Frito Pie

8 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Legendary Frito Pie with cheese, ground beef, beans, and enchilada sauce baked with crispy Fritos on top is a childhood favorite!

We love easy Dinner Recipes like Tater Tot Casserole, Ultimate Sloppy Joes, and Cheesy Taco Pasta. These are classic childhood favorites! 

Frito Pie

Made with crunchy corn chips, Frito Pie is probably not going to win any creativity awards, but it is a quick and easy childhood classic that should be enjoyed once in a while as a treat for dinner and for gameday parties! In fact, it will be one of the first dishes to disappear because of it being a hearty dish.

The origins of this dish is a bit murky, but it likely came from Texas where an old recipe for a Texas Frito Pie was published in the 1940’s which included Fritos chips being served with chili. The beans and beef in this recipe make a slight approximation to chili, but without the effort of making a chili-only meal.

Yes, we believe that it is guaranteed to be a family favorite. You can serve this along with homemade Loaded Mashed Potatoes and Easy Grilled Corn. Oh, and don’t forget to serve a delicious dessert at the end, like Banana Cream Pie for a feast that will satisfy even the largest of appetites.

Frito Pie Casserole

How to Make Frito Pie

This yummy chili-pie is really easy to make with only 6 ingredients and is cooked in just 20 minutes! 

  • Step One: Cook up the beef and onions on medium heat.
  • Step Two: Layer the meat mixture on the bottom of the baking dish or casserole dish, and then layer the other ingredients on top. 
  • Step Three: It’s ready after 20 minutes of baking! Serve with your favorite toppings. 

More Easy Southern Dinner Foods

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Frito Pie? 

Frito Pie is like a Southwestern style casserole. Using a chili base of beans, meat, and sauce, a few extra ingredients are added, namely cheese and corn chips, usually Fritos brand. It’s a classic comfort dish. 

What are Fritos/Corn Chips?

Fritos is a brand name. Compared to regular tortilla chips, corn chips are a bit thicker, crunchier, and saltier. Corn chips are made from ground cornmeal that’s minimally processed versus the tortilla chips which are made from corn that has been soaked, cooked, and treated with lime. 

Can I use tortilla chips instead of corn chips? 

It’s not recommended. Corn chips will maintain their crunchiness more than tortilla chips. 

What are “walking tacos”? 

If you’re thinking back to your childhood you may remember a version of this recipe called “walking tacos” which is a Frito Pie in a bag made with a small bag of Fritos topped with chili, cheese, and onions.

Crispy Frito Pie

Key Ingredients in Frito Pie

While you could also make this Frito Pie with canned chili, but we prefer to make recipes with mostly homemade ingredients. Making the beef and bean mixture from scratch takes just minutes and all the ingredients can be found at your local grocery store. You can go as fancy as you’d like, but for this recipe we are sticking with the classics.

  • Meat: Choose lean ground beef to make this recipe. You can also make the recipe with ground chicken and ground turkey as well. 
  • Onion: We have chosen yellow onion for this recipe, but you can use white onion, or even red onion as well if that’s what you have at home. 
  • Beans: Ranch style beans are a popular type of bean dish found in the Southwest. They are made with pinto beans in a chili-based sauce that includes the classic “ranch” sauce flavors. You can make your own by mixing two tablespoons of a chili powder blend to cooked pinto beans and a full packet of dry ranch seasoning. Mix well before layering. If you have a can of green chilis, throw that in there too. 
  • Cheese: For best results, make your own shredded cheese. You can also use a Mexican cheese blend too. But feel free to try others.
  • Corn Chips: Fritos brand will probably be the easiest to find in the supermarket. But if you have access to others, feel free to use those ones.
  • Enchilada Sauce:  Homemade enchilada sauce is packed with a flavor you can use in many dishes. It is super easy to make at home and packs more flavor than the canned kind. 

Variations on Frito Pie

The dish doesn’t have to be too complicated and you can adjust flavors as you’d like. You can make these flavors more like a traditional taco and use taco seasoning in the mix, top with salsa instead of enchilada sauce, and serve with sour cream, lettuce, and tomatoes.

