Frito Pie: Texas Staple, American Dream

Corn chips — the crunchy, salty fritas invention of San Antonio’s own Gustavo Olquin, repackaged and renamed Fritos® by C.E. Doolin who purchased the original recipe and frying equipment from Olquin way back in 1932 — are a staple in every Texas pantry. Few things pair better with corn chips than warm chili, diced onions, and melted cheddar cheese, a combination found at any high school football stadium throughout the Lone Star State and known to all as Frito Pie.

While there are many variations on this classic, our new favorite is Vianney Rodriguez of Sweet Life Bake’s recipe in her newest cookbook, The Tex-Mex Slow Cooker: 100 Delicious Recipes for Easy Everyday Meals. We love this recipe because it’s easy, affordable, and packed full of flavor. Check it out below and let us know what you think.

Before you start, though, be sure to swing over to Amazon and buy a copy of Vianney's Tex-Mex Slow Cooker cookbook. You'll love the recipes! It's full of great ideas for easy, slow cooked meals, like carne guisada, beer-braised brisket, and ENCHILADA FRIES. Do it. Right now. Go buy a copy. Hurry, mija. The recipe can wait.

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 pounds ground beef
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
10 (1-ounce) bags Fritos corn chips
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup finely diced onion

Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook, taking care to break up the meat with the back of spoon and stirring frequently, until it is fully browned and cooked through. Remove from heat.

Stir in the tomato sauce, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt, and black pepper. Pour the mixture into a slow cooker, cover, and cook on low for 6 hours.

Reduce the setting to warm.

To serve, cut open the tops of each bag of Fritos. Spoon the chili con carne over the Fritos, top each with the cheese and onions, and serve. (This dish can also be served in bowls.)



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