10 Foods That Still Need a Flamin’ Hot Version (Don't Judge Me)

10 Foods That Still Need a Flamin’ Hot Version (Don't Judge Me)

Flamin’ Hot snacks are the best. Here’s what else needs a dusting of that nuclear red powder.

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Image for article titled 10 Foods That Still Need a Flamin’ Hot Version (Don't Judge Me)
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The old tagline for Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal was “the taste you can see,” but that honor really belongs to Flamin’ Hot products more than anything. Flamin’ Hot Doritos, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, Flamin’ Hot Smartfood Popcorn, Flamin’ Hot Fritos, Flamin’ Hot Funyunsthe list of super-spicy snacks seems endless. But of course, it isn’t: Frito-Lay has a stranglehold on the Flamin’ Hot recipe, and only brands under that umbrella can get the fire-engine-red treatment. Still, I can’t help but wonder what the world would be like if we Flamin’ Hottified nearly everything. The world is full of delicious foods that could benefit from a big dose of these top-secret spices and Red 40. I submit the following 10 products for consideration.

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Flamin’ Hot Hidden Valley Ranch

Flamin’ Hot Hidden Valley Ranch

hidden valley ranch on shelf
Photo: ZikG (Shutterstock)

I absolutely loved the Flamin’ Hot Cool Ranch Doritos when I first gave them a shot. The Taco Bell Flamin’ Hot Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos were a great idea of how to extend the product, but only tasted okay in practice. Still, if the chips were this good, why shouldn’t Hidden Valley, ruler of all ranch dressings, be Flamin’ Hottified? When’s the last time you had a neon-red, spicy mayo-based dressing on your salad? See, we need this collab.

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Flamin’ Hot Kraft American Singles

Flamin’ Hot Kraft American Singles

kraft singles in refrigerated aisle
Grilled cheese could be on a whole new level
Photo: TonelsonProductions (Shutterstock)

Four words: Flamin’ Hot Grilled Cheese. Just picture it: an impossibly red melted cheese full of a slightly tart yet spicy flavor, spilling out from between two perfectly grilled slices of bread like molten lava from an active volcano. I can’t really improve upon my mom’s French toast grilled cheese recipe, which revolves around Kraft Singles (like all grilled cheese should), but a Flamin’ Hot version just might have the power to replace all my fond childhood memories of this sandwich.

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Flamin’ Hot Chex Mix

Flamin’ Hot Chex Mix

chex mix in dutch oven
Photo: RONORMANJR (Shutterstock)

Oh man, I’m sitting over here griping to myself about this one. Chex Mix. Of course. Chex Mix is already irresistible; I consume that shit by the fistful. So why not turn my palms a fiery artificial red while I’m at it? Chex Mix is owned by General Mills, so there’s probably no chance in hell there’d be a Flamin’ Hot crossover with Frito-Lay—but come on. Just imagine the glory of a Flamin’ Hot Chex Mix. I’ll whip up the petition now. Who’s with me?

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Flamin’ Hot Pizza

Flamin’ Hot Pizza

little caesar's stuffed crust
Screenshot: YouTube (Fair Use)

Why haven’t we had an officially licensed Flamin’ Hot pizza yet? It seems like a natural partnership between Frito-Lay and one of the major national pizza chains. I’ve seen lots of independent pizzerias use Flamin’ Hot Cheetos as a topping, but an official collab should be a mainstay on the Little Caesars or Pizza Hut or Domino’s menu, and it’s so obvious that I shouldn’t even have to say it.

My vote is for Little Caesars to take up that torch, because a Flamin’ Hot Stuffed Crust for $10.99 is the best late-night order I can think of. Besides, Little Caesars has always had sort of a cheekiness to it, so I think it really fits into the restaurant’s vibe, not to mention its customer base. Its menu already features something called the Batman Calzony. This isn’t far off.

