24 Cheez-Its Flavors, Ranked Worst To Best

The Cheez-Its brand has come a long way since its inception in 1921 when it was originally started by a company that sent military rations to U.S. soldiers during World War I. Today, it is the most popular cheese cracker on the market, and its current corporate owner Kellanova maintains its market dominance by releasing new flavors regularly. But with about 30 flavors currently available, it's important to establish which ones are worth purchasing and which ones you should skip. To settle the issue, we tried as many flavors as we could get our hands on in order to establish a Cheez-It power ranking system.

While we acknowledge that Cheez-It flavor preferences largely come down to personal taste, we identified several key factors that make for a better cheese cracker and used those parameters to give our best attempt at rating these crackers. You can find more information at the end of our list. But for now, let's start off with the worst Cheez-It flavor we tried.

24. Cheez-It Grooves Zesty Cheddar Ranch

Cheez-It Grooves play a confusing role in the larger lineup of Cheez-It products. While Puff'd Cheez-Its offer an airier bite and Snap'd Cheez-Its offer a thinner crunch, Cheez-It Grooves are just slightly groovier. It's a subtle change and doesn't aim to improve the texture or flavor of a regular Cheez-It if our test of the Zesty Cheddar Ranch flavor is anything to go off of.

Zesty Cheddar Ranch Cheez-It Grooves are nasty compared to most other Cheez-Its flavors. The artificial ranch flavor overpowers the cheese flavor so heavily that it doesn't even taste cheesy. Seriously, it would be more accurate to call this a powdered buttermilk cracker with added white cheddar cheese. And speaking of powder, these crackers are coated in a sticky flavoring that will get all over your mouse and keyboard if you try to write a review of them. A ranch dressing enthusiast (if there is such a thing) might love this flavor, but it was an easy last-place pick for us.

23. Cheez-It Puff'd Double Cheese

When it comes to brands with as many products as Cheez-Its, they can't all be winners. Point in case: The Double Cheese Cheez-It Puff'd crisps. While the concept of a puffy, cheesy snack has been successful for competing brands like Cheetos and Utz, this product doesn't come anywhere close to its competitors in terms of quality.

Despite the name, the Double Cheese Cheez-It Puff'd crisps have far less cheese flavor than Original Cheez-Its. We were surprised to see that real cheese was still in the ingredients, as these crisps taste like the flavor powder (pictured all over the table in the above photo) is pulling all of the work. Either the cornmeal flavor of crisps totally overpowers the base cheese flavor, or it is simply not present. And without that baseline level of richness, the added powdered flavoring tastes artificial and, frankly, disgusting. No disrespect to those who like Double Cheese Puff'd Cheez-Its, but this one is a skip for us.

22. Cheez-It Reduced Fat Original

We have bad news for all of the health-conscious Cheez-It lovers out there: Reduced Fat Cheez-Its are one of the worst Cheez-It flavors in production right now. This should come as no surprise since a reduced-fat version of this cracker obviously has to make some sacrifices in the cheese department. However, just because these crackers are light on real cheese flavor doesn't mean they are terrible. They still have the salty satisfaction, the delightful crunch, and most of Original's cheesy flavor. The biggest bummer about these health-conscious crackers is that they aren't that much better for you than the original.

One serving of Original Cheez-Its contains 150 calories and 8 grams of fat, while one serving of Reduced Fat Cheez-Its contains 140 calories and 6 grams of fat. And worse yet, the Reduced Fat Cheez-Its have 250 milligrams of salt versus the 230 milligrams in the Originals, which is an awkward tradeoff for those trying to cut back on both salt and fat. Rather than go for this option, we suggest you stick to Original Cheez-Its and then simply limit your portion size.

21. Cheez-It Extra Cheesy

Just when you thought that producer Kellanova had run out of Cheez-It flavor ideas, they borrowed a move from the Goldfish playbook and released the Extra Cheesy Cheez-It flavor. It basically just takes the Original Cheez-It flavor and enhances it with additional flavoring powder à la Flavor-Blasted Goldfish. But while this product does deliver on its promise of a cheesier flavor, it demonstrates that cheesier is not always better.

