The famous Frito Pie – a generous serving of chili topped with Fritos corn chips and shredded cheddar cheese, then baked until melted and bubbling.
For the Chili:
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 yellow onions, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
- ¼ cup chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 pounds ground beef (85-90% lean)
- 2 (15-ounce) cans dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (28-ounce) can tomato puree
For the Frito Pie:
- 1 (10.25-ounce) bag Fritos corn chips
- 16 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- Make the Chili: Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until it is shimmering. Add the onions, bell pepper, chili powder, cumin, cayenne and ½ teaspoon of the salt. Cook until the vegetables have softened, about 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
- Add the beef and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook, breaking up the beef with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Stir in the beans, diced tomatoes (with their juice), tomato puree and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat so it maintains a slow simmer, cover and cook for 45 minutes.
- Remove the lid and continue to simmer for an additional 45 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
- Assemble the Frito Pie: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Transfer some or all of the chili to a baking dish or individual ramekins. Top with Fritos, pressing them lightly into the chili. Sprinkle cheddar cheese over the top and bake until the cheese is melted and the chili is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with sliced green onions and serve immediately.