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Copycat Applebees Flamin' Hot Cheetos Cheese Bites

Copycat Applebees Flamin Hot Cheetos Cheese Bites

This Copycat Applebees Flamin' Hot Cheetos Cheese Bites recipe puts a twist on the deep fried finger food. They're crunchy, spicy hot and soooo cheesy! But no need to find your nearest Applebees - you can make them at home (in your air fryer)! 
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Freezer Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 23 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 8 people
Calories 482 kcal



  • Pour Hot Cheetos in food processor and chop finely to bread crumb texture
  • Whisk eggs in a small bowl
    4 eggs
  • Place flour and Hot Cheetos crumbs in plates – separately
    8 oz Flamin Hot Cheetos, 2 cups flour
  • Position them from left to right — egg — flour — cheetos — plate
  • Dip cheese curds 4-5 at a time into egg, flour, egg, flour, egg and – finally – cheetos. It’s easiest to do this with a slotted spoon in the egg (I used a pasta spoon with the fingers and bigger holes) and then spoon around the dry ingredients. This will allow you to pick up the curds and allow the egg to drain.
    8 oz cheese curds
  • Once all the curds are on the plate separated – NOT PILED – place them in the freezer for a minimum of 2 hours
  • Remove from freezer and spray with non-stick spray
  • Place into air fryer right away – one layer at a time – no touching – do not overcrowd!!!!
  • Heat at 350 for 2 minutes
  • Turn curds, spray again
  • Heat at 350 for 2 minutes
  • Remove gently and move to preheated 350 oven until all curds are done
  • This makes about 30 cheese curds – you can easily cut in half
  • Serve immediately with ranch


– Be sure to double dip the cheese in egg & flour – this seals the cheese so it is less likely to leak out when heated
– If you can’t find traditional cheese curds, you can use cubed cheddar cheese
– Using a pasta spoon seemed to be the best way to get the curds in and out of the eggs/flour without getting hands completely caked up
What are cheese curds?
Cheese curds are moist pieces of curdled milk. You can usually find them in grocery stores and always at the Amish stores (my favorite!). We always called them squeaky cheese because they’re a little damp and squeak when you chew them.
Can I put the curds on top of each other in the air fryer?
Nope – you’ll end up with a giant glob of melted cheese!
How do I keep the cheese bites hot if I have to batch air fry?
Turn your oven onto warm, gently remove them from the air fryer and put them on a separate cookie sheet in the oven.
Can I make these fried cheese curds in a deep fryer?
Yes! The oil should be at 375 and they just need to be fried for 1-2 minutes in the fryer.


Serving: 4piecesCalories: 482kcalCarbohydrates: 46.2gProtein: 17.2gFat: 24.8gSaturated Fat: 9.5gCholesterol: 127mgSodium: 584mgPotassium: 84mgFiber: 2.1gSugar: 0.3gCalcium: 197mgIron: 3mg
Keyword air fryer, cheetos, copycat
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