Frito Cheesy Chili Casserole

Satisfy your cravings with the ultimate comfort food – Frito Cheesy Chili Casserole. This hearty and flavorful dish combines seasoned ground beef, tangy tomato sauce, and gooey melted cheese, all layered with crunchy Fritos for a satisfying texture and taste sensation. Whether you’re hosting a casual gathering or simply craving a cozy meal, this easy-to-make casserole is sure to become a family favorite. Let’s dive into the recipe and discover how to create this deliciously comforting dish!


  • 1 & 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 6 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 15 ounces tomato sauce
  • ½ cup beef stock
  • 9 cups lightly crushed Fritos
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream, for serving
  • Sliced scallions, for serving


  1. Brown the Ground Beef: In a large skillet, brown the ground beef with diced onions over medium-high heat until fully cooked and onions are translucent. Add minced garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds until fragrant. Drain any excess fat.
  2. Season the Beef: Stir in chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, cumin, chipotle powder, and tomato paste. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring until well combined.
  3. Add Sauce: Pour in tomato sauce and beef stock, stirring until fully combined. Bring the mixture to a simmer, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  5. Layer the Casserole: Spread half of the lightly crushed Fritos evenly in the bottom of a greased 9×13-inch baking dish. Spoon half of the chili mixture over the Fritos, then sprinkle half of the shredded cheddar cheese on top. Repeat the layers with the remaining Fritos, chili, and cheese.
  6. Bake: Cover the baking dish with nonstick foil or foil sprayed with cooking spray, placing it spray side down. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, or until heated through and the cheese is melted.
  7. Finish Baking: Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes to allow the cheese to bubble and brown slightly.
  8. Serve: Serve the Frito Cheesy Chili Casserole immediately, garnished with a dollop of sour cream and sliced scallions.
  9. Enjoy: Gather your loved ones and enjoy this deliciously comforting casserole together!

Prep Time: See recipe | Cooking Time: See recipe | Total Time: See recipe | Servings: See recipe

Serving and Storage Tips:

Serving Tips:

  1. Serve Frito Cheesy Chili Casserole hot and fresh from the oven for maximum flavor and gooey cheese goodness.
  2. Garnish each serving with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of sliced scallions for a pop of color and added freshness.
  3. Accompany with a side salad dressed in vinaigrette or a scoop of guacamole for a complete and satisfying meal.
  4. Pair with a refreshing beverage such as iced tea, lemonade, or a cold beer to balance the richness of the casserole.
  5. Offer additional toppings such as diced tomatoes, jalapeños, or avocado slices for customization and extra flavor.
  6. Serve leftovers for lunch the next day, either reheated or cold, for a convenient and delicious meal.
  7. Divide leftovers into individual portions and freeze for quick and easy meals on busy days.
  8. Pack individual servings in microwave-safe containers for a flavorful and filling lunch at work or school.
  9. Enjoy as a hearty brunch option by topping with a fried or poached egg and serving with a side of salsa.
  10. Transform leftovers into nachos by layering Fritos with reheated chili casserole and topping with shredded cheese, then baking until bubbly.
  11. Use leftovers as a filling for tacos, burritos, or quesadillas for a Tex-Mex twist on mealtime.
  12. Layer leftover casserole between slices of bread or buns for a tasty sandwich option.
  13. Top with crushed Fritos and additional cheese for a crunchy and cheesy Frito pie variation.
  14. Serve with a side of pickled jalapeños or hot sauce for those who enjoy an extra kick of heat.
  15. Pack individual servings in a picnic basket for a flavorful and satisfying outdoor meal.

