Dorito Popcorn – Gluten free & Vegan

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Do you like DORITOS but want a healthier option? Try this Dorito Popcorn Recipe to get the flavor of Doritos, but without the chemical topping–delicious and dairy-free too!

Love DORITOS® but you don't like all of the chemical nasties? Get "Dorito®" Flavor without the chemicals with this Dorito® Popcorn! It's a great dairy free seasoning that tastes great on veggies, salads, kale chips, pasta, rice, and more!

If you’ve been around my blog, or my family, for awhile, you know that we love popcorn – I’ve got a bunch of homemade popcorn recipes on my site from Healthy Peanut Butter Popcorn to one of our faves Surprisingly Good Seasoned Popcorn. And of course, there is Basic Healthy Stovetop Popcorn for the popcorn purist. But one thing you likely don’t know is that I love Doritos.

But I don’t eat them anymore.

In fact, no one in our home eats them.

We did have an unfortunate episode with a Ranch Dorito® long ago that led to a near anaphylactic reaction in my oldest, but that’s not why we don’t have them around.

Since I’ve become a natural-whole foodie, GMO corn and the chemical concoction on top of the crispy chips are not welcome in our home anymore.

The ingredients in Doritos are just nothing that I want in neither my nor my family’s bodies.

When you think about it, would you really choose to have your chips topped with monosodium glutamate, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Red 40, disodium inosinate and disodium guanylate?

Me neither.

I actually have a few funny things to tell you about Doritos–each one about one of my sons

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What’s a Dorito, Anyway?

When I found some Dorito seasoning recipes on the internet and told my boys that I would be making Dorito Popcorn, my youngest asked what Doritos are.

I know, that sounds pretty ridiculous to some folks, but since we’ve never had them in our house, and we don’t watch much TV, my son didn’t know what they are.

Hint: If you are trying to whole-foodify your family’s diet, avoiding TV is a huge help. And avoid the center aisles of the grocery store too. That’s where almost all of the processed stuff lurks. Just waiting to tempt you to spend too much and put chemicals and additives into your body.

The Only Dorito My Oldest Son Has Ever Had

When my son was about 5 months old, he was diagnosed with life-threatening food allergies to 3 foods (later other foods were added to his “off limit” list). You can read Eczema and Food Allergies–from Despair to Healing to learn more about all we went through.

Dairy, egg whites, and peanuts have not been in his diet. Ever.

Well, mostly.

When he was about 1 1/2 years old, we were at a church party.

Suddenly, I noticed my son had hives all down one side of his face and was holding a half-eaten chip.

I grabbed the chip and quickly figured out what had happened.

My suspicions were verified when I found the offending chip’s bag.

Ranch Doritos. They contain milk powder.

Another small child had placed his unfinished plate of Doritos down at “little tyke” level and my son had gotten a bite.

We quickly gave him Benadryl and called his allergist who assured us he was in no danger as long as the symptoms didn’t progress to vomiting or breathing. Which they didn’t.


  • between the one son who didn’t know what Doritos are
  • the other who has only had a small bite ever cross his lips and
  • mom who just loves Doritos but can’t stomach the ingredient list,

we were all super excited to work on making a seasoning that we could put on popcorn and have that delicious Dorito flavor without all the allergy problems and chemical and GMO ickiness.

And now you can enjoy it too.

dorito popcorn in yellow bowl

Where to buy Quality Spices?

I personally LOVE Frontier spices for their freshness and quality. I buy almost all of my spices from them in bulk because we do so much cooking from scratch.

If you prefer small amounts, Simply Organic is Frontier’s section of products in smaller quantities.

Recipe Notes and Substitutions for Dorito Popcorn

  • Nutritional Yeast: Oh–and as a side note, nutritional yeast is a non-candida-feeding yeast that has a nutty-cheesy flavor. Vegans tend to use it a lot for a cheesy taste without dairy.
    And if you’re trying to avoid synthetic folic acid (almost all nutritional yeast has it), here is a brand to try.
  • THM: This recipe is a “crossover” if you are on the Trim Healthy Mama plan, unless you use air-popped popcorn, which will make it an “E.”

Other Popcorn Recipes

If you love popcorn as much as we do, you’ll love trying out these other recipes.

The BEST Popcorn Seasoningeveryone asks for this recipe
Herb Popcorn — a surprisingly delicious recipe
Sugar-free Kettle Corn — amazingly good!
Peanut Butter Popcorn — which can also be made into Almond Butter Popcorn as well.

