Best Frito Chili Pie
The Best Frito Chili Pie – An easy recipe for classic Frito “pie” made with flavorful beef chili and corn chips! Serve this in a bowl or right in the bag with shredded cheese and all your favorite toppings.
You know I am a big fan of great retro recipes that are no-frills but have big, comforting flavors that we all love. Many are easy to prepare and perfect to feed a crowd for fun gatherings.
Frito Chili Pie is a fabulous old-school recipe for tailgating, casual holiday parties, and campfire dinners. It’s just the right combo of crunchy, salty, savory, meaty, and cheesy that you crave in a classic party food!
Classic Frito Chili Pie
If you aren’t already familiar, you should know that there is no actual pie involved here. But that’s ok! Frito Pie gets its name from how the dish is layered and served… crunchy corn chips are covered with homemade beef chili, then topped with shredded cheese and sliced green scallions, and finished with tangy jalapenos and a dollop of sour cream.
These can be assembled individually in shallow round dishes (like a pie) – or for a more traditional serving style, layer the chili and goodies right into single-serving bags of Fritos chips.
This Frito pie recipe takes under an hour to make and is even great to prep in advance. Simply make the chili portion ahead of time and have your toppings ready to go. Then rewarm the chili when ready to serve and enjoy!
Ingredients You Need
For the Frito Chili:
- Ground beef
- Sweet onion – diced
- Garlic – minced
- Canned kidney beans – drained
- Tomato sauce
- Diced fire roasted tomatoes
- Ancho chili powder
- Ground cumin
- Dried oregano
- Beef base – or bouillon
To Make the Chili Pies:
- Fritos Corn Chips – either one large bag or 10 single serving bags
- Sharp cheddar cheese – shredded
- Scallions – chopped
- Sour cream
- Sliced pickled jalapenos – like our fantastic homemade quick pickled jalapeno slices
How to Make Easy Beef Chili
Set a 6-quart saucepot over medium heat. Add the ground beef, diced onion, and garlic to the pot. Use a wooden spoon to break the meat into small pieces as you brown the beef and soften the onions, about 8-10 minutes.
Once the meat is cooked through and broken into very small pieces, add in the drained kidney beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, oregano, beef base, and 1 cup of water.
Stir well. Simmer for at least 15 minutes, stirring the bottom of the pot every 3 to 5 minutes to make sure it doesn’t stick.
Get the Complete (Printable) Old-School Frito Chili Pie Recipe Below. Enjoy!
Once the chili thickens, turn off the heat. Then taste, and salt and pepper as needed.
How to Assemble and Serve Frito Chili Pie
Place a handful of Fritos in a bowl, and top with a generous scoop of chili.
Then add a bit of the shredded cheese and sliced scallions.
Top with sour cream and pickled jalapeno slices. Enjoy warm.
Pro Tip: You can always set out a buffet line with all the various ingredients, and let guests serve themselves!
How to Serve In Individual Frito Bags
Open the Frito bag and fold the top down to create a rim. Scoop chili over the Fritos. Don’t worry, the bag can handle it!
Top each bag with shredded cheese, scallions, sour cream, and pickled jalapeños. Serve warm.
Frequently Asked Questions
Skip the beef and prepare the chili with an additional two cans of kidney beans, or two cans of black beans if you’d like to add a more southwestern flavor. For a completely dairy-free plant-based recipe, also use your preferred vegan sour cream and cheddar cheese.
This iconic party food is perfect with other game-day favorites like loaded stuffed jalapenos, crispy buffalo wings, and classic queso. Or bring some freshness to the table and serve alongside a crisp green salad with ranch dressing.
The corn chips will get soggy after more than an hour, so it is recommended the assembled Frito pies be eaten immediately. However, the chili itself will keep well in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Looking For More Classic Party Meals? Be Sure To Also Try These Easy Recipes:
- Funyuns Sliders
- 5 Ingredient Pulled Pork Nachos
- Ultimate Dorito Taco Salad
- Nacho Hot Dogs
- Drowned Carnitas Party Sandwiches
The Best Frito Chili Pie Recipe
For the Frito Chili –
For the Frito Chili Pies –
- 9 ¼ ounce bag Fritos corn chips or 10 single serving bags
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup chopped scallions
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup sliced pickled jalapenos
- Set a 6-quart saucepot over medium heat. Add the ground beef, diced onion, and garlic to the pot. Use a wooden spoon to break the meat into small pieces as you brown the beef and soften the onions, about 8-10 minutes.
- Once the meat is cooked through and broken into very small pieces, add in the drained kidney beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, oregano, beef base, and 1 cup of water.
- Stir well. Simmer for at least 15 minutes, stirring the bottom of the pot every 3 to 5 minutes to make sure it doesn’t stick. Once the chili thickens, turn off the heat. Then taste, and salt and pepper as needed.
- To serve: Place a handful of Fritos in a bowl. Top with a generous scoop of chili, followed by shredded cheese, scallions, sour cream, and pickled jalapeños.