Food & Drink

Make the Ultimate Cowboy Frito Chili Pie At Home

Screengrab via YouTube

There's a rainbow of homemade comfort foods out there, like macaroni and cheese, coconut cake and good old pizza. But few indulgent treats have such a contested history as Frito chili pie.

New Mexicans and Texans both fight over the title of who came up with this deliciously guilty pleasure first. Was it Teresa Hernandez in Santa Fe or Daisy Dean Doolin in San Antonio? We might never know.

In any case, it's hard to find it on the menu unless you are lucky enough to live in Texas or New Mexico. It's made of corn chips smothered in chili and topped off with cheese and onions.

Not to fear, while the two states fight over the origins, you can whip up Frito pie in your own kitchen with some basic ingredients and a bag of corn chips. The geniuses over at Hilah's Texas Kitchen visited a famous cowboy cook to get the real scoop on the chili for this dish.

Ingredients for the Chuckwagon Chili

  • 4 guajillo chilies
  • 2 pounds of ground beef
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large jalapeño, diced
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 8 oz of tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tsp salt


Don't worry if you don't have an open flame to cook your beautiful chili over, you can also use your stove.


Toast your chilies in a dry cast iron skillet. Cool them off then remove the seeds and stem. Chop those chilies up and set aside.

Brown some meat in a large pot. Add in the onion, jalapeño, garlic, tomatoes, and tomato puree. Now add in those mouthwatering southwest seasonings of toasted chilies, paprika, cumin and salt. Simmer your chili for about 45 minutes until all the flavors are blended and the mixture is hot.

Put some Fritos into a dish, ladle over your fresh chili, add some cheese and onions on top and dig in. There's no arguing over a hot bowl of homemade comfort.

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Make the Ultimate Cowboy Frito Chili Pie At Home