Frito Chili Casserole

5 from 6 votes
15 Comments

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Frito Chili Casserole is the perfect comfort dinner. Delicious layers of crunchy Fritos, Southwestern chili, and lots of gooey cheese make for a winning weeknight meal!

Frito Chili Pie in a serving dish with a bag of Fritos on the side. Frito chips and sliced jalapeños are around the dish.

Chili Frito Casserole

Frito Chili Casserole (aka Frito Pie, aka Chili Pie, aka a million other names from Pinterest, Facebook and other social media) was one of my husband’s favorite meals growing up. It’s one of those comfort meals that can be thrown together super fast on busy weeknights and tastes yummy, warm and nourishing. We always seem to have ingredients for this casserole on hand so this one is definitely in permanent rotation around our house. Even the pickiest of eaters love this dish!

Frito Chili Pie with a dollop of sour cream, sliced jalapeño, and onions on top.

Ingredients in Frito Chili Casserole

This casserole seems to have it all for a well rounded meal: a little bit of protein, fiber, calcium and a ton of flavor. Plus it’s made with easy-to-find ingredients. Here’s all you need:

  • Ground beef – you can also substitute ground turkey or ground chicken. Both options will have less excess fat to drain off and less cholesterol than beef. Season with a little bit of salt and pepper.
  • Onion – regular yellow onion does the trick! If you have green onions, chop them up too and use some as garnish on top.
  • Green chilis – I use a four ounce can
  • Black olives – chop whole olives, or grab a can of pre-sliced ones
  • Chili – any kind of canned chili will work. 
  • Chili beans – I usually dump in whatever kind of beans I have on hand. Kidney beans or pinto beans taste delicious!
  • A can of corn – make sure to drain it thoroughly before adding to the mixture.
  • Taco seasoning – use your favorite store brand or make your own! We have a delicious homemade taco seasoning mix recipe made from cumin, chili powder and other spices that’s easy to make and lasts forever!
  • Frito corn chips
  • Shredded Cheese – cheddar cheese or a combination of Monterey jack cheese works great!

Additions/Substitutions

  • We like this “Southwestern” spin on the traditional chili casserole by adding some salsa, corn, taco seasoning and diced chiles.
  • You can use regular Fritos or Chili Cheese-Flavored Fritos for a different flavor on top.
  • For an extra kick, try shredded pepper jack cheese.
  • If the mixture is too thick, you can thin it out with a little tomato sauce. 
  • Don’t have any Fritos on hand? Use crushed tortilla chips! This is the perfect casserole to make with the remnants of the tortilla chips bag (you know, the bits that aren’t big enough to scoop salsa?)
  • Go crazy with toppings! We like to add onions, lettuce diced tomatoes, sliced avocado, sour cream, salsa, a sprinkle of cilantro and guacamole. Any toppings you would typically put on a taco would work great.
  • I love my Frito pie with a dash or two of hot sauce; my dad likes it with ketchup. To each his own!
Ingredients to make Frito Chili Pie including: bag of Fritos, shredded cheese, ground beef, salsa, taco seasoning, onion, can of green chilies, kernel corn, chili pinto beans, chili, sliced black olives and fresh jalapeños as a garnish.

Easy to Make

This casserole comes together in just a couple of simple steps:

  1. First, combine ground beef and onions and cook over medium-high heat.
  2. Stir in chiles, olives, chili, chili beans, corn, salsa, and taco seasoning and simmer until all the sauces are combined.
  3. Then, use cooking spray to grease a pan, and layer with crushed Frito corn chips.
  4. ​Next, pour the beef mixture into the pan and top with more chips and cheese.
  5. Bake and serve!

Make it GLUTEN FREE!

This is SO EASY to make GF. All you have to do is make sure you use a GF Taco seasoning (homemade is always a sure-bet). Gluten Free taco seasoning is really easy to find at your local grocery store. McCormick brand makes a great one. Also, you need to make sure the chili you are using if gluten free as well. Hormel brand (original style) is gluten free. That is a great bet. Just check those couple things and you are good to go!

How to Store Leftovers

Store any leftovers in an airtight container or tightly covered in foil in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheating is easy with a microwave. Or place in a warm oven for about twenty minutes until heated completely through.

