Snacking: Other than meals, it’s the best time of day. But when you take a break from work to go in on a snack, you have lots of options. Want to keep it healthy? Go with a piece of fruit. Want to indulge on a snack that will brighten up your afternoon … and your fingers … and everything else you touch? If so, then you know you have to go for some Cheetos.
They’re salty. They’re cheesy. They’re definitely not good for you. However, Cheetos are indisputably delicious. Plus, you have to treat yourself from time to time, and you might as well do that with a neon orange snack that will stain those nice white pants you just had to wear to the office that day.
However, if you’re still new to the Cheetos game, you may not know about the incredible number of flavors available. If you’re wondering what kind to get next time, you have to check out this ranking of Cheetos flavors. Think of it as your guide to the ultimate snack time.
Look, we know that not everyone is going to agree with us on this front, but we have to speak the truth. The puffs aren’t as good as the crunchy Cheetos. When you think of Cheetos, you think of that signature crunch, right? Well, you’re not going to get it from the puffs. They basically taste like orange air, especially when you choose the somewhat bland original flavor.
At least if they’re mostly air, you might assume that they wouldn’t be too bad for you. Think again. With one package of these, you’re getting in over 1,000 calories. It just doesn’t seem worth it if you know you’re not going to enjoy these as much as the crunchy version.
We’re not saying you should never get cheese puffs. But if you do, you’ll want to go for one of those oversized plastic jars … not a bag of Cheetos.
Simply Puffs White Cheddar Cheese Cheetos
You already know where we stand on the puff front, so it shouldn’t surprise you that the Simply Puffs White Cheddar Cheese flavor comes in near the bottom of the list. Basically, you’ve got the same problem with this flavor as you do the last: There’s just too much air and not enough flavor.
That being said, these certainly are a step up from the original flavor. The white cheddar cheese isn’t good, per se, but it is slightly more interesting than the plain kind. But that flavoring comes with a weird lack of orange coloring, which is unsettling to see when you open up a bag of Cheetos.
We know that the company is going for a healthier vibe with this version, but the conspicuous lack of orange powder isn’t going to hide the fact that this snack still contains some less-that-delicious-sounding ingredients and a whole ton of calories. Best to skip it in favor of one of the other flavors.
Baked Crunchy Cheese Cheetos
When you decide that you want to eat some Cheetos, you’re probably not thinking about how you’re going to have the healthiest snack possible — and that’s okay. Sometimes, you need to eat a salad, and other times, you need the release that comes from popping open a bag of flavored processed corn carbs. Just do yourself a favor and don’t confuse those times.
That’s what Cheetos is trying to get you to do by buying the Baked Crunchy Cheese flavor. They have the same original powdery topping you’re used to, but the chip is baked instead. You may not assume that would have a significant impact on the taste, but it really does.
Baked Cheetos aren’t as good as the original, and we resent the fact that the company is trying to pass these snacks off as healthy. Sure, they may be healthier than your standard Cheeto, but according to Is It Bad for You?, they’re still pretty terrible for you.
Baked Crunchy Flamin’ Hot Cheetos
Yes, it’s true that we dislike the Cheetos baked line. Just admit that your food is detrimental to people’s health and really lean into it, you know? But Cheetos had to make sure its iconic flavor was available in a baked version too, which is why you can now find Baked Crunchy Flamin’ Hot Cheetos at your local grocery store or gas station.
The texture of these chips is just as bad as what you’ll find in the original baked version. It’s somehow crunchier than the normal kind, but it’s also simultaneously less satisfying. How can that even be possible?!
However, this one gets higher points than the original because the baked bits are doused in the Flamin’ Hot powder we know and love. So while you may not get that slightly oily mouthfeel that you love from these baked Cheetos, you will get that spicy-hot addictiveness that makes you want to buy a new bag every day.
