Are Doritos Potato Chips? (Answered)

Most readers need no introduction to Doritos. They’ve been one of the favorites down the snack food aisle for decades.

However, one area of confusion that people have is how they are classified. Specifically, many people wonder whether Doritos are potato chips or something else.

Below you will learn what Doritos are made of and ultimately what type of snack food they are. Let’s get into the details.

Doritos Are Potato Chips?

Meriam-Webster defines a potato chip as “a thin slice of white potato that has been cooked until crisp and then usually salted”. So, a potato chip must be made from a slice of potato and be cooked in some fashion until crisp.

Doritos do not fit into the definition of potato chips since they contain no potatoes. The primary ingredients in Nacho Cheese Doritos are corn, vegetable oil, maltodextrin (made from corn), salt, and cheddar cheese.

Doritos are made starting with cooked corn. The corn is used to make masa or a maize dough that is flattened and then formed into the familiar Doritos triangle shape before being cooked and deep fried. The final step is the seasoning which, of course, varies based on the variety.

Doritos are ultimately considered tortilla chips and are not potato chips. The front of the bag of Doritos confirms that they are tortilla chips.

In fact, Doritos were the first tortilla chip brand made by the snack food giant, Frito-Lay. They hit store shelves in 1961 and have since become one of the top-selling snack foods in America.

Doritos vs. Potato Chips Nutrition

Below you will find a comparison of the nutrition of Doritos vs. potato chips. We used Classic Lay’s since they are a top seller at grocery stores. You can review the data on your own but one surprising point of note is the calories. Doritos have fewer calories than Classic Lay’s even considered Doritos are dusted with a nice layer of cheese or other flavoring.

Doritos (Nacho Cheese)Lay’s (Classic)
Serving Size1 oz. (28g/About 12 Chips)1 oz. (28g/About 15 Chips)
Total Fat8g10g
Saturated Fat1g1.5g
Trans Fatty Acids0g0g
Total Carbohydrate18g15g
Dietary Fiber1g1g
Total Sugars1gless than 1g

Final Thoughts

In this article, we established that Doritos are not potato chips. They are tortilla chips made from corn. However, there are some people who lump all chips together as potato chips. This may be out of error or just as a way to generally classify this category of snack food. We hoped this article helped you clarify the difference between Doritos and potato chips!

“Potato chip.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2022.