Frito Pie is a beloved American classic that's perfect for gatherings, game nights, or just a cozy night in. This delectable dish combines the irresistible crunch of Fritos corn chips with a mouthwatering, savory beef and bean filling, all smothered in melty cheese.
Follow our comprehensive guide to create the ultimate Frito casserole that'll have everyone coming back for seconds!
Frito pie is a delicious and easy-to-make comfort food that's perfect for any occasion.
Whether you stick to the classic recipe or add your own twists and variations,
Frito pie is sure to become a crowd-pleaser.
When it comes to comfort food, few dishes can beat the classic Frito pie.
A tasty and satisfying combination of crunchy Fritos, savory ground beef, and melted cheese, this recipe has been a beloved staple of American cuisine for generations.
Despite its humble origins as a quick and easy meal for busy families, the Frito pie has evolved into a versatile and endlessly customizable dish that can be adapted to fit any taste or occasion.
Whether you're looking for a hearty meal to feed a hungry crowd at a party or a comforting dinner to enjoy on a chilly evening, the Frito pie is sure to please.
You’ll find the specific ingredient amounts and detailed instructions in the printable recipe at the bottom of this post.
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Kitchen Tools Needed
- ground beef
- chili powder
- cayenne pepper
- beef broth
- tomato sauce
- Frito's Original Chips
- shredded cheddar cheese
1. Brown the Beef
Over medium-high heat, cook the ground beef in a large skillet until browned and crumbly.
Drain any excess grease from the pan.
2. Cook the Aromatics
Add the chopped onion and minced garlic to the skillet with the browned beef.
Cook for 3-4 minutes until the onions become translucent and the garlic is fragrant.
3. Flavor with Seasoning
Add in the cumin, cayenne pepper, chili powder, paprika, salt, and black pepper, making sure to evenly coat the beef and onion mixture. Stir well.
Add tomato sauce and beef broth.
Stir well and simmer on low for 10 minutes.
4. Layer the casserole
Top Fritos with cheese and then the chili. Serve!.
8. Garnish and Serve
Add your choice of toppings, such as sour cream, chopped green onions, sliced jalapeños, diced tomatoes, and shredded lettuce.
Tips for the Perfect Frito Pie
- For a spicier dish, use hot taco seasoning or add extra diced jalapeños to the beef mixture.
- You can substitute ground turkey or chicken for a lighter option.
- For a vegetarian version, replace ground beef with a plant-based meat substitute or additional beans, such as black beans or kidney beans.
- Use a combination of different cheeses, like Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack, for added flavor and gooeyness.
With this ultimate Frito Pie recipe, you'll be sure to impress your family and friends with this delicious, crowd-pleasing dish.
Perfect for any occasion, this casserole is a versatile and easy-to-make meal that can be customized to your taste preferences.
So gather your ingredients, follow these detailed steps, and get ready to dig into this timeless classic's warm, comforting flavors.
Reheating and Storage Tips
Frito Pie tastes best when enjoyed fresh out of the oven, but if you have leftovers or need to prepare it in advance, here are some helpful tips:
- For best results, reheat the Frito Pie in the oven at 350°F (180°C) for 10-15 minutes until warmed through and the cheese is melty. This method will help to retain the crispiness of the corn chips.
- Alternatively, you can reheat individual servings in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, but the corn chips may become slightly soft.
- Store leftover Frito Pie in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- For longer storage, you can freeze the Frito Pie in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months. Allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating in the oven.
Looking to put your own spin on the classic Frito Pie?
Here are some fun and unique variations to try:
BBQ Frito Pie
Add a smoky twist to the classic recipe by stirring the beef mixture in 1/2 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce.
Top the finished Frito Pie with a drizzle of extra barbecue sauce and a sprinkle of chopped green onions.
Check out this Kitchen Toolbox! It has cheat sheets that will help you cook easier and faster.
Chili Frito Pie
Swap out the taco seasoning for a packet of chili seasoning, and add an additional 8-ounce can of tomato sauce to the beef mixture.
Layer the Frito Pie with dollops of cream cheese for extra creaminess and garnish with fresh cilantro.
Breakfast Frito Pie
Turn this into a delicious breakfast or brunch dish by adding cooked and crumbled breakfast sausage to the beef mixture.
Layer scrambled eggs on top of the sausage before adding the corn chips and cheese.
Top with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of chopped chives.
