The Washington Post

Vegetarian Frito Pie

Vegetarian Frito Pie 6.000

Scott Suchman for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Weeknight Vegetarian Jun 6, 2021

This version of the traditional concession-stand meal in the Southwest and Midwest, sometimes called a “walking taco,” takes it out of the bag and into a skillet. Preheating the chili helps keep the chips from getting too soggy on the bottom, and saving some chips to add toward the end keeps them crisp on top, too. Use whatever corn chips you prefer: Fritos (look for lightly salted if you are concerned about sodium), or an organic brand such as RW Garcia. Top with your favorite chili, canned or homemade (see related recipe). And employ whatever combination of toppings you like — or just set them out for your crew to dress their own plate up or down as they see fit.

Active time: 10 mins; Total time: 40 mins

Storage Notes: The Frito pie is best eaten freshly made, but you can refrigerate it (without garnishes) for up to 3 days; rewarm/recrisp under the broiler.

6 - 8

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6-8 servings

  • For the pie
  • One (8.25- to 9.25-ounce) bag corn chips, such as RW Garcia Organic Yellow Corn Chips or Fritos Lightly Salted, divided
  • 2 cups (4 ounces/230 grams) shredded Mexican cheese blend (may substitute 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack or pepper jack plus 1 cup shredded cheddar), divided
  • Two (14.7-ounce) cans (3 1/2 cups) vegetarian chili, such as Amy’s Light in Sodium (medium or spicy) or see related recipe (for Red Lentil Chili), heated
  • For the optional toppings
  • Thinly sliced scallions
  • Flesh of 2 avocados, cubed
  • Sour cream
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • Cholula Chipotle or other hot sauce of your choice
  • Pickled jalapeños

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Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

In a 12-inch cast-iron skillet or 9-by-13-inch casserole dish, evenly spread half the corn chips. Layer with half the cheeses, then the hot chili. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the chili mixture is bubbling, then top with the remaining chips and cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese melts.

Serve hot, with the additions of your (and your guests’) choice of toppings.

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Recipe Source

From Food and Dining Editor Joe Yonan, loosely based on a recipe at

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (1 cup pie, without toppings), based on 8: 184

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 10g 15%

Saturated Fat: 5g 25%

Cholesterol: 27mg 9%

Sodium: 381mg 16%

Total Carbohydrates: 16g 5%

Dietary Fiber: 5g 20%

Sugar: 4g

Protein: 13g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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