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A serving of the frito pie served on a white plate and garnished with sour cream and sliced green onions.

Frito Pie Casserole

This frito pie casserole is a fun way to satisfy a comfort food craving, even when you are short on time. In this recipe, a quick beef chili is topped with cheese and corn chips making a delicious dinner the whole family will enjoy.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword casseroles
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 25 minutes
resting time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 695kcal
Author Elizabeth


  • 1 tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper to taste
  • Pinch of Cayenne Pepper optional
  • 1 tablespoon Oil use a flavorless oil with a high smoke point (we use canola oil)
  • 1 Medium Onion finely diced
  • 3-4 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 1 pound Lean Ground Beef we used ground sirloin
  • 2 cups Beef Broth
  • 1 (14-14.5) ounce can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 (15-16) ounce can Red Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups Shredded Cheddar Jack Cheese divided (hand shredded is best)
  • cups Corn Chips divided - like Fritos brand (about 6-7 ounces)
  • Sliced Green Onions for garnish – optional
  • Sour Cream for serving – optional


  • You will also need: Cooking spray, Casserole dish (roughly) 2.3 quart that’s 11x7 inch
  • Prepare a seasoning mix: add the chili powder, salt, garlic powder, cumin, black pepper and cayenne pepper (if using) to a small bowl. Stir to combine well.
  • Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add the garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  • Raise the heat to medium-high and immediately add the ground beef and sprinkle with the prepared seasoning mix. Stir well to combine the beef with the onions and spices.
  • Arrange the beef into a layer and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Stir well and break-up any large pieces. Arrange it into a layer again, cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until browned and any liquid rendered has cooked away.
  • Add the beef broth, diced tomatoes and red beans to the pot. Stir well.
  • Bring the liquid to a boil (it will take about 4-5 minutes to start boiling), then lower the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer the chili for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  • Uncover the pot and cook for an additional 10-20 minutes or until the chili thickens and is saucy, not soupy. How long this takes depends on how much liquid is left after the initial cooking time. Keep an eye on it and stir it often, especially as it starts to thicken. As a reference we simmered ours 12 minutes.
  • Taste the chili and add salt if needed, but keep in mind that corn chips are salty. They will add to the overall saltiness of the dish. As a reference we did not add extra to ours.
  • When the chili is done take it off the heat and let it cool off a little so it’s not simmering and steaming when you work with it.
  • In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350° F.
  • Lightly spray the bottom of a casserole dish with cooking spray.
  • Arrange 1½ cup of the corn chips on the bottom of the dish.
  • Add approximately half of the chili on the corn chips.
  • Sprinkle the top of the chili with 1 cup of the shredded cheese.
  • Add the remaining chili.
  • Top with 2 cups of the corn chips.
  • Bake the frito casserole for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and top with the remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese.
  • Bake for another 1-2 minutes until the cheese melts.
  • Let it rest for 10-15 minutes before serving to let it set.


If desired, place the casserole dish on a baking sheet just in case it bubbles over.


Calories: 695kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 1564mg | Potassium: 766mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 856IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 430mg | Iron: 5mg