The main problem with the Extra Cheesy flavor is that the extra flavor comes in the form of a dusty powder that coats your fingers and dilutes the satisfying texture of the classic Cheez-It. And while other powdery Cheez-It flavors get a pass for adding a unique aspect to the flavor, Extra Cheesy only offers you more of the same. Simply put, the added cheese flavors don't quite bring this snack to the next level, nonetheless, making up for the overly powdery texture. This flavor is worth trying once for the novelty, but otherwise, is a strict downgrade from the Original Cheez-It.

20. Cheez-It Snap'd Cheddar Sour Cream & Onion

It's hard to pinpoint exactly where the idea to combine cheddar, sour cream, and onion into one flavor came from, but it's become such a staple of the snack food landscape that Cheez-Its has now jumped on the trend. That said, we kind of wish it hadn't.

Frankly, this flavor tastes more like it is trying to emulate the Cheddar & Sour Cream Ruffles than actual cheddar, sour cream, and onion flavors. The end result is a confusing mélange of zest and cheese that is completely devoid of personality. Don't get us wrong, it's a decent flavor that we'd definitely snack on again if served at a party, but they are far from a top-tier Cheez-It flavor. The key issue here is that the cheese flavor takes a back seat to the sour cream and onion flavors, and as proven by the Zesty Cheddar Ranch Grooves, that makes for a losing combination in the world of cheese-flavored snacks. These are worth trying if you come across them, but definitely not worth seeking out unless you are a huge fan of Cheddar & Sour Cream Ruffles.

19. Cheez-It White Cheddar

White Cheddar is a Cheez-It flavor that folks famously either love or hate. Having tried as many Cheez-Its flavors as we have, it is somewhere in between. It has a decent Cheez-It flavor, but you would have to be a pretty hardcore white cheddarhead to universally prefer this over classic Cheez-Its. Instead, it seems more like a palette cleanser snack for those who have already overindulged in the addictive delight of Original Cheez-Its.

Like its namesake cheese, the White Cheddar Cheez-Its tastes more subtle and funky than the original flavor while still bringing that big cheesy aftertaste. White Cheddar also deserves recognition for being the closest to its namesake cheese in terms of flavor. It delivers on the salty, crunchy texture as well, although it is somewhat sullied by the presence of that darned sticky flavoring powder. While we can see why some folks love this flavor, it didn't quite match the satisfying and addictive experience of the Original Cheez-Its for us. It is still a flavor definitely worth trying, though.

18. Cheez-It Snap'd Jalapeño Jack

While the product designers from Kellanova know that cheese and jalapeño are a winning combination, they apparently can't agree on how to proportion these two flavors. The heat level varies considerably from one spicy flavor to another, and the Jalapeño Jack Snap'd Cheez-Its seems to represent the low end of the spice spectrum. This flavor, while tasty, is milder than the Hot & Spicy, Pepper Jack, and Jalapeño & Cheddar Jack Duoz flavors, which leaves us wondering why they didn't kick this flavor up a notch?

There are plenty of other non-spicy flavors in the Snap'd lineup, so it would have been nice for the Jalapeño Jack flavor to have some real heat. Instead, this flavor tastes like a milder version of the Pepper Jack with the added textural note of the Snap'd style chip. The jack cheese flavor on its own is flavorful enough, but those who are after a real jalapeño flavor will be sorely disappointed by this chip.

17. Cheez-It Cheddar Jack

Although this flavor promises a rich mixture of tangy golden cheddar and beautifully marbled Jack, this two-cheese combo is somehow less than the sum of its parts. The added cheddar flavor adds a bold, pungent element to these crackers, but they are hardly worth the extra heavy layer of sticky flavoring powder that these crackers have.

