Low Carb Cheetos

Something magical happens in my kitchen when you combine cooking attention deficit–oh look! A squirrel! with eggs and cream cheese and popcorn seasoning. When I’m not busy trying to put out oven fires or throwing away something wrecktacular in the waste receptacle, sometimes I end up with something wholly unintended and spectacular.

Take cheese doodles as an example.

After making the peppermint cream puffs, I had some extra oopsie rolls, so I tossed them into the dehydrator for kicks. The result? Light popped cheese snacks like popcorn. With that recipe I said to myself, “Self, why not try piping oopsie batter through a tube and see what happens.”

I grabbed a plastic sandwich bag, sliced off the edge, stuck 1 cake tip in there (you don’t need a cake tip if you cut a tiny hole in the bag) and went to town.

The result? A snack you can take anywhere, from the movies to the Super Bowl. And for only 3.7 net carbs for half of the batch (it’s only 1.7 net carbs without the seasoning), there’s no telling how often you’re going to have to mix up a new batch.

These are light, crispy, and flavorful. Be sure to try different seasonings for different flavors. I mean, we have two teams competing, head to head in the games; why not pit two flavors together, have some cheese doodle smack talk and then bring the game minus the penalty flags.

No dehydrator? NO worries! Simply put the cooked puffs back into the oven with the door propped oven safely for air circulation (a wooden spoon or a folded dish towel usually do the trick) and let them stay in there on the lowest oven setting for 1-2 hours, depending on what your lowest oven setting is. Make sure to rotate the trays and move them to different shelves every 30-60 minutes for optimal drying.


3 egg whites
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
3 egg yolks
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
Flavored popcorn seasoning

To Prepare:
1. Preheat oven to 300 degree Fahrenheit.
2 In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed until thick, stiff peaks form, about 3-5 minutes.
3. In another mixing bowl, combine egg yolks and cream cheese.
4. Carefully fold yolk mixture into whites.
5. With a spatula, scoop mixture into a sandwich or quart-sized food /sandwich bag with a tiny bit of the edge cut off to make a 1/2″ opening.
6. Pipe batter into 2″ doodles on parchment paper.
7. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until doodles achieve a light golden brown.
8. Cool slightly.
9. Lightly toss with popcorn seasoning in a bowl.
10. Place in dehydrator for 2 hours on high heat or allow to stay out overnight to achieve more crunch.
11. Store in a semi-sealed plastic or paper sack at room temperature for up to a day.

Makes 3-4 cups cheese doodles.
*Nutritional Information: this does not contain the amount of scant carbs totaled in for popcorn seasoning. If te label reads “0,” I’d add .2-.3 carbs per serving of seasoning used to be on the same side. 0 carb on many labels simply means “less than .5”.

For 1/2 recipe: Calories: 255.5, Carbohydrates: 1.7 g, Fiber:ย  0 g, Net Carbohydrates:ย  1.7 g, Protein: 12.65 g, Fat: 22 g
Per entire recipe: Calories: 511, Carbohydrates: 3.4 g, Fiber: 0 g, Net Carbohydrates: 3.4 g, Protein: 25.3 g, Fat: 44.5

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  1. If I may…. you are just about the Brightest Person I “know”…
    I think you are Stellar. You should be a Movie Star!
    Wonderful stuff, as usual!

  2. Be still my beating heart! Cheesy-poufs!!!

    • Eric Cartman would be proud. And likely thinner.

      • RESPECT my Ketauthoritaaaaaay! (Smile)

        (smile) and what –I– do with ooopsies is this: I take more cream cheese, throw in a splash of sugar-free DaVinci syrup (try the Dulce de Leche for this) and whip it up and then put it on an ooopsie and hold like a taco and enjoy–it is the perfect faux cheese danish breakfast/brunch treat!

        • P.S. The other thing I do with the ooopsie basic is add a few T’s of beef broth because it magically becomes the perfect “Yorkshire Pudding” to serve alongside your favorite roasts or prime rib and make you forget about the missing potatoes.

          • PPS (Sorry–still thinking about this–smile) IF you use a “star” tip on your piping bag, you’ll get crispier cheese goodies because they’ll come out with “ribs” instead of smooth sides and thus have more surface exposed while baking and dehydrating. I’ve done something similar with almond flour, egg, and melted butter and salt to make faux “pretzel rods” and when I break them up they make the perfect salad croutons.

          • Dan that is a terrific idea! I love the star tip! Now you have me wanting to make pretzel rods. Stop infiltrating my brain! I love that idea. Love love love.

          • Dan, I’ve also been told that the oopsies make prime bread puddings. I have not had one since I was a teen (my father married a British lady), but it was definitely interesting. I want to expand my palate.

          • Dan, both my husband and I want to marry you.

        • I respect! I respect!

          Seriously, that sounds insanely delicious. I am going to have to make that now. Stop putting those ideas in my head, Dan!

