By/ Last Modified On June 8, 2023
Is there a snack brand more iconic than Cheetos? No other savory snack leaves you with such a thick layer of orange dust on your fingertips!
Today we’re going to answer the big question: Are Cheetos gluten-free? Additionally, we’ll list which Cheetos varieties are safe for celiacs, as well as provide some gluten-free alternatives with the same addictively cheesy taste.
What Are Cheetos?
Cheetos are a crunchy, puffed corn snack coated with orange cheese-flavored powder. Produced since 1948, they’re made by Frito-Lay (a subsidiary of PepsiCo). Today, you can find them in a wide variety of flavors like Flamin’ Hot, Puffs, Crunchy, and Baked.
The Main Ingredients in Cheetos
As per the official Cheetos website, these are the main ingredients in Cheetos:
- Enriched cornmeal
- Vegetable and canola oil
- Cheese seasoning
- Natural and artificial flavors, colors, and additives.
- Whey protein concentrate
Are Cheetos Gluten-Free?
So, do Cheetos have gluten? No, they do not. Cheetos Snacks are gluten-free.
Frito-Lay confirms this on its website and states that Cheetos go through analytical testing to ensure that they contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten.
While they’re eligible for gluten-free labeling (as per FDA regulations), for reasons unknown, Cheetos don’t have a gluten-free label. If this is a concern for you, not to worry: We’ve included plenty of certified gluten-free Cheetos alternatives below.
Which Cheetos are Gluten-Free?
If you’ve ever perused the snacks aisle at your local grocery store, you’ll know there’s an extensive range of Cheetos available. Here are the gluten-free Cheetos varieties, according to Frito-Lay.
Note: The following information pertains exclusively to US Cheetos products. The same product in other countries may be made using a slightly different recipe or ingredients. Visit your local Cheetos website to confirm the product is also gluten-free where you live.
Are Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Gluten-Free?
Yes, these Flamin’ Hot Cheetos flavors are gluten-free:
- Crunchy Flamin’ Hot Cheese Flavored Snacks
- Crunchy Flamin’ Hot Limon Cheese Flavored Snacks
- Crunchy XXTRA Flamin’ Hot Cheese Flavored Snacks
- Puffs Flamin' Hot Cheese Flavored Snacks
- Reduced Fat Crunchy Flamin' Hot Cheese Flavored Snacks
- Reduced Fat Crunchy Flamin' Hot Limon Cheese Flavored Snacks
- Reduced Fat Puffs Flamin' Hot Cheese Flavored Snacks
We can confirm Chester’s Flamin’ Hot Flavored Fries are another gluten-free Hot Cheetos option.
Yes, Cheetos Puffs Cheese Flavored Snacks are gluten-free. This also extends to Simply Puffs White Cheddar Cheese Flavored Snacks as well as Reduced Fat Puffs Cheese Flavored Snacks.
Yes, Cheetos Crunchy Cheese, Crunchy Cheddar Jalapeno Cheese, and Simply Crunchy White Cheddar Cheese Flavored Snacks are all gluten-free.
Yes, Cheetos Baked Crunchy Cheese Flavored Snacks are gluten-free.
Yes, Cheetos Crunchy Cheddar Jalapeno Cheese Flavored Snacks are gluten-free.
Yes, Cheetos Paws Cheese Flavored Snacks are gluten-free.
Yes, both Cheetos Fantastix! Chilli Cheese as well as Flamin’ Hot Flavored Corn and Potato Snacks are gluten-free.
8 Great Gluten-Free Cheetos Alternatives
If you want to step outside of your Cheetos comfort zone, there are plenty of gluten-free cheesy corn snacks that lend the same satisfying crunch and flavor.
Annie’s Organic Cheddar Cheesy Smiles
Looking for an organic version of Cheetos? Try Annie’s Organic Cheddar Cheesy Smiles. This gluten-free snack is baked (not fried) and made with wholesome ingredients like organic cheese. With no artificial flavors or colors, we bet you’ll be coming back for more after the first bite.