And as much as we like the cheddar flavor, it smothers the jack flavor a bit too much. In fact, it's hard to pin down exactly which Jack cheese serves as the base for this cracker. According to the ingredients list, it is Monterey Jack, but we could not tell without checking. The fact that this base flavor is so subtle and elusive only makes us wish more that this flavor didn't have the unnecessary flavor powder on it (save cheese powder for the Cheetos). This flavor also falls into the category of being worth trying once but has no risk of dethroning the original.

16. Cheez-It Duoz Jalapeño & Cheddar Jack

Although it's hard to dislike the multi-color presentation and snack mix style of Cheez-It Duoz, the combination of Jalapeño & Cheddar Jack flavors hardly moves the dial compared to some of the better Cheez-Its flavors we tried. It simply isn't cheesy or spicy enough.

Cheddar Jack is a questionable cheese choice for this combo because it is fairly mild compared to other specialty flavors. However, this may be by design, as the jalapeño flavor is equally mild. The Jalapeño cracker has about as much spice as the Pepper Jack Cheez-Its, which is just enough to linger for a moment beyond the first bite.

When you eat the two flavors simultaneously, it actually tastes like the Pepper Jack Cheez-Its, but less cohesive in flavor and more powdery in texture. Ultimately, the only reasons we would recommend trying these is if you really like two-tone snacks or your favorite retailer was already out of Pepper Jack Cheez-Its.

15. Cheez-It Hot & Spicy

Hot & Spicy Cheez-Its are an unusual flavor but one we would come back to if we found ourselves craving its unique brand of zest. This flavor is modeled after Tabasco-style hot sauce, and delivers a pretty decent dose of spice without any lingering heat to make you sweat.

The flavor is made with ingredients you would actually find in hot sauce, including paprika, vinegar, red pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and jalapeño. You can actually taste the individual notes of these ingredients, as well as the cheddar flavor, which serves as the base. The notes of sweetness and vinegar are particularly distinct, which helps offset some of the spiciness. And although this is probably the hottest Cheez-It flavor, it is still quite mild compared to other spice-forward cheese snacks like Hot Cheetos. This may disappoint true spice lovers, but the balance of heat and flavor feels appropriate for a snack as binge-able as Cheez-Its.

14. Cheez-It Snap'd Double Cheese

Although the Snap'd Double Cheese Cheez-Its has the same flavor powder as the Puff'd flavor of the same name and (presumably) the classic Extra Cheesy flavor, we liked the Snap'd version substantially more than the other two options. You could potentially chalk this up to personal preference, but there is also an argument to be made that this extra-cheesy flavor objectively works best with the thin, crispy Snap'd crackers.

The bold cheese flavor harmonizes much better with the crunchy texture of the Snap'd crackers than the Puff'd or classic texture. Like with classic Cheez-Its, the flour base of the Snap'd chip distracts far less from the cheesy taste than the corn base of the Puff'd crisp. Another thing this flavor has going for it is that it has fewer competitors in the snack food space. There are hardly any cheese-flavored chips of this size and texture, which makes Double Cheese feel a little more special than some of the other flavor iterations in the Snap'd line of Cheez-It products.

13. Cheez-It Duoz Bacon & Cheddar

Of all the Cheez-It Duoz flavors, the Bacon & Cheddar combination is the best implementation of this snack mix-style presentation. Whereas the other Duoz flavors feel like they would taste the same if their flavors were combined into just one cracker, the Bacon & Cheddar Duoz have the added effect of emulating a real-life meat and cheese board.

In all fairness, Cheez-Its could easily make a delicious Cheddar Bacon flavor if it wanted to. However, that flavor would be less fun to eat because you won't be stacking and matching each cracker like you might with the Bacon & Cheddar Duoz. The smokey (but very artificial) bacon flavor goes great with the bold cheddar flavor, and eating handfuls with different flavor ratios is almost as fun as snacking on a charcuterie board. The use of that sticky flavor powdering is a point against the Bacon & Cheddar Cheez-It Duoz, but they are an otherwise solid snack option.

