This delicious, easy Frito Pie is total comfort food, and it's so simple to make ... perfect for busy weeknights and game day parties!
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Have you ever been to a college football game? I attended one or two at my small college back in the day, but to be honest, it was a little underwhelming. My school wasn't exactly known for their football.
So this past fall, I was excited when I had a chance to attend a Southern Methodist game here in Dallas. Not that I follow SMU, but I was finally going to have my big college football experience!
The day started on an ominous note when I made a poor footwear choice. My cute boots were killing my feet, but somehow, I persevered (ha). We made it to Mustang Alley before the game for pregame food and drink—where I tasted a yummy Frito Pie that inspired this recipe—and the day was starting to perk up.
Unfortunately, I never even made it into the game due to another poor sartorial choice. Having never attended a big college game before, I didn't realize there were so many rules about what you can and (more importantly) cannot bring into the stadium. My small crossbody bag was too big, and I got the boot!
I still feel like I got the short end of the stick ... it was so close to being the right size. But to be honest, I wasn't all that upset!
SMU is not my team, I have a funny / embarrassing story to tell, and I probably enjoyed the pregame tailgate more than I would have the game anyway.
When it comes to game day, I'm pretty much all about the food, and this game was no exception. The food options in Mustang Alley were pretty great, and I couldn't wait to recreate that vegetarian Frito Pie as soon as I got home!
How to Make Frito Pie
This Easy Stovetop Frito Pie recipe was inspired by that pre-game tailgate.
I've had baked Frito Pie before, but this quick stovetop version is so much simpler ... and just as tasty! It's perfect for game day or even a quick weeknight meal, and it's a great way to use up leftover chili.
You'll make the chili first, and it's really the only cooking you need to do. I used my Crock Pot Three Bean Chili. The best thing about this recipe is that there's zero hands on cooking time. You just add the ingredients to your crock pot, and it's ready a few hours later. How awesome is that?
You could also try it with my classic Vegetarian Chili, Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Chili (which is really similar to the chili I was served at the tailgate), or my Three Pepper Vegetarian White Bean Chili. Any chili recipe works though, so feel free to use your fave.
Once the chili is ready, it's time to put everything together. Grab a bowl and add a handful of corn chips in the bottom. Top that with a big scoop of your fave chili. Then, add the toppings.
The toppings are definitely my favorite part. I kept things simple here, but feel free to go all out ... in fact, I'd recommend it! Here are some ideas to inspire you:
- Diced Red Onions
- Sliced Green Onions
- Shredded Cheese - I used sharp cheddar, but anything from Monterrey Jack to Pepper Jack would be delish.
- Sour Cream
- Diced Tomatoes
- Shredded Lettuce or Cabbage
- Black Olives
- Diced or Sliced Jalapeños - Fresh and pickled both work.
- Hot Sauce
- Chopped Avocado
- Lime Wedges
- Anything else you'd put on a bowl of chili.
Tip: This recipe is perfect for serving a mixed crowd of eaters. It's totally vegan-friendly, as long as you use one of my vegetarian chili recipes, plain Fritos, and provide a few vegan toppings.
Planning a Party? Set up a Frito Pie Bar!
Are you thinking about serving this vegetarian Frito Pie for game day or another occasion?
Keep the chili warm in a slow cooker and put out the chips and toppings in separate bowls for a build-your-own Frito Pie bar. It's an easy, no fuss way to entertain!
You could also provide individual packs of Fritos. That way, your guests can actually use the bags as bowls, walking taco-style. Bonus: less cleanup later!
To make things extra fun, consider serving Chili Cheese Fritos or even Doritos, along with the classic chips. However you serve it, this easy Frito Pie is sure to be a hit with your guests or on your dinner table!
If you loved this easy recipe, make sure to check out my Tamale Pie and my Mexican Quinoa Casserole, too. And if you're looking for more party food, check out this massive roundup of the best Vegetarian Game Day Recipes.
Easy Frito Pie
- Corn chips
- Your favorite chili (see note for recipe ideas)
- Toppings (such as diced red onions, shredded cheese, sour cream, green onions, sliced olives, avocado, salsa, etc.)
- Fill the bottom of a bowl with corn chips.
- Top with a big scoop (or two) of chili.
- Add your favorite toppings.
- Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Are you a big college fan? What is your favorite tailgating recipe?