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Crunchy Cheetos add great flavor to these Cheetos Chicken Strips!
After seeing that a local fast food restaurant is serving a Cheetos chicken sandwich on their menu these days, my husband Jack decided to try making Cheetos Chicken Strips at home. The results are delicious!
These Cheetos Chicken Strips are juicy and tender on the inside, and golden and crisp on the outside – and that uniquely-delicious Cheetos flavor really shines through.
How do you make Cheetos Chicken Strips?
After a few rounds of recipe testing and different breading combinations, Jack settled on boneless, skinless chicken breasts that are first cut into generously-sized chicken strips.
You’ll first marinate your chicken strips in buttermilk for about two hours. This step helps tenderize the chicken.
Next, coat your chicken strips in crushed, crunchy Cheetos, then dip the strips in an egg wash. Finally, dredge the chicken strips one last time in flour that has been seasoned with a variety of spices including paprika, garlic and onion powders, cayenne and white pepper.
Then, fry your Cheetos Chicken Strips in hot oil – in a skillet like we did, or a deep fryer if you happen to have one. Just be sure to keep the oil between 325 degrees F and 350 degrees F to avoid scorching the breading.
I suspect some of you will ask if you can bake these Cheetos Chicken Strips, or make this recipe in the air fryer. The answer: We haven’t tried doing so ourselves but if you try it, please let leave a comment and let us know how the recipe came out!
Can I make this recipe with Crunchy Flamin’ Hot Cheetos?
Sure – if your taste buds can handle it! 😊
How do you serve Cheetos Chicken Strips?
We served our Cheetos Chicken Strips with blue cheese dressing as a dip, and celery sticks on the side – as you would serve buffalo chicken strips. (As written, the recipe has a gentle heat from adding cayenne to the flour dredge. But if you decide to use the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, you’ll especially appreciate the cool, creamy dressing on the side.) Ranch dressing served as a dip would be another great option.
The kids in our neighborhood LOVED these Cheetos Chicken Strips, and they’d also make a great addition to a game day party menu! Have fun and enjoy!
You may enjoy these other Chicken recipes:
- Buttermilk Fried Chicken
- Parmesan Chicken Cutlets
- Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Stuffing Crusted Baked Chicken
- Pulled Chicken Chilaquiles
2 pounds trimmed boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cups buttermilk
6 whole eggs
1/2 cup cream or milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon white pepper
Canola oil, for frying
Blue cheese dressing, to serve on the side
Celery sticks, to serve on the side
Cut the breasts into thick strips (any size) and place in a medium bowl.
Pour over the buttermilk and let soak at room temperature for two hours.
While the chicken is soaking, prepare the breading station.
In a medium bowl beat eggs and cream and set aside.
In a medium bowl whisk flour, salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne and white pepper. Set aside.
Place two bags of Cheetos into food processor and grind to a fine powder. (May need to do it in two batches as I did). Place into a medium bowl and set aside.
Place a wok or heavy pot on the stove and fill about 3-4 inches of canola oil. Do not heat yet.
After two hours, remove a few pieces of chicken from the buttermilk letting the buttermilk drip off a bit and place in the Cheetos crumbs and coat. Remove those pieces to a sheet tray and continue until all the pieces have been coated with the Cheetos. Discard buttermilk and ground Cheetos.
Dip the Cheetos-covered pieces one at a time into the egg mixture, then the flour mixture, pressing the flour onto the pieces. Remove from that bowl, shake excess and place back on the sheet pan. Discard egg mixture but do not discard flour mixture yet.
As the chicken pieces sit on the sheet pan, they will become moist. Take the remaining flour and place into a sifter and sift over the sheet pan of chicken so each piece is thoroughly coated on both sides with no wet showing.
Heat the oil and keep the temperature between 325 degrees F and 350 degrees F. Do not go higher than 350 degrees F or lower than 325 degrees F.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F to keep each batch warm if you wish.
Using tongs, carefully drop 4-5 pieces into the hot oil. Cook in four or five batches for about 4-5 minutes per batches.
To test, insert a probe thermometer into one end of one piece. The cooked temperature should be 160 degrees F. Also, the chicken pieces will float once fully cooked. If you cut your strips small, check internal temperature around the 2-3 minutes mark. If you are not sure, just pull one out with tongs and cut one in half to check.
Use a strainer or spider and remove to a paper towel covered sheet pan. Keep warm in the preheated oven in between batches.
Serve hot with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks or your favorite dipping sauce.
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