12. Cheez-It Buffalo Wing

Although Buffalo Wing Cheez-Its might sound like one of the more egregious flavors on this list, it is a surprisingly enjoyable snack. Like the Bacon flavor reviewed above, it recreates a savory, meal-like experience without using any actual meat products. And it does so with impressive accuracy.

Of course, these crackers aren't designed to taste like chicken but buffalo sauce and blue cheese dip. You'll find key contents of both in the ingredients section, including garlic powder, cayenne pepper sauce, butter, buttermilk, and real blue cheese. Additionally, this is all atop a cheddar base. Considering that these ingredients have a reputation for being overpowering, the flavor is surprisingly subdued. It does have more spice than the Jalapeño & Cheddar Jack Duoz, though, so this one isn't for sensitive eaters. It also has that sticky powder coating, which means it isn't for neat freaks, either. But if you find yourself in neither of the above camps, then give the Buffalo Wing Cheez-Its a try for an interesting take on classic bar food.

11. Cheez-It Snap'd Extra Crunchy Sharp White Cheddar

At the time of writing, the Snap'd Extra Crunchy Sharp White Cheddar Cheez-Its are the crunchiest snack chip in the Cheez-Its lineup. They bring more crunch than the Cheez-It Extra Crunchy Bold Cheddar crackers, which feels like witchcraft considering the Snap'd chips are overall thinner. And while these chips are worth trying for that reason alone, they also taste pretty good.

The sharp white cheddar flavor is notably distinct from the white cheddar flavors used in the classic and Puff'd product lines. It is much zestier and tangier than the other white cheddar products we tried, which helps it stand out from the pack. The sticky flavoring powder, while present on these chips, is less of a problem because of their thin shape and rigidity makes them easier to grab without coating your fingers. It may not be our favorite Snap'd chip overall, but it is a compelling case for making more Extra Crunchy Snap'd flavors.

10. Cheez-It Puff'd White Cheddar

Between its funky white cheddar flavor and airy puffed texture, the White Cheddar Cheez-It Puff'd is an unusual addition to the Cheez-It lineup. But in this case, its differences are its greatest strengths. For no clear reason, the same white cheddar flavor used in the standard White Cheddar Cheez-It seems to work considerably better in the Puff'd form.

The melt-in-your-mouth lightness of this snack gives the subtler notes of the white cheddar more room to blossom. There seems to be more cohesion between the delicacy of the Puff'd crisp and the white cheddar flavor as well. The same magic that makes Pirate's Booty so addictive is likely at work here—if not in the recipe, then at least in the social context of the snack. Even if it isn't a top-tier cracker, we think fans of a bold and buttery white cheddar flavor will be properly satisfied by this Cheez-It variation.

9. Cheez-It Duoz Sharp Cheddar & Parmesan

Given the utter randomness of this Sharp Cheddar & Parmesan combination, this flavor might have you wondering why this brand doesn't just release Cheez-It Duoz in nearly infinite combinations. However, after trying a bowl for ourselves, we now understand the logic behind this combination.

The bold and tangy flavor of the Sharp Cheddar actually pairs nicely with the mellow sweetness of the Parmesan. The duality of the two flavors is the key to this snack mix's success, as it had us perpetually reaching for a second handful to bring that balance of flavors in a constant pendulum sway. Plus, the cracker base for the Parmesan feels crunchier than the Sharp Cheddar cracker, almost closer to a saltine cracker than a cheese cracker. This makes for a nice textural contrast when you grab a handful of both. If anyone from Kellanova is reading, let it be known that we would endorse the release of the Parmesan flavor on its own just as readily.

8. Cheez-It Extra Toasty

As much as it pains us to admit, Extra Toasty Cheez-Its are an overall downgrade to Original Cheez-Its for all but those with a nutrient deficiency. This is disappointing, as toastiness is one of the most attractive qualities of Original Cheez-Its and a highly underrated flavor. But while the concept has legs, the execution comes off as a batch of Cheez-Its that got slightly burned in production.

