Thursday, January 26, 2012

Deep South Eats: Frito Chili Pies with Pioneer Woman's Chili

There is nothing quite like a Frito Chili Pie in the dead of winter to warm and fill you up. I had the pleasure of introducing a good friend of mine to this delicacy and she is totally hooked. The basis of this dish is really your chili. I have tried several different chili recipes to find the one that is perfect for making your "pies". Pioneer Woman's Chili is made for making Frito Chili Pies. It is thick and hearty with no runny sauce to make your Fritos soggy (which is just depressing). The masa is what makes this chili and holds it together. I promise it is worth buying because otherwise you may as well have not made the chili at all.


  • 2 pounds ground beef (lean ground beef is my personal choice)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup masa (a corn flour often found in the ethnic foods section of your grocery store)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
  • Optional add-ins: Can of drained pinto beans, Can of drained kidney beans, Jalapeno seeded and diced
  • Fritos
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Chopped onion


  • Place ground beef and garlic in a large pot. Cook the beef until browned over medium-high heat and drain off the fat.
  • Pour in the tomato sauce followed by the oregano, cumin, cayenne pepper, chili powder, and salt.
  • Stir until well combined. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. If the mixture becomes dry, don't hesitate to add in 1/2 cup of water as needed.
  • After an hour of simmering, place your masa in a small bowl and add 1/2 cup of water. Stir together with a fork. It will resemble a paste.
  • Dump the masa mixture into the chili and stir together. Add the diced tomatoes and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Pile Fritos in a bowl. Top with chili, shredded cheddar and chopped onion and enjoy!
Feel free to serve it straight out of a personal size Frito bag for fun. We often make this and freeze half for a later meal.

Original Recipe from Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook.

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