These Spicy Potato Chips are a fun way to jazz up a bag of plain potato chips with homemade potato chip seasoning. Customize the spice level to your taste, and enjoy warm chips from the oven!

Oval metal plate topped with spicy chips.

How do you feel about barbecue potato chips? I’m a fan of them in theory, but the store-bought ones never taste as good as I want them to.

Usually, the flavor isn’t balanced enough, and they are either too sweet or too smoky, with very little nuance.

So a few years ago, I started seasoning my own chips. I start with store-bought potato chips, heat them up in the oven, and then toss them with a custom spice blend that I whip up with things I already have on hand.

Not only does it ensure that the balance of flavor is just right, but with this recipe, you get to eat warm chips right out of the oven.

Why You Will Love These Best Spicy Chips

  • This recipe is customizable, so you can use whatever spices you like for these spicy potato chips, in whatever amounts you like.
  • It’s fun! Or at least, I think so. I love making homemade spice mixes, and getting out all of my little measuring spoons and stirring them up. That’s my idea of fun.
  • You get to eat WARM potato chips right out of the oven, which are perfect for a party.
Bag of kettle crisps alongside small ramekins of various ground spices.

BBQ Chip Seasoning ingredients

In order from the largest amount to the smallest amount, the spices in this homemade potato chip seasoning are as follows:

  • chili powder – the backbone of any, well, chili recipe, this is also a crucial spice for bbq potato chips.
  • cayenne – this is where most of the spice in these hot potato chips comes from!
  • garlic powder – a spice almost everybody seems to have in their cupboard, for good reason. This adds lots of savory flavor to these spicy potato chips.
  • mustard powder – this one might surprise you, but it’s one of the “spicy” elements in these spicy chips! I recommend Colman’s brand mustard powder if you can find it. I also use this in my buttermilk marinade for chicken.
  • onion powder – right next to the garlic powder in my cupboard, there’s the onion powder. This adds another layer of savory to this bbq seasoning for chips, and can also be used for my dry rub for ribs.
  • smoked paprika – regular Hungarian paprika is fine here, but I love smoked paprika for the depth of smoky flavor it adds to any recipe.
  • cumin – this might not be traditional for barbecue chips, but it adds a bit of earthiness that’s really yummy. I love it in my kafta recipe too.
Shallow teal bowl filled with ground spices.

How to make Spicy Potato Chips

  1. STIR. Stir together all of the spices – the chili powder, cayenne, garlic powder, mustard powder, onion powder, paprika, and cumin.
  2. BAKE + TOSS. Spread your chips on a baking sheet and bake 5 minutes or until they’re warm.. Immediately sprinkle the chips with the spice mixture and toss until all the chips are coated in the spices. Serve warm.

Potato Chip Seasoning variations

Probably the most frequent question is “how can I make these spicy potato chips LESS spicy?”

No worries – if you’re not a fan of spicy chips at all, you can make these mild by omitting or greatly reducing the cayenne to just a small pinch.

On the other hand, if you LOVE hot hot hot things, you can add an extra dash of cayenne.

If you don’t have both garlic powder AND onion powder on hand, that’s fine. Just double the amount of the one that you do have, and you can still make a good seasoning for chips.

Traditional (Hungarian) paprika (like my mom sprinkles on top of her Midwestern potato salad) can be used in place of the smoked paprika for these hot potato chips.

If you DO end up buying smoked paprika for this recipe, A Couple Cooks has a list of the 20 best smoked paprika recipes that will give you plenty of ideas to use up the rest of the jar.

And if you don’t have cumin on hand, simply omit it.

Another way that you can customize these chips to your taste is by simply choosing the variety of plain potato chips you start with.

I’ve used kettle chips here, but you could use classic potato chips or wavy/ripple cut chips. Lowfat or baked chips don’t work that well here, as the spice mix needs some oil to stick to!

Stainless steel sheet pan of hot potato chips covered in spices.

How to serve the Best Spicy Chips

In my opinion, nothing goes better with spicy potato chips than an ice cold glass of lemonade. Whether it’s honey lemonade or agave lemonade, something fruity like mango lemonade (that one is even a bit sparkly) or even combined with beer in a lemon shandy, it’s my first choice to drink alongside these spicy kettle chips.

If you’re in the mood for a cocktail to go with these spicy chips, my favorite fruity cold options are my strawberry Moscow mule, grapefruit mule and blackberry tequila mojito.

If I have a ton of basil in my garden, I’ll make basil cocktails or basil lemonade. In the winter, I love a nice rosemary bourbon cocktail or a bourbon mule.

Or, if you happen to have a random can of White Claw hanging around your fridge (it happens), try out a White Claw cocktail.

Closeup image of hot kettle crisps.

How to store BBQ Chip Seasoning

If you’d like to make your BBQ chip seasoning in advance (or make a double batch and save some for the future), it can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 months.

Closeup photo of spicy potato chips.
Closeup photo of spicy potato chips.

Spicy Potato Chip Seasoning

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

These Spicy Potato Chips are a fun way to jazz up a bag of plain potato chips with homemade potato chip seasoning. Customize the spice level to your taste, and enjoy warm chips from the oven!


  • 1-1/4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 bag (8 ounces) plain potato chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In small bowl, stir together chili powder, cayenne, garlic powder, mustard powder, onion powder, paprika, and cumin.
  2. Spread chips on baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes or until warm. Immediately sprinkle and toss with spice mixture. Serve warm.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 313Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 375mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 3gSugar: 0gProtein: 4g

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