Skip to Content

Is hot fries made with cheese?

Hot fries are a popular spicy snack made by the company Andy Capp’s. The main ingredients in hot fries are dehydrated potatoes, vegetable oil, and seasonings. Despite the name, hot fries do not actually contain any cheese. So the short answer is no, hot fries are not made with cheese.

What are the main ingredients in hot fries?

The primary ingredients that go into hot fries are:

  • Dehydrated potatoes – This makes up the base and bulk of the snack.
  • Vegetable oil – The potatoes are fried in vegetable oil, giving them their crispy texture.
  • Spices and seasonings – A blend of spices like cayenne, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and more give hot fries their signature spicy kick.

While cheese flavors are sometimes used on snack foods like potato chips, traditional hot fries do not actually contain any real cheese ingredients. The “cheesy” flavor comes from artificial cheese powder and flavorings used on some varieties.

What gives hot fries their heat and spice?

The spicy heat in hot fries comes from a blend of spices and extracts added to the potato snacks. These include:

  • Cayenne pepper – Ground cayenne adds heat and pungency.
  • Chili powder – A mix of chili peppers and spices.
  • Crushed red pepper flakes – Adds heat and spice.
  • Paprika – For color and mild spiciness.
  • Jalapeno powder – Made from dried jalapeno peppers.
  • Onion powder – Adds zing.
  • Garlic powder – Provides an aromatic kick.
  • Extracts – Oleoresin paprika and capsicum extracts boost the heat.

Together, this blend of hot spices gives hot fries their signature fiery flavor. The exact blend and proportions used are a closely guarded secret recipe. By adjusting the amounts of each spice, different varieties ranging from mild to super spicy are created.

Hot fries nutrition facts

Here is the nutrition breakdown for a standard 1 ounce (28 gram) serving of original Andy Capp’s hot fries:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 160
Fat 10 g
Carbohydrates 15 g
Protein 2 g
Sodium 180 mg

As you can see, hot fries are high in calories, fat, and sodium compared to many other snacks. The calorie count comes mainly from the oil they are fried in. The sodium is added through the various seasonings and spices.

Per ounce, hot fries provide about the same calories as a 1 ounce bag of potato chips (~150 calories), but have over 2 times as much fat and sodium as regular chips. So they are considered a less healthy snack choice than baked chips or pretzels.

Hot fries history

Hot fries have a surprisingly long history as a popular spicy snack in America. They were invented back in 1959 by the Union Leader Corp. in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Here is a brief timeline:

  • 1959 – Union Leader Corp. launches Corn Fries, the original version of hot fries.
  • 1960 – The name is changed to Hot Fries to emphasize the seasoning.
  • 1968 – Wise Foods acquires the brand.
  • 1970s – Flaming Hot and Kruncher’s varieties introduced.
  • 1980s – Brand mascot Andy Capp introduced.
  • Early 2000s – Ownership transfers to Snack Foods Corp.
  • Today – Hot fries remain popular, with over 10 seasoning varieties.

Throughout their 60+ year history, hot fries have maintained their status as an iconic spicy snack food. Generations have grown up enjoying their intense flavor and crunch.

Hot fries around the world

While hot fries originated in America, similar spicy fries and chips are popular snacks in many other countries as well. Here are some examples:

  • Mexico – Hot chips flavored with hot sauce and lime are a popular street food.
  • India – Spicy masala fries are served at many restaurants and street stalls.
  • Korea – Buldak (fire chicken) flavored hot chips are a recent trend.
  • Japan – Norishio flavored potato chips bring salty, spicy flavor.
  • United Kingdom – Hot and spicy chips are a staple of fish and chip shops.
  • Australia – Burger rings bring the heat down under.

While flavors and seasonings vary, the universal appeal of spicy, crunchy potato snacks has made hot fries and similar products popular far beyond the United States.

Hot fries storage

To keep hot fries fresh and crunchy for as long as possible:

  • Store unopened bags at room temperature in a cool, dry pantry.
  • Once opened, transfer hot fries to an airtight container or resealable bag.
  • To maximize freshness and flavor, use opened hot fries within 2-3 weeks.
  • If they lose their crunch, briefly toast in a 300°F oven for a few minutes.
  • Do not refrigerate or freeze hot fries, as this can make them soggy.

With proper storage, unopened bags of hot fries typically have a shelf life of around 3-6 months past the printed best by date. Keeping them in a tightly sealed container after opening helps extend their shelf life by a few more weeks.

Hot fries uses and serving ideas

In addition to simply eating hot fries straight from the bag, there are many delicious ways to use them in recipes and dishes:

  • Top tacos, nachos, chili dogs with hot fries for crunch.
  • Use as croutons for salads or crushed on top of soups.
  • Mix into ground beef or turkey before making burgers.
  • Coat with melted cheese in the oven for loaded spicy fries.
  • Toss with pizza sauce and chopped pepperoni for spicy pizza fries.
  • Add to mac and cheese or casseroles for extra crunch and zing.

Let your taste buds guide you – anywhere you crave a spicy crunch, hot fries can enhance the dish with their addictive flavor and texture.


In summary, while hot fries may taste cheesy and spicy, they do not actually contain any real cheese. They are made by frying potato shreds and seasoning them with a special blend of spices to achieve their signature heat and flavor. Hot fries remain a popular snack more than 60 years after being invented, with fans all over the world. Store them properly to retain their signature crunch and spice. And don’t be afraid to use them creatively in your cooking and recipes to add a new dimension of heat and texture.