This one-skillet casserole is layered with a flavorful beefy base with black beans and corn, then topped with shredded Mexican cheese and crunchy frito corn chips. Baked until melty and bubbly, this Frito Pie is a 30 minute weeknight dinner for the whole family!
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Beefy, Cheesy, and Fast!
This recipe for Frito pie is pure comfort food! In other words, there’s nothing elegant or refined about it. Saucy, beefy, and cheesy, then topped with crispy corn chips, it’s the best!
It’s made with simple ingredients including seasoned taco meat in a tomato sauce mixture, very similar to chili, including black beans and corn, then topped with cheese and Fritos and baked until bubbly, melty, and yummy.
The entire family will love this cheesy chili casserole and even though it’s not a pie by any stretch, it is still crazy delicious.
Serve with a piece of cornbread for a meal everyone will love!
What is Frito Pie?
It is basically a baked taco casserole version of the classic walking taco. If you’re unfamiliar with either, a walking taco was a genius invention that takes the filling of ground beef tacos and all its toppings and puts them into a Frito or Dorito bag for added crunch. It’s meant to be portable and fun!
This baked casserole version has the same flavors but is more of a sit-down meal and is one of the best dinner recipes for when you need something in a hurry!
Ingredients in Frito Pie
Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.
- Ground beef: You’ll need about 1 lb of lean ground beef. I’m not looking for extra moisture or a ton of beefy flavor from extra fat in this recipe, so lean is perfect.
- Diced onion: Gets cooked with the beef until soft for extra flavor. The beef gives the onion flavor and the onion gives the beef flavor.
- Seasoning: Salt, taco seasoning, and chili powder. You can use more or less of any of them to suit your tastes.
- Tomato sauce & Diced tomatoes: If you like a little heat, you can swap the diced tomatoes with Rotel which is diced tomatoes with green chiles.
- Black beans & corn: For extra Tex Mex flavor and to bulk up the meat mixture a bit.
- Fritos: Strips of fried corn chips that are deliciously seasoned and slightly salty.
- Shredded cheese: I use a Mexican blend for even more signature taco flavor, but use what you like. Cheddar cheese also works.
Just like any taco or casserole recipe, there’s always room for flexibility. This Frito chili pie is no different with plenty of ways to make it your own.
- Use ground turkey or ground chicken instead of ground beef.
- Make a vegetarian frito pie and add an extra can of beans in place of the meat.
- Swap the black beans for kidney beans, if preferred.
- To bring up the heat, along with Rotel, you can add extra chili pepper, red pepper flakes, or a dash of cayenne pepper.
- For added veggies, throw in some chopped bell peppers while cooking the onions. 2 cloves of minced garlic is also a great way to add extra flavor.
How to Make Frito Pie
- Cook and season the meat. In a large cast iron skillet cook the ground beef and onion over medium-high heat, breaking up the meat as you go. Once it is no longer pink, stir in the taco seasoning, chili powder, and tomato sauce and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 3-5 minutes until slightly thickened.
- Add remaining chili ingredients. Stir in the tomatoes, beans, and corn to the mixture and continue simmering for another 2 minutes.
- Cover with toppings. Remove the mixture from the heat and top with shredded cheese and frito corn chips.
- Bake and serve. Bake for 10-15 minutes in a preheated 350°F until the cheese has melted. Top frito pie with your favorite toppings and serve!
- I use a cast iron skillet just so I can transfer it straight from the stovetop to the oven. If you don’t have one, not to worry. Any large skillet will do, then transfer everything to a casserole dish or baking dish then add the cheese and chips before baking.
- Drain any excess grease from the beef before adding the remaining ingredients.
- If making more than you need for make-ahead meal prep, wait until you reheat to add the chips and any extra topping. Otherwise, the chips will get soggy as they sit in the fridge.
Sure! Assemble it up to the layer of cheese, but don’t add the chips yet. Cover in plastic wrap and store in the fridge overnight. Bring it to room temperature, add the chips, and bake!
You can! Cook up the beef mixture and keep it in a freezer-safe container and keep it frozen for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat it, thaw it in the fridge overnight, top it with chips, and bake it.
This can act as a base layer if you want it. It won’t be crunchy, but it will resemble what a tortilla layer would be. If you want more Fritos in your life, add that extra layer.
They are both corn chips, however, Fritos go through a process that makes them lighter, not as dense, and milder in flavor.
Keep leftover frito pie in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the fridge.
More Chili Inspired Recipes to Try
Frito Pie Recipe
- 1 10-inch cast iron skillet
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- ½ cup diced onion
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt , more to taste
- 1 ½ – 2 Tablespoons taco seasoning , more to taste
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes , or Rotel
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans , rinsed and drained
- 1 cup corn
- 1 1/2-2 cups Fritos® corn chips
- 1 1/2-2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend , divided
Optional toppings: Sour cream, Shredded lettuce, Guacamole, Salsa, Cilantro
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, cook the beef and onion over medium-high heat until the beef is no longer pink. Stir in taco seasoning, chili powder, and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer 3-5 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
- Stir in tomatoes, beans, and corn. Simmer an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat and top with shredded cheese. Then sprinkle the fritos over top.
- Bake 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Top with your favorite toppings to serve.
- Swap the ground beef for ground turkey. You could also omit the meat and add an extra can of beans.
- You can also use a can of rotel in place of the tomatoes to bring up the heat. You could also add in extra chili pepper.
- Add in chopped bell peppers while cooking the onions. Could also add in 2 cloves minced garlic.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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