I was in my kitchen the other day and gazing at one of my favorite posters ever: a vintage one for the long-gone Casa de Fritos in Disneyland. The reason for having this in my kitchen? Well, I LOVE Disneyland (especially Disney nostalgia) and I LOVE Fritos! I also LOVE my Instant Pot (duh).
So it was only fitting that my next recipe would be a Chili Frito Pie! What’s a Frito Pie? Nothing more than a delicious, thick chili served in an individual bag of Fritos topped with the typical entourage of Mexican fixins and then all mixed together!
Not only is it perfection in a bag, but it’s SUPER fun to eat! The kids (and the young at heart) will adore it as well everyone else you feed it to! It’s the ideal snack/appetizer/meal for parties (whether it be for a kid’s birthday or an adults-only game night). And nothing sets off a chili as well as some crispy, crunchy Fritos can!
So in spirit of Disneyland’s Frito Kid, make this easy, fast and acclaimed classic today!
Here’s How I Made It!:
Let’s start with an onion (bonus points if it has a ponytail)…
…and dice it up.
Then we’ll go to the Instant Pot and add in some vegetable oil…
…and add our onions and cook for a few minutes.
Then, we’ll have some garlic join the party.
Once the onions are slightly browned…
…we’ll add in some ground beef.
Use a spatula to chop it apart so it becomes crumbly, cooks down and becomes lightly browned.
Now it’s time to add in some tomato sauce…
<insert pouring sound effect here>
…and some Ro∗tel (it’s so fancy with that Sheriff’s star in the middle of the “Ro” and the “Tel”)
<insert another pouring sound effect here>
We’ll also add in some taco sauce…
…and dried cilantro.
Mix everything up together real good.
Then, we’ll take a can of red kidney beans…
…we’ll drain ’em and rinse ’em…
…and then we’ll add them to the pot.
Give everything a final good stir, secure the lid and cook at high pressure.
While that fabulous chili’s a-cookin’, we’ll take some masa harina (which is a yellow corn meal and the stuff they use for tamales)…
…and add some to a mixing bowl…
…combined with some hot water.
Mix it together until it thickens up (almost like Cream of Wheat) and, congrats! You’ve just made a masa. Set aside.
Once the chili’s done a-cookin’, take the lid off…
…and give it a stir.
Pour in our masa…
…and stir. This will cause the chili to really thicken up beautifully.
Add in some final (yet critical) seasonings of seasoned salt…
And give it all a good stir and let it cool down a little bit so it’s a warmish-hot temperature.
Now comes the fun part: assembling our Chili Frito Pie! Grab an individual-sized bag of Fritos…
…and, using the bag as our bowl, fill it some a few generous helpings of chili (careful the chili isn’t too hot while doing this or you could burn your hand while holding the bag!)!
Add in some of those fixins’ favorites like some shredded cheese…
…and refried beans (click here to make mine – they’re the bomb!)
Mix it all up together in the bag…
…experience crunchy, Frito Pie happiness…
…and feed it to a friend or loved one!
Don’t feel like eating it out of the Fritos bag? I got you. Just put some in a bowl and top with Fritos!
- 2 lbs of ground beef
- 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 tbsp of crushed garlic
- 8 oz can of tomato sauce
- 10 oz can of Rotel (diced tomatoes and green chiles)
- 1/2 tsp of kosher salt
- 1 tsp of Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp of dried cilantro
- 1 tbsp of cumin
- 1/2 tbsp of chili powder
- 1/4 cup of taco sauce
- 15.5 oz can of red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
- 1/2 cup of masa harina (which is just a finer ground yellow corn meal. If you can’t find the masa harina, you can buy it at the link provided or use regular corn meal instead)
- 1 cup of hot water
- 1 tsp of seasoned salt
- 1 tsp of celery salt
- Snack-size bags of Fritos, bags reserved to serve as bowls
- Shredded Mexican/taco cheese, for topping (optional)
- Sour cream, for topping (optional)
- Guacamole, for topping (optional)
- Refried beans, for topping (optional)
- Add the vegetable oil to the Instant Pot and hit “Sauté” on the “More” or “High” setting until it reads “Hot.” Add in the onions and stir and set for 3-5 minutes until lightly browned and then add in the garlic and cook for another 30-60 seconds.
- Add the ground beef and stir until it cooks down and crumbles and becomes browned in color (it should not be fully cooked yet). Its juices will be released while cooking and this is a good thing – keep them in the pot
- Add in the tomato sauce, Rotel, and taco sauce. Stir well. Now add the kosher salt, Italian seasoning, cumin, chili powder and dried cilantro. Stir again and then add the drained and rinsed beans giving it a final stir
- Secure the lid and select “Pressure Cook” or “Manual” High Pressure for 5 minutes. Follow with a quick release
- While the chili is cooking, make the masa by combining the masa harina (which is like a yellow corn meal, only not quite as coarse) and the hot water. It will thicken up into a Cream of Wheat consistency called masa
- When the chili’s done cooking, add in the masa as well as the seasoned salt and celery salt. Give it a final stir and the chili will thicken significantly and taste ON POINT! Allow it to cool down to a warmish-hot, but not scalding temperature
- Grab that little bag of Fritos, add in some of the slightly cooled chili (allow it to cool a little before serving so the bag isn’t too hot to the touch) and top with some optional shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole and my refried beans. Mix everything in the bag together and eat right out of it! OR you can just serve it in a bowl with the Fritos mixed in! Serve it with my Mexican Street Corn as a terrific companion!
Don’t care for Fritos? That’s fine! This is already an AMAZING chili just on its own! Feel free to alter any spices to your liking and to add another can of beans if you wish!