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Frito Chili Pie: Essential Comfort Food or Crime Against Nature?

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  • dusty salmans
    Club Member
    • Jul 2019
    • 5

    Well..... way back in the 60's in little ol Larned, KS. There was a Drive up Diner...... Lloyds Drive In Diner. He made what as I remember something called a Frito Pie. Similar to what is being discussed here. His Take was a hamburger concoction with yummy spices (a Coney Dog Chili consistency) with sweet pickle relish. Open bag of Fritos.... pour the "chili" in the bag top off with shredded cheddar, onions.......... my was it delicious!!!!


    • Jim White
      Jim White commented
      Editing a comment
      I'm going to have to think about the sweet pickle relish.

    • Foehn Watts
      Foehn Watts commented
      Editing a comment
      Sweet pickle relish. Like @JimWhite I will need to think about that too.
  • mnavarre
    Club Member
    • Jan 2018
    • 570
    • San Diego

    holehogg I didn't have a recipe but it was something like this:

    1 lb lean ground beef
    1/2 white onion, finely diced
    3 oz tomato paste
    3 tablespoons chili powder (McCormick or Gebhardt's by preference)
    Knorr beef bullion powder, heaping tablespoon.
    granulated garlic, about 2 tsp.
    cumin, about 1 tsp
    oregano, about 1 tbsp.
    coriander, about 1/2 tsp.
    hot sauce to taste. I used a couple teaspoons of Tapatio.
    salt & papper to taste.
    pinch of sugar, just enough to take the acidity of the tomato paste down.

    Sauce the onion until it's starting to soften, brown the grout beef then add the tomato paste and mix it in. Add enough water to dissolve the tomato paste and bullion, and then start seasoning.

    What you're looking for flavor wise is mostly the chili powder and tomato paste. The cumin should be there, but not jump out at you. The heat should have just the slightest of kicks.

    To assemble the bag I used about half of the chips. Crunch the chips a bit then take out about half, layer in a bunch of chili and nacho sauce, add the rest of the chips back, more chili and nacho sauce. Top with a big handful of finely shredded cheddar, diced white onion, pickled Jalapeños and an unhealthy amount of sour cream. Douse in hot sauce.


    • holehogg
      holehogg commented
      Editing a comment
      Sir I appreciate you taking the time to do this and I will use this recipe. Have all the ingredients just not sure of the heat of the chili powder. I have some really hot ones I haven't come across a mild one these parts yet. I'll visit the spice shop up the road and check, haven't been there in a while and my tamarind paste is running low. Thanks again for your effort.

    • holehogg
      holehogg commented
      Editing a comment
      Ground beef 80/20 or 90/10 ?

    • mnavarre
      mnavarre commented
      Editing a comment
      Either will work but I'd lean more toward the 90/10 for this, but really, with the 80/20 you'll just need to get rid of some fat. Or use some flour so the fat makes a roux, we ain't talking' health food here. Just adjust the texture so it's fairly wet, but not runny.
  • Reds Fan 5
    Charter Member
    • Sep 2014
    • 282
    • Western Springs, IL
    • Equipment
      Weber Genesis Gas
      Weber 22" Kettle (black)
      Slow N Sear

      Maverick 732 Redi-Chek

      Kingsford Blue Bag
      Kingsford Professional

      Apple (chunks)
      Mesquite (chunks)
      Hickory (chunks)
      Oak (chunks)

      Beer: Sun King Sunlight Cream Ale; Goose Island 312; Goose Island Green Line; Revolution Anti-Hero IPA; Lagunitas IPA

      Bourbon: Basil Hayden
      Rye: George Dickel
      Cocktail: Manhattan

      Married, one child (son)
      Originally from Indianapolis, IN. Currently live in Chicago's Western Suburbs (near Meathead!)
      Associate Dean at Chicago area university

    This is essential. The walking taco version is also a worthy alternative. I’m in the eat what you like camp so no judgement here anyway.


    • FireMan
      Charter Member
      • Jul 2015
      • 7709
      • Bottom of Winnebago

      Frito chili pie ! Couple of things here: 1. Interesting, I’m going to have to give it a try.
      2. Yes, we are in the Smithsonian or some histerical membership of sumthin. And just think, this may have gotten us over the top! Yessir!


      • Foehn Watts
        Club Member
        • Apr 2019
        • 115
        • Just about anything with smoke and/or grilled is better.

        Since there're couple of other chili recipes up, here's what I call Batchelor Chili; learned if from the husband.
        It's basic, fast to put together, easy to eat and tasty. You can add more heat if desired. It is also good for parties so people can doctor it up with sour cream, onions, hot sauces, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, pico de gallo, etc. And yes it has beans.

