Southwest Frito Pie

Cover Recipe- Southwestern Frito Pie, Taste of Home: Spring 2013

Today’s cover recipe comes from one of Taste of Home‘s little checkout stand magazines from Spring 2013: Southwestern Frito Pie.  These smaller magazines are the ones that you spot as you’re at the checkout stand in the grocery store.  Taste of Home publishes this one full of recipe cards that are meant to cut-out and keep.  The focus here is on Tasty Meals that you can make in 30 Minutes or Less.  This is a very popular concept for busy families!  The write-up inside points out the convenience of picking up Fast Food.  But they also share that it’s possible (and better for your family) to make great meals in a short amount of time.  Skip the drive thru!

The magazine offers 78 quick and delicious recipes- all favorites send in from cooks across the country.  They’re meant to be family-friendly meals and treats.  Some of the quick dishes offer ingredients within the recipe that utilize canned goods, frozen products and instant rice.  It’s not my usual style of cooking, but I understand how folks need to go that route sometimes in order to get meals on the table in a timely fashion.  It’s also a better way to go than bringing home fast food.  Read my notes below to see what I thought of the recipe.

Print Recipe

Southwest Frito Pie

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 30 min

Cook Time: 20 min


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
4 1/2 cups corn chips
2 cups shredded lettuce
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup chopped tomatoes
6 tablespoons finely chopped onion
sour cream and minced fresh cilantro, optional


1. In a Dutch oven, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in the chili powder, flour, salt and garlic powder until blended; gradually stir in water.

2. Add the beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 12 to 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; garnish with sour cream and cilantro, if desired.


*I used the 90% lean ground beef for this recipe, but I wouldn't recommend using any leaner than that. You definitely don't want your ground beef to be dry.
*My family does not like raw onion, so I cooked the onion along with the beef.
*I don't buy low-sodium beans because they tend to be pretty flavorless, so I recommend you don't either.
*I used Fritos.
*Iceberg lettuce isn't great in a salad, but it's nice in Mexican food because it has crunch to it.
*Sharp cheddar will give you the most flavor in your cheese.

*I added fresh avocado on top.

Source:  Taste of Home

The results:

I must admit that my family raved and raved about this recipe. This is the sort of food that they prefer (over my usual grilled chicken, veggies and rice in my never-ending attempt to serve healthy food), but they really did love this recipe for a change. Who doesn’t love a taco-style meal with added Fritos for crunch? It was good stuff.

Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?

I’d say, “Yes!” It’s definitely family-friendly, the meal came together very easily and it is the sort of meal that each family member can assemble on their own (adding their own desired fixings). Add avocado to make it even more appealing. Add additional lettuce to make it more salad-like.