  • Slow Cooker Frito Pie: Add all the ingredients except the Fritos to a slow cooker in the same order and cook on high for 2 hours, top with chips and cheese and cook for another 30 minutes on high, uncovered.
  • Meal Prep Frito Pie: Assemble all the ingredients except for the chips ahead and refrigerate. When ready to bake, top with the chips and cook for an additional five minutes to account for temperature difference.
  • Individual Frito Pie: Cut open mini bags of Fritos on their side. Bake the Frito Pie without the Fritos, then scoop a portion and spoon on top of the bag of Fritos. Top with sour cream and cheese.
  • Tex-Mex Frito Pie: While this is already a Texas classic meal and snack, take it a bit further by adding sautéed fajita peppers and roasted corn to the mix. You won’t be disappointed. 
Frito Pie

How to Serve Frito Pie

This is a meal fit for kings and queens. There are so many things you can serve with it. Think classic taco toppings for a good idea of how to serve it. Check out more of these optional toppings: 

  • shredded lettuce
  • salsa
  • refried beans
  • diced tomatoes
  • hot sauce
  • sour cream
  • guacamole or diced avocado
  • Green Mexican Rice

More Easy Casseroles

How to Store Frito Pie

  • Serve: Serve this dish hot. Cover when not in use. Refrigerate after an hour. 
  • Store: You can keep this dish, if there’s any leftover, in an airtight container the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Reheat to 145º on the stovetop or microwave. 
  • Freeze: This dish will store in your freezer in an airtight container for up to 6 months. Let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Then reheat as you normally would.

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Frito Pie

Legendary Frito Pie with cheese, ground beef, beans, and enchilada sauce baked with crispy Fritos on top is a childhood favorite!
Yield 8 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion , chopped
  • 20 ounces Ranch Style beans , drained
  • 4 cups Fritos chips
  • 20 ounces enchilada sauce
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese , shredded
  • green onions , sliced (optional)


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and put the ground beef and onions in a large skillet on medium high heat.
  • Cook the beef and onions for 6-8 minutes or until cooked through then layer the meat in the bottom of a 9×13 inch pan.
  • Add the beans on top followed by the enchilada sauce, cheese, and chips.
  • Bake for 20 minutes uncovered and garnish with green onions if desired.




Calories: 613kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 69mg | Sodium: 1068mg | Potassium: 511mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 755IU | Vitamin C: 2.5mg | Calcium: 308mg | Iron: 3.8mg
Frito Pie Pin 1

Photos used in a previous version of this post:

Cheesy Frito Pie

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. This looks terrible. You didn’t drain the meat and you didn’t add any seasonings. It’s very plain.

    1. Hi Astrid,
      The meat in the recipe is lean as I wrote in the blog and the Beans are Ranch beans which are full of flavor and if you don’t have Ranch Beans we offer the recipe in the blog to spice them up! Enchilada sauce is packed with flavor and the blog offers several other options to spice up this yummy dish. Thanks for commenting, we added the word “lean” to ground beef in the recipe. Good catch!

    2. Astrid it must be exhausting to be so negative

      This looked amazing, so I made it and it was amazing. The enchilada sauce it was sold me, it worked so well. Thank you dinner, then dessert

  2. Thanks Sabrina for posting the frito pie recipe, I live in Canada & no restaurants serve this. Your recipe is great as well as tasty!

  3. I was searching for an easy, tasty dinner, and you did not disappoint! I was super impressed with the intense flavor I got by just throwing this together! My kiddos and hubby could not get enough!

  4. I have been wanting to comment on your site…but have been so busy till now…but this to me is very important. I have been following your recipes…for a while now. I am by no means the expert that you are…but I am a good cook…and can follow a recipe. Every single one of your recipes that I have followed have come out fantastic and delicious !! I think you are fantastic…and I look forward to my emails from you. Don’t ever leave me !!! lol <3

    1. This is one of the kindest comments I have received. Thank you for taking the time to comment and I’m delighted you are enjoying the recipes. It means a lot to hear from good cooks like you!

  5. I tried this for the first time tonight, and the only change I made was that I used 10oz of enchilada sauce instead of 20 oz. Everyone who ate this really enjoyed it, and I’ll definitely be making it again. Thanks for another great recipe, Sabrina!

  6. This was great!! I was looking for something tasty and this definitely hit the spot!! My husband and son loved it and went back for seconds! I did use the chili cheese Frito’s but I loved the ranch style beans and enchilada sauce!! So very good, definitely tasty!!! Thank you

  7. I’ve made this recipe a couple of times now and have enjoyed it each time.

    The first time I made it, I read the recipe wrong, using only 1 15-oz can of Ranch Style Pinto Beans with jalapeño and 1 10-oz can of medium Red Enchilada Sauce and baked it all in a 10”x10” casserole. After realizing my error when I went to make it the second time, I think two cans of beans and two cans of enchilada sauce would be just too much for the 1 pound of beef the recipe calls for and would have made it too loose.

