Slow Cooker Frito Pie (Chili Pie)
Easy slow cooker frito pie recipe, homemade with simple ingredients. Full of chili beans, Fritos chips, cheddar cheese, taco seasoning.
Looking to put a twist on an American classic? Look no further! This simple chili recipe will wow your guests and is hearty enough to fill bellies. Check out these other slow cooker chili recipes if you enjoy: Slow Cooker Chili or Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili.
How to make slow cooker Frito pie recipe from scratch?
- Heat oil in large non-stick sauce pan – Use medium heat.
- Add ground beef, onions, garlic – Cook until beef is browned and no longer pink
- Drain grease – If necessary!
- Transfer mixture to crockpot – 6 quart or larger
- Add additional ingredients – Tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, pinto beans, chili beans, taco seasoning, chili powder, salt, pepper.
- Mix until combined – Be gentle!
- Cover and cook – Low for 5-6 hours or high for 3-4 hours
- Remove lid – Mix in cornstarch slurry, frozen corn, half the cheddar cheese, allow the residual heat to melt and make the chili ooey gooey!
- Sprinkle remaining cheddar cheese and fritos on top – Enjoy!
What sides to serve with Frito chili pie?
There are so many sides to serve here! You can serve your favorite carb such as breadsticks, biscuits, dinner rolls, cornbread, grilled cheese. Try it with a side of creamy mashed potatoes or mac and cheese for a more hearty meal. Add vegetable sides like a simple salad or roasted broccoli, green beans, carrots, zucchini.
Homemade taco seasoning
Feel free to use store-bought taco seasoning or make your own from scratch! Try mixing these together:
- 1 part chili powder
- 1 part ground cumin
- 1 part garlic powder
- 1 part onion powder
- 1/4-1/2 part crushed red pepper
Variations for frito casserole
Baked Fito pie- Bake on medium/high heat until it’s cooked to your liking
Frito pie in a bag- Be sure to save those frito bags and use them to serve!
Add turkey- Use ground turkey in place of beef or even shredded leftover Thanksgiving turkey.
Make it vegetarian- Skip the meat and add more of your favorite beans instead.
Add chicken- Use chicken in place of the beef. You can use chicken breast and shred it or use ground chicken.
Add variety of beans– Such as garbanzo, Great Northern beans, pinto, or omit beans altogether.
Add crumbled mild Italian sausage– I will add 1/2 pound of Italian sausage with the beef or turkey to add flavor.
Add other herbs and spices or spice blends or spice packets– Add Adobo seasoning, Cajun seasoning, smoked paprika, turmeric, cayenne, ground mustard, even a little nutmeg tastes delicious.
Add vegetables– Add zucchini, mushrooms, pumpkin puree, corn, yellow squash, green, red, or yellow bell peppers.
Add liquid smoke– Add a small amount of liquid smoke to add another layer of flavor.
Add balsamic vinegar– A few tablespoons of balsamic will also add additional flavor.
Add Beer– Instead of beef broth, try your favorite ale instead.
Make it more flavorful- You can do this by adding spices such as smoked paprika, basil, bay leaves, or turmeric. Try adding red pepper chili flakes, liquid smoke, or a little balsamic vinegar to add some depth and extra flavor.
Tips and Teqniques
How to thicken chili? There are a few methods to do this. Use an immersion blender to blend a small portion of this chili to thicken it up. Don’t blend it fully! You can also remove about 1 cup of the chili and blend it separately and mix it back into the pot. The next method is to cook uncovered for a bit longer to reduce excess liquid. If you decide to add rice or quinoa, that would also absorb a lot of the extra liquid and make this dish thicker.
How to make chili thinner? Simply add more broth or water.
Do I need to drain and rinse the canned beans? Yes, drain and rinse the beans to remove the liquid and preservatives from them. Don’t skip this step!
Why is my leftover chili so thick the next day? If you added extra ingredients, it will absorb a lot of the liquid overnight. To solve this problem, add more broth and reheat for a few minutes on the stove.
Adjust seasoning– Add more or less according to your personal preference.
What kind of tomatoes to use? I prefer the 15 oz. can of fire-roasted tomatoes, but you can use diced tomatoes or even fresh tomatoes.
Avoid including Fritos when storing leftovers
Refrigerate- In a sealed container for up to 3 days.
Freeze- In a sealed container for up to 1 month.
Reheat– In a crockpot on the “Warm” setting or in the microwave or even stovetop.
More slow cooker beef recipes
- Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce
- Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes
- Slow Cooker Taco Meat
- Slow Cooker Mississippi Pot Roast
Slow Cooker Frito Pie (Chili Pie)
- 1 tbsp Oil
- 1 pound Ground beef
- 1 cup Onion , Finely chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic, Finely minced
- 1 can Tomato sauce, 8 oz. can
- 1 can Diced tomatoes, 14.5 oz. can
- 1 can Pinto beans, 15 oz. can, Drained and rinsed
- 1 can Chili beans, 15.5 oz. can
- 2-3 tbsp Taco seasoning, Adjust according to your preference
- 1 tsp Chili powder
- Salt, To taste
- Pepper, To taste
- 2 tbsp Cornstarch , Dissolved in 2 tbsp water
- 1/2 cup Frozen corn
- 2 cups Cheddar cheese, Full fat, Shredded
- 2-3 cups Frito corn chips, Adjust according to your preference
- Heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat.
- Add ground beef, onions, garlic and cook until beef is browned and no longer pink.
- Drain grease, if necessary.
- Transfer this mixture to a crockpot (6 quart or larger).
- Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, pinto beans, chili beans, taco seasoning, chili powder, salt, pepper.
- Mix until combined.
- Cover and cook on Low heat for for 5-6 hours or High heat for 3-4 hours.
- Remove lid and mix in cornstarch slurry, frozen corn and half the cheddar cheese and allow the residual heat to melt and make the chili ooey gooey. This takes about 5-10 minutes.
- Just before serving, sprinkle remaining 1 cup cheddar cheese on top, along with lots of Fritos. Serve immediately! Instead of doing this, you can also serve chili in individual bowls and sprinkle lots of cheddar cheese and Frito chips on top.
- Read all my tips above.
- After the Frito chips are sprinkled on top, this must be served immediately. Leftovers (without Fritos topping) can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days and reheated in the microwave or stovetop. Sprinkle Fritos on top after heating.