versus Homemade

Here’s what we found when we compared pre-packaged microwave popcorn to our homemade version:

  Orville microwave popcorn


Microwave Popcorn


Serving Size: Each bag
(5 Tbsp unpopped kernels)
1/4 cup
(4 Tbsp unpopped kernels)
Calories: 320291
Protein: 7.5 g5.3 g
Fat: 25 g15.8 g
Saturated fat: 15 g7.6 g
Carbohydrate: 45 g37.7 g
7.5 g5.2 g
Net Carb:37.5 g32.5 g
Sodium: 850 mg82 mg
Preparation time: Total: Popping ~2 minutesPreparation: 1 min Popping: 2 mins
Total = ~3 mins
Ingredients: Whole grain popping corn, palm oil, salt, less than 2% of: butter, color added, natural and artificial flavor, TBHQ and citric acid (for freshness). Corn kernels, salted butter, vegetable oil.
Table 1. Nutritional Differences between Pre-Packaged Microwave Popcorn versus Homemade
Easy Microwave Popcorn recipe poster

Nutritional Differences: Prepackaged vs Homemade

It was surprisingly easy to make our own microwaved, no-mess popcorn in a bag. All it took was a brown bag and some kernels, and we were good to go. The resulting popcorn was white, like it is supposed to look, and the melted butter drizzled on top gave the popcorn a real buttery flavor. On the other hand, the instant version yielded yellowy popcorn with a buttery flavor that is undeniably fake. Since the final yield between the two varied significantly (5 tbsp kernels vs 4 tbsp kernels in homemade), and the carbohydrate content of the homemade version was less (45 g vs. 37 g), as with fiber and protein.

The main nutritional differences between prepackaged and homemade popcorn, are fat and sodium content. We were fairly liberal with the butter drizzle, but the prepackaged version contains even more oils, rendering the final product with higher total fat. In addition, prepackaged bagged microwave also contains double the amount of saturated fat, primarily comes from commercial palm oil. Homemade popcorn, however, only has butter.

As with the sodium content, prepackaged microwave popcorn contains 10 times sodium, period.

Homemade Microwave Popcorn in a Bag and nutritional facts

Easy Microwave Popcorn In A Bag

Gloria Tsang, RD
For absolutely no difference in the amount of work and time it takes to pop your own kernels in the microwave, why not make your own homemade version? You will be in control of what you add to the popcorn, and skip those artificial additives.
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 3 minutes
Course Snack
Calories 288 kcal


  • ¼ cup Popping corn kernels
  • ½ tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp salted butter


  • Mix vegetable oil with corn kernels. Place them in a brown lunch bag. 
  • Fold twice and tape close.
  • Microwave on high for about 1 minute 45 sec, or until popping subsides.
  • Mix with melted butter immediately.
Keyword popcorn


homemade popcorn recipes, microwave popcorn, no more packaged foods, popcorn


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