White Cheddar Bites Cheetos
While we didn’t expect to be in love with many of the white cheddar flavors, we have to admit that we don’t hate the White Cheddar Bites. The taste is nice and subtle. While that’s not really what we’re looking for in a bag of Cheetos, these actually taste pretty good if you just want something random to eat. Sure, they are kind of bland, but you won’t regret buying a bag of them.
We do have mixed feelings about the texture, though. There’s something about biting into these bites that just feels like you got a bag of busted-up puffs. They have a similar consistency, but there’s less to bite into. The Cheetos shape is so iconic that this new look might be off-putting to some Cheeto connoisseurs.
Do we love them? No. Would we go out of our way to buy them? Probably not. But are you going to regret eating them if they just happen to be lying around? Not likely.
Fantastix Chili Cheese Cheetos
Every once in a while, you have to switch it up and try something new. That’s apparently just what Cheetos was trying to do when it created its Fantastix Chili Cheese flavor. This variety of Cheeto looks a bit different than what you’re used to. Instead of that random little corn squiggle, you’re working with more of a straight stick with this variety.
While yes, it’s something a bit different, this shape and texture isn’t exactly anything that’s groundbreaking. If anything, it has less crunch and less texture than the original, so we don’t really see the point.
On the upside, though, you also get to try the chili cheese flavor when you decide to buy these. We actually like the flavor, considering the fact that it’s something we’re not used to from the brand. The flavoring is surprisingly cheesy with a hint of meaty smokiness that adds a nice touch. It might not be our favorite flavor, but it may be worth a shot if this is the kind of thing you usually like.
Fantastix Flamin’ Hot Cheetos
There’s more than just one flavor in the Fantastix line, and we happen to like this one slightly better. Fantastix Flamin’ Hot is still in the middle of the pack because we can’t get over the strange texture of these Cheetos sticks with their crunchy-but-not bite. They’re still a little bit too soft for our liking without that bite that we’d prefer.
However, the Flamin’ Hot version ranks higher on our list for one very good reason: the powdered cheese they’re covered in. As you’ll be able to see as you move through this list, we’re on team Flamin’ Hot here. The spiciness of this flavor makes the weird texture more bearable.
While this may not be the first snack we’d reach for on a late-night trip to the grocery store, it’s not something we’d pass up if it were offered. And let’s be honest, after a few beers with friends, we could probably do some serious damage to a bag of these things.
Popcorn Cheddar Cheetos
Now, this is one of the stranger items that’s come out of the Cheetos laboratory. You may have thought that the brand only produced those little squiggly snacks, but that’s not true anymore. There’s a new kid on the block of Cheetos flavors and it’s … not even really a Cheeto at all.
Popcorn Cheddar Cheetos are actually popcorn, not Cheetos. That popcorn is then covered in the powdered cheddar cheese flavoring that you’ve grown to love after years of eating Cheetos.
Yes, this does sound like an incredible idea. But how does it really taste? In our opinion, not great. Pre-popped popcorn you can buy in a bag has a tendency to be less than fresh, and this product is no exception. This flavor would end up lower in our list if it weren’t for the fact that one of our favorite snacks covered in the dust from another one of our favorite snacks has an appeal that you just can’t deny.
Crunchy XXTRA Flamin’ Hot Cheetos
We love the crunch, and we love the heat … to a point. We were actually surprised that these weren’t closer toward the top of our list. The classic crunchy texture is alive and well in this flavor, which we are always grateful for. But in this case, the spiciness may have gone too far.
Just think back to your last bag of Flamin’ Hots. They were pretty spicy, weren’t they? For a widely beloved snack, they’re hotter than a lot of other "spicy" products you might find on store shelves today. Now, think of adding even more heat. That’s where they lost us.
Crunchy XXTRA Flamin’ Hot Cheetos should be good, but they may just be too hot. Sure, if you love sweating and being in pain while you’re wolfing down your favorite snack, then this may be the flavor for you. If you’d like to keep your taste buds intact, though, there are other (still spicy) options available to you.
Flavor Shots Flamin’ Hot Asteroids Cheetos
There’s a new Cheetos product in the bunch, and it might be time for you to check it out for yourself. They’re the Flavor Shots Flamin’ Hot Asteroids, and you can probably pick yours up at your local grocery store.