Storage Tips:

  1. Store leftover Frito Cheesy Chili Casserole in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  2. Alternatively, portion leftovers into individual containers for easy grab-and-go meals throughout the week.
  3. To freeze, transfer cooled casserole to a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag, removing as much air as possible before sealing.
  4. Label containers with the date of preparation for easy reference.
  5. When ready to enjoy, thaw frozen casserole overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  6. Reheat thawed casserole in the microwave or oven until heated through.
  7. For optimal texture and flavor, add a sprinkle of shredded cheese on top before reheating.
  8. Store leftover Fritos separately from the casserole to prevent them from becoming soggy during storage.
  9. If reheating individual portions, cover with a damp paper towel to retain moisture and prevent splattering in the microwave.
  10. Discard any leftover casserole that has been left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours to ensure food safety.


  1. Vegetarian Twist: Substitute ground beef with meatless crumbles or black beans for a vegetarian-friendly option.
  2. Spicy Kick: Add diced jalapeños or a dash of hot sauce to the chili mixture for an extra spicy variation.
  3. Loaded Potato Style: Layer cooked and diced potatoes between the Fritos and chili mixture for a loaded potato-inspired casserole.
  4. Buffalo Chicken Flavor: Swap ground beef with shredded cooked chicken tossed in buffalo sauce for a tangy buffalo chicken twist.
  5. Taco Tuesday Version: Mix taco seasoning into the ground beef and top with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and a dollop of sour cream before serving.
  6. Pizza Lover’s Delight: Layer sliced pepperoni and diced bell peppers between the Fritos and chili mixture for a pizza-inspired casserole.
  7. BBQ Beef Variation: Stir barbecue sauce into the ground beef mixture for a smoky barbecue flavor profile.
  8. Tex-Mex Fusion: Add corn kernels, black beans, and diced green chilies for a Tex-Mex-inspired casserole.
  9. Italian-Inspired Option: Substitute chili powder with Italian seasoning and add diced tomatoes and shredded mozzarella cheese for an Italian twist.
  10. Sloppy Joe Style: Replace chili seasoning with sloppy joe seasoning and top with pickles and onions for a sloppy joe-inspired casserole.
  11. Breakfast Casserole Idea: Top with cooked and crumbled breakfast sausage and scrambled eggs for a hearty breakfast casserole.
  12. Mac and Cheese Upgrade: Mix cooked macaroni noodles into the chili mixture and top with additional cheese for a cheesy mac and cheese variation.
  13. Greek-Inspired Twist: Add diced cucumber, black olives, and crumbled feta cheese for a Greek-inspired casserole.
  14. Sweet and Spicy Combo: Mix in a spoonful of honey or brown sugar to the chili mixture for a sweet and spicy flavor profile.
  15. Asian Fusion Flair: Substitute ground beef with ground pork and add soy sauce, ginger, and water chestnuts for an Asian-inspired fusion dish.


  1. Can I use ground turkey instead of ground beef in this recipe? Yes, ground turkey can be used as a leaner alternative to ground beef. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  2. Can I make this recipe ahead of time and refrigerate it before baking? Yes, assemble the casserole ahead of time and refrigerate, then bake when ready to serve. Adjust baking time as needed.
  3. Can I use corn chips or tortilla chips instead of Fritos? Yes, corn chips or tortilla chips can be used as a substitute for Fritos, but the texture and flavor may vary slightly.
  4. Can I add beans to this casserole? Yes, cooked beans such as kidney beans or black beans can be added to the chili mixture for added protein and texture.
  5. How can I make this casserole gluten-free? Use gluten-free Fritos or corn chips and ensure that all other ingredients are gluten-free certified.
  6. Can I freeze leftovers of this casserole? Yes, leftover casserole can be frozen in individual portions for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

Elevate your comfort food game with Frito Cheesy Chili Casserole. This irresistible dish combines savory ground beef, zesty tomato sauce, and crunchy Fritos, all topped with melted cheese for a satisfying meal that’s perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re feeding a crowd or enjoying a cozy night in, this easy-to-make casserole is sure to please. So, gather your ingredients, preheat your oven, and get ready to indulge in a bowlful of comfort and flavor!