Grab a bag of Flamin' Hot Cheetos and whip up this quick and easy meal! These Hot Cheetos Chicken Strips are crunchy, spicy and actually quite healthy!Jump to Recipe
I've been on a "hot" kick lately. Flamin' Hot SmartFood Popcorn, Crazy-Hot PopChips, Baked Flamin' Hot Cheetos.....I love 'em all! I'm not usually one to buy regular chips, but if I can get a baked or pop chip with loads of flavor, I'm all in.
When I spotted the Baked Flamin' Hot Cheetos you better bet I grabbed a bag. And when there were just a few Cheetos left in the bag, I couldn't help but wonder how these would be as a coating on chicken strips. So naturally, I grabbed another bag the next day and here we are! (Spoiler alert - they're AWESOME!)
- Flamin' Hot Cheetos - Regular or Baked Flamin' Hot Cheetos will work!
- Mayonnaise - I recommend using regular (rather than a light version) because it'll keep the breading more crunchy instead of making them soggy
- Salt & Cayenne Pepper
- Chicken Tenders
How to Make Hot Cheetos Chicken Strips
- Crush the Cheetos until they're in small pieces using a baggie and a rolling pin OR by placing them in the food processor; place in a shallow dish and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, mayo, salt and cayenne. Add the chicken until coated.
- Coat each chicken tender (one at a time) with the crushed Cheetos. I find it easiest to have one hand working with the chicken and one working with the dry Cheetos.
- Place the chicken strips on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet. If you don't have a wire rack, you can just bake it on on the baking sheet. (I find that cooking them on the rack helps circulate the hot air better and makes the chicken strips more even and crunchy.)
- Spray the chicken strips with cooking spray. The oil will help the coating become crispy during its bake.
- Bake for about 15 minutes in a 400 degree oven or until the thickest piece of chicken registers 165F.
What to serve with Chicken Strips
I love these chicken strips plain, but if you want something to dip them in, I've got a couple recommendations. Ranch is a nice creamy dip to cool down the heat a bit. However, if you want to fire it up even a bit more, a mix of 1:1 sriracha + ketchup would be a fun addition!
Can I make these in the Air Fryer?
Absolutely! You can really cook these in the oven or an air fryer. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you might have to cook these in batches. I'd recommend cooking them in an air fryer set to 400F and cooking for about 10 minutes.
However, remember that air fryers vary a lot from brand to brand. Therefore, it might take more or less time. If you try these in your air fryer, I'd love to hear what brand you have and how long it took! (Tell me in the comments below!)
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Hot Cheetos Chicken Strips
- Oven OR Air Fryer
- 2 c crushed Flamin' Hot Cheetos
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 lb chicken tenders
- Place the crushed Cheetos in a shallow dish and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400°F and place a wire rack on top of a baking sheet.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, mayo, salt and cayenne.
- Fold in the chicken until coated.
- Coat each piece of chicken with crushed Cheetos and place on a wire rack.
- Spray some cooking spray over the chicken tenders.
- BAKE for 15 minutes or until the thickest piece of chicken registers 165°F.orAIR FRY! Place in the basket and air fry for about 10 minutes at 400°F.