Are these things good? Indisputably yes. They taste pretty much the same as the normal Flamin’ Hots you’re used to eating. The main difference is the size. Instead of being a whole stick, these so-called asteroids are just a tiny bite. Additionally, they come in smaller packages, so it’s a good option for when you want a little snack without totally overdoing it.
But aside from the fact that they’re smaller and may be easier to put into a lunch box, we don’t really see the point in the size change. You could probably just get the normal Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and call it a day. But if you’re really craving a new snack shape, then this may just be the Cheeto product for you.
Cheetos is at it again, trying to create snackable foods that kids can’t keep their hands off of, and their Paws are a great example of that. While they might taste like your average Cheeto, they’re offering something just a little bit different. Cheetos decided to play with shapes again and create this paw-shaped treat. The shapes are surprisingly accurate, and they do make your snacking experience slightly more fun.
Of course, this is probably most appealing to parents who want their kids to have fun food. But we actually found that something about the flavor of these was particularly enjoyable. The pieces are bigger than normal Cheetos, so you get even more crunch in every bite.
Whether you decide to get these for the little ones in your life or you want to snack on them yourself at work, the cute shapes make them worth a try if you’re already a die-hard Cheetos fan.
Flamin’ Hot Puffs Cheetos
Truthfully, if you put Flamin’ Hot powder on just about anything, we’re going to like it. That’s even true when it comes to Cheetos puffs. Is the crunchy texture better? You already know our stance on this. But just because a puff is too airy doesn’t mean it can’t hold some spice well.
While lighter flavors don’t really do anything for the humble puff, the bold, strong taste of Flamin’ Hot seasoning actually makes Flamin’ Hot Puffs pretty good. In fact, the airiness actually kind of makes the heat less intense, meaning you can eat even more than usual.
Amazon users who have bought the product online have to agree. One user said, "They may not have any real nutritional value, but they sure taste good with a sandwich." Truer words have never been spoken. After all, we all know that sandwiches taste better when they’re topped with chips.
Popcorn Flamin’ Hot Cheetos
You already knew that Cheetos was making popcorn these days, and you might have even tried the original flavor. But did you know that you can level up your Cheetos popcorn game by opting for the Popcorn Flamin’ Hot instead of the regular stuff? It’s true. The movie theater classic popcorn now comes covered in your favorite spicy "cheese," and movie night has officially never been better.
The spicy seasoning seems to get into all the nooks and crannies of the popcorn pieces, making every bite absolutely jam-packed with flavor. In fact, the popcorn may even have more seasoning on it than the normal Cheetos.
We all need to try a different snack every now and then. If you are already fully in love with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, there’s a good chance you’re going to love this stuff too. Turns out that Thrillist feels the same way we do. They said, "The popcorn delivers on the promise of it being Flamin’ Hot. It leaves your mouth a little tingly. Furthermore, the level of Cheetle on this sucker is perfection." We couldn’t agree more.
Simply Crunchy White Cheddar Cheese Cheetos
Here’s another example of Cheetos trying to be healthy when they’re just not. Not our favorite thing in the world, but the texture of these plus the pretty decent flavor means that we’re on board.
The Simply Crunchy White Cheddar Cheese Cheetos are absent the shocking orange color that makes a Cheeto a Cheeto, but they are doused in a white cheddar cheese situation instead. The white cheddar has kind of a sharp taste that we can totally get down with. And while we might usually complain about a supposedly healthier chip being dry, the dryness of this flavor actually provides a nice crunch that perfectly complements the cheese.
Plus, since the Cheetos website said they’re made with no artificial colors or flavors, they may actually be slightly better for you than your status-quo Cheeto. Or you can tell yourself that to make yourself feel better, at the very least.
