Frito Chili Pie is an All-American comfort food that’s perfect for game day! Salty, crunchy Fritos are all dressed up with flavor-packed homemade chili and all of your favorite toppings like onions, sour cream, and of course plenty of cheddar cheese. And don’t worry – while this recipe may be homemade, it’s anything but a hassle.
When you’re pondering what to make for dinner and there’s a million thoughts going through your head, Frito chili pie is a great go-to. The thick chili that goes on top of the salty, corny, chips just really fills you right up and is the perfect combination of flavors.
Kids will love making Frito chili pie with their own special spin on it if you have a topping station. For one, I know that kids love to load up their bowls with lots of Fritos! As long as there is some chili to go with it, you know you’ve got a complete meal that is satisfying and will yield empty bowls.
Why You’ll Love Frito Chili Pie
- Perfect for Superbowl Sunday! Game day just got so much more delicious. When you need something cheesy and beefy to pair with a cold beer while you yell at your television, this Frito pie recipe does just the trick.
- SO EASY. Homemade chili is incredibly easy to make! Once you’ve whipped it up, all you need to do is serve it over some Fritos with your favorite toppings. That’s all there is to it!
- It’s pretty filling. The amount of beef and beans you get in each bite of the homemade chili should be enough to really hit the spot!
Ingredients You’ll Need
Here’s the list of simple ingredients you will need to make classic Frito Chili Pie. Make sure to scroll down to view the full recipe for exact measurements!
- Ground beef
- Kidney beans
- Tomato paste
- Diced tomatoes and green chiles
- Chili powder
- Cheddar cheese
- Toppings – diced onions, diced jalapeños, sour cream, sliced green onions, diced tomatoes, chopped bell peppers
How To Make Frito Chili Pie
Here is a general overview of how to make this quick and easy Frito pie. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for the full recipe.
Cook the beef. Cook the ground beef, onions, and garlic in a skillet/pot over medium heat until browned and fully cooked. Drain excess fat.
Stir in the other chili ingredients. Add the beans, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, and seasonings. Stir to combine.
Simmer. Lower the heat to medium-low. Let the chili simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes.
Assemble and enjoy! Start with the Fritos. Top them off with the chili, then sprinkle with as much cheddar cheese as your heart desires. Add any other toppings you’d like, and enjoy!
Substitutions and Variations
Make this Frito pie perfect for your plate with these easy swaps.
- Change the meat. Not a beef fan? No worries! You can easily use ground turkey, chicken, or even a plant-based ground meat substitute instead.
- Add some spice. If you’re a spice lover, you can turn things up a notch in this recipe with some crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne powder. Sprinkle them in with the other spices when making the chili. You can also always shake on some hot sauce or add some jalapeños to your individual serving as toppings!
- Switch up the Fritos. Original Fritos are the most common ones to use when making a Frito pie. However, you can always have some fun with chili cheese or BBQ Fritos for added flavor.
Tips for Success
I have a few tips and tricks below to help you make the best Frito Chili Pie. Check out how to make this easy recipe even more satisfying:
- Shred the cheese yourself. Did you know that pre-shredded cheese (the kind you’re used to buying in a baggie) is coated in an anti-caking powder? It’s used so the cheese won’t clump in the bag. While that’s nifty, it also prevents the cheese from fully melting together and getting that gooey consistency we’re looking for. Plus, freshly shredded cheese just tastes so much better!
- Don’t assemble ahead of time. You can certainly make the chili ahead of time, but do NOT pour it on top of your Fritos until you’re ready to serve it! The Fritos are sturdy, but they’ll get soggy if they’re covered in chili for a long time.
- Offer plenty of toppings. If you’re serving Frito Chili Pie at a party, make sure your guests have plenty of toppings to choose from. It can actually be pretty fun to set up a little Frito pie bar and let everyone make their own cheese and chili covered masterpiece just the way they want it!
Storage and Reheating Instructions
Once your homemade chili has cooled to room temperature, transfer it to an airtight food storage container and keep it in the fridge. Properly stored, it’ll stay fresh for about 3-4 days. Feel free to easily reheat it in the microwave! I usually zap it in 30 second intervals, stirring each time it stops until it’s warmed all the way through.
What to Serve with Frito Chili Pie
Whether it’s game day or just a get-together with friends, you may want some drinks and other party foods to serve! Here are just a few of my favorites:
Drinks – Wash down your Frito Chili Pie with some adults-only beverages like Pineapple Orange Rum Punch, Crushed and Boozy Summer Slushies, or a Watermelon Mint Margarita. Of course, cold beer always works too!
Appetizers – Aim to really impress when you serve not only Frito pie, but some apps to accompany it! Some game day classics include Mini Buffalo Chicken Crunchwraps, TikTok Pizza Rolls and Homemade Soft Pretzels.
Frito Chili Pie
- 1 pound (454 g) 85/15 ground beef
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 14 ounce (397 g) can kidney beans, undrained
- 5.5 ounce (156 g) can tomato paste
- 10 ounce (284 g) can diced tomatoes and green chiles
- 2 Tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 9.25 ounce (262 g) bag of Fritos
- 1 cup (113 g) shredded cheddar cheese
- Optional toppings: diced onions, diced jalapeno peppers, sour cream, sliced green onions, diced tomatoes, chopped bell peppers
- In a large skillet or pot, brown the ground beef, onion, and garlic at medium heat. Drain excess fat.
- Add kidney beans, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, chili powder, salt, sugar, and cumin. Stir together well.
- Turn the heat down to medium low. Allow the mixture to simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.
- Pour a bag of Fritos onto a serving dish, or pour a single serving of Fritos onto each person’s plate.
- Serve the chili over Fritos, sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese, and use desired toppings.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.