    So, the second time I made it, I opted to go with just 1 can of enchilada sauce and 1 can of beans again and used Frito Chili Cheese chips … it was even better than the first time.

    My “mistake” actually made for a more stable dish. I think to balance the dish if 20 ounces of beans and 20 ounces of enchilada sauce were used, you’d need at least a pound and a half to two pounds of beef.

    I will definitely be making this again, with my modifications, which easily serves 6 as a main entree with a side salad.

  8. Love love love this recipe! Adding the enchilada sauce is brilliant and adds amazing flavor. I make this for company all the time and they love it. I don’t think there’s ever been leftovers no matter how much I make:). Thank you!!!

    1. I’d probably suggest Mexican rice and make a fun toppings bar for everyone to load up on top of their Frito pie. Enjoy!

  9. You guys are making this harder than it has to be, and grosser with the ranch style beans.

    Put some regular ol’ pinto beans to cook.

    Cook some ground beef, and make red chile with it.
    Chop up some lettuce, tomatoes, onions and cheese.
    Put the Fritos on the bottom of the bowl, put the pinto beans you put to cook (some like to drain the bean juice and others like it with the juice), and garnish with the rest.

    Then you have an authentic New Mexican style Frito Pie, not whatever this is.

    1. That’s certainly one way to make it more like a New Mexican version. I love recipes like this because you can make it like you are used to growing up or you can alter it to how you like. Thanks for sharing your version!

  10. I schmered a can of refried beans on the bottom of the pan. I used venison burger and added a 4 oz. can of green chiles and a packet of taco seasoning with 1/4 cup of water to the onion and meat. I drained 2 cans of the Ranch beans and only used about 3/4 of the 20 enchilada sauce. Then I cubed 16 oz. of Velveeta with 1/2 cup of shredded Mexican bland cheese. It came out thick, cheesy, well seasoned and very tasty.

  11. This recipe is our go to meal, my husband loves it. I did add a few variations. I use 1 1/2 pounds of hamburger, and 3 cans of ranch beans (15 oz) I also use hot enchilada sauce, and add black olives. Then we have enough for leftovers.

    1. They are basically a type of baked beans just jazzed up with flavorings. You can find them in your grocery store in the bean aisle. I hope you enjoy it!

  12. I made this last night and added that
    I made this last night and added the Fritos today. I used jalapeno corn chips. It was fabulous!!! We like this anyway but I have always used left over chili. This had a Mexican flair and we liked it a lot. Thanks so much for sharing.

  13. Made the dish as per instructions and it was OK. My wife said let’s have frito pie and I searched and saw your recipe. It’s pretty basic but the enchilada sauce addition is not the best. The sauce is bland and it overpowered everything else. A true frito pie was adapted from left over chili. I would probably not make this again.

    1. Please make it your own, it is basically a taco using Fritos instead of corn taco shells. I agree with you that the enchilada sauce is too much, we use our favorite salsa!! We modify the ingredients to satisfy our taste. This is a throwback item that when I was a kid, was only available at the Sonic Drive In……….nostalgia. Happy eating!!!

  14. O-M-G was this a YUMMY recipe! Thank you so much for sharing! I made a few modifications. I swapped ground beef out for ground turkey instead. I also added chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper and a couple of pinches of Lawry’s seasoning salt to my ground turkey & onions. I could not find any “ranch style beans” at my local grocery stores so I ended up using Bush’s Southwestern Style Pinto Beans.
    Lastly instead of using fritos as they can sometimes be too salty…I had some restaurant style corn tortilla chips on hand. I put several handfuls into a ziploc baggie and smashed the baggie up a little bit (not to the point where the chips turned to crumbs). The finished product was AMAZING. I included a dollop of sour cream on top of each of my servings. When my son stopped by to grab a bite to eat as he usually does each evening…he was initially disappointed when he saw what I had cooked for dinner that was UNTIL he tasted it. I stopped counting how many bowls he ate after his 4th :-)! Thanks AGAIN for sharing such a simple yet delicious recipe! This is most certainly a KEEPER!

  15. OMG!!!! This looks delicious! I love frito’s and I NEED to make this for dinner next week! 🙂

  16. I made this for my daughter’s swim party and it was a huge hit. So easy to make and loved by everyone!

  17. Just a note. I’ve always heard that Frito Pie started in Woolworth’s in Santa Fe, NM. It’s on the “Square” in Santa Fe. I’m originally from NM, so don’t know if true or not. Will make recipe later!