Like this easy dinner recipe? Give these a try!

  • Doritos Locos in a Bag (AKA Walking Tacos): These Locos Tacos in a Bag are the best thing ever for camping, reunions, and block parties. They are cheap, tasty, and clean up is a snap. No plate needed!
  • Mom’s (Award Winning) Cheater Chili: Our Mom’s Cheater Chili recipe makes cooking a pot of homemade chili simple and fast. The ground beef, onions, and tomatoes make it a hearty meal.
  • Cheeseburger Pie AND Taco Pie:You can make these EASY Dinner Pies TWO Ways – Cheeseburger or Taco! They are cheap, easy, and use ingredients you probably always have on hand!

How to Make Frito Chili Casserole

Golden spoon holding up a bite of Frito Chili Pie. Serving dish and plate in the background.

Frito Chili Casserole

5 from 6 votes
Frito Chili Casserole is the perfect comfort dinner. Delicious layers of crunchy Fritos, Southwestern chili, and lots of gooey cheese make for a winning weeknight meal!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 10

Video

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 4 oz green chiles chopped, (1 can)
  • 4 oz black olives sliced, (1 can)
  • 16 oz chili (1 can)
  • 16 oz chili beans (1 can)
  • 15 can corn drained, (1 can)
  • 1 c. salsa
  • 1 Tbsp taco seasoning
  • 10.5 oz Fritos (1 bag)
  • 2 c. cheese shredded

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Gather ingredients.
    Ingredients to make Frito Chili Pie including: bag of Fritos, shredded cheese, ground beef, salsa, taco seasoning, onion, can of green chilies, kernel corn, chili pinto beans, chili, sliced black olives and fresh jalapeños as a garnish.
  • In a large skillet, cook ground beef and onions until cooked through and onions become transparent. Discard grease if needed.
    Skillet with cooked ground beef and onions for Frito Chili Pie. Wooden spoon and jalapeños on the side.
  • Stir in chiles, olives, chili, chili beans, corn, salsa, and taco seasoning. Bring to a simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring often.
    Skillet full of the filling for Frito Chili Pie.
  • Crush Fritos and spread half of them evenly in a 9×13 deep baking dish. Add chili mixture and top with remaining crushed Fritos.
    Baking dish with Frito Chili Pie filling.
  • Bake for 25 minutes. Add cheese and bake an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
    Baked Frito Chili Pie in a baking dish. Serving spoon and fresh jalapeños on the side.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 1144kcalCarbohydrates: 164gProtein: 46gFat: 45gSaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 82mgSodium: 1228mgPotassium: 1988mgFiber: 20gSugar: 35gVitamin A: 2712IUVitamin C: 103mgCalcium: 453mgIron: 6mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her beautiful three girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

More about Erica Walker

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Comments

    1. Chili beans are canned pinto beans that are already flavored with chili seasoning. Don’t rinse them before adding to the dish. Thanks for asking!

  1. 5 stars
    We made this for some friends we had over for the bears game last week and it was a HUGE hit. It’s super easy to make, perfect for fall, and it’s really tasty! Thanks for an awesome recipe.

  2. 5 stars
    Love this! It’s like a walking taco…except in a nice, neat, casserole dish! Ever thought about mixing up the flavor combo and using BBQ Fritos? 🙂 I love the ingredients you use in here…black olives get a bad rap, but my family loves them and we always have a few cans on hand! Thanks for this great, new addition to our dinner rotation!

  3. Any advice on what to do if making this to bake at a later date? Should I cool the chili mixture before putting on the Fritos? Making this for a friend with a baby due in a month!

    1. I would probably wait until just before serving and after re-heating to add the Fritos. You don’t want them to get soggy in the process of cooling and re-heating. Hope this helps!

  4. How can I print your recipes I can print everything else but can not print any of your recipes.
    When I hit print nothing happens. Please help as I don’t want to hand write the recipes.

    1. Did you try hitting the “Print” that is on the recipe itself (right under the small picture next to the ingredients)? You should be able to print it that way. Also, what browser are you using? I am hitting print right now and I see that it is working. I don’t know what the problem could be. Can you send us a screenshot?