Delicious Frito Pie Recipe for a Hearty Meal!

Are you looking for a recipe that is hearty, delicious and satisfying? Look no further than Sunset Magazine’s Frito Pie Recipe. This dish is the perfect combination of crunchy corn chips, savory ground beef and flavorful spices that come together to make your taste buds dance with delight.

As an avid foodie myself, I can assure you that this recipe is one of the best out there. Not only is it easy to make, but it’s also perfect for those who are short on time but still want to impress their friends and family with a crowd-pleasing dish.

The beauty of Frito Pie lies in its versatility. It’s the perfect meal for game day gatherings or casual weeknight dinners. It’s hearty enough to serve as a main dish, yet light enough to be served as a side dish or appetizer.

Plus, with its wide range of ingredients like black olives, green onions, fresh tomatoes, and sour cream, Frito Pie can be customized to suit any palate or dietary need. Even if you’re a picky eater or have dietary restrictions, this recipe can easily be modified without compromising on flavor.

So whether you’re looking for a new twist on classic comfort food or simply want to treat your taste buds to something new, give Sunset Magazine’s Frito Pie Recipe a try. Trust me – your taste buds will thank you!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Sunset Magazine's Frito Pie
Sunset Magazine’s Frito Pie

My friend, allow me to tell you why you’ll love this Frito Pie recipe from Sunset Magazine. Imagine indulging on crispy corn chips smothered in a delicious homemade chili, topped with oozy cheddar cheese and all your favorite toppings like fresh tomatoes, black olives, green onion, and a dollop of sour cream. Need I say more?

This dish is perfect for any occasion, from a casual weeknight dinner to entertaining guests on game day. It’s easy to make and guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser. The best part? You can let your creativity run wild and personalize it with your favorite ingredients.

Not only is this Frito Pie recipe fun and easy to make, but it’s also incredibly comforting. The warm and hearty chili will warm you up from the inside on cold nights, while the crispy corn chips add just the right amount of crunch to satisfy your cravings.

But that’s not all! What makes this recipe truly unique is its versatility. You can easily swap out the beans or ground beef for a plant-based alternative like lentils or tofu if you prefer, while still enjoying all the same incredible flavors.

In conclusion, if you want a quick and easy recipe that is sure to please everyone, then look no further than this Frito Pie recipe from Sunset Magazine. With its simplicity and deliciousness, I guarantee it will quickly become one of your go-to recipes.

Ingredient List

 Get ready for a cheesy, crunchy delight!
Get ready for a cheesy, crunchy delight!

Let’s jump into the important part of any recipe: the ingredient list. You’ll need 2 lbs lean ground beef for this Frito pie recipe. I suggest choosing beef that is 7% fat or less to make it healthier. Additionally, grab some canned chili, such as Wolf brand, to make the dish easier and quicker to put together.

For the seasoning, you will need 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon chili powder, and 1 teaspoon salt. You’ll also need 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour to thicken the filling.

The recipe also calls for a can of black beans which are healthy and flavorful. For toppings, you’ll need shredded cheddar cheese, sliced black olives, chopped green onion, diced fresh tomato, sour cream, and shredded iceberg lettuce.

Don’t forget the Fritos! This delicious corn chips brand is what distinguishes Frito pie from other savory pies. Be sure to grab enough Fritos to create an even layer on top of your chili filling.

The Recipe How-To

 The perfect comfort food for chilly nights!
The perfect comfort food for chilly nights!

Let’s get cooking! This Frito Pie recipe is a true crowd-pleaser and it’ll be ready in no time.

Step 1: Brown the meat

In a large skillet, cook 2 pounds of lean ground beef (7% fat) over medium-high heat. Add 3 tbsp of chili powder, 1 tbsp of garlic powder, and 1 tsp of salt. Stir well, breaking up any clumps that form as you go. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the meat is browned.

Step 2: Add beans and flour

Add one can of drained and rinsed black beans (15 ounces) to the skillet with the beef. Stir them in and let them cook for a minute or two. Then, sprinkle 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour over the top of everything. Stir again until it’s well combined.

Step 3: Layer ingredients

Preheat your oven to 375°F. In a large casserole dish or baking pan, create layers in this order:

1) One layer of Fritos corn chips (about half a bag)
2) Half of the beef mixture
3) Another layer of corn chips
4) The other half of the beef mixture
5) A final layer of corn chips
6) One cup of shredded cheddar cheese
7) One cup of crushed chili cheese Fritos (as much as you like!)

Step 4: Bake it

Pop your Frito Pie into the oven and bake for about 15 minutes. When you take it out it should be hot, melty, and delicious!

Step 5: Garnish and serve

Top your pie with freshly chopped lettuce or iceberg lettuce, diced tomatoes,fresh green onions, black olives, and a dollop of sour cream.

Enjoy the mouth-watering combination of rich beef chili sauce paired with crunchy Fritos chili pie crust!

Substitutions and Variations

 This Frito pie is perfect for feeding a crowd.
This Frito pie is perfect for feeding a crowd.