Whatever variation you choose, or if you stick to the classic recipe, Frito Pie is a guaranteed hit everyone will love.
This ultimate guide will ensure that your Pie is perfectly prepared and bursting with flavor, making it the star of any meal or gathering.
Pairing Suggestions for Frito Pie
Wondering what to serve alongside your scrumptious Frito Pie?
Here are some tasty side dishes and beverages that complement this flavorful classic:
- Mexican Street Corn Salad: Combine charred corn kernels, crumbled cotija cheese, chopped cilantro, and diced red onion with a tangy lime and mayo dressing for a vibrant and zesty side dish.
- Cilantro-Lime Rice: Fluffy rice infused with zesty lime juice and chopped cilantro pairs perfectly with the hearty flavors of Frito Pie.
- Southwest Black Bean Salad: Mix together black beans, corn, diced bell peppers, and red onions with a zippy lime and cumin dressing for a refreshing and nutritious side.
- Tortilla Chips and Salsa or Guacamole: Serve Frito Pie with crispy tortilla chips and a side of fresh, homemade salsa or creamy guacamole for dipping.
- Margaritas: A refreshing and tangy margarita, either frozen or on the rocks, cuts through the richness of the Frito Pie and adds a festive touch.
- Mexican Beer: A cold and crisp Mexican beer, such as Corona or Modelo, pairs wonderfully with the robust flavors of Frito Pie.
- Agua Fresca: For a non-alcoholic option, try serving a fruity and refreshing agua fresca made from fresh fruit, water, and a touch of sugar.
- Iced Tea: A glass of freshly brewed iced tea, sweetened or unsweetened, complements the savory and cheesy flavors of Frito Pie.
These delectable pairing suggestions will elevate your Frito Pie experience and create a memorable and satisfying meal.
So go ahead and get creative with your side dishes and drinks, and enjoy the mouthwatering combination of flavors and textures that make Frito Pie a true classic.
- Can I use other types of chips instead of Fritos? While Fritos are the traditional choice for this recipe, you can experiment with other corn or even tortilla chips.
- Can I make Frito Pie in individual servings? Yes, you can assemble the Frito Pie in smaller, oven-safe dishes for individual servings. This can be a fun option for parties or potlucks.
- How do I store leftovers? Store any leftover Frito Pie in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave before serving.
- Can I freeze Frito Pie? While you can freeze Frito Pie, the texture of the Fritos may become soggy once defrosted. If you plan to freeze the dish, consider assembling it without the Fritos and adding them just before baking.
- How can I make a gluten-free Frito Pie? To make a gluten-free Frito Pie, ensure that your chili and any additional toppings are gluten-free. Fritos are naturally gluten-free, making them a suitable choice for this dish.
If you're looking for a dish that's easy to make and packed with flavor, Frito pie is the perfect choice.
With just a few simple ingredients, you can create a hearty and satisfying meal that's sure to please everyone at the table.
You can use canned chili instead of making it from scratch to make the recipe even easier. You can also prepare the dish ahead of time and refrigerate it until you're ready to bake it.
When it comes to toppings, the sky's the limit. Some popular options include sour cream, diced onions, jalapenos, and sliced black olives.
You can also get creative and try out different toppings to see what you like best.
In addition to being delicious, Frito pie has a rich history and cultural significance in the American Southwest.
Whether you're a Texan or just a fan of Tex-Mex cuisine, Frito pie casserole is a dish that's sure to bring people together.
Frito Pie Recipe
- 2 lbs. beef chuck
- 1 yellow onion; diced
- 1 tablespoon garlic
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 15 oz. can tomato sauce
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 bag Frito's Original Chips
- 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- In a medium sauce pan, add in ground beef, garlic, and onion.
- Bring to a medium heat and cook until ground beef is browned.
- Add in the cumin, cayenne pepper, chili powder, paprika, salt, and black pepper.
- Stir well.
- Add in tomato sauce and beef broth.
- Stir well and simmer on low for 10 minutes.
- Top Frito's with cheese and then the chili.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 690Total Fat: 40gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 224mgSodium: 1433mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 70g
Nutritional information is automatically calculated with ingredients and serving size and may not be accurate. Please always double check with your own nutritional apps as well.
So why not try this classic recipe and see why it has been a beloved part of American cuisine for decades?
Whether you're looking for an easy family dinner or a crowd-pleasing party dish, Frito pie is the perfect choice.