Doritos Loaded Jalapeño & Cheese

Happy New Year! How was your Christmas? And your…Thanksgiving? My god, how long have I been gone?

If you thought I was dead, fear not, for instead of being dead, I’ve just been in a lazy rut. If I believed in making New Year’s resolutions, mine would be to put out more content this year. But I don’t. So enjoy this review for a product that isn’t even that new!

Doritos Loaded have been around for a while, but I kind of forgot to look for them, until I found myself staring at them recently during a stroll through Walmart. My world shrank. It was just me and the Doritos Loaded. Part of me wanted them, because of you. Part of me wanted them because I was fascinated. And part of me wanted to walk away, because who wants to look someone in the eye while they scan your box of Doritos Loaded?

Thank god Walmart has self-checkout.

These actually began as a fast food offering from Burger King before transitioning to the freezer aisle. Between these and the Doritos Loco Taco, it seems like Doritos will just whore themselves out to any old restaurant. Coming soon: Doritos Orange Chicken at Panda Express!

Conversely, Burger King has gotten cozy with Frito-Lay once more, using a slightly different orange dust to coat their Chicken Fries with Cheetos. Coming soon: The Cheddar & Sour Cream Ruffles Whopper!

I don’t think BK ever had a jalapeño and cheese version, just the cheese variety. That’s also available in frozen form, but I had to go with the spicy version, of course. The box is strangely…ordinary. Almost like a regular bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos. Almost like it’s normal to be eating these.

But don’t worry! As soon as you open the box, you realize you’re getting into something. Each triangle, which is about the size of a chicken nugget, is violently orange, like the most flavor-dusted chip you’d ever find in a bag of tortilla chips. And once you open the bag, damned if it doesn’t smell just like Nacho Cheese Doritos. It’s like you’ve been blessed with a bag of eight very big, fat, neon Doritos. Except you have to cook them.

You’d think such a stonerific food would have a microwave option, but no! If you want to enjoy Doritos dust stuffed with cheese, you gotta fire up that oven. Seems like a lot of effort for a little snack, but after cooking them, I think I can see why they wouldn’t work in the microwave.

Fresh out of the oven, the breaded outside of these guys was very crispy and entirely reminiscent of a jalapeño popper. If you’ve ever tried to reheat poppers in the microwave, the breading turns into a bit of a soggy mess – thus the oven-baking instructions.

Despite the strong odor when I initially opened the bag and the neon orange coloring, Loadeds were pretty light on the actual Doritos flavor. There were hints of that classic Nacho Cheese flavor in the breading, but it definitely lacked the taste of tortilla chips.

Further overshadowing the taste of Doritos, these big ol’ triangles were quite spicy. Which isn’t a complaint; it’s actually a compliment. Those festive little red and green jalapeño bits packed a pleasant punch.

With so many things going for them, Doritos Loaded fails on a pretty important component, which is the cheese filling. Sure, it was gooey and probably very artificial and worked great with the peppers, but these puffy orange pillows were mostly full of hot air. Am I proud of that joke? A little bit. But I’m also a little miffed at Doritos for not filling these things with more cheese. They should be bursting with cheese.

So just to recap, all these words amount to a really simple breakdown: Doritos Loaded are basically deconstructed jalapeño poppers. And while I wanted to be all like, “Ew, gross, so weird,” I love me some jalapeño poppers. It just so happens that these have the Doritos brand on them. And they’re triangles. And they’re bright orange. But beyond the very light nacho cheese flavor in the breading, these could have been any other brand of frozen poppers.

I enjoyed the crispy breading and the level of spice, but there just wasn’t enough cheese. The added flavor to the breading was a nice change-up, but if I’m going to compare them to other frozen poppers, the cheese quantity becomes a real issue.

On the other hand, at least when you bite into them, the whole jalapeño doesn’t come sliding out, depositing molten hot cheese and grease all over your fingers. That’s a nice plus.

Doritos Loaded Jalapeño & Cheese

  • Score: 3 out of 5 neon orange triangle pillows
  • Price: $2.98
  • Size: 8 pieces
  • Purchased at: Walmart
  • Nutritional Quirk: There are so many ingredients on the side of the box that I tried to count them twice and lost my place. Suffice to say it’s well over 30.

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