Delicious Frito Chili Pie Recipe for Game Night

Welcome, my fellow food enthusiasts! Today I am thrilled to share with you a delectable recipe that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving for more. This recipe is not just any ordinary dish – it’s the iconic Hay Stacks, also known as Frito Chili Pie, that promises to take your dining experience to the next level.

Have you ever heard of a savory, crispy Frito pie that’s loaded with ground beef, homemade chili sauce, shredded cheese, and topped with tangy sour cream, chopped onions and tomatoes? Well then, my friends, you are in for a treat! This concoction is everything a comfort meal should be – easy to prepare, packed with flavors and utterly satisfying.

Nowadays, food trends are constantly changing like the weather; but one thing is for certain – this classic dish still remains relevant and loved by many all around the world. So why not indulge yourself in a timeless recipe that’s sure to impress your family and guests while filling up your belly?

So grab your apron and let’s get cooking! Trust me when I say this – even if you’ve never tried Frito Chili Pie before – after following this recipe, you’ll be hooked!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Hay Stacks (Aka Frito Chili Pie)
Hay Stacks (Aka Frito Chili Pie)

Ladies and gentlemen, hold on to your hats and get ready to hop on the flavor train. I present to you the Hay Stacks (also known as Frito chili pie), a crowd-pleaser that will make you fall in love with it at the first bite. This dish is like a symphony of flavors, each ingredient complementing the other and creating a harmonious balance that will set your tastebuds ablaze.

Are you a fan of Tex-Mex cuisine? Then, this dish is exactly what you need in your life right now. It’s made up of layers of Fritos corn chips topped with a combination of homemade chili cheese, succulent ground beef, sour cream, and shredded cheddar cheese. You can adjust the heat level according to your preference by adding some red chile or tweaking the seasoning.

But I know what you’re thinking: “Is it healthy?” Well, let’s be honest here. This dish isn’t exactly your go-to meal if you’re looking for something light and healthy. But trust me when I say this – once you start digging into those layers of goodness, all those thoughts of calorie counting will vanish into thin air.

Not convinced yet? Let me tell you about the versatility and convenience Hay Stacks provide. These stacks are perfect for any occasion – whether it’s a game-night with friends or a quick dinner for your family after a long day at work. You can even pack them up as walking tacos or take them to picnics or potlucks.

So ditch your ideas about boring casserole dishes and dive into the world of deliciousness with Hay Stacks. Trust me; it’s one recipe that is worth trying!

Ingredient List

 A heaping scoop of Fritos is the foundation of this epic meal!
A heaping scoop of Fritos is the foundation of this epic meal!

Here are the ingredients you will need for this stomach-warming and easy-to-make Hay Stacks (aka Frito Chili Pie) recipe:

  • 1 bag of corn chips, such as Fritos®
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 can (15 ounces) of chili or homemade chili (if you have)
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese, cheddar or Mexican blend
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • Shredded lettuce – enough to taste or as a topping
  • Sour cream – for topping
  • Hot sauce – if you want to add some heat

You can easily find all these ingredients in any grocery store, and most likely already have them in your kitchen pantry. If you want to make this recipe healthier, I suggest choosing low-fat ground beef and baked corn chips.

The Recipe How-To

 Melt-in-your-mouth cheesy goodness- need I say more?
Melt-in-your-mouth cheesy goodness- need I say more?

Step 1: Cook and Season the Ground Beef

To start making these hay stacks (aka Frito chili pie), I always cook the ground beef with onions until the meat is no longer pink. I then add homemade chili or canned chili along with red chile powder to the pan for an added kick. Once heated through, set the mixture aside.

Pro tip: You can also use turkey or chicken instead of ground beef for a healthier option.

Step 2: Crush the Fritos Corn Chips

Grab a large bag of corn chips such as Fritos, open it, and crush up about half of the bag into small pieces. The chips will serve as the base of your dish and will provide that signature crunch with every bite.

Step 3: Layer the Ingredients in a Casserole Dish

In a casserole dish, layer half of the crushed Fritos on the bottom. Then pour half of your chili-beef mixture over the Fritos. Add another layer of Fritos chips and then add shredded cheese over it. Repeat these steps by adding remaining chili mixture over shredded cheese and lastly, top off with the remaining crushed Fritos.

