Southwest Frito Pie Recipe
Southwest Frito Pie Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Southwest Frito Pie Recipe

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I got a real culture shock when we moved to New Mexico several years ago, but we grew to love the food. Now, back in South Carolina, we still crave New Mexican dishes, and this is one of my go-to favorites.—Janet Scoggins, North Augusta, South Carolina
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Cook: 25 min.
MAKES:6 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Cook: 25 min.
MAKES: 6 servings


  • 2 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained, optional
  • 4-1/2 cups Fritos corn chips
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 6 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • Sour cream and minced fresh cilantro, optional

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (calculated without beans and sour cream): 615 calories, 38g fat (16g saturated fat), 143mg cholesterol, 915mg sodium, 25g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 3g fiber), 43g protein.


  1. In a 6-qt. stockpot, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink, breaking into crumbles; drain. Stir in chili powder, flour, salt and garlic powder until blended. Gradually stir in water and, if desired, beans.
  2. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 12-15 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
  3. To serve, divide chips among six serving bowls. Top with beef mixture, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes and onion. If desired, top with sour cream and cilantro. Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Southwest Frito Pie in Taste of Home August/September 2011, p78

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acedecade3 User ID: 6506322 232081
Reviewed Aug. 31, 2015

"My family has loved this recipe for years and I always serve it to guests and they always rave about it and ask for the recipe! Good job!"

preachermom User ID: 4175916 231034
Reviewed Aug. 10, 2015

"I am a New Mexico native.....this recipe is incredible! A nice taste of home."

peachkay User ID: 7300097 182824
Reviewed Mar. 25, 2014

"I read all the reviews about its blandness and, though I hate when people tweak a recipe and talk endlessly about it in their review, I thought it was warranted. I made sure to cook the onion in with the ground beef, as well as two crushed garlic cloves. I replaced one cup of the water with beef broth and added a bit of taco seasoning to the meat mixture before I cooked off the liquid. (Decreased the chili powder, so it was a trade-off.) That was the ticket--not bland in the slightest. :)"

rmb0715 User ID: 7287464 194419
Reviewed Nov. 27, 2013

"I made this tonight. Very good! I made mine with the pinto beans (I had a 30 oz can that I used). I let the recipe simmer most of the liquid off of it before serving. It was a make again for us!"

efwynne User ID: 4092460 116136
Reviewed Oct. 31, 2013

"My family loves mexican food..but I was alittle disappointed in the taste of this recipe. I added more chili and garlic powder but still it was missing something."

annrms User ID: 2649709 109391
Reviewed Jul. 27, 2013

"Fantastically satisfying!"

VictoriaElaine User ID: 3422096 123215
Reviewed May. 9, 2013

"I really wanted to like this recipe. The chili powder was overpowering & bland. Perhaps it could be made better with a sauce. It was quite dry on top of being blah."

half_pint User ID: 2652510 194418
Reviewed May. 21, 2012

"I just made this for the first time and thought it was fabulous. Very easy and very tasty. I am not a big fan of chili powder so I used much less than called for. I also used southwest-style garlic pinto beans, which had much more flavor than plain pinto beans and significantly added to the taste of the dish. I also recommend using fresh pico de gallo instead of plain tomatoes and onions."

veggiemama User ID: 4640590 190782
Reviewed Nov. 6, 2011 Edited Oct. 3, 2013

"So easy to make and everyone in the family enjoys it. We are vegetarians so I use the Moningstar Farms veggie crumbles instead of ground beef."

crazy4sushi User ID: 5824124 212269
Reviewed Oct. 15, 2011

"Without the toppings this was pretty tasteless and bland. It was better after it was all assembled. I would suggest using a can of tomatoes instead of water. I had to add taco seasoning to get this to taste better. Pretty much turning it into taco meat. But it was better than just the chili powder and garlic powder by themselves. Adding black beans instead of pinto beans will make this more Southwestern."

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