REVIEW: Lay’s Southwestern Queso Potato Chips

Lay's Southwestern Queso Potato Chips

I love Tex-Mex – breakfast tacos, fajitas – you name it, I’ll eat it. But, my favorite Tex-Mex invention is hands down: queso.

As part of their annual “Do Us A Flavor” contest push, Lay’s has unleashed another presumably LTO flavor – Southwestern Queso – to get the creative juices flowing. Of course, Lay’s had to be politically correct and name it “Southwestern Queso” but is there really any other kind of delicioso queso like this?! I think not. I am currently living very far away from the “Southwest,” so I was pretty stoked to see something, anything queso.

When I opened the bag, I was surprised that there was no pungent smell invading my olfactory system. In attempts to make up for the flavor not actually tasting like what it’s trying to mimic, a lot of limited edition foods overcompensate with smell or at least I think so. Unfortunately, this notion gave me false hope that the chips would actually taste like queso. Anyways, the smell of these reminded me faintly of BBQ; I couldn’t really pinpoint it immediately.

Lay's Southwestern Queso Potato Chips 2

The chips looked like a normal seasoned chip color – a twinge of orange, but not neon Cheetos orange. Unlike the photo on the bag, they were also speckled with additional seasoning which reminded me of speckling on Lay’s Kettle Cooked Jalapeno Chips. Is it bad that I was surprised that the chip pieces were actually whole? I recall Lay’s being really brittle/always cracked for some reason. But, these whole oval slices looked like they actually came from a spud.

Like the smell test, I couldn’t really immediately identify what I was tasting. I kept thinking BBQ but realized the prevailing taste was another Lay’s favorite: Sour Cream & Onion. But, the aftertaste was like Cheddar & Sour Cream. So, the extra tang initially reminded me of eating spoiled cream cheese (don’t ask haha). After a handful of chips, I was surprised that I was picking up on a little heat as well. But, it wasn’t too spicy.

Lay’s, what about this tastes like my beloved queso?

Lay's Southwestern Queso Potato Chips 3

After my tastebuds were saturated in salt and artificial flavoring, I concluded that it wasn’t good but wasn’t terrible for a chip. But, don’t you dare try to tell me that this is queso-flavored. It’s like Lay’s took all their popular existing flavors and blended it into one like Frankenstein’s monster.

If I were naming the flavor I’d name it: Cheddar, Sour Cream & Onion with a little bit of Hot ‘n Spicy BBQ. After this disappointment, I took a peek at the ingredient list. Lay’s attempted to make it look like they tried with “Southwestern Queso Seasoning”, red and green bell pepper extract, paprika extracts and even blue cheese. Either R&D really sucked or this “Southwestern Queso Seasoning” is the Franken-creation I previously mentioned.

I keep telling myself that some Tex-Mex is better than no Tex-Mex, but Lay’s Southwestern Queso flavor is a really hard sell.

(Nutrition Facts – 15 chips – 150 calories, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein..)

Purchased Price: $2.98
Size: 9.5 oz. bag
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: No pungent smell. Whole chips that look like they actually came from a spud! Some Tex-Mex is better than no Tex-Mex?
Cons: What about this tastes like my beloved queso? Extra tang initially reminded me of eating spoiled cream cheese. It’s like Lay’s took all their popular existing flavors and blended it into one like Frankenstein’s monster.

11 thoughts to “REVIEW: Lay’s Southwestern Queso Potato Chips”

    1. first of all, that queso recipe isn’t authentic at all. queso should not be made with/taste like cheddar cheese. not to mention that sour cream in queso is a head scratcher for sure. furthermore, there is no onion listed in the recipe you linked, unless you think the onion flavor is somehow inexplicably prominent in the salsa. i really have no idea what possessed you to leave this comment.

      1. Damn Bonnie… ease!
        You see the little fella that is winking at you? oO
        No need to get rude, unless that is your way to talk to people.

        Tifanny has a strong opinion about Queso (so do you; obviously) and “what real Queso” is (btw ask a spanish guy and he is probably handing you some cheese) and while never really telling what queso has to taste like or what is really missing the review reads a bit weird. My comment was just a reminder, that there are way more “Queso Dip” recipes out there than you can count (some with Sour Creme, some with salsa, some with just velveeta and salsa, some with sour creme and cream cheese…. and so on) and either there is “not one queso dip” or you have to explain what is missing for your.

        I have to admit, that the only queso like dip i ever tried was probably just some (still delicious) velveeta-“what ever”-cheese dip, so yeah. I don’t know what “real queso” has to taste like or should consist of and a search for it was more confusing than helpful.

        You’re right, i missed the onion (was sure there was one in it, but apparently the onion was in some other recipe i found) and to be honest, though you got really strong at me for actually no reason, i like how you defend the queso dip.
        But that creates another problem. Now I want to know what the queso dip is you guys talk about even more.
        So: What’s your recipe for a really good “queso”? What belongs in a “Queso”? 🙂

  1. I JUST TRIED THESE CHIPs,LOVE,LOVE,LOVE THEM HOORAY LAYS,Not only are they Cholesterol free but only 14 Carb a serving if im right by the on Atkins and they fit into my Carb count and am still losing weight. I use them as a snack with my water.Love the blue cheese in them,not overpowering at all .

  2. I was initially so excited for these chips, but i was also disappointed that they tasted nothing like queso.

  3. Thanks Lay’s for stealing my flavor idea that I’ve sent in the last 2 years. I guess that’s what you do with the losers.

  4. I love the southwestern queso flavor. I hope this remains on the shelf as I can’t find them anywhere! Please make this an all the time flavor please!!!

  5. I would like the southwestern queso chips to come back in the shelves. They are really good.

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