This hearty and delicious Frito Pie recipe starts with a chili-like base, then is cooked in the oven with Frito chips and cheese on top! This rich and comforting dish is perfect for a large gathering or as a cozy and simple weeknight meal.
Frito Pie is a simple and classic recipe that you need to add to your meal rotation. It’s savory, crunchy, salty, and made with common ingredients that you likely always have on hand! Perfectly browned ground beef and soft black beans are cooked into a chili and topped with creamy cheese and crunchy Frito corn chips to create this hearty and filling dinner.
You can enjoy this dish on its own or pair it with some fun toppings to make it your own. A dollop of sour cream, some sliced jalapenos, and a spoonful of pico de gallo completely transforms this simple dish into a meal that’s more than the sum of its parts!
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Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Easy to Make: It's a relatively simple and quick dish to prepare, making it convenient for both home cooks and food vendors.
- Portability: Frito pie can be served in a Fritos bag or a disposable container, making it easy to enjoy at events, fairs, or picnics.
- Affordability: It's an affordable meal option, both cost effective and delicious.
- Ground Beef—Or ground turkey or chicken for a leaner option.
- Tomato Sauce—The sweet, earthy, and acidic base of your chili mixture.
- Packet Taco Seasoning—Or 3 tablespoons of a homemade spice mix.
- Diced Tomatoes—Canned and drained or fresh. Adds a pop of bright, juicy flavor to this rich dish.
- Black Beans—Canned and drained. You can also use kidney or pinto beans.
- Diced Green Chilis—Canned. Adds a little kick to your Frito pie.
- Colby Jack Cheese—Shredded.
- Frito Chips—These salty corn chips will give your finished casserole an addictive crunch.
How to Make Easy Frito Pie
1. Cook your ground beef in a large pan over medium heat until it is no longer pink in the middle. Add the taco seasoning, diced tomatoes, black beans, tomato sauce, and diced green chilis.
2.Stir to combine, then allow the mixture to simmer until slightly thickened.
3. Transfer the beef mixture to a 9x13 inch baking dish and top the mixture with Fritos. Top the dish with the shredded Colby jack cheese.
4. Bake until the meat mixture is bubbly and the cheese has melted. Serve warm and enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Frito pie has a complex history and there are many debates on where this dish first originated. Some will say New Mexico, and others swear it was in Texas. Regardless of where it began, this savory and comforting dish has soared in popularity in the Midwest and Southwest United States!
There are many correct ways to make Frito pie! While this recipe is similar to a casserole-type dish, other recipes are not. It all depends on your preferences; I’m a firm believer that there is no wrong way to eat Frito pie!
Although most people refer to this dish as Frito pie or Frito chili pie, it does have a few other names. You may have heard people call this dish Frito boats or walking tacos. The ingredients are essentially the same in all these dishes, but walking tacos are typically served directly out of a bag of Frito corn chips rather than on a plate!
- Simmering your beef mixture will help cook off some of the excess moisture. This will prevent your Frito pie from being too liquidy after it comes out of the oven.
- For a spicier dish, try replacing the Colby Jack cheese with pepper jack cheese.
- While you will want to drain your black beans, it is not necessary to rinse them!
How to Store the Best Frito Pie
This Frito pie can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. I find that it’s best reheated in the microwave for about a minute and a half. If you know ahead of time that you will be storing this dish, you can prep the beef mixture and store it in a container separate from the Frito chips so they don’t get soggy. If you store it this way, simply warm up the meat mixture and add the Frito chips after it has been reheated.
Best Frito Pie Toppings
There are so many amazing toppings that you can add onto your Frito Pie for flavor and a nice garnish! Almost any topping that you would add to a plate of nachos would also work well with Frito pie. Here are a few of my favorite Frito pie toppings:
- Sliced jalapeno
- Sliced black olives
- Shredded lettuce
- Sour cream
- Pico de gallo
- Hot Sauce
- Fresh cilantro
- Chopped green onion
- Diced red onion
- Fresh lime wedges
- Red pepper flakes
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 15 ounces black beans, drained, 1 can
- 1 ¼ cups tomato sauce
- 4 ounces diced green chilis, canned
- 1 ½ cups shredded Colby Jack cheese
- 1 bag of Frito corn chips, 9.5 ounces
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. While the oven is preheating, cook your ground beef in a large pan over medium heat until it is no longer pink in the middle.
- Add the taco seasoning, diced tomatoes, black beans, tomato sauce, and diced green chilis. Stir the ingredients to combine them and allow the mixture to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Transfer the beef mixture to a 9x13 inch baking dish and top the mixture with the Fritos. Sprinkle the cheese over the Fritos and bake for 10 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!
- This Frito pie is great served as is or topped with some freshly sliced grape tomatoes and a dollop of sour cream. You can also top your Frito pie with sliced jalapenos, corn, salsa, and shredded lettuce.
- While you will want to drain your black beans, it is not necessary to rinse them.
- Simmering your beef mixture will help cook off some of the excess moisture, thus preventing your frito pie from being too liquidy after it comes out of the oven.
- For a spicier dish, you can replace the Colby Jack cheese with pepper jack cheese.
- This Frito pie can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days and reheated in the microwave for about a minute and a half. If you know you are going to be storing this dish, you can prep the beef mixture and store it in its own container so the Frito chips don’t get soggy.