The BEST Stovetop Popcorn Popper

We’ve had this popper for many years and we love it.

Most crank-style poppers are made of aluminum, but this one is made from stainless steel — much better for your non-toxic lifestyle.

I Recommend
Great Northern Stainless Steel Stovetop Popcorn Popper

Great Northern Stainless Steel Stovetop Popcorn Popper

I love that this popper is stainless steel (not aluminum) -- no shaking needed and makes up to 5 quarts in minutes!

dorito popcorn in yellow bowl

“Dorito” Popcorn – dairy free, gluten free, vegan

Like Doritos but don’t like the chemical topping? Try this Dorito popcorn recipe – like eating Doritos, but without the chemicals! It’s dairy-free too!
4.87 from 36 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, THM:S, Vegan
Keyword: dorito popcorn
Servings: 6 -8 cups
Calories: 124kcal



  • Prepare popcorn using oil with your preferred method. This Healthy Stovetop Popcorn post has more information about popping and about my favorite stovetop popcorn popper. Air popped popcorn won't work without additional oil since the seasoning needs moisture from the oil to adhere to the popcorn.
  • Combine all spices, and salt in a small bowl.
  • Blend seasonings in a spice or coffee grinder, or blend in blender to make a fine powder.
  • Sprinkle seasoning over popcorn and toss to coat.


  • Nutritional Yeast: Oh–and as a side note, nutritional yeast is a non-candida-feeding yeast that has a nutty-cheesy flavor. Vegans tend to use it a lot for a cheesy taste without dairy.
    And if you’re trying to avoid synthetic folic acid (almost all nutritional yeast has it), here is a brand to try.
  • THM: This recipe is a “crossover” if you are on the Trim Healthy Mama plan, unless you use air-popped popcorn, which will make it an “E.”


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 124kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 587mg | Potassium: 80mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 239IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg | Net Carbs: 7g

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is merely an approximation. Optional ingredients are not included and when there is an alternative, the primary ingredient is typically used. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts since they have been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.

I hope you love this Dorito Popcorn as much as we do!

What is your favorite way to eat popcorn?
Do you still eat Doritos :)?

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Recipe Rating



  1. For an oil free option, lightly spray with “braggs liquid aminos” as popcorn is flying out of the air popper – this will allow the spices to stick to the popcorn.

      1. yes, it’s actually quite delicious!! The hard part was finding a spray bottle for it, it’s the key, you just want a light mist.
        Some people might say oil taste much better (and some days it does)…but this is a great healthy alternative 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Thanks for the recipe, Adrienne! I also have been making it for years and I love it! Also really good on kale chips. 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    I have been making this for my kids for years, and keep coming back to this page… I realized I never commented after all these years. This is a wonderful recipe that my oldest calls “spicy popcorn” Thank you, we love this!

    1. Aww – how sweet! Thank you so much! I’ve had a rough year and a half (or more) and haven’t put too many recipes up but I’m about to get a new one up this week….hope to have more posts etc soon and would love to hear from you anytime :)!

  4. 5 stars
    I have come back and used this recipe over and over for the past several years and it just occurred to me that I have never commented on how wonderful it is. My kids refer to it as The Popcorn Salt (they are little so all seasonings are “salt” to them regardless of whether there is salt in it or not). The only modification I usually make is not using any cayenne and reducing the chili powder (my small kids don’t like spicy). I like it as written however. Wonderful recipe!

    1. Aww thanks, Nikki! That means so much! I haven’t been blogging as much recently but I hope to have some more recipes up soon including more popcorn! Thank you!!! 🙂

  5. Question: Could I add the seasoning in with the oil while the corn pops or will the seasoning burn? Its just so hard to get seasoning to stick to popcorn without adding more fat to it after its popped, especially nutritional yeast. Its just sinks to the bottom of the bowl :/

    1. Hi Jen! Have you has this as a problem when adding seasonings to popcorn that is popped in oil? How much are you using? I would think adding more oil should help. I haven’t tried what you are suggesting but I have heard that you can do it. If you stir it frequently it might work out. Let me know how it goes!

  6. 5 stars
    Made this for my husband. I told him it was a nacho cheese flavor, I didn’t want to have to apologize later for it not measuring up to the Doritos name. He ate one handful and said “It taste like Doritos.” Thanks for sharing this recipe. It’s delicious.

