Easy Frito Pie

Frito Pie

This sounds a lot more complicated than it is — and I can’t actually call this a recipe, but it is good and it pleases the masses.  My sister from Texas made Frito pie for us this summer at our family reunion.  Just imagine over 20 people, ages 73 to 18 months staying one week in a large lake house.  Now imagine cooking dinner for all of those people.  Overwhelming can be an understatement.

This dinner was a hit though because it is easy to custom build your own bowl of Frito pie.  As a host or hostess, all you need to do is assemble bowls of multiple components and let your crowd do the rest.  This person likes extra chili — he can take an extra helping.  No beans for me — don’t add them to your bowl.

A buffet of items like this would work really well for dinner for a sports team, too.  Teenagers can eat a lot and can be picky at the same time, so being able to pick and choose what toppings they want is a win.

Frito pie always starts with a base of Fritos, what else?  If you don’t want the classic sodium-laden, GMO corn chips in the mustard yellow bag, knock yourself out and buy a different kind of corn chip.  It’s all good.

Another must is chili.  You have to have chili in Frito pie.  I use leftover chili that I freeze in smaller zip lock baggies for just this purpose, but it is okay to use a can of chili if you want.  Fill your bowl with chips, then nestle a big ole scoop on top.  This is your base, and all other toppings get added to this.  When you are done, mix it all together and eat!

Other toppings that have been known to make an appearance at the table:  shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, black olives, diced onions, browned ground beef, minced jalapenos, cilantro, scallions, bell peppers, pickled onions, sour cream, hot sauce, black beans, white rice, chopped pecans, and shredded coconut (yes…and it is so good).  You can think of many other potential toppings to throw out there, too (cubed corn bread, elbow macaroni, etc.).

Whatever you do, just have a buffet set up with lots of bowls and spoons and enjoy!


2 thoughts on “Easy Frito Pie

  1. The youth group at our church does a “walking taco” version of this a few times a year as a fundraiser – usually when there’s some sort of event or meeting after the late Sunday service. Anyway, just open a single-serve bag of corn chips, top with the chili base (they also offer a vegetarian version of chili), and head over to the toppings table to dress as you like! It’s all in a bag so no dishes necessary (except those dishes holding the toppings, of course).

    • Yes! Our school cafeteria does the walking taco version too — just serve in a bag. Neat idea for the kids!

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