Frito Chili Pie– aka walking tacos – are a great, hearty, beef dinner! They turn ground beef into an easy crock pot or stove top dinner.
Frito Chili Pie is total comfort food! It’s a spiced (but not spicy) chili served over Frito chips and topped with toppings like shredded cheese and sour cream.
Served on a plate, we called it Frito Chili Pie. However, when we served this chili over chips in a bag, we called it Walking Tacos.
I’ve included directions for preparing this chili in the crock pot or on the stove. Either way, this Frito Chili Pie is a delicious, easy dinner that’s super easy to customize!
How To Make Frito Chili Pie
Begin by browning the ground beef and onion in a skillet. Drain the grease and return to skillet.
Add garlic, and cook for 1-2 minutes.
To make in the slow cooker, add ground beef mixture and remaining ingredients to slow cooker insert. Cover, and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
To make on the stove, stir remaining ingredients into cooked ground beef mixture. Cover, and simmer for at least 1 hour.
Ways to customize this chili
One of the great things about this chili is how easy it is to customize it.
- SPICY: If you like spicier chili, use more chili powder, more Tabasco sauce, and use an additional can of tomatoes with chiles in place of the diced tomatoes.
- VEGETARIAN: To make the chili vegetarian, throw in an extra can or two of beans in place of the ground beef. However, you’ll need to use a tablespoon or two of oil to sauté the onion and garlic if you don’t use ground beef.
- You can use lean ground turkey in place of the ground beef.
- Feel free to vary the type of beans. You can use all pinto, all kidney, or even use a can of black beans.
How to make walking tacos
Walking tacos are the fun, portable way to eat chili Frito pie. They were a staple at football games when I was in high school.
To make walking tacos, grab a bag of Fritos and open the top. If you don’t like Fritos, choose Doritos or whatever type of chips you prefer.
Then, add a scoop or so of this chili over the Fritos. Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy straight from the bag.
There are a number of toppings that go well with Frito chili pie. Since it has similar flavors to tacos, your favorite taco toppings are a great place to start.
Some topping ideas include:
- Shredded cheese
- Sour Cream
More Crock Pot Dinner Recipes!
- Slow Cooker Chicken Frito Chili
- Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff
- Slow Cooker Barbecue Chicken Quinoa Chili
- Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Chili
If you’ve tried this Frito chili pie recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below. I love to hear from people who’ve made my recipes!
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Frito Chili Pie
- 1 ½ pounds lean ground beef
- 1 cup finely chopped white onion
- 3 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 15 ounce can tomato sauce1
- 15 ounce can diced tomatoes undrained
- 10 ounce can Ro-tel2 undrained
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground oregano
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1-2 tablespoon chili powder3 more or less to taste
- 1 tablespoon chipotle Tabasco sauce4
- 14 ounce can kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 14 ounce can pinto beans drained and rinsed
- 1 bag of Fritos
- grated sharp cheddar cheese sour cream, lettuce, or any other desired toppings
- Brown ground beef and onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Drain ground beef, and add garlic to ground beef and onion. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add browned ground beef mixture to 5 qt or larger crockpot with tomato sauce, tomatoes, Rotel, salt, oregano, cumin, chili powder, Tabasco, and beans. Stir to combine.
- Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours before serving stir.
- Add tomato sauce, Rotel, salt, oregano, cumin, chili powder, Tabasco, and beans to the browned ground beef. Stir to combine.
- Cover and let simmer, stirring occasionally, for at least 1 hour.
- I like to top my chili with the Fritos so that they stay crunchy, but you can top Fritos with chili. Add any other desired toppings, and enjoy!
- Tomato sauce is simply pureed tomatoes.
- If you can’t find Ro-Tel, any brand of diced tomatoes with green chiles will work.
- I like to use ancho chili powder. It’s a little more milder and smokier than regular chile powder.
- Or regular Tabasco sauce, if you prefer.
- Cook time is for stove top preparation.
- Nutrition values are estimates and are solely for the chili portion.
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Originally published 5/21/12. Updated with new photos and tips 8/19/19.
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Comments & Reviews
This is super yummy. This might a bit too particular but I noticed the diced tomatoes are not mentioned in the actual instructions just ingredients? Thank you
Thank you! No, I appreciate that! I’ve made this recipe SO many times, and I guess I just always read that in there. Thank you!
In the past I’ve been able to add a personal “note” to a recipe that I’ve pinned on Pinterest i.e. this is great, needs more salt, etc. Now that feature is gone. Pinterest says it can’t be used any longer. I loved that feature. Do you know a workaround to this??
Hi! If you edit your pin, you can turn on allow comments. Then you can add a comment or note to any of your pins. If you have questions, please let me know. Hope that helps! =)
Ginger Dennis says
When I was in school (a long time ago) you had the option of the cafeteria or the snack bar. I choose the snack bar and ordered a Frito chili pie. It was a (then a 5 cent bag) opened on the side with canned chili, onions if you wanted them and covered with grated cheese. You ate it out of the bag with a plastic spoon. I think it cost 15 or 20 cents.
So good! Sounds like what they sold at the football games when I was in high school! =)
This brought back images of summer camp, but your Fritos chili pie was much better. Lol
Colleen Sipes says
Hello! This is one of my favorite meals except I usually open a can of chili! LOL! I want to try and make this because it sounds delicious.
Although they hold up well in crispness, I find the Frito’s are way too salty.
You can certainly leave them off and just eat the chili without them.
Can I cut back or omit the Tabasco sauce? I do not like a lot of heat in my food.
Sure! You can cut it back or omit it.
Thanks I think I will try it soon. Looks really good.
I do not know what Ro-tel is – can you please advise and if i cannot get this any suggestions as to what i can use in replacement? Thanks – the recipe sounds like one i would like to try but not sure of that ingredient.
Ro-tel is a national brand of canned tomatoes with green chiles. You can use any brand of canned diced tomatoes with green chiles as a substitute. If you have any other questions, please let me know!
Julie Chesterman says
How many servings does this make?
I’ve never measured it out, but it makes a fair amount. I’m sorry that I can’t give you an exact measurement.
Carol Jean Miranda says
What are u sposed to do w/ corn meal if making in crockpot Your directions were for stove top method when u said to simmer sounds good
Carol Jean Miranda says
If u r making this in crockpot, do u put corn meal and water into crockpot? If so how long to u let it cook. Your instructions for the cornmeal were directed to the stove top method. Sounds like a great dish
Thank you for catching that! You can add the cornmeal in the hour of cooking (on low), and you won’t need to add the water with it. If you find that the cornmeal makes it thicker than you’d like, you can always add in a little extra water at that point.
you stated add cornmeal with no water in the one hour of cooking on low in crockpot ( I assume last hour). if cooking on high would you still add cornmeal same way or if not when would add it. thanks!
Usually, on high it cuts the cooking time in half, but I haven’t tried it with the cornmeal. I would guess that you could add it during the last 30-40 minutes, though.
Joanne T Ferguson says
G’day! used to love Fritos, true!
Your photo brought me back to childhood today too!
Viewed as part of Food Friends Friday Chili Party
One of my favorite things about food is the way that it can bring back memories!! Thanks so much for coming by and for your kind comments!! =)