  3. What do you think about adding a little parmesan, garlic and onion powder before baking them?

    • Hi, Just! A friend and I were discussing that yesterday! It would need to be powdered Parmesan, since the grated wouldn’t behave terribly well. The other issue would be that adding flavor means not being able to add the popcorn seasoning later.

    • It is the popcorn seasoning I would want to avoid, too many of them have anti-caking agents or preservatives. I will have to try the recipe with the seasonings and see … I have powdered cheese from The Spice House, so we’ll see how that works. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Oh my gosh, I’ve been making a version of these for a couple of years, meticulously putting tiny dabs on the parchment paper. WHY HADN’T I EVER THOUGHT TO USE MY LITTLE PIPING THING-AMA-BOB?? Thanks, Jamie. This is just one of the reasons I love you!

    • Cheese doodles. Can we ever go wrong? What’s your link to your recipe? I want to see! It’s like cheese doodle porn. You just love me because I’m lazy. and picky. I’m licky.

  5. I love your site and your recipes – I am new to the low-carb lifestyle, but you have helped my world more than I could ever tell you! THANK YOU! It’s funny, I was JUST thinking ‘how could I make low-carb cheetos?’ And I came here today and you have done it! Again, THANK YOU!!!

    I am very excited to try these out for the big game!

    • I hope you like them! I’ve had some reviews that they were too mild in flavor, but that’s the point. You can always add more zhoozh, but it’s hard to remove an excess of it.

  6. I’m making these for Superbowl watching! I’ll probably use 3-4 flavor combos. Can’t wait!

  7. Wow these look awesome, I have seen oopsie rolls before and would have never have thought about transforming them into this! a great recipe!

    • Thank you, liam! I was surprised myself. I was trying to expedite drying time on another recipe, had some oopsie rolls sitting on a cooling rack and thought, “what if…” That was the popcorn that led to the cheese puffs!

  8. You are incredibly innovative. These look like the real cheetos! I will have to try to make them to see how they taste. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Hi, Hannah! I appreciate your taking the time to voice your thoughts. I am not a visitor of other sites, so the only way I am apprised of some of my work showing up is through google alerts or readers. Otherwise, I have no idea. I keep myself purposely isolated from sites and cookbooks because I don’t want to ever–even accidentally– copy something someone else has already done. I take my efforts very seriously and I’m looking for a way of doing things no one else has, which is kind of the point. Therefore, if I’ve done it and someone else has previously, it’s purely coincidental.

    Per the cheese puffs, they’re based on my oopsie recipe, which I mentioned in the recipe itself, along with why I came to the process.

    And as for my weight loss journey, I’m still enjoying it, even if slowly– and deliciously so. I have never claimed to be at goal–and my readers know this. Thankfully, it’s not necessary to be perfect to make seriously amazing food. I’ve seen plenty of skinny, bad cooks in my day. I’m just a chick who likes to play in the kitchen, feed people, and hang out with friends… and losing weight along the way is just an added side benefit– and it ain’t half bad. I’m enjoying the journey, and that’s more than I can say for too many, which is why I do what I do.

    Besides, I know we all remember Kimmer and her scam. I’m one of the bloggers and activists who worked for years, along with dozens of others, to ensure she had her day in court. Many of us worked tirelessly behind the scenes (though many much, much harder than I ever could, like Sandy Vos and a host of others), but I did what I could.

    Adding to this, as a Scout leader and a community activist, I strive for honesty and transparency in my endeavors. Frankly, I speak with most site owners to find out if their version worked when I even bother contacting them (which is actually pretty infrequently), because if there’s a better way of doing it, I want to point readers in that direction. I’m not that proud to think my way is the only way. Ask my kids; they’ll tell you they’ll never forgive me for the cauliflower crust! Ha ha! Claiming that I think “everyone has ripped me off” is a bit harsh, however. I don’t see myself as a victim; I’m actually just a seriously kick ass cook who likes to drop dirty words occasionally and talk about my dog that likes to chew things. Thanks so much for writing, and I’m glad you’re a fan of the site.

  10. We love you Jamie!!!!!!

  11. Hey Jamie,

    I was surprised to see this recipe as I thought I’d read all of your recipes but I had never seen this one before! As for recipes, GMTA and I’m sure you and lots of people in the world come up with similar things all on their own, all the time. Thanks for sharing and thanks for caring girl :).



    • Hi, Shannon! Thank you for your kind words! I wish I just stole recipes. Think of all the time and money I could save not catching my oven on fire… I mean making amazing dishes. But I was raised by a Jew and a Seventh Day Adventist; I had twice the guilt even if double the holidays.

  12. FWIW, it doesn’t matter WHO originated a recipe. It doesn’t really constitute plagiarism. Recipe writing is not the same as regular writing.

    • Thank you for writing, Laura! As I’ve said many times, it’s definitely more an ethical/professional issue and not a legal one. I am a writer, an editor and a recipe developer; the rules of the road for attribution for writing and recipe development are more similar than one might actually think. Attribution in these things is always preferred, whether in writing articles or during recipe development. It’s just the right thing to do. I know I give credit to site owners. Thankfully it’s not rocket science or I would be in trouble.

