Easy Crock Pot Frito Chili Pie is soul-warming comfort food that is made with slow-cooked beefy chili, crunchy Fritos corn chips, and melted cheese served over more crunchy Fritos. This hearty recipe is so easy to make using simple ingredients, serves a dinner crowd, and is a fan favorite no matter the occasion!
Slow cooker Frito pie is total comfort food. It’s an American classic originally served in the Frito chip bag, similar to walking tacos, but serving it in a dish is much more practical for family dinners.
You might be wondering what it is exactly. So, let’s dig in.
What is crockpot chili frito pie?
It’s made with a slow-cooked batch of homemade chili. You know, the thick, beefy, flavorful kind, similar to my homemade slow cooker chili recipe, that makes your mouth water just by the aroma.
Then, we melt shredded cheese on top, add some salty crunchy corn chips, and then serve in a bowl on top of even more corn chips!
This easy Frito pie recipe is obviously not a pie, but more like a casserole, or a bowl of chili and chips, if you will. It’s perfect for game day parties, potlucks, and family dinners.
Make the chili in the morning and serve it up with cheese and Frito chips at the end of the day. There’s nothing better to come home to!
Why you’ll love this Crockpot Frito Pie recipe
Year-Round Meal Idea – Make it in the summer for a meal that doesn’t heat up the kitchen. Enjoy it in the winter as a warming bowl of beefy, salty, crunchy comfort food.
Easy & Budget Friendly – Everything you want in a home-cooked, family-friendly meal. Perfect for weeknights and relaxed weekends because there is only minimal effort on your part.
Customizable – As with any chili recipe, you can easily adjust the ingredients in your crock pot frito pie, including the seasonings and spices to suit your preferences.
Equipment you’ll need
Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe, why you need them, and possible substitutions. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card with measurements.
- Ground Beef – Use lean ground beef (90/10), if you can. You don’t need much fat, the slow cooker tenderizes the ground beef and the rest of the ingredients add a ton of flavor.
- Aromatics – Diced onion and minced garlic are the duo that is usually the first layer of flavors that the rest of the chili is built on.
- Bell Peppers – I use both red bell pepper and green bell pepper for the sweet and savory balance. Red bell peppers are much sweeter than green, but you can use whichever you prefer.
- Chili Seasoning – You’ll need 1 packet of store-bought chili seasoning. If you have a homemade blend you like to use, go for it. Taco seasoning also works for a twist!
- Green Chilis – Either Anaheim or Poblano Chilis will work as neither is very hot.
- Beans – Undrained chili beans, drained and rinsed black beans. Chili beans are usually pinto beans that come with extra seasoning and flavor that we want to pour into the crockpot. Black beans don’t, so we want to rinse off the liquid preservative.
- Tomato Sauce – Any will do. Use your favorite, what you’ve got in the pantry, or a homemade sauce.
- Cornstarch – Used to thicken the crock pot frito pie.
- Sugar – This helps to cut through the acid from the tomato sauce, mellowing out the acidity.
- Shredded Cheese – Freshly grated from a block, use something like cheddar, Colby jack, Pepper Jack, or a Mexican blend.
- Fritos Corn Chips – Salty, crispy, and addicting! You’ll need some for the bottom of the bowl when serving, and some in the pot with the chili itself. Make sure they’re fresh. No one wants stale Fritos!
- Optional Toppings – Sour cream, green onions, diced tomatoes, etc.
How to make Crockpot Frito Pie
This section shows you how to make this recipe, with process photos showing the steps to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Step One: Cook the ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat. As it browns, break it apart into crumbles. Once it’s cooked and no longer pink, drain any grease.
- Step Two: Add the beef to the slow cooker along with the onion, garlic, bell peppers, chili seasoning, green chiles, beans, tomato sauce, cornstarch, and sugar. Stir to make sure everything is evenly distributed throughout the pot. Place the lid on top.
- Step Three: Cook on LOW for 4-6 hours. Just before serving, stir in 1 cup of shredded cheese and top with half of the corn chips. Top that with the remaining cheese and place the lid back on just until the cheese melts.
- Step Four: To serve it, lay some corn chips in the bottom of your serving bowl, top with a scoop of chili, then add your favorite toppings. Enjoy!
What to serve with Crock Pot Frito Pie
This doesn’t need much to complete it. I’d say if you’re looking for a vegetable side dish, go with an easy chopped veggie side salad.
Cornbread is also a classic pairing with any kind of chili and I have a great green chile corn casserole that I use in much the same way.
Tips & Suggestions 🧀
- To make it spicier, add diced jalapeno or cayenne pepper. You can also serve it with pickled sliced jalapenos as a topping.
- Layering is important when serving it. You want to make sure you get a bit of everything in every bite!
- Have an array of toppings for people to choose from. Set out little bowls of green onions, black olives, sour cream, extra cheese, sliced jalapenos, etc. That way you don’t have to worry about what other people want, they can do it themselves.
- For a lighter version, use ground turkey or ground chicken for the chili.
- You can also substitute the Fritos with any type of corn chip. Even Doritos! If you like a spicier chip, go for it.
How to reheat and store Crockpot Frito Pie
How to store leftovers
Always make sure to completely cool it first, then store it in an airtight container.
How long will slow cooker Frito pie last in the fridge?
You can enjoy leftovers for up to 4 days when kept refrigerated.
Can I freeze Frito pie?
You can freeze just the chili part of it. If you freeze the assembled pie, once thawed the corn chips will have a mushy, funny texture.
Keep the beef chili in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to serve, thaw in the fridge overnight, then add the cheese and Fritos before reheating.
How to reheat it
Reheat leftover chili on the stove over medium heat until heated through.
Where did Frito pie originate?
To be honest, no one really knows. People in New Mexico claim it as theirs, as do folks in Texas. Some even say it was invented by the Frito company itself. Needless to say, it’s definitely an American-made recipe!
Can I make vegetarian Frito pie?
For sure! Instead of ground beef ramp up the amount of beans you use and load it up with mushrooms if you’d like.
Can I make this easy Frito pie recipe on the stovetop instead?
Absolutely. Brown the meat and aromatics in a large skillet. If you have a cast-iron skillet use it so it can be transferred directly into the stove.
Then, add the remaining ingredients, including shredded cheddar and Fritos. Bake it in the oven at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Slow Cooker Frito Pie
Need more crockpot ground beef recipes? Try these:
Click here for my entire collection of slow cooker recipes.