Pickles And Hot Cheetos: We Tried TikTok's Viral 3-Ingredient Snack And It Seriously Surprised Us

Say what you want about internet food "hacks," but there are some that make even the weirdest of cravings feel normal. Case in point: a viral snack that combines pickles, Hot Cheetos, and lime.

I have enjoyed each of these ingredients on their own many times. (Yes, squeezing a whole lime into a glass of water does count.) But, not too long ago, my roommate and I were craving an evening snack, and I remembered a TikTok I had seen, posted by Elotes El Compa Chuy, a Mexican snack store based in Oklahoma City. Stores like this one or Mexican paleterias, ice cream shops that often serve savory snacks as well as frozen treats, are where you might be able to find a version of this snack being sold. However, many people are also making this at home.


One of the many things my roommate and I share aside from a living space is an affinity for pickles and the acidity of lime in most of our favorite dishes. It also just so happened that she bought a bag of Hot Cheetos on her way home from work that week, so obviously the universe wanted me to try this snack.

How to make the Hot Cheetos and pickles snack

The ingredient list for this snack is simple but can definitely be altered (more on that in a bit). On a basic level, all you need are pickles, Hot Cheetos, and a lime.

Pour some of the Hot Cheetos in a bowl. Then, take some of the pickles and sprinkle those on top, without any fear of getting pickle juice in the bowl because, yes, you want a little of that, too. After that, you'll slice your lime and squeeze it all over the pickles and Hot Cheetos. Finally take a fork, a spoon, or your hand if you're bold and don't care about red fingertips and mix all that around.


You want to see some red tint on your pickles, and a shine on your Hot Cheetos from the lime and pickle juice. What results from this mixture is a spicy, tangy little treat that will make your mouth water but probably mess up your stomach if you eat it too many days in a row. With great flavor comes great responsibility, so be warned.

What the Hot Cheetos and pickles snack tastes like

The snack itself is just a perfect blend of mouthwatering spice and puckering sour taste to cool things down. Some people crave cookies and other sweets when they're at home, but this snack is for the acidity cravers. The hint of lime already included in the Hot Cheetos my roommate bought could be enough to balance with the pickles, but the extra squirt from an actual lime helps uplift the brine that also drips off the pickle slices. I drool every time I think of making this snack again. 


While all these ingredients come together for the perfect salty, fiery, crunchy snack, what's even better is that the flavor combinations don't have to end with just these three pieces. There's so much more to be had. 

How to upgrade the Hot Cheetos and pickles snack

Another beautiful thing about this snack is that it can be dressed up or down depending on what you're into. For example, I'm more of Grillo's pickles fan myself, but Vlasic just happened to be what was available at my local grocery store at the time of writing this article.


You could also opt for regular Cheetos or really crank up the spice by using Takis instead of Hot Cheetos. Regular Takis are about as much heat as I can handle, but anyone who's interested in burning taste buds might be inclined to add a Valentina sauce or any other brand you like.

Many of the TikTok videos showcasing this snack also use different techniques to get the Hot Cheeto spice on the pickles. You could cut the pickles into smaller bits, so everything is easier to mix around. Or, you could crush up the Hot Cheetos and coat the pickles in the crumbs. Whichever way you choose to take this snack, it will make you drool every time you think about it from this point on. You're welcome.