  13. What fun would stealing them be? Kind of steals the whole creative experience! And hey, catching the oven on fire gives us a little excitement in our lives ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. BlissfulGirl says

    Hannah, yours may be the two most passive-aggressive comments I’ve read in a very long time.

    If you’re a big fan of Jamie’s then you must be aware that Jamie is a professional writer, editor and recipe developer. And, while you may be embarking on a “low carb blogging adventure”, this is part of her livelihood and as such it would be patently silly for her not to want attribution when people either use her work or are inspired by it. She also gives credit back to others in the reverse situation.

    Jamie, like most successful bloggers and websites, also face the issue of content scraping which is when unscrupulous and unethical bloggers or websites copy her work word-for-word. The only way to battle those situations is to try and encourage all people using her work to give appropriate attribution when things are used. It’s not an attack on others who may come up with similar ideas, but rather a reasonable way to ensure that ones work is as protected as it can be. It’s a best practice of most professional bloggers and website owners.

    As for the weight question – I personally found your question rude because this is a recipe website, not a blog about someone’s personal weight-loss journey. How well a recipe works for me is not affected by whether or not I know the authors weight. Other than low carb cooking in general, I do not find this website to be promoting any specific low carb diet option, of which there are so many, so Jamie’s weight-loss means nothing to me unless she proclaims herself to be following the exact same way of eating that I am.

    • Hi, blissful! Thank you so much for your support and completely succinct points. I have removed “Hannah’s” other comment since her sole motive is to stir the pot and make accusations that I had completely addressed with patience and honesty in my initial response to her. I love open, honest discourse, but hers is nothing but a veiled attempt to attack. Thank you again for your support and your points. You are the absolute rockingest bomb.

      • Who would think of saying such unkind things? Sheesh! I love your work here. It is totally inspiring. I wish we could all play nice, eh! And yes, I am Canadian and follow the typical stereotype of trying to get everyone to play nice. LOL. Trolls abound on the interweb today. Keep up your good work.

  15. I found a Cheddar Cheese Flavored Powder at http://www.snappypopcorn.com that is to die for on these cheetos. It is 1 carb per tsp so use as sparingtly or not for how you want it. I used 2 tsp in my batch. These cheetos get me through a long car trip or grandson’s baseball game when others are etaing popcorn.

    Thank you, Jamie!!

    PS Love your Cauliflower Pizza Crust. I have pizza every other week now.

    • I am so glad you like the Cheetos! I love your tip about the Cheddar Cheese flavoring. There’s something about those amazing, zippy flavors coupled with the delicate crunch of the cheetos.

  16. do u have to have a dehydrator for this recipe or is an other way?

  17. I REALLY want to try these but I do not have any cheese powder atm. I am in the process of making my own right now just so I can try these lol! Talk about from scratch hahaha!

  18. Jamie~
    Thank you for your great recipes. Unlike many who are on a low carb diet for weight loss I am one year on a ketogenic diet for epilepsy which gives me less room for cheating. As you know, yummy snacks are hard to find and I can’t wait to make these ‘cheetos’! Since I’ve never even seen a food dehydrator before is there one you can recommend? Upon Googling them I find that there are so many varities and it’s just too confusing

    Thank you:)!

    • Hi, Rebecca! I say buy the cheapest one you can find. I bought mine from Bed, Bath and Beyond with a 20% off coupon. I have the Nesco. Super simple and I love it. Here’s my review: https://yourlighterside.com/kitchen-must-haves/

      By the way, I commend you for your health concerns! My changes are largely based on health, too. All of those food intolerances does a body bad.

  19. Laurie V. says

    OMG I love you ! My hubby is one that always buy junk foods…and he knows the kinds I like (not many since I’ve never liked junk foods). These will be great on those nights that he’s sitting there eating that crap in my face… like a childish “ha ha you can’t have any”
    Thank you so,so much …….now I can enjoy these instead.

  20. Hi, thank you sooooo much for your awesomeness! Quick question about the Cheetos and oopsies in general. When piped out, my Cheetos went flat…they don’t look anything like your picture. Any ideas about how I can get them like yours?

  21. Jamie,
    When my last day on earth arrives, I hope to be laying there
    with a bowl of Cheetos on my chest and my mouth is all orangey/yellow
    from that fake cheese seasoning and my hands are same color.
    Thanks for making my favorite junk food a healthy reality.

  22. Mine turned out more like cheesey poops… they fell flat like crackers :/

  23. YOU ARE A GODSEND. I was just agonizing over a bag of mini hot cheetos (ITS ONLY 15 CARBS IVE BEEN SO GOOD TODAY SURELY I CAN INDULGE???) and I am definitely going to try this out instead – possibly with some mexican spicylime seasoning ๐Ÿ˜‰

  24. Help!!! Mine turned out flat like pancakes ๐Ÿ™

  25. These look AMAZING! I always have Cabot (vermont) Cheddar Shake on hand and this seems like the perfect time to use it!!!!


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