Can Vegans Eat Hot Cheetos?

Looking for a vegan snack and want to know if Hot Cheetos are vegan?

According to its official website, Cheetos has three Flamin Hot flavors, so we are going to look at the ingredients in each one and see if they’re vegan.

Quickly skip to the section below for the full answer. 

Are Hot Cheetos Vegan?

These are the ingredient in each Hot Cheetos flavor:

Hot Cheetos: Ingredients: Status:
Flamin Hot Cheetos (Cheese Flavor) Enriched Corn Meal (Corn Meal, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Vegetable Oil (Corn, Canola, and/or Sunflower Oil), Flamin’ Hot Seasoning (Maltodextrin [Made from Corn], Salt, Sugar, Monosodium Glutamate, Yeast Extract, Citric Acid, Artificial Color [Red 40 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Yellow 6, Yellow 5], Sunflower Oil, Cheddar Cheese [Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes], Onion Powder, Whey, Whey Protein Concentrate, Garlic Powder, Natural Flavor, Buttermilk, Sodium Diacetate, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate), and Salt. Not Vegan
Flamin Hot Cheetos (Lime and Cheese Flavor) Enriched Corn Meal (Corn Meal, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Vegetable Oil (Corn, Canola, and/or Sunflower Oil), Flamin’ Hot Limón Seasoning (Salt, Sugar, Monosodium Glutamate, Yeast Extract, Citric Acid, Artificial Color [Red 40 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Yellow 6, Yellow 5], Corn Syrup Solids, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Cheddar Cheese [Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes], Sunflower Oil, Onion Powder, Whey, Lime Juice, Maltodextrin [Made from Corn], Whey Protein Concentrate, Garlic Powder, Natural Flavor, Buttermilk, Sodium Diacetate, Disodium Inosinate, and Disodium Guanylate). Not Vegan
XXTRA Flamin Hot Cheetos Enriched Corn Meal (Corn Meal, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Vegetable Oil (Corn, Canola, and/or Sunflower Oil), Xxtra FLAMIN’ HOT® Seasoning (Salt, Maltodextrin [Made From Corn], Sugar, Yeast Extract, Monosodium Glutamate, Citric Acid, Artificial Color [Red 40 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Yellow 6, Yellow 5], Sunflower Oil, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Cheddar Cheese [Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes], Onion Powder, Whey, Natural Flavor, Garlic Powder, Whey Protein Concentrate, Buttermilk, Corn Syrup Solids, Sodium Diacetate), and Salt. Not Vegan

Unfortunately, Hot Cheetos are not vegan because they contain milk derivatives such as whey, cheese cultures, whey protein concentrate, and buttermilk. Hot Cheetos also have “real cheese” written on the packaging, which typically refers to dairy cheese and not vegan cheese. 

Besides milk derivatives, Hot Cheetos also contain ingredients like artificial colors and refined sugar, which are seen as controversial in the vegan community. 

Artificial Colors

Artificial colors are controversial because they’re byproducts of animal testing. 

Tests are periodically conducted on mice to make sure artificial colors are safe to use. Some vegans suggest such practice is a cruel but necessary evil, but others are wholly against it, so they avoid artificial colors.

This is where each vegan must decide for himself/herself whether they should consume artificial colors because this is quite a divisive topic. 

Refined Sugar

Unfortunately, sugar refineries in the United States often filter sugar with bone char, which is essentially a black powder comprised of carbonized cattle bones. 

This doesn’t happen with sugar derived from beets, but it’s common with cane sugar. 

Plus, it’s difficult to find out if a company has used sugar filtered with bone char because most companies source sugar from a variety of sugar refineries, making it difficult to trace the sugar back to its source.

Sugar is what we call a gray-area ingredient because you can’t really tell whether it’s vegan or not. 

Are There Any Vegan Cheetos?

No, unfortunately, there are no vegan Cheetos. They all contain dairy ingredients, and they’re also produced using animal enzymes, so they’re neither vegan nor vegetarian, except for one option.

The Cheetos Flamin’ Hot Puffs are suitable for vegans and vegetarians, but they’re currently only sold in the United Kingdom, so if you aren’t from the UK, you’re out of luck. 

Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t find any other vegan options that may come close to Cheetos.

Vegan Alternatives to Hot Cheetos

None of the alternatives I have found are from popular brands, so it’s likely that you may not find them in a grocery store near you; however, they’re available at Amazon.

Fiery Hot Peatos

peatos

Peatos are made from peas, and funnily enough, I found them by typing “vegan Cheetos” on Google. They’re a great alternative to the Hot Flamin Cheetos. 

Peatos Ingredients:
Pulse Flour Blend (Pea Flour, Lentil Flour, Fava Bean Protein, Pea Fiber), High Oleic Sunflower And/Or Safflower Oil, Rice, Fiery Hot Seasoning (Maltodextrin, Spice, Sugar, Salt, White Distilled Vinegar, Citric Acid, Yeast Extract, Vegetable Juice [Color], Malic Acid, Natural Flavor, Annatto Extract [Color], Natural Smoke Flavor)

Hippeas

hippeas

Hippeas are vegan white cheddar-flavored chickpea snacks. 

They’re not exactly the best substitute for spicy Cheetos, but they’re a great alternative to regular Cheetos.

Unlike the previous product, this one contains several organic ingredients. 

Hippeas Ingredients:
Organic Chickpea Flour, Organic Rice Flour, Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Tapioca Starch, Organic Seasoning [Degermed Corn Flour*, Salt, Sugar*, Onion Powder*, Citric Acid, Garlic Powder*, Lactic Acid, Canola Oil*, Natural Flavor], Organic Pea Hull Fiber.

Lesser Evil

lesser evil

These Lesser Evil Puffs are made with organic cassava, coconut flour, and sweet potato; unlike the previous products, they’re grain-free.   

Most of the ingredients are also organic, which may be interesting for some vegans. 

Lesser Evil Ingredients:
Organic Cassava Flour, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Tapioca Starch, Organic Tapioca Solids, Organic Sweet Potato Powder, Himalayan Crystal Salt, Organic Nutritional Yeast, Organic Coconut Flour, Organic Flavor, Yeast Extract, Organic Garlic Powder, Organic Onion Powder, Lactic Acid, Organic Ground Mustard, Organic Spices.

Hot Cheetos FAQs

Are Hot Cheetos Gluten-Free?

Yes, Hot Cheetos are gluten-free.

According to the Frito Lay website, the Cheetos Crunchy Flamin’ Hot Cheese Flavored Snacks, Crunchy Flamin’ Hot Limón Cheese Flavored Snacks, and Crunchy XXtra Flamin’ Hot Flavored Cheese Flavored Snacks don’t have ingredients with gluten. 

Are Hot Cheetos Halal?

Even though the Flamin Hot Cheetos are not certified halal, they don’t contain any pork (porcine) enzymes, which are usually used in the production of cheese flavors. 

Alexandre Valente

Hey there! My name is Alex and I've been vegan for more than five years! I've set up this blog because I'm really passionate about veganism and living a more eco-conscious life. Hopefully, I can use this website as a channel to help you out on your own journey!

Can Vegans Eat Coco Pops? Or Does It Have Animal Ingredients?
Previous Post Can Vegans Eat Coco Pops? Or Does It Have Animal Ingredients?
Are Weetos Vegan? Ingredient Analysis
Next Post Are Weetos Vegan? Ingredient Analysis