Do you have a rough time getting your kids to eat the same thing you do? That won’t be a problem with this delicious Cheesy Frito Chili Casserole recipe!
Looking for a meal that your children will love? If so, give this Frito Chili Casserole a try because it’s meaty, crunchy, and absolutely flavorful, making it a household hit!
If you have picky eaters at home, you know the struggle of trying to make an impressive meal that everyone enjoys. When you prepare this Frito Chili Casserole, you won’t have to worry about that so much because this is an adult-approved, kid-friendly meal sure to satisfy your craving for a beefy, fulfilling meal.
Learn how to prepare this Frito Chili Pie Casserole with ease. You’ll only need a few simple ingredients, including ground beef, shredded cheddar cheese, and Fritos chips, to name a few, and then you’ll have what you need to assemble this meaty, hearty dish that will have you coming back for seconds in no time. You can also make this meal in advance, freeze it in a freezer-safe container, and save it for a busy night when you don’t feel like cooking but want to have something good to eat.
Why You’ll Enjoy This Frito Bake
It’s a simple dish full of flavor that everyone in the household can enjoy.
You can prepare this Frito Chili Pie Casserole with added ingredients, customizing it to your liking by including beans, corn, and other ingredients to it.
Not only does it taste good fresh, but you can also store it in the fridge, reheat it with ease, and enjoy the same great taste of this dish.
Can I use an alternative to ground beef?
Yes, you can use all different types of ground beef alternatives. Both ground turkey and ground chicken are leaner alternatives. If you’re looking for a meatless option, you can use plant-based crumbles as an alternative for the ground beef in this recipe.
What can I do if I don’t have beef stock?
If you don’t have beef stock, use beef bouillon. You can combine it with water and use it in this casserole to get that slightly beefy flavor that it provides.
Does it matter if I use any corn chips?
While it doesn’t matter too much, Fritos tend to hold up well without getting super soggy when combined with the other ingredients. If you want to play it safe, stick with Fritos because other brands of corn chips may get soggy when added to this casserole.
Do I have to use sour cream in this casserole?
No, you can skip the sour cream if you don’t like it. It’s also fine to use plain Greek yogurt as a replacement if you prefer that over sour cream for that slightly tangy flavor that it adds to this dish. You can even use salsa if you’d rather or even queso!
Recipe Notes & Tips
You can expect the Fritos on the edges of this casserole to remain nice and crunchy, with the ones in the center getting a bit soft. Although they get softer, they won’t taste mushy or gross.
If you plan on reheating any leftovers, skip the microwave and cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil, putting it back in the oven to reheat it for several minutes to keep the Fritos from getting soft and mushy.
Feel free to add beans to the meat to beef up your chili a bit. You could use pinto beans or even red kidney beans, whichever you prefer.
Ingredients to Add to the Frito Chili Pie
If you want to add a slightly sweet touch, you can always include some sweet corn in this recipe. When you want to kick up the heat a bit, feel free to add some diced jalapenos or any diced peppers that you personally prefer to give this dish a spicier taste. Some people like to add a few hidden veggies to this dish to get their children to eat them!
How to Store the Frito Chili Pie
Wrap your casserole in aluminum foil and put it in the fridge or remove it from the casserole dish, place it in a food storage container, and then put it in the fridge, where you can keep it fresh for three days. You can also freeze this meal if you’d like to save it for an extended period. If you’re planning to freeze the meal, be sure to use a freezer-safe container to keep the ingredients fresh.
The ultimate in comfort food. The chili is extremely flavorful, the melty cheese adds so much to the dish and the Fritos make it truly addictive.
The Fritos will stay crunchy around the edges of the pan while this cooks. The remaining Fritos do not get mushy but they will soften in the center of the casserole.
Reheating may make the Fritos a little hard, I suggest covering again with foil and baking until warmed through. This will help the Fritos from drying out too much. Also, sitting in the fridge may make it a little soggy too, but leftovers still taste delicious.
Keeps in the fridge for 3 days, freeze any leftovers in a freezer-safe container or freezer foil with a freezer bag for up to 3 months.
Add beans or your favorite seasonings to mix up the chili recipe. Other cheeses that would be good include pepper jack or Mexican blend cheese.
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Frito Cheesy Chili Casserole
- 1 & 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
- 6 tablespoons tomato paste
- 15 ounces tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup beef stock
- 9 cups lightly crushed Fritos
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- sour cream, for serving
- sliced scallions, for serving
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
- In a large skillet, brown and crumble the meat over medium-high with the onions.
- Break up the meat until there is no pink left and the onions appear translucent, stirring occasionally.
- Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Drain any excess fat.
- Add the chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, cumin, chipotle powder, and tomato paste. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring it all together until combined.
- Add the tomato sauce and beef stock, stir until combined.
- Bring to a simmer and cover, simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Add half of the crushed Fritos into the bottom of a greased 9x13 baking dish.
- Add half of the chili evenly over the Fritos, top with half of the cheese. Repeat with another layer.
- Cover with nonstick foil, or spray a piece of foil with cooking spray and place it spray side down on top of the baking dish.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes until warmed through and the cheese is melted.
- Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
- Serve immediately with a dollop of sour cream and sliced scallions.