How to Make Cheetos

Three Methods:Puffy (Baked) CheetosCrispy (Fried) CheetosLow-Carb Cheetos

Cheesy, crunchy Cheetos are a hit with many people. If you love cooking and love cheesy chips, you can impress other avid Cheetos fans by making your own at home. Homemade Cheetos are a little different from the ones you'd buy in a store, but they are just as good—and best of all, you can enjoy them fresh!


Puffy (Baked) Cheetos[1]

Makes 8 to 10 servings

  • Chip Ingredients
    • 4 Tbsp (60 ml) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch (1.25-cm) cubes
    • 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) salt
    • 1/8 tsp (0.6 ml) garlic powder
    • 1 cup (250 ml) all-purpose flour
    • 1-1/2 tsp (7.5 ml) yellow cornmeal
    • 1 cup (250 ml) Monterey Jack cheese, finely shredded
  • Coating Ingredients
    • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) cheddar cheese powder
    • 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) buttermilk powder
    • 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) salt
    • 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) cornstarch

Crispy (Fried) Cheetos[2]

Makes 8 to 10 servings

  • Chip Ingredients
    • 1 tsp (5 ml) salt
    • 1-3/4 cup (440 ml) white cornmeal
    • 1/2 cup (125 ml) milk
    • 2 egg whites
    • Canola oil, for frying
  • Coating Ingredients
    • 6 Tbsp (90 ml) small pearl tapioca
    • 1 cup (250 ml) grated sharp cheddar cheese
    • 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) water
    • 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) salt

Low-Carb Cheetos[3]

Makes 3 to 4 cups (750 to 1000 ml)

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/8 tsp (0.6 ml) cream of tartar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 oz (85 g) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 to 4 Tbsp (30 to 60 ml) cheese-flavored popcorn seasoning

Method 1
Puffy (Baked) Cheetos

  1. 1
    Beat together the butter, salt, and garlic powder. Place the three ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using a paddle attachment, beat them together at medium-low speed for roughly 1 or 2 minutes.
    • When combined, use a spatula the scrape any butter or seasonings from the side of the bowl and back down into the mass of ingredients at the bottom.
  2. 2
    Add remaining chip ingredients. Add the flour, cornmeal, and shredded cheese to the butter mixture and switch the mixer to low speed. Stir for a couple of minutes, or until a firm dough forms.
  3. 3
    Chill the chip dough. Use your hands to pack the chip dough into a disc and completely cover the dough with plastic wrap. Keep it in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
    • The dough must be wrapped well. If it comes into contact with the air, it could dry out and start to crumble.
  4. 4
    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). Prepare two standard baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper.
    • Note that silicone baking sheets can be used instead of parchment paper. Do not use aluminum foil, wax paper, or nonstick cooking spray, though.
  5. 5
    Roll the dough into logs. Take the dough out of the refrigerator. Use your fingers to pinch of small pieces, and use the palms of your hands to gently roll these pieces into lumpy logs. Place the logs onto your prepared baking sheets.
    • The logs should be about 2 to 2.5 inches (5 to 6.25 cm) long and 1/4 to 1/2 inch (0.6 to 1.25 cm) wide.
    • When placing the dough logs onto your baking sheets, space them together closely but do not allow them to touch.
  6. 6
    Bake the chips for 12 to 15 minutes. When done, the chips should lose their shine and begin to brown around the edges.
    • Remove the chips and immediately transfer them to a cool wire rack. Allow them to cool to room temperature.
  7. 7
    Grind the coating ingredients together. Place the cheese powder, buttermilk powder, salt, and cornstarch into a mini food processor. Pulse the ingredients together for 10 to 15 seconds, or until evenly blended.
    • If you do not have a miniature food processor, you could use a spice grinder, instead.
  8. 8
    Coat the chips. Place the cheese coating into a large resealable plastic bag. Add the cooled chips, seal the bag, and gently shake it. Repeat as necessary until all the chips are well-coated.
  9. 9
    Serve and enjoy. This completes the process. You can eat the chips now, or you can save them for later.
    • To save the chips, place them in an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to one week.