  7. MSG isn’t bad for you, if you’re allergic you can’t basically eat any fruits, potatoes, tomatoes. It’s natural, and it gets a bad name from a racist medical revisionism. Lol can you stop pushing this racism? Thanks!

    1. Hi there. Actually MSG is synthetic and the components in tomatoes, etc. is natural glutamic acid. I’m aware that there is information out there stating that reactions are not frequent and that they aren’t severe, but there is some talk of the effects being cumulative which would be difficult to test in a formal testing situation. I would prefer to avoid synthetic additives to my food whenever necessary. It has nothing to do with racism :). And there are other ingredients in Doritos that I would prefer to avoid as well :). Thanks for reading and for commenting.

    2. “LOL” what on Earth are you on about? There’s plenty of legitimate racism in the world that you should be focusing on rather than throwing that word at innocent people and using spurious claims. Pathetic.

  8. 4 stars
    I love this recipe! I did find that using less cumin helped it taste more like Doritos and a little less like Mexican food otherwise it’s a really good recipe I’ve already shared it with two families with lots of food restrictions!

  9. OMG I love nacho cheese doritos but I also have eczema and my sister and niece have allergies to MSG so they are out! I am so excited to try this recipe! Thank you so much for taking the time to make this.

    1. So hope you like it! It’s not completely like Doritos b/c you can’t really copy it w/o all the additives but we love this. Thanks and hope you enjoy!

      1. It’s probably close enough for me. I haven’t had any doritos in Years. I probably would;t like the taste of them anymore. so this is GREAT!!

    1. Thanks much! Hope to try to perfect it later! Someone did think it was good enough to steal and put on All Recipes :(. Sigh …

      Thanks for reading and supporting my blog!

  10. Great recipe, but do we really need 5 minutes of reading about your food philosophy and family history before we get to the actual recipe?

    1. Hello Ron–first of all, thanks for reading.

      Second, you must have missed it but there’s a handy dandy “jump to recipe” button at the top of my recipe posts for those who either don’t wish to read the information, or for those who are coming back for the recipe.

      So the answer is, no–you don’t have to read it, but you can if you’d like and often there are helpful tips near the recipe as well.

      I am a blogger and a writer and not a “recipe site” where all you get is recipes. I have a connection with my readers and build relationships rather than just having recipes and DIY info. There are both types of sites–but since I added those buttons you can use mine in both ways. Hope that helps :).

      1. Adrienne, I enjoyed reading your post! I appreciate the kind way you handled that, as well. I’m sure it can be frustrating at times to receive criticism when you’re working hard to share your stories and helpful info (like this recipe), but just keep doing what you’re doing, and I’ll keep coming back for more! Thanks again! ??

    2. 5 stars
      Wonderful recipe, Adrienne, and what a kind response to Ron. Adrienne, you’re a class act and I appreciate all you do for your readers. 🙂

      1. Awww–thank you. It can be hard sometimes because I am a human like everyone else but I really appreciate your kind words. Thank you!!

    3. Seriously rude Ron! If you don’t want to read it then Don’t it’s like changing the channel if you don’t want to watch something rather than complaining. You should know by now that the recipe is at the bottom of the page. Scroll down!

  11. 5 stars
    I really like this Dorito popcorn recipe. I really liked the mexican ‘cheezy’ flavor it had, does it taste like Doritos? I think it does a little bit(more like a yummy taco)!
    5 star

    1. Thank you so much! Yes, it probably does have more of a taco flavor. I think I should take another run at it with some new ingredients that I thought of. Thanks!

  12. I tried this. I tasted nothing like Doritos. It just tasted like a bunch of spices thrown together. I was very disappointed as I had really hoped it was going to be Dorito tasting.

    1. Interesting how a lot of people love it and say it’s really close and others say no. Maybe different taste buds? Of course there is no MSG in this and of course it’s spices. Not sure how it’s not supposed to taste like spices. Could you explain that, please?

  13. 5 stars
    Definitely delicious! Almost a Doritos taste. I’ll be making this often!
    P. S. If you mist your popcorn with a little water the seasonings stick without needing oil. Guilt free snack!)

    1. So glad you liked it! I used to do that as well w/ water but I started changing my thinking on dietary issues and felt that the added fat was good to balance the carbs….but yes if you are avoiding oil for some reason that works great! Thanks again!

  14. I’m excited about trying this recipe for a Christmas party this evening. I’m just wondering if I use the whole recipe of spices on the amount of popcorn specified in the recipe. Thanks.