Frito Pie or Frito Bake is one of those nostalgic dishes that so many of us had either at home or in school. Ahh, the days of school lunches. Although I am not in school anymore I still remember all those tasty meals. lol. I do, from time to time, make some of those lunchroom meals for my family. This is one of those meals. It might not be the exact replica of those lunch room meals but just the remanence of eating this at school or home gives me all the feels. lol.
Let me share with you how I make this for my family and me.
2 (14oz) cans of chili with or without beans. (to each their own)
1 onion – diced
1 can mild Rotel ( or hot if you prefer)
1/2 tbsp smoked paprika
1/2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tbsp cumin
salt and pepper – to taste
1/2 cup cheddar cheese- grated
1/2 cup Monterey jack cheese – grated ( or you can use just cheddar cheese)
1 (9oz) bag of Frito corn chips ( for nostalgic purposes- use the regular- not the scoops)
- In a large skillet or pot add a bit of oil. not too much. Add the onion and cook until tender.
- Add the chili, Rotel, paprika, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Stir and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
- When done you can either add half the cheese and stir to combine OR you can top with all of the cheese and cover and let stand for 10 minutes to melt the cheese. This part is up to you.
- When ready to serve simply add some corn chips to a plate and top with the chili mixture. You can add whatever toppings you like at this point. The sky is the limit.
- I typically add things to the top of mine like lettuce, tomatoes, olives, sour cream, hot sauce, etc. But you can dress it up as you wish.
- If you are one of those who want more chips to your bite then by all means use the scoops. I prefer the regular corn chips as I like the retro vibe to the dish. It brings back tons of memories. lol.
- You can use chili with beans or if you are not a bean person then you can use the chili with no beans. You can also use the hot and spicy chili to kick up the heat in this dish. We do this from time to time and it is so good.
- You can use all cheddar or mix and match the cheeses that you like such as mozzarella and cheddar, cheddar and Monterey jack, pepper jack and cheddar cheese… so many options.
- You can leave this plain or dress it up.
- If you take this to work or school, keep the chili and the chips separate until ready to eat. Heat up the chili and top it on the chips or just dip the chips in the chili.