My Frito pie is a legend in my household, so I know your family will love it too!
Forget boring chili recipes — Frito pie takes the hearty corn chip and builds a delicious tray bake right on top. This is a GREAT use for your leftover chili beans recipe, or make extra next time it’s beef chili recipe night so you’re prepped for a 10-minute dinner!
Let’s get cooking!
Any recipe that spruces up leftovers into an entirely new — and delicious! — meal is an instant classic in my book. This will win you over too!
- Flavor on flavor!
- Family pleasing favorite
- Reuse leftovers!
How To Make Frito Pie Recipe
Spread a layer of Fritos in a baking dish, covering the bottom. Pour in your chili or taco meat, cover with shredded cheese, and broil to perfection! Serve in a “frito boat” or individual bowls after topping with chopped onion, a dollop of sour cream, sliced jalapeno, and either avocado or guacamole. Yum!
This Frito casserole recipe couldn’t be easier — grab, prep, dump, bake! — but let me make sure you have everything you need for a perfect Frito pie recipe.
Broiling: Traditionally cooks have always advised keeping the door slightly ajar when broiling in an electric oven to reduce the risk of fire. Ovens have changed quite a bit since their invention, however, and many operate just fine with the door closed. Some oven doors will not even stay open while the oven is operating! Check your manual to see the best practices for your oven model.
Frito Chili Pie Ingredient Notes
I’ve got a few tips and substitutes for your Frito pie recipe experience!
- Browning the meat: This is a very important step in the meat preparation. Do not try to brown all of the meat in the pan all at once! Your pan will be overfull and may spill, for starters. It will also be difficult to brown the meat consistently on all sides because there will be meat clumped together. You will likely end up with some burned meat, and some pink meat. The solution, brown in stages, removing browned meat to a separate plate.
- Chili: I love making a big batch of my Texas Chili recipe and then storing it to use for recipes like this, but if you don’t have leftover chili on hand and still want a quick dinner, you can totally use canned chili! For the best, most authentic results, use a Texas-style chili without beans. Frito Pie with Wolf Brand Chili is always a treat.
- Fritos: I use the original type of Fritos for this recipe, but get creative! There are tons of flavors of Fritos, so see what fun combinations you can come up with. I bet this recipe would be delicious with — I bet the Chili Cheese Fritos would be delicious!
- Frito substitutes: Feel free to use any small-ish, crunchy corn chip on hand. For a healthier option, you can even make your own chips slicing your tortillas into triangles (no overlaps), squeeze lime juice over them, salt and bake!
- Jalapeno: For your spicy topping, make sure you know how to properly cut your jalapenos! You don’t want to accidentally burn your eyes or leave in part of the pepper that would make it too spicy.
I don’t treat this recipe any differently than I do regular chili — even with the added chips and cheese! Here’s how I store it:
Can You Freeze This?
You can certainly freeze the base of this recipe. Pour the taco meat or chili into a resealable gallon bag or an airtight, freezer-proof container. The meat or chili will keep for six months in the freezer.
To reheat frozen meat or chili, warm slowly in a large saucepan, stirring frequently. Place in the refrigerator the night before for a faster reheat time.
Again, do not try to freeze the assembled Frito Pie, because you will run into the texture and freshness issues mentioned above.
Make Ahead Tips
You can make the most labor-intensive part of this recipe ahead of time! Prepare the chili or taco meat hours in advance, or make days in advance and refrigerate or freeze in an airtight container. The chili or meat will keep a few days in the fridge and up to a few months in the freezer.
The entire Frito Pie assembly will not store well because the chips will become soggy and the toppings will lose their freshness. But remember, preparing, broiling, and assembling the pie only takes a few minutes!
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
You can store your the leftovers in the fridge for up to four days. Again, the chips just won’t be the same, but you can add a handful of fresh chips to liven up your reheated leftovers!
Now, let’s see what fun we can have with the flavors!
- Get really Mexican with the flavors by using my turkey mole chili as your Frito topping!
- Change up Taco Tuesday by using my chicken taco chili on those chips instead.
- Go for my original taco chili on top of the Fritos and get a double punch of tortilla flavor!
- You can’t go wrong with a classic chili — try my Pioneer Woman chili!
- 1 (9.25-ounce) bag Frito Corn chips
- 1 recipe Texas Chili
- 1 cup red onion, finely chopped
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 jalapeno, sliced
Prepare Texas Chili or Taco Meat:
- If made ahead, heat to hot.
- Set oven to broil.
- Spread the bag of Fritos over the bottom of a 9X13 inch baking dish. Spoon chili over the layer of Fritos. Sprinkle the red onion over chili. Sprinkle top evenly with cheddar.
- Place baking dish under the broiler and cook until cheese is melty, about 5-7 minutes. Watch closely so the topping doesn't burn.
- Spoon into individual plates or shallow bowls. Top with red onions, a dollop of sour cream, and sliced jalapenos. Serve!
Want to try even more chili recipes for your Frito pie topping? Check these out!
- Alton Brown chili – The master of flavor knows what he’s doing!
- Texas Road House Chili – The restaurant classic in your home!
- Steak Chili – Everyone’s favorite cut of meat
- Instant Pot Chili – hearty comforting dish full of vibrant flavors
- Boilermaker Chili – It’s got it all: ground beef, sausage, beans, tomatoes, garlic, bacon, and beer!
Next time you’re pressed for dinner, check for chili leftovers! My Frito pie recipe is a snap to make and will guarantee everyone at the table leaves happy.
What kind of chili did you use for this dish? Let me know in the comments!