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Frito Pie has layers of Fritos™, chili and cheese for an irresistible Tex Mex casserole everyone will love. This easy Frito pie recipe makes a fabulous weeknight dinner or dish on Game Day!
Look no further than a humble Frito pie casserole for crunchy, cheesy, Tex Mex flavors! This satisfying meal is guaranteed to please even the pickiest eaters.
WHAT IS FRITO PIE?
It’s a casserole made with Fritos™ corn chips, chili, onions and melted cheese. Frito-Lay apparently invented it in the 1950s with it gracing Disneyland’s menu years later as “Frito chili pie”.
Today you’re most likely to find one at a little league or football concession stand in Texas, New Mexico or the Midwest. Sometimes there’s even Sonic Frito Pie at the drive-in! 🙂
Whether you can find one locally, nothing beats a homemade Frito pie fresh out of the oven…
HOW TO MAKE FRITO PIE
The best Frito pie recipe is easy to make with a few ingredients:
- Fritos™ corn chips: a large 9-oz bag
- Ground beef
- Tomato sauce or enchilada sauce
- Chili beans: also called ranch style beans
- Cheddar cheese
You can also use leftover chili in place of ground beef/onion/tomato sauce/beans, and it’ll cut the preparation time in half.
To make Texas Frito Pie, omit the chili beans and use shredded brisket and barbecue sauce instead of ground beef.
For Frito Pie New Mexico style, use black beans and (roasted) corn with taco seasoning and chopped fresh cilantro for garnish.
Serve with your favorite garnishes such as guacamole to sour cream, shredded lettuce. Minced green onion is a nice touch and for a kick add chopped jalapeños.
There are a few other fun variations on the original Frito chili pie recipe:
- Frito Taco Pie: Add a crescent roll dough crust to the pan before everything else.
- Chicken Frito Pie: Substitute ground chicken instead of ground beef.
- Vegan Frito Pie: Omit the ground beef and add extra beans.
Can I make it ahead of time?
Baked Frito pie is not great to prepare ahead, since the chips often become soggy while it sits.
Instead, try making “Frito pie in a bag” or walking tacos. There’s no baking required and people assemble their own to eat straight out of the bag, stadium-style!
Crockpot Frito Pie is another make-ahead option. Add all ingredients to the slow cooker except chips and cheese. Cook for 90 minutes on High or 4 hours on Low. Then about 15 minutes before serving, add the chips and cheese and let it sit uncovered until the cheese is melted.
- 10 oz Fritos™ corn chips, about 5 cups
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped, 1 cup
- 20 oz tomato sauce, or enchilada sauce, 2 1/2 cups
- 20 oz chili beans, 2 1/2 cups (see note)
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
Serving - Optional
- sour cream
- green onions
- shredded lettuce
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Set aside a rectangular 9×13 in (33x23 cm) baking dish.
- Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and onions and sauté for 5-7 minutes until slightly browned.
- Add the tomato sauce or enchilada sauce and chili beans. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add 2 cups of Fritos™ to the prepared dish. Then pour the chili mixture on top to make a layer.
- Add the remaining Fritos™ and top with the cheddar cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
- Remove from oven and add optional green onions and garnishes.
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