Frito Chili Pie Recipe
When the seasons change, Frito Chili Pie is one of those warm meals that hit the spot and quickly feeds a crowd.
Frito Chili Pie is one of my favorite comfort foods, that deserves to be celebrated everywhere. The crunchy corn chips paired with a delicious chili take a weeknight meal from good to “YUM!” instantly.
Please note: This post contains affiliate links. We earn a commission on qualifying purchases from these links. Thank you for your support!
The Origin of Frito Chili Pie
Frito Chili Pie is definitely a Southwestern/Midwestern dish. While there are reports of Frito Chili Pie being served in New Mexico in the 1960s, stories from Texas say the mother of the inventor of Fritos was the first to serve this combination of goodness in the 1930s. Thank you momma Doolin, and thank you Texas!
Regardless of where it originated from, the Frito Chili Pie is something to be shared far and wide for everyone to enjoy. So, let’s get started:
- Ground Beef
- Diced Onion
- Minced Garlic
- Salt and Pepper
- Chili beans-canned
- Red Kidney beans-canned
- Great Northern beans (or Cannellini beans)–canned
- Packet of Chili seasoning
- Diced Tomatoes (with chiles if you want to spice it up a bit)
- Chili Powder
- Ground Cumin
- Frito Chips–I love the scoops for this!
- Shredded Cheese–I use a Mexican blend
Optional Toppings for Frito Chili Pie
- Chopped Onions
- Jalapeno Slices
- Shredded Lettuce
- Sour Cream
- Diced Avocado
- Sliced Green onions
- Pico De Gallo
Can I Used Canned Chili for Frito Chili Pie?
Yes! I prefer to make my chili, but if you have some canned chili to use or don’t have the time to make your chili then warm up the canned chili and serve..
How to Make Frito Chili Pie
One of the reasons this meal is such a crowd pleaser is everyone gets to assemble and top their own Frito Chili Pies. After your chili is cooked, it is as easy as 1-2-3: First, layer your corn chips on the bottom of your bowl (don’t be stingy here!). Second, spoon your chili on top of the corn chips. Third, Top with cheese, and anything else your heart desires! It is that simple!
Crockpot Chili Shortcut
If you are anticipating a busy night, then making your chili in the crockpot might be the perfect answer to a grab-and-go kind of night. By cooking your meat, onions, and garlic ahead of time, you can easily dump all the chili ingredients in a crock pot and let it cook on low for at least 4 hours while you are busy elsewhere. Then, when it is time to eat, fill your bowls with the corn chips, spoon on some chili, top with cheese and anything else that looks good, and dinner is done!
Make a Frito Chili Pie Bar for a Crowd
Cooking for a crowd couldn’t be simpler than with Frito Chili Pies! By using the crockpot or even a roaster oven to cook your chili, the serving becomes a breeze. Just set out the chili, Fritos, and toppings for the crowd and let people dig in!
- Bison Meat Chili–You can make your chili with ground bison meat instead of ground beef.
- Venison Chili–Have a hunter in the family? Then you may have some ground venison meat in the freezer just waiting for a delicious chili!
- Chili Cheese Frito Pie–Use the Chili Cheese Fritos for more spice!
- Vegetable Power–Add more veggies (like red and green peppers) while you are cooking the onions to sneak some more veggies into the stew.
- Walking Frito Pie–Instead of putting your Fritos in a bowl, put your chili in an individually-sized bag of Fritos. By spooning your chili and toppings into the bag, this instantly becomes a portable and easily disposable meal–perfect for tailgates, BBQ’s, or even camping!
- Baked Frito Chili Pie–In a casserole dish or a cast iron pan, layer in the Fritos, chili and cheese. Then bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes until the cheese is melted.
Tools for this Recipe
Other Great Recipes from Mason Jars and Me
- 1 lb Ground Beef
- 1 Small Onion, diced
- 1 T. Garlic, minced
- Kosher Salt, to taste
- Black Pepper, to taste
- 1 packet Chili Seasoning
- 1 T. Chili Powder
- 1 T. Ground Cumin
- 1 15 oz Can Chili Beans, drained
- 1 15 oz Can Cannellini Bean, drained (or use Great Northern beans)
- 1 15 oz Can Red Kidney Beans, drained
- 1 28 oz Can Diced Tomatoes
- 1 Small Can Diced Chilis (optional)
- 1 Large bag of Corn Chips (I prefer Frito Scoops)
- 2 C. Shredded Cheese
1. In a large pot, brown ground beef along with onions until ground beef is cooked. Lightly salt and pepper the meat and onions while cooking.
2. Add minced garlic to the pan and cook for 1 min.
3. Mix in the chili seasoning packet, chili powder, and cumin to the meat mixture and allow to bloom for 1-2 minutes.
4. Then add diced tomatoes, beans and chilis to the mixture. Stir until well combined. (If the chili seems too thick, you can add a cup of water here to thin it out a little.)
5. Bring the chili to a simmer and cook for 20-30 minutes stirring occasionally. (You can leave it to simmer for much longer, just be sure to keep stirring to ensure it does not burn to the bottom of the pot.
6. Once the chili is ready, fill the bottom of your bowls with corn chips. Then Spoon on Chili and top with cheese and any other toppings you desire.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 901Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 138mgSodium: 1987mgCarbohydrates: 73gFiber: 18gSugar: 13gProtein: 62g