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The Diner's Frito Pie with Barbara Cozart's Red Chile

The Diner's Frito Pie with Barbara Cozart's Red Chile

Here's a down-home version of the Southwest classic that's easy and unpretentious and hits the spot - perfect for a meal that's often eaten out of a Frito bag.

Sunset MAY 2002

  • Yield: Makes 6 servings


  • 2 pounds ground lean (7% fat) beef
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • About 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans (optional), rinsed and drained
  • 3 tablespoons ground dried New Mexico chilies or chili powder
  • About 4 1/2 cups Fritos corn chips (15-oz. bag)
  • 6 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded longhorn cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups finely shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 3/4 cup chopped tomato


1. In a 5- to 6-quart pan over medium-high heat, stir ground beef, garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon salt until beef is crumbly and well browned, 6 to 8 minutes.

2. With a large slotted spoon, push beef mixture to one side of pan and tilt pan so liquid runs to opposite side. Stir flour into liquid until well blended, then mix with beef mixture. Add 2 cups water, black beans if using, and dried chilies; stir until mixture boils and thickens, about 8 minutes.

3. Spread about 3/4 cup Fritos in each of six wide, shallow bowls and sprinkle chopped onion equally on top. Divide chili equally among bowls and top with cheese, lettuce, and tomato. Add more salt to taste.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 776
  • Calories from fat: 53%
  • Protein: 44g
  • Fat: 46g
  • Saturated fat: 14g
  • Carbohydrate: 45g
  • Fiber: 3.9g
  • Sodium: 1088mg
  • Cholesterol: 117mg

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The Diner's Frito Pie with Barbara Cozart's Red Chile Recipe