Here’s What We Really Think of Cheetos Flamin’ Hot Mac and Cheese

updated Feb 24, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Lauren Masur

When I first heard the news that Cheetos Mac ‘N Cheese is making its way to Walmart shelves nationwide (for only 98 cents a box/cup) by 2021, I swear that I saw a light at the end of the tunnel. Without hesitation, I said ‘YES, A THOUSAND TIMES’ to sampling the new line, which includes Cheesy Jalapeño, Bold & Cheesy, and Flamin’ Hot. Ah, the simple joys of artificial coloring and flavoring! Finally, something to break up the monotony of these trying times!

Above all, my sights were set on the Flamin’ Hot flavor, a long-held fixation of mine ever since I paid a visit to the Cheetos Museum (yes, that was once a thing) back in 2017. In the interest of an expedient review, I have only tried the microwavable cup so far. Here are my honest thoughts.

Credit: Lauren Masur

As with other microwavable mac and cheeses you may have tried before, there is no need for butter or milk. Simply remove the lid as well as the flavor packet, fill the cup with water up to the line, stir, and microwave for approximately three minutes. Then, carefully incorporate the flavor packet and wait three more minutes for the sauce to thicken and enrobe the corkscrew noodles, which the brand says “are inspired by Chester the Cheetah’s tail.” The seasoning packet is filled with Flamin’ Hot “Cheetle” (aka Cheetos dust) concentrate. Upon stirring it in, you should have something that looks like this…

Credit: Lauren Masur

Please know that I, too, was alarmed by the bright red color. In the same way that ketchup wasn’t supposed to be purple in 2001, mac and cheese isn’t supposed to be red in 2021. But to be fair, this is the exact same hue as Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, so with that fact in mind, I was able to look past it. I wiped the extra “sauce” from the sides of the cup because it looked slightly murderous, and that was enough to convince me to dig right in.

If you’re hoping for the comforting and familiar taste of traditional “easy” mac and cheese, this will not fill the void. However, if you want something really spicy and a little eyebrow-raising (a la Flamin’ Hot Cheetos), this is definitely worth giving a try. I recommend crushing a handful of the real thing and using it as a crunchy topping.

To be completely honest, I was a little upset by the lack of “cheese” flavor in this mac and cheese. That being said, I am holding out hope that I’m going to be a big fan of the Bold & Cheesy flavor! If nothing else, trying Cheetos Mac ‘N Cheese is worth the 98 cents for the monotony-busting, mid-day shock value alone.

Are you excited to try Cheetos Mac ‘N Cheese?