The toasty flavor is the most prominent aspect of these crackers, and are a nice example of "bien cuit" (well done) cooking. Unfortunately, the cheese flavor has trouble cutting through this toasty flavor, and the cheese flavor should always come first when it comes to Cheez-Its. Without that smooth cheddar taste in the driver's seat, this snack tastes more like a salty, burnt toast. And while salty, burnt toast is a delicious flavor in its own respect, it cannot come at the expense of that cheesy flavor.

7. Cheez-It Extra Toasty Cheddar Jack

The most important note to make about the Extra Toasty Cheddar Jack Cheez-Its is that they are substantially better than the normal Cheddar Jack Cheez-Its. The added depth and complexity of the extra-toasty flavor totally recontextualizes the balance between these two flavors, allowing us to appreciate the cheddar flavor much more this time.

That extra time in the oven really takes some of the bite out of that massive jack cheese flavor, making it smooth and addictive. This flavor still feels like it has more sticky flavoring powder than the average Cheez-It, but this is something we're willing to overlook for its phenomenal flavor. It's hard to say why the original Extra Toasty Cheez-It doesn't deliver quite the same level of well-done perfection as Extra Toasty Cheddar Jack, but this fact has us thinking that Cheez-Its should release even more extra toasty flavors. May we suggest Extra Toasty Pepper Jack?

6. Cheez-It Italian Four Cheese

Mamma mia! Doing things bigger doesn't always work out for Cheez-Its (see our reviews of all Extra Cheesy and Double Cheese variants for examples), but the classic Italian Four Cheese flavor proves that good things can still come from saying "yes" to more cheese. Unlike other flavor-blasted Cheez-It varieties, this flavor makes your mouth water without sacrificing depth or complexity.

According to the ingredients, this flavor should technically be called Italian Six Cheese since it includes white cheddar, Monterey Jack, Romano, Parmesan, mozzarella, and Asiago cheese. And despite the different flavor profiles that go into its mix, it is still possible to pick out notes of sharpness from the Asiago and buttery richness from the mozzarella. The presence of flavoring powder does mean that these snacks are as messy as a bag of Cheetos, but this is a worthwhile tradeoff for a flavor almost as crave-able as the original Cheez-Its.

5. Cheez-It Whole Grain

Great news for those in search of a healthier cheese cracker option: Whole Grain Cheez-Its are nearly as good as the originals while also containing 8 grams of healthy whole grains per serving. That's not to say its recipe is entirely devoid of enriched flour, but it at least contains less than normal!

The flavor of Whole Grain Cheez-Its is still every bit as crunchy and cheesy as its bleached flour counterpart. It is almost identical in flavor, too, but a distinguished Cheez-It connoisseur could still tell them apart from the slightly grainier texture and hearty undernote from the whole wheat. This could actually make these better than the originals if you prefer a rustic snack, but for us, it puts them just under the originals. It's nice to see a healthier Cheez-It option taste this good, especially since the Reduced Fat Cheez-Its are so lackluster. This should be your go-to option for reduced-guilt snacking.

4. Cheez-It Original

There is not much that can be said about the Original Cheez-Its that isn't made implicit from our reviews of the other Cheez-It flavors. At the risk of stating the obvious, the Original Cheez-It is one of the best cheese crackers on the planet. To us, it serves as the platonic ideal of a cheese cracker and can, therefore, be used as a benchmark against which all variations and knockoffs can be judged. But what of its own flavor?

Original Cheez-Its tastes quite subdued when compared to some of the different outrageous flavors that the brand offers. But its simple, toasty cheddar flavor may already represent perfection to those with a more modest palette. The Original Cheez-Its are not focused on blowing your mind with a big first impression. Instead, they deliver a smooth and balanced cheese flavor whose aftertaste might fool your brain into thinking you just ate a handful of shredded cheddar. This is the benchmark set by Original Cheez-Its. Any flavor mentioned before this one is an imperfect imitation of this legendary snack. Any flavor mentioned after is something truly special.

