Frito Casserole {Taco Bake with Fritos}

Frito Pie Casserole is a classic dish of savory chili taco meat and beans, covered in melty cheese, topped with crunchy corn chips, and baked until warm and bubbly!

baked frito casserole in dish

If you’d rather skip my essential cooking tips and tricks and get straight to this delicious recipe – simply scroll to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card.

Taco casserole is a staple at our house because it’s the ultimate comfort food! Mostly because everyone loves tacos and sometimes you don’t want all the fuss of making individual tacos and prepping all the toppings. Isn’t that why we have easy casseroles?

But if you want to switch up your traditional “taco pie,” dress it up with more cheese and top it with frito corn chips! This transforms it into a Frito Pie!

What is frito pie?

A traditional Midwestern and Southwestern dish consisting of a taco seasoned “chili” that can either be baked as a casserole or served in individual bags of corn chips. The portable version is called a “walking taco.”

Where did frito chili pie originate?

Some say that it came from New Mexico when someone poured their homemade chili recipe in a bag of corn chips to eat on the go. Some say it came from Texas but I think it wil be the topic of debate for a long time.

In Texas it is served topped with cheese and diced raw onion. But in the Southwest it can be served more like a traditional taco with sour cream, diced tomatoes, lettuce, and jalapeños. How ever you like to eat it, it is DELICIOUS!

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labeled picture of frito casserole ingredients

Frito Pie Recipe Ingredients

  • ground beef
  • sweet onion
  • garlic
  • ranch style beans (or chili beans)
  • tomato paste
  • diced tomatoes & green chilies (Rotel)
  • Frito corn chips
  • Mexican cheese (cheddar cheese if desired)
  • chicken broth
  • sour cream
  • spices, salt and pepper to taste

Ground Beef – use lean ground beef for the best results

Beans – The ranch style beans are best for this recipe but you can use plain chili beans or kidney beans if you prefer.

Tomatoes – Feel free to use plain diced tomatoes, Rotel, or fire roasted diced tomatoes.

Spices – Feel free to use just chili powder and cumin or taco seasoning.

Toppings – Once you have baked the casserole you can serve it with toppings or skip the baking and serve them as walking tacos!

Looking for more comfort food? Follow LTB on Pinterest!

How to make frito pie casserole

STEP ONE: Preheat oven to 350F. Cook onions and brown ground beef in a skillet with the oil. Drain fat.

STEP TWO: Add the garlic, tomatoes, beans, spices, and broth. Simmer and stir in a little sour cream.

STEP THREE: Transfer to your 9×13 casserole dish. Top with cheese and corn chips.

STEP FOUR: Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and corn chips are starting to brown.

STEP FIVE: Remove and serve with your favorite toppings.

For the full recipe and detailed baking instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post.

overhead of casserole dish

How long does frito taco pie last?

This can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Freshen up with fresh corn chips.

Can I make this ahead of time and freeze this recipe?

This recipe will freeze well, cook the main sauce and allow to cool. Freeze this part only. After you defrost and are ready to bake add the cheese and corn chips at that time.

scoop of frito pie casserole

Tips for no leftover frito chili pie

  • serve this as a casserole baked and topped with corn chips or serve it out of the pan in bags of Fritos like walking tacos!
  • use chili cheese fritos instead of plain corn chips
  • use tomato sauce instead of diced tomatoes and tomato paste
  • switch up the cheese and use pepper jack or monterey jack for more flavor.
  • skip the cumin and chili powder and use taco seasoning.
  • if you have a favorite chili recipe and add a bit of taco seasoning or buy your favorite canned chili.
  • great toppings include avocado, green onions, shredded lettuce, jalapeños, cherry tomatoes (optional garnish)
  • you can make it gluten free by making sure to use GF taco seasoning, beans (Hormel brand), and GF corn chips.
  • add corn and black beans to your “chili mixture” for more flavor and texture.

This traditional taco casserole with fritos is super easy to make and is a dish the whole family will love!

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!

casserole with text "frito pie casserole"

other dishes to try

Frito Chili Pie Recipe

casserole dish with fritos

frito pie casserole

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp Canola Oil
  • 2lb Lean Ground Beef
  • 1 Large Sweet Onion, diced
  • 3 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (15oz) Can Ranch Style Beans
  • 2 TBSP Tomato Paste
  • 2 (3.5oz) Fritos Corn Chips
  • 2 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin
  • 1 (10oz) Can diced chilies & tomatoes
  • 2 Cups Mexican Cheese
  • 1 Cup Chicken Broth
  • 2 TBSP Sour Cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Avocado, green onions, shredded lettuce, jalapenos, cherry tomatoes (optional garnish)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Add the canola oil to a large skillet (12”)

Add to a medium heat then add the diced onions.  Cook until translucent then add the ground beef.

Cook until no pink remains and drain the excess fluid.

Add the minced garlic and cook until aromatic (usually about 2 minutes)

Add the tomato paste and cook about 5 minutes.  

Add the Ranch Style Beans (with the juice), the can of diced chilies and tomatoes (with the juice) and the chicken broth.

Add the Chili Powder and cumin and cook on a medium-low simmer for 15 minutes.  Do a taste test to check the seasoning is to your liking.  Salt and pepper as preferred.  

Stir in the sour cream and transfer to a casserole dish (9x13).

Top with the shredded cheese and fritos corn chips last.  Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and top with your choice of garnish.

Notes

*If you love this recipe as much as I do, please leave me a comment and rate it 5 stars. Thank you!

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