Crunchy Cheddar Jalapeno Cheetos
Unfortunately, not everyone can withstand a lot of heat. Some of us just weren’t born to inhale an entire family-sized bag of Flamin’ Hots after one too many drinks. Sad as that may be (we’ll keep those of you with weak tongues in our thoughts), there are alternatives out there in the Cheetos universe.
If you want just a touch of spice to your usual orange flavoring, Crunchy Cheddar Jalapeno Cheetos were probably made with you specifically in mind. They have a bit of heat, giving you that addictive spiciness you’re craving. At the same time, you won’t have to keep pouring yourself glasses of milk to try to keep your mouth from experiencing a full five-alarm fire.
Basically, these taste like what you would get if you took the original crunchy Cheetos and added the perfect amount of spice. If you like Flamin’ Hots, these might be slightly too mild for you. But we think they’re definitely worthy of being near the top of this list.
Simply Puffs White Cheddar Jalapeno Cheetos
It’s a surprise, even for us, that Simply Puffs White Cheddar Jalapeno Cheetos ended up this close to the top of the list. They’re missing both the orange powder and the signature crunch. Do they even count as real Cheetos?
We don’t know, and we don’t care. That’s because these things are downright tasty and you won’t regret grabbing a bag. The sharpness of the cheese flavoring plays nicely with just a touch of heat coming from the jalapenos. And even though they’re light and airy and definitely don’t make us think of a classic Cheeto, this is a snack that we could indulge in all day.
One Amazon reviewer also pointed out this helpful tidbit if you’re trying to watch your portion sizes: "The Jalapeno flavor keeps me aware of portion control. Very tasty." An unconventional method for healthy eating? Maybe. But we fully support it.
You can never go wrong with a classic, right? That’s why Crunchy is one of our solid top picks. This is what you think of when you think of a Cheeto. It’s what you get from the vending machine when you’re in a rush and need an old classic. And it’s what you put in your kid’s lunch box when you want them to have an especially good day at school.
When asked which was better, a majority of Redditors agreed that crunchy was the way to go instead of the puffs. One specific user clearly feels as strongly as we do when they commented "Crunchy, you heathen." Harsh? Maybe. Justified? Absolutely.
While we love that there are now so many different Cheetos flavors, sometimes you just have to go back to your roots. That’s when you can’t deny that all you want to do is reach for a good old-fashioned bag of Crunchy Cheetos. Time to get your fingers dirty.
Flamin’ Hot Limon Crunchy Cheetos
While Flamin’ Hot Limon Crunchy Cheetos did not finish at the very head of the pack, they definitely came close. If you love that spicy sensation, then it’s clear why these are a great snacking option. They really will light your mouth on fire, so make sure you can handle it before you commit to an entire bag. Chances are, though, once you taste that crunch and that spice, you’re going to be digging into your bag for more.
The only reason this one isn’t rated higher is because of the lime flavoring. We love the idea of fresh lime being added to a spicy snack. But the lime in these Cheetos just tastes a bit artificial. That being said, the lime flavor isn’t too strong, so at the end of the day, it’s nearly indistinguishable from the original Flamin’ Hot flavor.
While this variety may not rank at the very top of the list, any real Cheetos fan definitely needs to get their hands on this flavor.
Crunchy Flamin’ Hot Cheetos
Is this even a competition? In the back of your mind, you knew you would find the Crunchy Flamin’ Hot flavor all the way down here, didn’t you? Not only are they clearly the best Cheetos flavor, Adweek even declared Flamin’ Hot Cheetos America’s favorite snack for the third year in a row in 2019. Yeah, they’re really that popular. BuzzFeed made a list of all the reasons why we love this iconic and, frankly, addictive, snack.
Crunchy Flamin’ Hot Cheetos have the perfect amount of crunch and the perfect level of spice to keep you coming back for more, even when your mouth feels like it’s on fire … maybe even because your mouth feels like it’s on fire. Add in that garishly bright orange that’s just a smidge darker than the original cheesy neon, and you’ve got yourself the ideal afternoon snack.
In fact, now that we’re talking about it, don’t you feel like taking a trip to the vending machine right about now?