I Ate 9 Bags of Off-Brand Doritos to Find the Best Ones

Updated: Mar. 27, 2024

Do any off-brand Doritos compare to the real deal? I put nine contenders (and my stomach) to the test.

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doritos on wooden tableDEJAN JEKIC/GETTY IMAGES

The taste of Doritos is like no other. Do they taste like cheesy goodness? Kinda. Salt? Most definitely. Doritos are not “good for you” and have never pretended to be. Even though Doritos weren’t originally cheese-flavored, the chips can now be the basis for outrageous nachos or cheesy Doritos chicken tenders. Doritos are what they are, and they are glorious.

Finding the Best Off-Brand Doritos

Though Doritos are a singular entity, there are plenty of knock-off versions that are beautiful in their own right. Some aspire to be a “better-for-you” version of the junk food classic, ostensibly to make you feel slightly better about housing an entire bag in a single sitting. (No judgment here!) Others are meant for special diets, because even people on keto deserve Doritos. And then there are my favorites: store brands that deliver all the flavor at a fraction of the price. (With two teenage boys, I already have a hefty Dorito budget, but it can only be pushed so far.)

To help you navigate the wide world of off-brand Doritos, I selflessly ate nine bags of chips all by myself to determine which are acceptable substitutes:

  • From the Ground Up
  • Sprouts
  • Beanitos
  • Siete
  • Beanfields
  • Clancy’s
  • Zack’s Mighty
  • Late July
  • Pacqui

It was hard work, but the knowledge that I was doing this for the greater good made every bite worth it.

From the Ground Up Allison Robicelli for Taste of Home

From the Ground Up Cauliflower Tortilla Chips

From the Ground Up‘s nacho-flavored cauliflower chips taste nothing like Doritos, and make me wonder: Do off-brand Doritos need to exist in this space? Does there have to be a cauliflower-based Doritos knock-off?

Bottom line: I’m sure cauliflower could make great chips, but not with nacho flavoring.

Sprouts Chips Allison Robicelli for Taste of Home

Sprouts Nacho Tortilla Chips

These Dorito-inspired chips are grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and, unfortunately, flavor-free. Made of coconut and cassava flour, Sprouts chips have a texture and rigidity I respect. But there is nothing reminiscent of nacho cheese here. If I had eaten these chips without knowing they were supposed to be cheese-flavored, though, I might have liked them.

Bottom line: Sprouts makes a sturdy tortilla chip, but it lacks nacho cheese flavor.

Beanitos Chips Allison Robicelli for Taste of Home

Beanitos Nacho Nation Chips

Though Beanitos are good, I could barely taste any sort of cheese-inspired anything over the overwhelming bean flavor. The bag says I’m supposed to get hints of tomato, cheese and jalapeno, but I didn’t taste any evidence of those flavors. What I did taste was well-seasoned beans!

Bottom line: I didn’t mind these salty bean-based triangles.

Siete Chips Allison Robicelli for Taste of Home

Siete Nacho Grain-Free Tortilla Chips

This isn’t close to being a Doritos knock-off. It’s not bad, but it’s not cheese flavored. It’s tart? If you don’t think about Doritos at all, they’re delicious. If you do, you’ll be disappointed, so try watching TV or exercising while eating these chips to divert your thoughts from anything nacho cheese-related.

Bottom line: Siete chips are a 7/10; but as off-brand Doritos, a 3/10.

Beanfields Chips Allison Robicelli for Taste of Home

Beanfields Nacho Bean Chips

This chips are great, with a toothsome texture and strong nacho flavor. But I implore you: Do not forget about the fiber. One serving of 16 chips has four grams of insoluble fiber, and I ate a lot more than 16 chips. Doritos are made for mindless eating; beanfield chips are better for eating in moderation. Or better yet, use them in recipes made with Doritos.

Bottom line: This healthy chip is surprisingly delicious.

Clancy A Chips
Allison Robicelli for Taste of Home

Clancy’s Nacho Tortilla Chips

These taste like cheese-inspired chemicals, and that’s OK! That’s exactly what Doritos taste like, and that’s precisely what I was hoping these chips would deliver. They’re near-perfect off-brand Doritos at a bargain price. That’s all I really wanted, and it’s precisely what I got. While you’re at it, make sure you know about these off-brand foods.

Bottom line: Kudos to you, Clancy’s, for understanding—and nailing—the assignment.

Zach’s Chips Allison Robicelli for Taste of Home

Zack’s Mighty Tortilla Chips

Now this is a good chip. You know the nachos they serve at bowling alley snack bars that are smothered in electric-orange “cheese?” Zack’s Mighty chips taste just like those, but without the gloopiness. These are outstanding when paired with a jar of pickled jalapenos and Mountain Dew.

Bottom line: There’s a reason Zack’s are often out of stock—they’re ridiculously good.

Late July Chips Allison Robicelli for Taste of Home

Late July Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips

Late July’s entire business model revolves around taking things that are spectacularly unhealthy and making them “better.” Listen—it doesn’t matter if these chips are made with whole-ground organic yellow corn. It doesn’t matter if their orange dust contains real cheese or authentic nacho spices. The chips are meant to be “consumed in moderation,” but the problem is that these chips are so good, nothing will stop you from eating all of them.

Bottom line: Late July off-brand Doritos are 10/10.

Paqui Chips Allison Robicelli for Taste of Home

Pacqui Mucho Nacho Cheese Chips

Going into this taste test, I assumed that Doritos were the apex of the nacho cheese chip world and everything else would be a pale imitation. Little did I know that Pacqui has invented a chip that not only rivals classic nacho cheese Doritos, but absolutely blows them out of the water. These are thick and sturdy enough to act as a base for nachos, and to retain their shape in the bag without being pulverized into chip-bits in transit.

Bottom line: They’re crunchy, they’re cheesy, they’re perfect.