Frito Pie

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There are a few things I miss about living in New Mexico and close to the top of the list is Frito pie. Now I make it at home and it’s one of my favorite guilty pleasures – crunchy Fritos topped with homemade chili, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, and sour cream. I whipped up a simple chili for this recipe, but feel free to substitute your favorite chili – the rest is very easy!



For the Chili

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bell pepper (pick your favorite color), diced
  • 3 tablespoons chili seasoning (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste (see note)
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained
  • 2 cups beef stock (see note)
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

For the Pies

  • Frito corn chips
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Iceberg lettuce, chopped or shredded
  • Grape tomatoes halved
  • Sour cream
  • Sliced green onions
  • Chopped cilantro


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan or stockpot. Add the ground beef and let it brown while breaking it apart with a spatula or wooden spoon. Once it’s released some of it’s fat, add the onion, garlic, bell pepper, and all of the spices. Stir the mixture and cook it until the ground beef is cooked through.
  2. Add in the pinto beans, water, tomato sauce, and cilantro. Bring the chili to a boil and then lower the heat to maintain a simmer. Simmer the chili for 30 to 40 minutes or until it has thickened.
  3. To serve, place some corn chips in a bowl and top with the chili, cheese, lettuce and other toppings. Garnish with chopped cilantro and dig in.


  • Be sure to use your favorite chili seasoning and not just chili powder. Chili seasoning already has a mix of spices that is ready to use.
  • Depending on the kind of chili seasoning you use, you made need to add more or less salt, so be sure to taste your chili so you can adjust the seasoning.
  • I like to use beef stock because it gives the chili a “slow-cooked” flavor even though it’s not cooked for hours. That said, I’ve made this chili with water (be sure to add more seasonings) and with chicken stock when I don’t have beef stock on hand.
  • Because the amount of toppings you like on your Frito pie may differ from mine, the nutrition estimate is for the chili only and does not include the toppings.


Keywords: Frito pie