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how to make frito pie

How to make classic Texan Frito Pie

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  • Author: Jess Pryles
  • Yield: serves 8



8 1 or 2 oz bags of Fritos

2 lb ground beef

2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 10 oz can of Rotel

1 8oz can of tomato sauce

1.5 cups beer, Lone Star is preferred.

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp cayenne

2 tbsp cornmeal or masa harina

Salt to taste

1.5 cups grated cheddar cheese


  1. Set a large dutch oven over high heat, add half the olive oil and brown the ground beef. Work in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan and stewing the meat in it’s own juices.
  2. Remove the meat and set aside. Add the remaining oil, and the onion, and cook until nicely browned.
  3. Add in garlic, chili powder, cayenne, cumin and salt. Stir to combine.
  4. Return the meat to the pan. Add in the beer, Rotel and tomato sauce, then bring to a low simmer. Cover with a lid and allow to bubble and simmer so sauce reduces and thickens, and the flavors intensify, about 1 hour.
  5. After an hour, stir through the cornmeal which will help to thicken the sauce. If sauce starts to get too thick, add a little water, and if it’s not yet thick enough, continue to simmer until desired consistency is reached.
  6. Slice or fold open the bags, and spoon the chili on top of the Fritos. Then top each bag with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese. Allow to melt slightly, then serve and enjoy.