Frito Pie in a Bag consists of a bold Texas-style chili served in a snack-sized Frito bag. Covered with melted cheese, jalapenos, and onions for truly delicious south of the border flavor with a little crunch. Perfect for tailgating!
I feel like Frito Pie is the American version of Mexican Chilaquiles. It doesn’t seem anyone is entirely sure who made the first Frito Pie, but it seems the recipe is 60 to 70 years old and there are countless versions now.
Also called Walking Tacos or Tacos in a Bag, Frito Pie is perfect for large gatherings and game day. The chili I use to top the Fritos is a thick chili full of ground beef and it also has a little bacon. It has lots of smoky flavor from the bacon, chipotle peppers and dried ancho chili peppers that have been re-hydrated. If you want to cook better Tex-Mex food, try using ancho chili peppers. Their flavor is amazing and they add some heat.
I top my Frito Pie with shredded cheese, pickled jalapenos, and diced onion. You can also add sour cream, salsa, diced avocado, and sliced olives.
The flavor of this chili only gets better with time so it is perfectly acceptable to make it a day or two before you serve it. It also freezes well.
A spicy chili combined with melted cheese and the crunch of frito chips makes a fantastically fun party food or meal. It’s salty/spicy heaven in a bag!
Try these other Tex-Mex recipes:
Frito Pie in a Bag
- 3 dried ancho chili peppers
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 slices bacon, chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/4 cup chopped green pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, chopped
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon beef base
- 6 small bags Frito chips
- 1 cup shredded Mexican or cheddar cheese
- pickled jalapeno peppers
- Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add dried chili peppers and remove from heat. Let sit 30 minutes. Place the peppers and 1/4 cup of the soaking water in a blender or small food processor. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
- Cook and crumble ground beef in a large nonstick skillet. When browned, remove it to a plate and set aside.
- Add bacon, onion, green pepper, and celery to the now empty skillet. Cook until the veggies are soft, about 5 minutes.
- Return ground beef to skillet. Add tomatoes sauce, diced tomatoes. chipotle chili, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, beef base and pureed ancho peppers.
- Mix well and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, adding a little water if it gets too thick.Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Cut a slit in each bag of Fritos. Lade chili on top of chips. Top with cheese and jalapeno peppers.