Frito Pie Casserole is a classic dish made with ground beef, taco or chili seasonings, cheese, and Fritos that’s perfect for a weeknight dinner everyone will love.
If you have a weakness for simple weeknight meals with Tex-Mex flair, this is the casserole recipe for you, my friend!
Frito Pie Recipe
My Frito Pie recipe begins by layering a bag of Fritos on the bottom of a baking dish, then topping it with a mixture of taco-seasoned ground beef, enchilada sauce, kidney beans, and corn. (Yep, the mixture is a bit like chili, hence the alternate name of Frito Chili Pie.) Next comes a layer of sharp cheddar, which is always the crowning glory of any casserole, right? Gotta have cheese!
Kids love this Frito Pie casserole recipe as-is, but the real fun comes when it’s time to garnish. Set out a topping bar and let everyone in the family customize their servings. Somehow dinner is always more fun when you can make it your own!
For the Frito Pie Casserole:
- Ground beef
- Taco seasoning
- Kidney beans
- Corn kerns – Frozen is best, but canned will do in a pinch; fresh is great too, but it requires a bit more work!
- Enchilada sauce – I use red enchilada sauce for this recipe.
- Sharp cheddar cheese
For the toppings (choose any or all of the below):
- Green onions
- Shredded lettuce
- Sliced black olives
- Avocado – Or use guacamole!
- Sour cream
- Salsa – Here’s my favorite.
- Ground beef – You can substitute ground turkey or a vegetarian ground beef substitute if you prefer.
- Kidney beans – Kidney beans not your thing? Try black beans or pinto beans.
- Sharp cheddar – A Mexican blend cheese, pepper jack, or Monterey jack would work too.
How to Make Frito Pie
Preheat your oven to 350ºF and spread 3/4 of the Fritos in the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish.
2. Brown the Ground Beef
Brown the ground beef with the onion in a large skillet until cooked through and the onions are soft. Add the taco seasoning and the amount of water on the package directions, then cook until thickened.
3. Finish the Chili Mixture
Add the enchilada sauce, beans, and corn to the skillet. Stir to combine, then remove from heat.
4. Assemble the Frito Pie Casserole
Pour the chili mixture over the Fritos and use a wooden spoon to make sure it’s evenly distributed. Sprinkle the cheese over the top.
Bake the Frito Pie for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Scatter the reserved Fritos over the top of the casserole, then serve with your favorite taco toppings.
Hint: You can turn on the broiler in the last few minutes of cooking time to brown the cheese a bit.
- Spicy – Add chili flakes or cayenne pepper when browning the beef for an extra kick.
- Veggie-Packed – Add diced bell peppers to up the veggie factor in this recipe.
- Taco Casserole – Substitute tortilla chips for the Fritos.
What goes with Frito Pie?
This is a one-dish dinner, so you really don’t have to serve anything with it. But if you want a little something on the side, go for a light salad, Instant Pot corn on the cob, or homemade cornbread.
Where did the Frito Pie originate?
It’s complicated! It’s believed that a version of Frito Pie using tortilla chips originated in Mexico, then moved north of the border where the tortilla chips were replaced with Fritos. The first published version of the recipe using Fritos was from Texas and dates back to 1949.
How bad is Frito Pie?
Okay, it’s not the worst thing you could eat, but it’s not exactly health food either. You can reduce the sodium by swapping low sodium or salt-free tortilla chips for the Fritos and using homemade taco seasoning.
What is Frito Pie in a bag?
Frito Pie in a bag is a variation of this recipe that involves putting the chili mixture directly into a bag of Fritos, garnishing with toppings, and serving with a spoon. Kind of like walking tacos.
What else can you add to Frito Pie?
In addition to the toppings listed in the recipe, you can make some quick pickled onions by thinly slicing red onions and letting them sit in fresh lime juice and a bit of salt while you assemble the casserole. On the topic of pickled vegetables, pickled jalapeños are an excellent topper if you want some heat!
You can get a head start on this recipe by making the chili in advance. Store it in the fridge for up to 2 days, then all you’ll have to do is pour it over the chips, top it with cheese, and bake it.
If you’re looking for more….try these recipes next!
Frito Pie Casserole
- 1 pound Ground Beef
- 1 small Onion finely chopped
- 1 packet Taco Seasoning + water on packet
- 1 15 ounce can Kidney Beans drained and rinsed
- 1 cup Corn Kernels frozen is best
- 1 can 15oz Enchilada Sauce
- 1 10.25 oz bag Fritos
- 2 cups Sharp Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- Various toppings for serving:
- Green onions
- Black olives
- Sour Cream
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread 3/4 of the bag of Fritos in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish.
- In a large skillet brown ground beef and onion until fully cooked and onions are soft.
- Mix in taco seasoning+water until well blended. Cook until thickened.
- Add enchilada sauce, beans and corn. Mix until everything is well combined.
- Pour over fritos and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle the cheese over the beef mixture.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Serve topped with additional Fritos and your favorite taco toppings.