How to Make Flaming Hot Protein Cheetos
As a nutrition coach, one strategy I aim to implement early on in a client’s life cycle is the elimination of trigger foods. These are foods that no amount of willpower can withstand. Once you start eating these foods, there’s no chance of stopping. Flaming hot Cheetos, if you haven’t guessed by now, are one of my biggest trigger foods. So, I’ve distanced myself from Chester Cheetah over the years for the sake of my health and waistline. But that ends today.
With 18g of protein and 6g of carbs per 165 calories, these flaming hot Cheetos definitely make the cut now. You might think making Cheetos is going to be super complicated, but this recipe only has 3 primary ingredients and some added spices that you probably have in your kitchen already.
This recipe was inspired by Cait’s Macro-Friendly Cheetos on The Macro Experiment blog. Also, this post may contain Amazon affiliate links to the products I use. Please read my disclosure for more information.
Like Cait, I used Hoosier Hill Farms Cheddar Powder from Amazon. If you hate to buy an ingredient for one recipe, check out this article I put together with 5 other recipes you can make with this powdered gold.
A piece of kitchen equipment you’ll probably need for this recipe is a hand mixer. You can whisk these by hand if you’re looking for a great workout, but I prefer to save the time.
Speaking of time, you can use whole eggs and separate the whites if you’d rather. But since we don’t have any use for the yolk in this recipe, I hate to waste.
I’ve tried both a piping bag and a resealable bag with a corner cut off to create my Cheetos, and I prefer the resealable bag oddly enough. Be careful not to cut your hole too big and make sure your bag is sealed. (Red food color is a mess!)
For this version, I went for a puffier Cheeto. You’ll also notice that I opted to not roll my Cheetos in the spice mix and sprinkle it on top for this version. More comments on thin vs puff and rolling vs sprinkling in the recipe below.
Okay, here’s the recipe. You can get creative with the size and shape of your Cheetos, as well as the spiciness of your cheddar mix.
- 6 servings Liquid Egg Whites, room temperature
- 1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
- 5-6 drops Red Food Color, puts the "flame" in the "hot"
- 36 g (6 servings) Cheddar Cheese Powder
- 1-2 tsp Paprika
- 1-2 tsp Cayenne Pepper, How bold are you?
- 1 tsp Onion Powder, optional
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil with cooking spray.
- Using a hand mixer, mix your egg whites and cream of tartar on high for a few minutes until your egg whites form stiff peaks. (When you pull the whisk out, the mixture looks like mountain peaks where your whisk came out.)
- Add your red food color and mix a few more seconds until uniform.
- Line a large bowl or shallow dish with your cheese powder and spices.
- Using a piping bag or Ziploc bag with a corner cut off, create long, red, Cheeto shaped egg whites onto your cheese mixture. The thinner your piping bag or hole in your Ziploc bag, the crispier these will be. If you like Cheeto Puffs, you can make them larger, but you'll want to watch closely to make sure the outside doesn't burn before they're fully cooked.
- Once your Cheetos are in the cheese and spice mixture, spoon the mixture to fully coat each Cheeto. Place the finished Cheetos on your baking sheet. (If your Cheetos have trouble sticking together, your egg whites probably aren't stiff enough. You can continue mixing them and retry - or go straight to the baking sheet and spoon the cheese/spice mixture on top.)
- Bake your finished Cheetos for 10-12 minutes. (I found that spraying a tiny bit of cooking spray on the top before going in the oven reduced any burning/scorching of the spices.)
Nutrition Information:Serving Size: Entire Recipe
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 330Total Fat: 9gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 36g
Looking for more snack options like the low carb Doritos above? Check out my Ultimate Healthy Snacks Guide, where you’ll find over 60 snack ideas and more than 30 recipe graphics. You may also enjoy my low carb Cheez It crackers recipe if you’re buying cheddar powder.