Crispy Frito Pie

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Savory pies are the fun dinner idea we know and love. Classic chicken pies are great with mincemeat, but have you heard of Frito pie? ! Here’s an American recipe that uses beloved Frito chips for a crunchy crust. The meat-based filling is similar to chili, and when you pull everything together, you end up with a giant, taco-inspired baked patty. It’s hearty, hearty, and an excellent weeknight meal. It only takes about 30 minutes to bake in the oven! We love the versatility of this dish, we love using ground beef as a base, but you can use any protein you like. Then we add diced green chiles, lots of beans, several herbs and spices, and some salsa. Served with crunchy Fritos, cheese, and a garnish of your choice, this Frito Pie recipe is unique and delicious!

Fido Options:

We use classic Fritos for our Frito Pie recipe, but today there are tons of flavor variations to choose from. You might want to try one of these:

  • Chili Cheese
  • Cheddar Ranch
  • hot
  • lime
  • Spicy Jalapenos

Meat Choices:

The base of the savory filling for our Frito Chili Pie recipe is ground beef. You can also feel free to use ground turkey or chicken, or even your favorite plant-based protein.

Bean options

We use black and pinto beans in our Frito Pie recipe. If you prefer other types of beans, you can substitute those. Some ideas include:

  • navy
  • kidney
  • great north
  • black turtle
  • chickpeas

cheese options

Our favorite cheese for Frito pepper pies is medium cheddar. You can also use:

  • pepper jack
  • monterey jack
  • colby
  • Gouda
  • minster

Can I make these in individual sized portions?

Absolutely! Our family calls these walking tacos or camping tacos. You will need the smaller sized (individual portions) Frito bags to get started. Open them, making sure to leave the chips inside. Be careful not to break the bag! They are containers for the parts. Scoop out the Frito Chili Pie Filling and place directly into the bag. Then, decorate with whatever you like. We call them walking tacos because they’re so easy to take on the go!

Is Frito Pie a New Mexico thing?

We love to learn more about the origins of the foods we eat. This burrito and chili-inspired pie is an American recipe that first appeared in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The original recipe was made in individual sized portions (like the walk-up tacos we explained above) at a humble grocery store called Five & Dime. Tourists still visit the store today looking for the original Frito Pie recipe! These days, this American dish is popular all over the country, not just in the Southwest corner. Chefs also make most of it these days (like this one!), rather than the portable straight-from-the-bag version.

Decorating suggestions:

Here are some ideas for decorating. Use a few of your favorites, or you can use them for a hearty meal sure to fill you up:

  • chopped cilantro
  • jalapeno slices
  • extra cheese
  • sour cream (or greek yogurt)
  • green onions
  • cherry tomatoes
  • avocado
  • black olives