3. Cheez-It Extra Big

It was a tough call deciding if Extra Big Cheez-Its deserved to be placed above or below the original Cheez-Its, as most Cheez-It enjoyers could probably go either way on the issue. The fact to keep in mind is that Extra Big Cheez-Its are made from the exact same recipe as the original cracker, so the differences here are minor. But is it true that bigger is better? In this case, kind of.

While there is no difference in the recipe used, the larger cracker size means more surface area for salt to adhere to, which makes for a slightly saltier bite. In terms of texture, the Extra Big Cheez-Its seem slightly crunchier, too. Kellanova has clearly taken care to ensure these larger crackers are just as crunchy, if not crunchier, than the originals, as indicated by the four additional docking holes added to each cracker. The only tangible downside is that you get fewer crackers by volume in a box compared to Original Cheez-Its (11.7 ounces versus 12.4 ounces) due to the negative space. But even though they are a bit harder to share, they are also a bit more fun to eat solo.

2. Cheez-It Pepper Jack

While these pepper-infused Cheez-Its will not have the same universal appeal as the mainstream flavors, it offers a surprisingly sophisticated balance of richness and spice that actually might be more addictive than Original Cheez-Its. The standout feature of this flavor is the inclusion of green bell pepper, red bell pepper, and natural jalapeño flavor, which spice up not only the flavor but also the appearance of these cheesy crackers.

These are notably the same flavors used in the Cheez-It Hot & Spicy, albeit in a portion that is more focused on balancing with the cheese flavor rather than overpowering it. The level of spice is quite mild, delivering only a zing that lingers for only a brief moment. And that little zing was what had us reaching for another handful. And then another. We understand if those with a near-zero tolerance for spice skip this one, but more adventurous Cheez-It enthusiasts absolutely must try this flavor.

1. Cheez-It Extra Crunchy Bold Cheddar

While the Cheez-It brand already has Snap'd chips for a little extra crunch, the Extra Crunchy Bold Cheddar crackers take things to another level altogether. This new flavor is one of only a few that actually feel like an improvement over the original recipe — and that's a huge compliment.

The crunchier texture not only makes each serving feel like a more substantial and filling snack but also imbues a sensory experience. These crackers are so crunchy that we were self-conscious that other people could hear us chewing while we were testing them. In terms of cheese flavor, we still prefer the original blend, but the bold cheddar flavor still tastes much more sophisticated than other nondescript flavors like Double Cheese and Extra Cheesy. This flavor also has sticky powder flavoring, but this is worth overlooking since the texture marks an overall improvement on the classic recipe. We'll take more of this, please.


As mentioned at the beginning of the article, we acknowledge that personal taste is the most important factor in whether or not a Cheez-It flavor is good, and we recognize that there is an inescapable element of personal bias in these rankings. But while there is no exact science to ranking the taste of foods, we did our best to be scientific about the process. So, we identified three key questions by which we can judge the success of a Cheez-It cracker.

The first: is it cheesy? A proper Cheez-It has to have a cheese-forward flavor to be successful. Furthermore, the flavor has to translate accurately into cracker form. The second question: is it crunchy? A nice crunchy texture is core to the identity of cheese crackers (with the exception of Puff'd Cheez-Its), and so we paid special attention to how well they delivered on their advertised texture. The third and final question: would we buy it again? None of these crackers were terrible (except maybe the Zesty Cheddar Ranch Grooves), and we could see ourselves still occasionally craving some flavors that we gave a low ranking. However, we found other flavors being strictly outclassed by better Cheez-Its flavors, which we decided should negatively affect their ranking. But, again, these rankings are also largely based on the author's opinion. It's totally fine to disagree with us, as all Cheez-It opinions are valid.