Frito Pie

Frito pies are well-known in the south, you can create this comfort food at home. Made from Frito chips, chili, cheese, and more. This is perfect for a quick and easy dinner, game night, and for tailgating.

Frito Pie and a bag of Fritos

I didn’t grow up in the South but moved to Texas when I was fifteen. Someone asked me if I wanted a Frito pie. I had no clue. And, if you don’t live in the South, you also may never have heard of it. And honestly, even in the South, not many places serve it. I know you can get one at Jason’s Deli and at Sonic if you ask very nicely.

I was making a batch of my Wendy’s Chili, which is a wonderfully tasty dish, and my follow-up thought was, oh man, I wish I had a Frito pie. That’s when I decided to create this Frito pie recipe.

  • Sonic put its Frito pie inside rolled up flour tortillas and sells them as Frito Wraps. They are very good and you can even make your own!

So, What Is a Frito Pie?

A Frito chili pie is simply a dish of Fritos covered with chili and topped with cheese sauce, chopped onions, and a squirt of mustard. Yes, this pie may be heartburn in the making, but you just can’t beat the crisp saltiness of the Fritos smothered in chili and topped with cheese. While that half back I was in love with in high school is now a fading memory, I can make a Frito pie in my own kitchen any time, and so can you.

  • Frito pies were originally created in Mexico, and today they are very popular in the South and the Midwest. They are also known as walking tacos, Frito boats, or Frito chili pies.

How to Serve Frito Pie

You can serve this Frito chili pie up as a casserole or in individual portions inside the chip bags. Walking Frito pies are great for game nights or some other appropriate gathering. And, no dishes to clean up!

There are two ways to open a chip bag for a walking Frito pie. The easier way is just to open up the top of the bag and fold it over, but the smaller opening makes it a little harder to eat. A better way is to turn the bag on its side and cut along the long edge with a pair of scissors to make an opening that’s nice and big.

Display the filled bags with plenty of forks and napkins and surround them with small dishes of toppings. You could also keep the chili warm in a slow cooker nearby and let your guests go to town.

You can use homemade chili or canned chili (I recommend Wolf brand chili)

Ideas for Frito Pie Toppings

  • Lettuce, sliced jalapenos, and sour cream
  • Tomatoes, onion, and sour cream
  • Sliced hot links (spicy smoked sausage links)
  • Sour cream and banana peppers
  • Salsa
  • Guacamole
  • Sliced black olives
  • Lime wedges
  • Mustard

I would like to know if you live in the South and have tried Frito pie. If so, what do you top yours with? Better yet, share some of your guilty pleasures. 

Frito Pie Recipe

You don’t have to live in the South to fall in love with this Frito pie recipe. It could become one of your secret pleasures.

Frito pie on a fork sitting on the side of a bowl of the pie

Frito Pie Recipe Ingredients

This is what you need to make a classic Frito Pie:

  • Fritos Corn Chips
  • Canned or homemade chili
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Chopped onions

Optional toppings:

  • Sour Cream
  • Jalapeno peppers
  • Mustard
Frito Pie Ingredients

How to Make Frito Pie

  1. Heat the chili in a small pan or in the microwave.
  2. Place Fritos in the bottom of a bowl.
    Fritos in a bowl
  3. Pour the heated chili on top of the Fritos.
    a bowl of Fritos topped with chili
  4. Sprinkle cheese on top.
    a bowl of Fritos topped with chili and cheese
  5. Sprinkle chopped onions on top.
    Frito pie with onions sprinkled on top
  6. Place sour cream, jalapeno slices, and mustard on top if desired.
    sour cream and jalapeno topping on a Frito pie

Do you live in the South? Have you tried Frito Pie before? If so, what do you top yours with? Better yet, share some of your guilty pleasures.

I would never invite someone over for a Frito Pie, but I would sure make one if you hinted you wanted one 😉

Frito pie and various toppings for it

Love pie for dinner? Try these savory pie recipes!

Favorite Comfort Food Recipes

Check out more of my savory pie recipes and the best comfort food recipes here on CopyKat!

Thanks to my friend Denise we have the Frito Bandito!

Frito Pie and a bag of Fritos

Frito Pie

You don't have to live in the South to enjoy a Frito Pie. 
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Frito Pie
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 687kcal


  • 1 cup Fritos corn chips
  • 10 ounces chili
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped onions

Optional Toppings

  • Sour Cream
  • Yellow mustard
  • Jalapeno pepper slices canned or fresh


  • Heat chili in a pan or in the microwave.
  • Place the Fritos corn chips in a bowl.
  • Ladle hot chili on top of the Fritos.
  • Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top.
  • Sprinkle onions over the cheese.
  • Top with sour cream, jalapeno slices, and mustard if desired.