When it comes to creating your perfect Frito Pie, there are plenty of opportunities to get creative with substitutions and variations. Here are some ideas to take this Sunset Magazine Frito Pie Recipe to the next level:

– Black beans: For a different twist, try substituting black beans with kidney beans or pinto beans. Adding extra beans is a great way to add more protein and fiber to your meal.

– Spices: Adjust the spice level by experimenting with chili powder or trying different spicy blends like chipotle, ancho, or even ghost pepper.

– Meat: If you prefer a meatless option, replace the ground beef with soy crumbles or crumbled tofu. If you’re in the mood for a different protein, try chicken or turkey for a leaner version.

– Cheese: Swap cheddar cheese for Monterey Jack, Colby Jack or pepper jack. Or top it off with queso fresco or crumbled feta for a tangy taste.

– Toppings: Add some fresh zing by adding diced green peppers or jalapenos, black olives, avocado slices or use red onion instead of green onions. Play with your vegetables such as using arugula instead of iceberg lettuce.

Don’t be afraid to mix things up and make it your own! You can also create different variations like using white chili instead of canned chili, substituting Fritos corn chips with doritos nacho cheese-flavored chips or even crushed potato chips.

Whatever your preferences are, don’t hesitate to experiment with new ingredients and techniques. The possibilities are endless with this classic yet versatile recipe. So go ahead and jump right in!

Serving and Pairing

 Layers upon layers of deliciousness.
Layers upon layers of deliciousness.

Hey there, fellow Frito pie connoisseurs! Now that your crispy and savory masterpiece is complete, it’s time to think about how to serve and pair it. Just as important as the recipe itself, serving and pairing can make all the difference in revealing flavors, textures, and aromas that pair perfectly with this dish.

First, let’s talk about serving. Frito pies are known for their rustic yet hearty presentation. It’s best to serve them warm, straight out of the oven or fresh from reheating. Make sure to handle your pie with care as the chips have a delicate texture, and you wouldn’t want them to break or get soggy. For added crunchiness or texture variation, you can sprinkle some corn chips on top before serving.

Now onto pairing. The beauty of Frito pies is that they contain layers of intense flavors and contrasts, making them versatile in pairing choices. Because of its boldness, consider something light or refreshing to balance things out. A cool and crunchy salad would do wonders here, such as iceberg lettuce with fresh tomatoes, black olives, and green onions dressed with a squeeze of lime juice.

How about a cheesy dip with tortilla chips on the side? Or try some white chili as an alternative to the classic beef chili recipe – search for Sunset Magazine’s white chili frito pie recipe for a tasty variation! And if you’re feeling adventurous, try a New Mexico-inspired cuisine by looking up some recipes from Cattle Corner or Santa Fe for inspiration.

As for drinks, a cold beer would be perfect for game day or casual dining. A zesty margarita or sweet tea could also complement this dish well if you’re looking for non-alcoholic options.

So there you have it – my recommendations for how to serve and pair your Frito pie. However, in the end, it’s all about your preference and personal taste – so experiment away!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A hearty and satisfying meal that everyone will love.
A hearty and satisfying meal that everyone will love.

As with most casseroles, Frito Pie can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator or freezer. To save time on game day or meal prep, assemble the Frito Pie in advance and refrigerate it for up to two days or freeze it for up to a month. The night before you plan to bake your pie, move it from the freezer to the refrigerator to thaw overnight.

When reheating your Frito Pie, do not attempt to microwave it as this will make your Fritos soggy. Instead, heat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and pop your casserole dish inside. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until heated through. If you’re dealing with leftovers of this delicious dish, you can store them in an airtight container for up to three days in the refrigerator.

One suggestion is to cut individual slices of Frito Pie and store each slice in a plastic container – this makes it easier to reheat single servings. Before storing in the fridge, let each slice cool completely on a wire rack to preserve its crispy texture. Finally, when it’s time to reheat slice(s), simply pop the container in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or heat it up in a toaster oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-12 minutes.

While I recommend eating your Frito Pie fresh out of the oven (when the cheese is stretchy and gooey), reheating your leftovers should not be an issue if done properly with some care and preparation. Enjoy!

Tips for Perfect Results

 This dish is easy to make and even easier to devour.
This dish is easy to make and even easier to devour.

A Frito pie is a classic American favorite – hearty, indulgent and full of flavors. With a few key tips and tricks, you can create an irresistible version right in your own kitchen. Here are some ideas to ensure that your Frito pie will be the talk of the table:

To start with, be sure to use lean ground beef in this recipe. A fat content of at least 7% guarantees that it is juicy yet not greasy. You don’t want to dampen the crispy texture of the Fritos or overpower the other flavors with too much beef fat.

For maximum flavor and thickness, sprinkle your desired amount of chili powder and garlic powder in equal parts on the meat while cooking it over medium-high heat. If you like spicy food, use New Mexico chili powder or add diced jalapenos for a bold kick.

Another important thing to remember is to let the Fritos chili pie crust cool slightly before layering it with cheese and other toppings. This prevents everything from becoming too mushy or sliding off when cut into wedges.