Hippeas Organic Chickpea Puffs
Instead of cornmeal, Hippeas Organic Chickpea Puffs are made with organic chickpea and rice flour. These certified gluten-free snacks are also USDA organic, vegan, kosher, and contain zero nuts or soy. Every packet equals 130 calories, four grams of protein, and three grams of fiber.
While the vegan white cheddar flavor is the most similar to Cheetos, you can also buy variety packs that include flavors like Nacho Vibes, Sriracha Sunshine, and Bohemian Barbecue.
IWON Organic Cheddar Cheese Protein Puffs
A single serving of IWON Organic Cheddar Cheese Protein Puffs includes an impressive 10 grams of plant-based protein and five grams of fiber provided by green peas, yellow peas, and brown rice. Combine that with organic cheddar cheese seasoning, and you’ve got one of the best gluten-free Cheetos alternatives on the market!
Pirate’s Booty White Cheddar Cheese Puffs
Pirate’s Booty White Cheddar Cheese Puffs are “arghhh-uably the best snack to incorporate into any movie night.” Made with a blend of rice and corn, these baked puffs are then covered with an aged white cheddar cheese seasoning.
Schoolyard Snacks Cheddar Cheese Keto Puffs
If you follow the ketogenic diet, we’ve got the Cheetos alternative for you! Schoolyard Snacks’ Keto Puffs are high in protein, low in calories and sugar, and gluten- and grain-free. If you’re looking to enjoy Cheetos without the guilt, check out these cheesy snacks!
Shrewd Food Baked Cheddar Protein Puffs
We think that Shrewd Food saw IWON Organic’s Cheddar Cheese Protein Puffs and decided to one-up them. Just one serving of their Baked Cheddar Protein Puffs contains 14 grams of protein. The high-protein and low-carb snack also happens to tick the keto box as well. The ingredients include organic peas, beans, cornmeal, chickpea flour, and rice flour. If that doesn’t convince you, they also come in a scrumptious Nacho Cheese flavor.
Utz Cheese Balls
Utz Quality Foods has been around for over a hundred years, and one of its most popular offerings is Utz Cheese Balls. Gluten-free, trans-fat-free, and cholesterol-free, you can buy a 36.5-ounce tub of the delicious cheese balls (good luck trying to pace yourself)! With a very similar cheesy coating to Cheetos, they make it difficult not to go back for seconds…and thirds.
WISE Snacks Cheez Doodles Baked Puffs
WISE Snacks Cheez Doodles Baked Puffs come in snack packs, making them a perfect lunch box addition for gluten-free kids. Just because they’re gluten-free, you won’t be “sacrificing on flavor, crunch, and satisfaction.” And hey! If you’re not into the texture, they also make an Extra Crunchy version.
Related: Make your own copycat Cheez-Its at home with our easy 5-ingredient cheese crackers recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Cheetos Dairy-Free?
Because the cheese flavoring is made with milk products, Cheetos are not dairy-free.
Can Celiacs Eat Cheetos?
Yes, celiacs can eat nearly all varieties of Cheetos, including original Cheetos, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, and Cheeto Puffs.
Is Cheetos Popcorn Gluten-Free?
We cannot confirm that Cheetos Cheddar Popcorn Flavored Snacks are gluten-free. While there are no wheat ingredients listed – and popcorn is naturally gluten-free – this specific product isn’t included in Frito-Lay’s list of gluten-free Cheetos varieties. Understandably, it’s easy to suspect that it’s been cross-contaminated with wheat sometime during the production process.
Are Cheetos gluten-free? Most of them are, so feel free to throw a bag (or two) in your cart during your next trip to the supermarket!
If you’re feeling inspired but want to eat healthier, it’s easy to make addictively good gluten-free snacks at home. Check out our recipes for gluten-free graham crackers and gluten-free Goldfish crackers. Your family is guaranteed to love them!
Balancing snacks with healthy meals is difficult, especially if you have dietary restrictions. Not to worry: Purple Carrot offers plant-based meal kits and prepared meals that suit every taste and diet!