The Pioneer Woman’s Frito Chili Pie

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The Pioneer Woman’s Frito Chili Pie ~ this American classic chili is served up right inside individual bags of Fritos corn chips for a delicious meal that’s also a lot of fun.

This Frito Chili Pie epitomizes the kind of cooking that Ree Drummond showcases on her blog, The Pioneer Woman…down home classic American country cooking.  In fact this recipe comes from a section of recipes she calls Marlboro Man Approved, meaning the dishes are hearty enough for her husband, aka Marlboro Man.  I wanted to make it because it gave me the excuse to buy Fritos.  I love Fritos.

This is a basic chili, and I stayed true to The Pioneer Woman’s recipe except to add a small can of roasted chilies, a bit more chili powder, and some cayenne for a spicy kick.  One of The Pioneer Woman’s trademarks is that she makes unapologetic use of convenience foods in many of her recipes.  Ree serves her chili right in the individual little Frito bags with plastic spoons.  I decided to be a city slicker and use bowls.

The Pioneer Woman does have her detractors, and I, for one, am a little put off by the chaotic quality of her website.  As a visitor you can sometimes feel like you’re being swept up in a roller coaster careening toward fame, or at least a reality series.  It’s a little bit out of control and a little unsettling.  Not the vibe I’m generally looking for when I visit a cooking blog.  Sometimes it even seems like the humorous, free-wheeling, knee-slapping voice that made Ree famous is getting a bit, dare I say…hackneyed?  But whatever you think about her, there’s no denying she’s a force of nature, and her drive is awe-inspiring. The home schooling alone would do me in.

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3.89 from 18 votes

The Pioneer Woman's Frito Chili Pie

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 can 12 - 14 ounce tomato sauce
  • 1 can 10 ounce Ro-tel (diced tomatoes and chilies)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder more To Taste
  • 1 can 14-ounce kidney beans, well drained and rinsed
  • 1 can 14-ounce pinto beans, well drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup masa or corn meal
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 8 Individual Bags Of Fritos
  • Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • Diced Red Onion Optional


  • Brown the meat in a large pot, breaking it apart as you cook, and when it's no longer pink, add the garlic. Cook for a minute or two more.
  • Add tomato sauce, Rotel, salt, oregano, cumin, and chili powder. Bring everything up to a boil, then lower the heat and cover the pan. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Add drained and rinsed beans. Stir to combine, then cover and simmer for another 20 minutes.
  • Stir together the masa with the water until there are no more lumps, then add to the chili. Stir to combine and simmer for a final 10 to 15 minutes.
  • To serve ladle some of the chili into each bag of Fritos, and top with cheese and onion. Alternatively put the Fritos in bowls and top the same way.

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  • Reply
    October 16, 2020 at 11:31 am

    5 stars
    Excellent chili recipe I’ve been making this recipe for about ten years now. I just serve it as a bowl of chili with cornbread on the side. Sprinkle a generous helping of sharp cheddar cheese on top of a steaming bowl and its sure to get a smile.

  • Reply
    November 1, 2011 at 11:30 am

    i can’t help but be envious of ree, but at least she seems to be generous and humble about her new-found fame and fortune. we should all be so lucky. 🙂

  • Reply
    October 30, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    Your blog ate my comments yesterday. 🙁 How tragic. ha ha Hope you are having fun with your daughter! The weather sounds amazing to me. I dream of snow though. I’m just crossing my fingers to see some at our cabin this winter!

    I’m with you on Ree. I used to follow her blog regularly, now I don’t remember the last time I checked it. I met her a couple years ago and she was funny and friendly, but who knows what’s real and what isn’t? I know that the blogging world is full of love/hate relationships with PW. She’s obviously done a great job of carving a niche for herself. She’s either a sharp business woman or she has very sharp people around her. Good for her. If people want to read her writings, that’s their choice. If others aren’t interested, no one will make them read her site. As far as I’m concerned, the best thing about blogging is having so many choices.

    Have a blessed day, Sue! Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

  • Reply
    Kitchen Belleicious
    October 30, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    you know we love our chili pie but I have never tried the PW’s before? She is amazing with anything she cooks though so I need to give it a try- that and your dish looks so phenomenal i know we would love it. Great great blog- be back regularly and following you now

  • Reply
    Taryn (Have Kitchen, Will Feed)
    October 30, 2011 at 3:43 am

    I’m a fan of convenience food, too, but I’ve never tried Frito Pies. Maybe next time my brother comes to visit.

  • Reply
    Veronica Gantley
    October 29, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    It is a bit rainy and cold here in Va. That Freto pie would be very comforting right now. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes
    October 29, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    What great comfort food for the SNOW storm that’s headed our way! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  • Reply
    October 29, 2011 at 2:25 am

    Such a joy visiting with you and scrolling through many of your posts! So much to see and enjoy here! Your recipes look fantastic as does your photography!

    Kindly, Lorraine

  • Reply
    From Beyond My Kitchen Window
    October 29, 2011 at 2:59 am

    I’m also a fan of Fritos. Good looking recipe. I’m going to check out her blog!!

  • Reply
    October 29, 2011 at 1:21 am

    Oh how I love fritos, they remind me of my childhood!!

  • Reply
    Linda A. Thompson
    October 28, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    I love Fritos, too! And I often put them on top of my chili, with some cheese. So I guess I make Frito chili pie in reverse. Who knew? I’ll have to try it this way.

  • Reply
    October 28, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    I had the pleasure of meeting Ree last year, although I had no idea how famous she was about to become. She is very down to earth as is her cooking. Fun recipe to represent her style of cooking.

  • Reply
    October 28, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    Love Ree too. She is such an entertaining blogger.

  • Reply
    October 28, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Enjoyed your post! This dish looks wonderful…I know the cowboys that live with me would enjoy this!

  • Reply
    Mireya @MyHealthyEatingHabits
    October 28, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    I think you’ve made some excellent changes to the recipe to kick it up, and I especially like your city girl use of plates!

  • Reply
    October 28, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Cute post! She’s on the food network now, isn’t she? Don’t know too much about her. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Susan Lindquist
    October 28, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    This is an excellent post! I am intrigued by Ree … can’t spend too much time on her blog, though, as I find it overwhelming … there’s just SO MUCH! She does make scrumptious food, though.

  • Reply
    October 28, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    I agree with the chaotic vibe at her place, but I always find something that looks delicious when I visit. This frito chili pie is great…reminds me of being a kid when we’d get it at the ball park…served in the bag like Ree does. As a matter of fact, it sounds horrible, but we could get it at school sometimes, too. Ha! And now I am craving it…thank you! 😉

  • Reply
    October 28, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    This is a meal that many families love and it is a really great choice to represent the recipes of Ree Drummond. I loved reading the background information you shared with us and I’m really glad you joined the group. You’ve added a lot to our exercise. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  • Reply
    October 28, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    Now that is what I call original; what a great idea,

  • Reply
    October 28, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    I’m not the biggest fan of Ree’s blog, but she seems like a nice down to earth woman and her recipes are excellent. The frito pie looks great, Sue.

  • Reply
    October 28, 2011 at 11:54 am

    I actually met Ree in person last summer and she is just as sweet as she comes across on her blog! Which is always so nice.

    I love the sound of this frito pie. Total guilty pleasure food.