Method 2
Crispy (Fried) Cheetos

  1. 1
    Preheat the oven to its lowest setting. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
    • If possible, set the oven to 170 degrees Fahrenheit (80 degrees Celsius). For ovens that do not go that low, simply choose the lowest temperature setting above that. Do not set it for a temperature below 170 degrees Fahrenheit (80 degrees Celsius).
  2. 2
    Grind the tapioca pearls. Place the tapioca pearls in a coffee grinder and grind them down for 1 minute, or until they form a fine powder.
    • Set this aside for the time being.
  3. 3
    Combine the water and cheese. Place both ingredients into a small saucepan. Heat them together over medium, stirring constantly with a spoon or whisk until the cheese completely melts.
    • The final cheese sauce should be free of clumps and very runny.
  4. 4
    Blend the cheese sauce with the tapioca. Place the cheese sauce into a food processor. Add the tapioca to the machine, as well, and blend the two together on high speed until thick granules form. This should take about 30 seconds.
    • Note that if your mixture does not form granules but takes on a dough-like texture instead, you might need to add another 1 tsp (5 ml) of ground tapioca. Do so and continue processing.
  5. 5
    Transfer the granules to the baking sheet. Spread the cheesy granules into a single thin layer on your prepared baking sheet.
  6. 6
    Bake for 45 minutes. Place the cheesy granules in the oven and bake until the mixture is completely dry to the touch.
    • When done, remove the baking sheet from the oven. Allow the cheesy powder to cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet before continuing.
  7. 7
    Grind the powder with salt. Place the cheese powder into the coffee grinder and add the coating portion of salt, 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml). Grind the two together for 1 minute, or until a very fine powder forms.
    • Set this aside. This step completes the cheese coating, and you will not need to use the coating until the cheese chips are done.
  8. 8
    Heat oil in a medium saucepan. Pour 2 inches (5 cm) of canola oil into the saucepan and heat it on high. Allow it to reach a temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
    • Check the temperature of the oil using a candy thermometer.
  9. 9
    Prepare your stations. Once the chips have been fried, you will need to quickly coat them in cheese powder and drain off the excess oil. Speed this process up later by preparing your stations now.
    • Line a baking sheet with several layers of clean paper towel. This is your draining station.
    • Line a second baking sheet with your powdered cheese.
  10. 10
    Combine the chip dough ingredients. Place the cornmeal, milk, egg white, and chip portion of salt in a large bowl. Stir the ingredients together with a mixing spoon or whisk until the mixture becomes smooth and free of lumps.
  11. 11
    Transfer the chip dough to a cookie gun. Scoop the dough into the cook gun. Make sure that it is thin enough to go through the die by squeezing out a small dot.
    • If the mixture is too dry to squeeze out, return it to your mixing bowl and mix with an additional 1 Tbsp (15 ml) milk.
    • If the mixture is too wet and is unable to keep its shape after being squeezed out, return it to the bowl and add another 1 Tbsp (15 ml) cornmeal.
  12. 12
    Squeeze out and fry the chips. Squeeze the dough out of the cookie gun and directly into the hot oil. Fry each chip for 15 seconds, then use a slotted spoon to flip it over. Fry for another 15 seconds, or until golden brown, before removing it from the oil with your slotted spoon.
    • Each pump of the cookie gun should turn into one chip.
    • You can fry four to six chips at once in the oil. Avoid frying any more, however, since you could accidentally crowd out the pan.
    • Continue until all the dough has been used.
    • As you fry the chips, pay attention to the temperature of the oil. It should always remain at or near 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). Adjust the temperature controls of your stove as needed to maintain this temperature.
  13. 13
    Drain and coat. Transfer the fried chips directly to the baking sheet lined with paper towels. Let them dry for a 15 to 20 seconds, then quickly toss them into the cheese powder. Roll the chips around so that all sides are coated.
    • Move the drained and coated chips to a separate plate. Allow them to cool to room temperature.
  14. 14
    Serve and enjoy. At this point, the chips are ready to eat. Eat them now or save a few for later.
    • If you decide to save the chips, place them in an airtight container and store them at room temperature for 3 to 4 days.

Method 3
Low-Carb Cheetos

  1. 1
    Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit (150 degrees Celsius). Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
    • Instead of parchment paper, you could use a silicone baking mat. Avoid using aluminum foil or wax paper.
    • Nonstick cooking spray can be used, as well, if this is your only option.
  2. 2
    Beat together the egg whites and cream of tartar. Combine the two ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat them together for 3 to 5 minutes on high speed, or until stiff peaks form.
    • Use a glass or metal bowl, if possible. It is easier to whip egg whites into peaks when the bowl is made from either of these two materials, but you might have some difficulty with a plastic bowl.
  3. 3
    Combine the egg yolks and cream cheese. In a separate medium mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks into the cream cheese using an electric mixer.
  4. 4
    Fold the cream cheese mixture into the egg whites. Transfer the cream cheese mixture to the bowl of beaten egg whites. Carefully fold the cream cheese into the egg whites using a spatula.
    • Do not stir the cream cheese mixture in or press down too firmly on the egg whites as you fold. If you are too rough, the egg white will deflate, and the resulting chips will be flat and chewy instead of plump and airy.
  5. 5
    Form 2-inch (5-cm) logs with the batter. Scoop the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch (1.25-cm) round nozzle. Pipe the batter into 2-inch (5-cm) long logs.
    • If you do not have a pastry bag, you could use a plastic sandwich or quart-size food bag. Cut off one corner of the bag so that there is a 1/2-inch (1.25-cm) opening to pipe the batter through.
  6. 6
    Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Place the chips in the oven and cook until they turn light golden brown in color.
    • Let the chips cool slightly, just long enough until they are safe to handle with your hands.
  7. 7
    Toss with popcorn seasoning. Transfer the chips to a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the popcorn seasoning over the chips, and toss the chips well until each one is thoroughly coated.
  8. 8
    Dry the chips completely. Switch your oven to its lowest temperature, prop the door open slightly using a wooden spoon or folded dish towel, and bake the chips for another 1 to 2 hours.
    • If you have a dehydrator, you could stick the chips in there for 2 hours on high instead of using the oven.
    • Another alternative is to simply let the chips sit overnight on the counter without being covered.
  9. 9
    Serve and enjoy. This completes the recipe. You can eat the chips now, or you can save them for later.
    • To store the chips, place them in a semi-sealed plastic or paper bag at room temperature and keep them up to one day.

Things You'll Need

Puffy (Baked) Cheetos

  • Stand mixer with paddle attachment
  • Plastic wrap
  • Baking sheets
  • Parchment paper or silicone liners
  • Mini food processor or spice grinder
  • Large resealable plastic bag
  • Airtight container

Crispy (Fried) Cheetos

  • 3 baking sheets
  • Parchment paper
  • Coffee grinder
  • Whisk or mixing spoon
  • Mixing bowls
  • Food processor
  • Medium saucepan
  • Slotted spoon
  • Cookie gun with 1/2 circular die
  • Clean paper towels
  • Airtight container

Low-Carb Cheetos

  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Large glass or metal mixing bowl
  • Medium mixing bowl, any material
  • Electric mixer
  • Spatula
  • Pastry bag or plastic bag
  • Large mixing bowl, any material
  • Food dehydrator (optional)
  • Plastic or paper bag

Article Info

Categories: Party Snacks