        I have never had it over Fritos. But I will soon.

        Batchelor Chili
        1 lb leanish ground beef
        1-3 tablepoons of chili (con carne) seasoning of your choice.
        1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (or more, to taste)
        1/2 tsp granulated garlic
        1/2 tsp onion powder
        Two 28 oz can chili beans (these are just beans with chili seasoning)

        Brown the burger over medium heat in a large cast iron skillet. When finished add the chili powder, cumin, granulated garlic and onion powder; cook briefly then turn the heat down to low.

        Open the beans, drain one. Dump both cans into the meat on the stove. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or so.

        Taste for seasoning. You probably won't need any if the chili powder and beans are salted.

        Eat over bread and cheese, corn bread, on crackers, over rice, with any of the usual fixings as mentioned above: sour cream, onions, hot sauces, lettuce, cheese, tomatos, pico de gallo.

        I like it plain. And I gotta try it over a bag of Fritos. I am prepared for heartburn.


        • FireMan
          FireMan commented
          Editing a comment
          Soon! Over Fritos!

        • Panhead John
          Panhead John commented
          Editing a comment
          FireMan Please have pics for us when you make it!
      • Panhead John
        Club Member
        • Aug 2020
        • 439
        • Houston, Texas
        • I have the following:

          Weber 22” Master Touch Kettle, added a side shelf
          Weber 14” Smokey Mountain Smoker
          SnS For the Kettle
          Set of Grill Grates
          Thermo Pro Remote Dual Probe Thermometer
          Rotisserie For The Kettle
          J. A. Henckels Knives
          Work Sharp E-5 Electric Knife Sharpener
          Char-Broil Instant Read Meat Thermometer

        Jim White Thanks for reminding us about Frito Chili Pie. Tonight was probably the first time I’ve had it in 30 years. And it was good. I’m stuffed and can hardly move. It’s all I can do to lift my Jack and Coke!
        Attached Files
        Last edited by Panhead John; September 26, 2020, 07:39 PM.


        • Foehn Watts
          Foehn Watts commented
          Editing a comment
          Panhead John , finishing up the bowl and still getting the drink in--we know you could do it! :-)

        • Jim White
          Jim White commented
          Editing a comment
          That looks like a fantastic pie! Glad you enjoyed.
      • 58limited
        Club Member
        • Dec 2018
        • 935
        • SE Texas
        • "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." ~Benjamin Franklin

        Damn, now I need to make some good Texas chili and use it for Frito Pies. 25-30 years since having one myself.


        • Panhead John
          Panhead John commented
          Editing a comment
          Don’t forget the carrots!

        • 58limited
          58limited commented
          Editing a comment
          What about raisins?
      • Michael_in_TX
        Club Member
        • Dec 2018
        • 466
        • Texas Gulf Coast
        • Grills:
          Weber 22" Kettle Premium w/Slow N' Sear 2.0
          Pit Barrel Cooker
          W.C. Bradley & Co. Char Kettle CK-115 ~1980s Vintage Grill (inactive)

          Thermopop (Instant Read)
          Thermoworks Smoke

        Look what yall made me go and do....

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        It's like being in third grade again. (Albeit, the Tapatio is an enhancement.) Also, wow, there is nothing remotely healthy about any of this lol.


        • Panhead John
          Panhead John commented
          Editing a comment
          👍 Ha ha ha...... Hey.... Where’s the onions?
          Last edited by Panhead John; September 27, 2020, 03:58 PM.
      • texastweeter
        Club Member
        • Jul 2017
        • 2899
        • Republic of Texas

        wasn't it invented at the Texas state fair, along with the corn dog?


        • Panhead John
          Panhead John commented
          Editing a comment
          Actually, the Pilgrims invented it, shortly after settling in Plymouth Rock. After the Thanksgiving meal they shared with the Indians, they were all marveling at how good the Indians’ chili was. The Pilgrims offered the Indians some of their Fritos in exchange for some of their Chili. One of the Pilgrims got drunk and spilled Fritos into his bowl of chili. Wow, he said! This is great! That’s how Frito Chili
          Pie got started. texastweeter Red Man
          Last edited by Panhead John; September 27, 2020, 07:08 PM.

        • Red Man
          Red Man commented
          Editing a comment
          I’ve got some leftover chili from last night with plenty of beans in it. Maybe I’ll have to give frito pie a try.

        • texastweeter
          texastweeter commented
          Editing a comment
          You guys are terrible Panhead John Red Man



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