Frito Chili Pie
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Frito Chili Pie is an easy weeknight meal, made in just 20 minutes! This recipe is a twist on the Sonic favorite that layers warm chili, on top of salty Fritos, with a delicious layer of melted cheese on top. Enjoy it on a plate, or in a bag of Fritos to make walking tacos.
Oklahoma is the birth place of onion fried burgers, Sonic and me! Growing up in Oklahoma, I would joke that we had more Sonic’s than stoplights in the town I grew up in. While this might have been a slight exaggeration, there really was a Sonic on almost every corner.
As a kid, we loved to go to Sonic and order from the car hops. I would order Frito Chili Pie with a side of onion rings and a strawberry slush. Alright young Whitney, treat yo self!
In addition to eating Frito Chili Pie at Sonic, it was something we’d make at home regularly. It’s super easy to make, the whole family loves it and you can load it up with all of your favorite toppings!
A few years ago, I was introduced to “walking tacos” in Austin, Texas. This is simply another way to serve Frito pie. Instead of on a plate, you add the chili, cheese and your favorite toppings right into a single-serve bag of Frito’s. Stick a fork in it and you’ve got yourself a walking taco!
No matter which way you serve the Frito Pie, I guarantee it will become a new comfort food favorite!
Table of contents
Ingredients you’ll need
- Olive oil
- Red onion
- Garlic clove
- Ground beef
- Chili beans – you will find these near the other beans in the grocery store. Do not drain the beans! You will use the liquid from the can to make the chili pie.
- Chili seasoning – I always use my homemade chili seasoning. It’s easy to mix together in 5 minutes and has the best flavor! You can also purchase pre-made chili seasoning packages at the grocery store in the spice aisle.
- Fritos – or another brand of corn chips.
- Cheddar cheese
Step by step instructions
- Prepare the chili. Cook onions and garlic in olive oil, in a large skillet on the stove, over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and cook until the beef is browned. Drain any grease from the skillet, then place it back on the stove and add the chili beans and chili seasoning. Cook for 5-7 minutes to allow the seasoning to soak into the meat and beans.
- Assemble the Frito pie. Divide the Frito’s between four plates. Top the Fritos with the chili, then immediately add shredded cheese on top so that it melts over the hot chili. Add the toppings of your choice.
Pretty much any way that you would top a taco or nachos, you can top this Frito pie! Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Diced red onions
- Sliced jalapenos
- Sour cream
- Shredded lettuce
- Diced green onions
- Hot sauce
- Pico de gallo
- Fresh chopped cilantro
- Diced avocado
- Diced tomatoes
How to make it spicy
Over the years I’ve experimented making Frito pie in a variety of different ways, including spicing it up! If you’re looking to add a little spice to your life, try any (or all) of these methods for spicing up your next Frito Chili Pie.
- Add a 4 ounce can of diced green chilies with the chili beans.
- Add 1/2 – 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper with the chili seasoning.
- Saute 1 diced jalapeno with the onion.
- Add 1 tablespoon hot sauce with the chili beans.
- Add 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes with the chili seasoning.
- Top the chili pie with fresh sliced jalapenos or hot sauce.
- Instead of cheddar cheese, top the Frito pie with pepper jack cheese or a spicy cheddar.
How to make walking tacos
If you want to make this Frito pie into a walking taco, follow these two simple steps.
- Cut 1/2 inch from one entire side of a single-serve bag of Fritos.
- Add a scoop of chili into the bag, top with a handful of shredded cheese and the toppings of your choice.
Grab a fork and stick it right into the bag to dig into hand-held goodness!
Frequently asked questions
- What goes with Frito pie? This recipe can easily be eaten by itself, or you can add a side of Buffalo Queso Dip, Mexican Rice or Mexican Street Corn.
- How long can you store the leftovers? The leftover chili will stay good in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To reheat, place the chili in a microwave-safe container and microwave for 2-3 minutes. Spoon it on top of the Frito’s and top with cheese immediately. This dish makes excellent leftovers!
- Can you freeze Frito pie? Yes, you can freeze the chili for up to 6 months. To defrost, I recommend moving it from the freezer to the refrigerator the day before you plan to eat it. To reheat, add the chili back to a skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally until warmed through, this should take about 8-10 minutes.
More Tex-Mex recipes
Try these other delicious recipes, inspired by my Oklahoma roots!
- Green Chili Queso Dip
- Taco Ring
- Chicken Enchiladas
- Breakfast Burrito
- Ground Beef Tacos
- Mexican Sausage Balls
- Cheesy Baked Taco Dip
Frito Chili Pie
- Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the diced onions and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the garlic clove and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the ground beef and cook until the beef is browned.
- Drain any grease from the skillet.
- Add the entire can of chili beans (do not drain them!) and the chili seasoning.
- Combine all of the ingredients, reduce the heat on the stove to medium and cook for 5-7 minutes.
- Divide the Fritos corn chips between four separate plates.
- Spoon the chili over the chips.
- Top with cheddar cheese while the chili mixture is still hot so that the cheese will melt in.
- Add the optional toppings of your choice, like diced onions, shredded lettuce or hot sauce.
- Leftover chili will stay good in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To reheat, place the chili in a microwave-safe container and microwave for 2-3 minutes. Spoon it on top of the Frito’s and top with cheese immediately.
- You can freeze the chili for up to 6 months. To defrost, I recommend moving it from the freezer to the refrigerator the day before you plan to eat it. To reheat, add the chili back to a skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally until warmed through, this should take 8-10 minutes.
- To make the Frito Pie into walking tacos, cut 1/2 inch from one entire side of a single-serve bag of Fritos. Add a scoop of chili into the bag, top with a handful of shredded cheese and the toppings of your choice.
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