Calories: 687kcal | Carbohydrates: 81g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 680mg | Potassium: 1031mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 2980IU | Vitamin C: 407.4mg | Calcium: 388mg | Iron: 4.3mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Dawn

    The first one I ever had was in Texas at a school carnival. They took an individual bag of Fritos , cut it down the side, poured the chili and cheese and topped it with onions and we just ate them right out of the bag. They served them the same way at the high school football games. YUMMY!!!

  2. Debra

    I live in Albuquerque, NM and this is similar to an authentic Frito pie. Anyone who uses canned items to make this dish is really lost. It is so easy to make without canned ingredients: First start with cooking pinto beans in water (stovetop on simmer for 4 hours, Crockpot 8 hours, pressure cooker 1.25 hours) Salt beans after they are cooked. Second item, cook real Hatch dried red chile (blend red chiles in water, garlic and salt to taste until smoothe; or buy frozen Bueno red chile and season as above). 3rd, Brown hamburger meat drain and add red chile to meat, salt to taste. once all items are cooked, serve into a bowl of Fritos, and top with cheese, tomatoes, onion, sour cream. That’s an authentic Frito Pie from Abq. NM.

    • stephaniemanley

      So when I called this my guilty pleasure part of that is the fact that when you get these out the majority of the time it canned chili. I personally love homemade chili.

  3. Tom

    I have made Frito Pie for years. Putting a can of chili on Fritos is NOT it. Too bad the chili recipe was not included.

    • stephaniemanley

      Tom, here was the recipe that I often use for chili. Here in Texas while it may not be the greatest, don’t ask me why, but 9 out of 10 times I see it served with canned chili.

  4. Amandajones0213

    If you like Frito Pie you might like tamale pie too…. its basically the same concept as Frito Pie except you add a can of tamales. I layer the fritos, then chili and onions and then i put the cut up tamales on top and cover it with cheese and bake it in the oven for 45 minutes at 375 its awesome and my husband loves it!

  5. Rene

    I was born and raised in the south and was surprised at how many people have never heard of Frito pies! YUM!!! I’ve never put mustard on one but will definitely give your version a try. I love to eat Wendy’s chili on a baked potato so I’ll be trying that too. 😀 Also, top some home made fries with chili and cheese. YUM!!! As for the onions, grilled or sauteed!!!! I’m not much for the raw version. I love your website and have followed it for years!

  6. Catred80

    frito pie with 1 lb of ground beef,cut sliced tomato’s,lettuce,chili(wolf brand)american shredded cheese and corn chips..

  7. Catred80

    frito pie with 1 lb of ground beef,cut sliced tomato’s,lettuce,chili(wolf brand)american shredded cheese and corn chips..

  8. Maria Maese

    At our house, it’s fritos, fresh pinto beans, home made chili, cheese, onions, maybe some chopped tomato. No mustard. That’s a new one on me.

      • SANDIE

        i grew up in marshall…about 40 miles from TIMPSON…..i had totally forgotten about the
        frito pkg deal….??omg….i am a child of the 70s…..thanks for reminding me about the slit pkg…i think they did those at like the little stands where you bought over priced sodas and hot dogs…….lol

    • Frann

      In reading through this string – up in the NW – a bag of Fritos, chili, grated cheddar cheese and onions is call a “Belly Buster” – great for camping . . .

  9. Kim

    I’m from West Texas and have never heard of mustard on Frito Pie. However, it sounds good.

    Try putting your frito pie in a flour tortilla and roll it up. I know it sounds really weird, but Sonic sells them like that (called Frito Wraps). They are very good!

  10. Betty Clark

    Have had something similar to this in Jedburgh, Scotland but having no onion or mustard.
    There was a dollop of sour cream on top.
    It is called Pub Food and is DELICIOUS!!!
    Up until last year the hotel was the longest running pub in Scotland!!!

  11. Jaye

    Mustard doesn’t go with it. That’s an Okie thing – that I just learned about yesterday actually, and I’m a Texan (Houston, Austin). I’m assuming the author moved to a part of Texas that was very close to the Oklahoma border then.

    See comment below

    • Stephanie

      Actually I am the author 😉 I have never lived in Oklahoma, nor am I an Okie. I did drive through there once. I live in Houston, Texas. The mustard on the Frito Pie was introduced to me by a native Texan, and you know I just love Frito Pies with mustard, but if you come to my house for a Frito Pie, I won’t make you eat it with mustard!

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