You’ll love this Easy Frito Pie Recipe for a family-friendly dinner in a snap! Hearty ground beef with onions, taco seasoning, and enchilada sauce is layered over Fritos, covered with shredded cheese, and baked until bubbly.
A Fast and Festive Family Dinner
Whenever I make any kind of Tex-Mex recipe for dinner, I know my family is going to devour it. You really can’t go wrong with melted cheese, spicy sauces, and dollops of sour cream, right? Well, this recipe for Easy Frito Pie has all of that, and more. Ground beef is cooked with tender canned pinto beans, taco seasoning, fresh onion, and rich red enchilada sauce. It’s the easiest, and tastiest, “chili” recipe ever!
From there, this simple casserole dish is just a matter of layering in cheese and Fritos, and then baking everything until it’s hot and bubbly. This super easy recipe is going to be one of your new favorite weeknight dinner recipes, I promise! It’s so quick and easy to make. To serve, all you have do is pile on all of your favorite toppings, and dinner is done!
What You’ll Need
Here’s what you’ll need to make this Easy Frito Pie Recipe (the exact measurements and full recipe instructions are below in the printable recipe card):
- Ground Beef: You could also use ground turkey if you prefer, or even ground chicken! Leaner ground meats make the casserole less greasy.
- Onion: Dice up some onion; any kind (red, white, sweet, yellow) will do.
- Taco Seasoning Mix: You can use any taco seasoning packet that you like, or make your own taco seasoning blend and use 2-3 tablespoons, or to taste.
- Water: A little water helps create the right consistency.
- Enchilada Sauce: Canned red enchilada sauce adds exceptional flavor!
- Pinto Beans: Use plain pinto beans, or substitute saucy “ranch style” beans. You basically can’t go wrong here!
- Fritos: Classic Fritos corn chips give this casserole body and crunch.
- Shredded Cheese: My favorite cheese for Frito Pie is Mexican blend, but shredded cheddar or colby cheese would also be great.
- Green Onion: A little bit of chopped green onion goes a long way.
- Sour Cream and Guacamole: These two classic toppings add freshness and creaminess to the dish.
How to Make Frito Pie
Assembling this casserole dish is so simple! First, you’ll need to quickly make the ground beef “chili” mixture, and from there, it’s just about layering and baking. The baked casserole is topped with extra Fritos and served with sour cream, green onion, and guacamole.
- Prep the Oven and Baking Dish. To start, preheat your oven to 350ºF. Prepare a 9×13-inch glass baking dish by spraying it with non-stick cooking spray, and set it aside while you cook the beef.
- Make the Beef Mixture. Crumble the ground beef into a large skillet, add the onions, and cook both together over medium heat until the beef is fully browned. Stir often to cook the beef evenly and prevent sticking. Drain off the excess fat, and then stir in the taco seasoning mix and water. Bring to a simmer, and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Finally, add the enchilada sauce and beans.
- Assemble the Casserole. Line the bottom of the baking dish with about 4 cups of the Fritos. Sprinkle a cup of the cheese over the Fritos. Next, evenly spread all of the meat mixture over the chips and cheese. Finally, top with the remaining cheese.
- Bake, Cool, and Top. Bake the assembled casserole at 350ºF for 18-20 minutes until hot and bubbly. Take it out of the oven, and allow it to cool slightly before serving. Sprinkle the top of the casserole with the remaining Fritos.
- Enjoy! Serve the Frito Pie with chopped green onions, sour cream, and guacamole.
Substitutions and Variation Ideas
It’s easy to make this recipe your own! There are so many great substitutions and variations you can try. Here are a few of our favorite substitution and variation ideas:
- Chili Seasoning: Substitute chili seasoning for the taco seasoning, for a subtle twist.
- No Onions: For those who don’t prefer onions, simply leave them out when making this recipe.
- Beans: You can use black beans in this recipe instead of pinto beans, or just omit the beans if you don’t like them!
- Veggies: Stir just about any finely chopped veggies into the meat mixture for a little extra nutrition: spinach, bell peppers, mushrooms, whatever you like!
- Vegetarian: Make a vegetarian Frito Pie by substituting tofu or other meatless crumbles for the beef, or simply by using a vegetable alternative like hashbrown potatoes or chopped caulifower florets.
What Goes with Frito Pie?
When it comes to serving this easy Frito Pie, I like to go with simple sides and a bounty of fresh, colorful toppings. These are all easy options that go perfectly with this fun Tex-Mex dish.
- Broccoli Salad: Creamy, crunchy Broccoli Salad is a wonderful contrast to the hearty, meat-and-cheese layers of Frito pie.
- Coleslaw: This tangy Cilantro Lime Coleslaw is a delicious accompaniment to any spicy dish.
- Corn: Sweet, buttery corn is always a hit, especially this amazing Honey Butter Skillet Corn! It’s a bright, flavorful side dish that’s sure to bring a smile.
- Red or Green Salsa
- Mexican Crema
- Choppped Tomato
- Chopped Lettuce
- Chopped Avocado
- Sliced Black Olives
- Hot Sauce
- Bacon Bits
- Banana Pepper Rings
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
To refrigerate, keep the leftover casserole in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
To reheat, place leftovers in an oven-safe dish and bake at 350ºF until heated through. (Do be aware that the Fritos will become soft, so you may want to add more when reheating the leftovers to get that crunch.)
Can I Freeze This?
I don’t recommend freezing the baked casserole, or even the unbaked assembled casserole, because the Fritos are likely to get so soft and mushy that the casserole is just not as good. However, you can make the beef mixture up to 3 months in advance, and freeze that! Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator, and assemble the next day to bake a fresh Frito pie with ease.
Easy Frito Pie
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 small onion peeled and diced
- 1 package taco seasoning mix
- 2/3 cup water
- 1 can enchilada sauce
- 1 can (15 ounce) pinto beans drained and rinsed
- 1 bag (9.25 ounce) Fritos corn chips divided
- 2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese divided
- 1 green onion chopped
- sour cream for garnish
- prepared guacamole for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Prepare a 9×13-inch glass baking dish by spraying it with non-stick cooking spray.
- Crumble the ground beef into a large skillet. Add the onions and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the beef is fully browned. Drain off the excess fat. Stir in the seasoning mix and water; bring to a simmer and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the enchilada sauce and beans; stir well.
- Pour 4 cups of the Fritos into the bottom of the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with 1 cup of the cheese. Evenly spread the meat mixture over the chips. Top with the remaining cheese.
- Bake the casserole at 350ºF for 18-20 minutes until hot and bubbly. Sprinkle the top of the casserole with the remaining Fritos.
- Cool slightly before serving. Serve with chopped green onions, sour cream, and guacamole.