When assembling your pie, be generous with your favorite ingredients. The more layers, the better! Start with a base of crispy corn chips, then add canned chili or homemade chili if you prefer. Top it off with shredded cheddar cheese and bake until melted and bubbly.

For a lighter option, try using canned white chili instead of traditional red chili for a milder flavor.

Finally, garnish your Frito pie with fresh ingredients like diced tomatoes, green onions, black olives or iceberg lettuce. Add a dollop of sour cream and enjoy!

With these tips in mind, creating an amazing Frito pie will be easy as pie itself!


Now that we’ve gone through the recipe and additional information, let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions about Sunset Magazine’s Frito Pie Recipe. These are important to consider, especially if you’re attempting to make the dish for game day, a potluck, or any other social gathering where people will be eagerly awaiting the flavors of this classic dish. Let’s dive in!

What is chili in a bag of Fritos called?

Frito Pie, despite its name, is not actually a pie. It is a simple yet delicious dish consisting of Fritos topped with chili. In its most basic form, the dish is served directly in the Frito bag, which is split down the middle and placed in a paper boat. This creates a fun and unique way to serve and enjoy the dish.

Is Frito chili pie a southern thing?

A much-loved food in various regions of the United States, Frito pie is a flavorful dish consisting of chili, cheese and corn chips known as Fritos.

What is Fritos with chili and cheese called?

Back in May 1946, the first time the term “Frito pie” was introduced, it was the combination of cheese, Fritos, and chili that stole the show. This unique, tasty mix quickly gained popularity, and it has remained a beloved favorite ever since.

What is the worlds largest Frito pie?

Guinness World Records declared that the world’s largest Frito pie was created on October 1, 2012. The recipe included 635 bags of Fritos chips that weighed 10.5 ounces each, 660 cans of Hormel Chili without beans that weighed 15 ounces each, and 580 bags of shredded cheddar cheese weighing 8 ounces each. This massive pie was big enough to serve around 5,000 people.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, Sunset Magazine’s Frito Pie recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves flavorful and hearty comfort food. The combination of crispy Fritos corn chips, savory chili cheese topping, and fresh toppings like lettuce, tomato, and olives create a deliciously satisfying dish.

While this recipe may not be the healthiest option out there, it’s perfect for game day or a comforting family meal. You can switch it up with your favorite variations and even make it ahead of time for easy reheating. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different canned chili flavors or substitute ground beef for another protein source such as turkey or vegetarian crumbles.

Overall, Sunset Magazine’s Frito Pie recipe is an amazing addition to any home cook’s arsenal of recipes. Whether you’re a fan of Fritos or not, this hearty pie is sure to satisfy your cravings for some good old-fashioned comfort food. So go ahead and enjoy a slice of deliciousness that will leave your taste buds begging for more!

Sunset Magazine's Frito Pie

Sunset Magazine’s Frito Pie Recipe

From the May 2002 issue of Sunset Magazine. We don't make this recipe often because it's rich, greasy, salty and fattening. Tradition dictates that you eat this right out of an individual sized Frito bag. I prefer to layer the ingredients into a Fiestaware chili bowl and then pay my respect to the Frito gods. Try with a dollop of sour cream.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Southwestern (US)
Keyword: < 30 Mins, Inexpensive
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
Calories: 475.8kcal


  • 2 lbs lean ground beef (7% fat)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained (I prefer kidney beans)
  • 3 tablespoons ground dried New Mexico chiles or 3 tablespoons regular chili powder
  • 4 1/2 cups Frito corn chips (15 ounce bag)
  • 6 tablespoons finely diced white onions
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded good quality cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups finely shredded iceberg lettuce or 2 cups lettuce
  • 3/4 cup diced fresh tomato

Suggested Toppings

  • sour cream
  • green onion
  • black olives
  • jalapeno


  • In a pan over medium-high heat, stir ground beef, garlic powder and 1 teaspoon salt until beef is crumbly and well browned, 6 to 8 minutes.
  • With a large slotted spoon, push beef mixture to one side of pan and tilt pan so liquid runs to opposite side.
  • Stir flour into liquid until well blended, then mix with beef mixture.
  • Add 2 cups water, black beans (or kidney beans) if using, and dried chilies; stir until mixture boils and thickens, about 8 minutes.
  • Spread about 1/3 cup of Fritos in each of six individual sized bowls and sprinkle chopped onion equally on top.
  • Divide chili equally among the bowls and top with cheese, lettuce and tomato.
  • Add more salt to taste if desired.
  • NOTE: For large party gatherings, I usually triple the recipe and prepare this buffet style for each person to "build your own" Frito Pie. For diehards, you must have sliced fresh jalapenos as a garnish, too!

Your Own Notes


Serving: 293g | Calories: 475.8kcal | Carbohydrates: 18.6g | Protein: 42.9g | Fat: 24.9g | Saturated Fat: 12.2g | Cholesterol: 127.9mg | Sodium: 668mg | Fiber: 5.6g | Sugar: 2.3g

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