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Flamin’ Hot sauce, naturally

Flamin’ Hot sauce, naturally

hot sauce on shelves
Photo: John Greim/LightRocket (Getty Images)

This one’s a no-brainer. If Frito-Lay created a Flamin’ Hot hot sauce, you could Flamin’ Hottify anything in your own kitchen. Flamin’ Hot scrambled eggs? Hell yes. Flamin’ Hot hot sauce on Buffalo wings? Live your dreams. That classic tart zing would work in concert with a decent base, like say, Louisiana-style, except it would add an MSG boost to it. Please join me in this dream.

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Flamin’ Hot micheladas

Flamin’ Hot micheladas

michelada in bar
Photo: Cyrus McCrimmon/ The Denver Post (Getty Images)

The michelada is a spicy summer treat that mash up beer, lime juice, sauce, and spices into something that shouldn’t work, but somehow does. My favorite micheladas involve tomato juice or Clamato, a savory clam and tomato juice combo (don’t knock it till you’ve tried it). If you applied that signature tangy Flamin’ Hot flavor to the mix, you’d undeniably have one of the best micheladas ever—don’t forget a crushed Flamin’ Hot cheeto rim on that bad boy, either.

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Flamin’ Hot cheesecake

Flamin’ Hot cheesecake

flamin' hot cheeto cheesecake
Photo: Dennis Lee (In-House Art)

I speak from experience with this one—sort of. In a series of at-home experiments, I tried cooking with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, but across the board I wasn’t very successful. My Flamin’ Hot cheesecake, pictured above, might look lovely, but the Cheetos and the added spicy cheeses didn’t incorporate into the batter the way they were supposed to, and the final product had a gritty, gluey, off-putting flavor and texture.

This is exactly why I’m hoping that The Cheesecake Factory might hear my plea for a Flamin’ Hot Cheeto Cheesecake. Mine didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped, but a company known specifically for their creamy and decadent desserts ought to know how to emulsify the flavors into one smooth, rich mass for us weirdos to enjoy. Can’t you see that sort of thing taking off on TikTok?

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Flamin’ Hot ice cream

Flamin’ Hot ice cream

hand holding dairy queen cone
Screenshot: YouTube (Fair Use)

While Dairy Queen’s hot food may leave something to be desired, we all know that if you’re going to visit DQ, you’re going for the ice cream. A Flamin’ Hot dipped cone would be magic. Imagine a candy-red shell, but textured with a layer of crushed-up Doritos or Cheetos. That would be a crisp yet melty sweet-and-spicy dream.

There is absolutely precedent for pairing creamy vanilla soft serve with extra spicy flavors, by the way. The chili crisp sundae has been popular for years, since the spicy oil and the sweet dairy are both ultra-rich in a complementary way. Come to think of it, DQ should add those to the menu, too.

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Flamin’ Hot instant ramen

Flamin’ Hot instant ramen

ramen with cheese on top
Photo: gowithstock (Shutterstock)

For decades, instant ramen flavors have been growing steadily more exciting, and perhaps nothing is more exciting than the varieties that involve cheese. Why not combine a cheese-flavored ramen with some Flamin’ Hot goodness? All you’d have to do is boost the flavor packet with that proprietary Flamin’ Hot powder and you’d be good to go. Just like they did with mac and cheese. Heartburn be damned—I need these noodles.

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Flamin’ Hot toothpaste

Flamin’ Hot toothpaste

Image for article titled 10 Foods That Still Need a Flamin’ Hot Version (Don't Judge Me)
Photo: Dontree_M (Shutterstock)

Not all flavored items have to be food. Let’s put the pedal to the metal and apply some Flamin’ Hot flavor to toothpaste. We’ve somehow agreed that cinnamon is an acceptable toothpaste flavor, so is this really that much of a stretch? Make my gums burn so good twice a day so I can get my daily dose of Flamin’ Hot flavor. I need this.

Crest, are you listening? Colgate, do you have my number? (Sensodyne, you’re excused; I know your customers probably can’t relate.) Dose that tube of toothpaste with that good shit and I’ll brush my teeth 10 times a day.

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