Hot Cheeto Salad Is My New Favorite Thing

Originally Published: 
Scary Mommy, Katie Bingham-Smith and Helen Camacar/Getty

Hot Cheetos have become a staple in my house, along with milk and bread. If you have teenagers, I’m sure you’ve had your share of requests for these hot, crunchy snacks that (my to my surprise) became surprisingly addictive for me.

I’ve always loved regular Cheetos and in the ’80s when I grew up, having Cheetos once in a great while was a special treat — and believe me, I can take a bag down in less than ten minutes. It’s a skill you learn when you grow up with three siblings whose parents are living on one income and a very tight budget. “If you hesitate, you go hungry” was my motto, and as a child I learned how to speed-eat.

Anyway, I love my Cheetos but I’m not a huge fan of hot things. So, when I took my first bite of a Hot Cheeto I didn’t like it. Then I did. Like, within three seconds. Then I liked it even more. Then before I knew it I had Hot Cheeto dust flying around my body Pig-Pen style because I reverted back to the version of my eight-year-old self who’d found a snack and wanted it gone before I had to share.

If my kids are having a sleepover, I need to make sure we’ve got Hot Cheetos. If it’s the weekend, I need to make sure we have Hot Cheetos. If they know I am going out to the store, they need to make sure to tell me to get the Hot Cheetos. You get the idea.

I love these flamin’ babies dipped in sour cream, my kids like them with a side of fruity, gummy candy, and we all like them with pickles.

When I saw a recipe for Hot Cheeto salad I figured it was a bit more classy than my typical fist full of hot cheese puffs being dipped in a tub of sour cream so I thought I’d give it a try.

The recipe went viral on TikTok and there are a few variations but I decided to keep it simple and just had the cut up cucumber, cilantro, and crushed Cheetos. No hot sauce for me, thank you very much. However, if you and your butthole are brave, give it a go.

For me, it was love at first bite. The cucumber and cilantro are so good and refreshing on their own. The Hot Cheetos give this salad the crunch and substance it needs. It’s kind of like adding cheese to your salad along with with something crunchy, only better. (God, I should be a restaurant critic.)

Courtesy of Katie Bingham-Smith

My daughter tried a bite after telling me she didn’t think it was going to be good. She was wrong and ended up loving it, and ate the entire bowl so I didn’t get any more than my one bite.

She added lime and said it was even better. I also think it would be great with blue cheese dressing, and I’m thinking about serving it for Thanksgiving. It’s time to shake things up and start new traditions anyway. Who needs stuffing when you have Hot Cheeto salad?

It would also be a great side dish to have on taco night. Hell, I might get crazy and add it to my taco shell with the beef and cheese.

Even if you don’t love spicy food you might like this salad since the cucumber and cilantro cool it down quite a bit. And if you can’t get enough hot food in your diet. I mean, it’s a no-brainer.

According to me, the only thing con about the Hot Cheeto salad is this: you have to make it in small batches or add the Cheetos just before eating since soggy Hot Cheetos aren’t appealing in the least.

Courtesy of Katie Bingham-Smith

If you’re a fan of Hot Cheetos and are looking to spice up your salad game, try this.

But even if you’ve tried them and aren’t in love (you are entitled to your wrong opinion) you may want to make a small bowl and have everyone in your family try it out because trying viral recipes is just more fun than trying a regular recipe. Not only is it a fun way to bond with your family, there is a small possibility you will find a new favorite snack. And who knows — a new Thanksgiving side dish if your family is lucky.

This article was originally published on