If you have ever been to a sporting event in Texas or taken part in Fiesta in San Antonio then you have probably at least heard of Frito Pie. It’s pretty simple, you open a small bag of Frito’s corn chips and then pour in chili and top it off with cheese and sour cream. I had actually never heard of it before moving to Texas so I didn’t know what I was missing out on. One day years ago, one of my co workers at the time came back from the store with a bag full of Fritos, canned Wolf Brand Chili and a bag of shredded cheese. He told me he was making Frito pie for everyone and gave me a bowl full of this messy looking concoction. I just kind of looked at it skeptically and everyone got a big laugh at the guy from Florida that had never heard of Frito pie. However after tasting this simple little pleasure I was hooked and enjoyed it many more times with my friends. While researching the origins of Frito pie for this recipe, I found out that it’s not really known for sure where it came from exactly, but everyone seems to agree that Texas played a huge part in making it popular.
For this recipe I decided to take it a little further and make this delicious little treat into a full-fledged casserole that can be made for the whole family to enjoy. It’s not that hard to do and you can make it even easier if you are in a hurry by just using canned chili, but I really recommend that you do it my way first and make your own quick chili to go in it. You wont be sorry.
Here is what you need on hand before getting started: Non stick pan or pot, 10″ casserole dish, long-handled wooden spoon, sharp knife and cutting board, can opener, measuring spoons and non stick cooking spray.
1 LB lean ground beef
1 cup onion (chopped)
1 can Ro Tel tomatoes (10 oz)
1 can diced green chili’s (4 oz)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 regular size bag of Fritos
1 can of refried beans (16 oz)
1 medium avocado (ripe)
1 bunch green onions
Salt (1/2 teaspoon)
Black Pepper (1 teaspoon)
Chili powder (2 tablespoons)
Garlic powder (1 teaspoon)
Cummin (2 teaspoons)
Prep and Cooking
First things first. Let’s make the chili.
Chop up about half a cup of onion and add it to a pan coated with non stick cooking spray and saute the onion over medium heat until they start to turn clear. Push the onion to the side and add the ground beef and brown it (really brown it with some crispy bits). Once the beef is brown add the Ro-Tel (do not drain the can). Add another half can of water and all of the seasoning and stir it all together. Now reduce heat to low and let that simmer for about 20 minutes. Make sure to stir occasionally. You want it to start to thicken up a bit. If it gets to thick you can add a little more water.
While the chili is cooking it is time to start getting the casserole ready.
Coat your casserole dish with non stick spray and then empty the can of refried beans into it. Spread the beans evenly around to bottom of the dish. Now crumble up about a cup full of the Fritos corn chips and spread those around on top of the beans. Now using one cup of the shredded cheddar make another layer on top of the corn chips.
Go ahead and preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
The chili should be just about done now, so go ahead and spread that around on top of the cheese for the next layer. Top that off with the diced green chili’s and then add the other cup of shredded cheese Now finish it all off with another cup of crushed Fritos.
Put that in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. While the casserole is baking you can get the last of the ingredients ready. Chop up about a half cup of the green onions (only use the green parts for this). And right before the casserole is done slice up the avocado.
Tip for slicing the avocado: Cut the avocado in half lengthwise and twist the two halves apart. Now you will have a half without the seed and a half with the seed. holding the half with the seed, carefully chop the knife into the top of the seed and twist the whole thing out. Now use a large spoon and stick it in between the “meat” of the avocado and the rind and move the spoon around the outer edge. This should separate the yummy good stuff from the outer skin. Set both halves (cut side down) on the cutting board and then slice them from top to bottom into about 1/4 thick pieces.
After the casserole is done baking, take it out of the oven and let it cool for a few minutes.
Now it is time to plate. Scoop a nice portion out onto your plate and then top it with a generous dollop of sour cream and then a small handful of the green onions.
That my friends is how you make Frito Pie casserole. I hope that you enjoy this one as much as I did. Be sure to share it with your friends.
Thanks for reading.