Best Baked Chips: These Baked Chips are Low Fat but High Flavor

The best baked chips are low fat but still have great flavor. They should also have a crunchy, crispy, sturdy structure to them. Oftentimes, baked chips can be a little too crunchy, resulting in a bag full of chip crumbs (and nobody wants a bag full of chip crumbs). So, when we set out to find the best baked chips, we were looking for something crisp and well put together, something that wows with its texture and flavor. 

This kind of defeats the purpose of a low fat snack, but I’ve been dipping baked chips into dip all week. There’s something about a baked chip’s crunchy texture that makes it perfect to dip into creamy spreads. Also, baked chips kind of need dip, if I’m being honest. A lot of the ones I tried are in dire need of fat. I desperately missed the rich taste of oil during this test. Being fried in fat even makes plain potato chips taste wonderful. Without it, chips can be joyless. That said, we did find some baked chips that achieved a tasty flavor and perfectly crunchy texture. Here’s what we liked the best.

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Best of the Best

Ruffles Baked Cheddar & Sour Cream

Ruffles Baked Cheddar & Sour Cream chips have 65% less fat than traditional Ruffles, but they’re still big on flavor. These baked chips have a light, crunchy texture that’s makes them a pure joy to munch on. I definitely miss the fried-in-oil quality of other Frito-Lay chips, but these don’t skimp on flavor. They have a boldly tangy and cheesy flavor, and the texture is just delightful. Load me up. The best baked chips are Ruffles Cheddar & Sour Cream.

Credit: Liv Averett/Instacart

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

Best Crunchy Cheese Snack

Trader Joe’s Baked Cheese Crunchies

I tasted Trader Joe’s Baked Cheese Crunchies head to head with Baked Cheetos, and these were the clear winner. And like many head-to-head food showdowns, their superiority lies in the nutritional facts. TJ’s Cheese Crunchies have less salt than Baked Cheetos, but they have more fat. That means they just taste cheesier and more rich. Simply put, these are baked without being bland. If you love Cheetos but want something a tad healthier, absolutely seek out these Trader Joe’s Cheese Crunchies. They’re a great lower-fat alternative to one of the best junk foods to ever exist.

Credit: Liv Averett/Amazon

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

Best Cheese Puff

Barbara’s Bakery Baked Cheese Puffs Aged White Cheddar

These cheese puffs are made with aged white cheddar and have a bright, tangy, salty, cheesy flavor that completely satisfies. The tanginess of the aged white cheddar here is stronger than the tang of the sour cream in the Ruffles chips, and I love it. White cheddar snacks just rock, man. The puffs themselves are great, too! They’re puffy and light, but still have a solid crunch. Baked snacks are best when they have a strong flavor and a substantial texture, and Barbara’s Bakery brings the goods. We’re fans.

Credit: Liv Averett/Amazon

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

Best Smoky

Lay’s Baked Barbecue

Staff writer Jordan Myrick and I have been dipping these lightly smoky baked chips in this really tasty almond chipotle dip all week long, and it’s one of my favorite chip-and-dip combos of recent memory. Lay’s Baked Barbecue chips have such a pleasant barbecue flavor that’s smoky and sweet, plus the chips themselves are sturdy, crunchy, and light. That makes them perfect for dipping. Sure, that kind of defeats the purpose of buying a healthier chip, but it’s so damn good! These are the best baked chips for barbecue chip lovers. I love their subtle, smoky flavor.

Credit: Liv Averett/Instacart

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

Best Plain

Ruffles Original Baked

Ruffles Original Baked chips are good, standard baked potato chips, albeit nothing spectacular. Still, I most certainly prefer them to Lay’s after eating them side by side. These chips have 70% less fat than regular Ruffles, and they have a nice, clean flavor. It doesn’t taste like potato really (more like Pringles, which are made with dehydrated potatoes), but they’re still quite tasty and have just enough salt to skate by. They’re also good for dipping because of their wonderful textures and crunch. They’re a bit plain, but, hey, that’s why they’re ranked so low. 

Credit: Liv Averett/Target

Rating:

7/10

Sporks

Other products we tried: Cheetos Baked, Ritz Baked Onion, Lay’s Baked.

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About the Author

Danny Palumbo

Danny is a comedian, cook, and food writer living in Los Angeles. He loves gas station eggs, canned sardines, and Easter candy. He also passionately believes that all the best chips come from Pennsylvania (Herr's!). If you can't understand Danny when he talks, it's because he's from Pittsburgh.

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