Pro tip: You can use any type of shredded cheese you prefer such as cheddar cheese or Mexican blend cheese.

Step 4: Bake in Preheated Oven

Preheat your oven to 350° F (175° C). Cover your casserole dish with foil so that it cooks evenly throughout. Bake it for around 20-30 minutes until it’s heated through and bubbly throughout.

Step 5: Serve with Toppings

Once done baking, you can enjoy this iconic Tex-Mex dish immediately. Serve it alongside toppings such as sour cream, chopped tomato, shredded lettuce, green onions or avocado if desired.

Enjoy making these easy-to-prepare hay stacks (aka Frito chili pie) recipe that can be prepared ahead of time for dinner tonight!

Substitutions and Variations

 Get ready to dig in because these Hay Stacks don't mess around!
Get ready to dig in because these Hay Stacks don’t mess around!

Let me tell you, sometimes it’s hard to find all the ingredients for a recipe, but worry not! I have some suggestions on substitutions and variations for this Hay Stacks recipe.

Firstly, if you’re not into corn chips, why not substitute them with thinly sliced potatoes? The result will be crispy and delicious.

In case you don’t have ground beef, don’t panic. You can use ground turkey, chicken, or even veggie crumbles. It can add a different texture and flavor to your Hay Stacks recipe.

If you prefer a spice kick in your meal, try adding diced jalapeño peppers while cooking the meat. You could also season it with any chili pepper of your choice or add some hot sauce on top.

For an even healthier option, switch the sour cream for plain Greek yogurt. If you’re lactose intolerant, try vegan sour cream or vegan cheese alternatives. Using these substitutes give it not only a creamy texture but also a tangy taste.

Additionally, if you’re feeling creative, try out these variations:

– Frito salad: Turn your Hay Stacks into a taco salad by topping it with chopped lettuce and tomato instead of using chips.

– Frito casserole: Layer the ingredients in a baking dish instead of individual bowls and bake it off in the oven until golden brown.

– Chili cheese wrap: Wrap leftover Frito chili in a tortilla with shredded cheese and heat it up for another meal.

– South-of-the-mouth Hay Stacks: Replace the chili with red chile; this variation is spicy but oh so flavorful.

If you’re looking for more inspiration to mix up your Tex-Mex fare repertoire, Pioneer Woman has an amazing Frito casserole recipe that’s worth trying out!

Serving and Pairing

 Just when you thought chili couldn't get any better...we added Fritos!
Just when you thought chili couldn’t get any better…we added Fritos!

I must admit, Hay Stacks (also known as Frito Chili Pie) is a dish that’s perfect for any time of day! Whether it’s the middle of the night or early in the morning, this hearty and filling meal will keep you satisfied for hours.

One popular way of serving Hay Stacks is by layering the corn chips, homemade chili, cheese, and sour cream on a plate. The ingredients are all mixed together and then topped with chopped onions, lettuce, and chopped tomatoes. This makes one satisfying taco salad that is not only scrumptious but also quick and easy to make.

If you’re looking to pair this meal with some refreshing beverages, I’d suggest lemonade or iced tea. Both drinks complement this dish well and help balance out the spices in the homemade chili. You could also try something a little different like a raspberry lemonade or even a fruity iced tea.

Alternatively, you could also serve these hay stacks alongside some other Tex-Mex dishes like quesadillas or taquitos. If you want to go all out, why not make a Frito casserole recipe? Pioneer Woman’s chilli cheese Fritos one is sure to please any crowd.

Overall, whether you’re having a laid-back family dinner or hosting a party with friends, Hay Stacks is a versatile dish that pairs well with any occasion. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavors and combinations- after all, cooking is all about having fun and being creative!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Corn chips, chili and cheese? Yes, please!
Corn chips, chili and cheese? Yes, please!

When it comes to make-ahead and storing, the Hay Stacks aka Frito Chili Pie recipe is a real lifesaver. This dish is perfect for preparing in advance, whether you’re cooking up for a busy weeknight dinner or prepping for a potluck.

You can easily make the chili and the Frito mix ahead of time and store them in separate containers. Then, when you’re ready to serve, you can simply reheat them in the microwave or on the stovetop, depending on your preference.

To store leftovers, let your Hay Stacks cool at room temperature before transferring them to an airtight container. You can keep it in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze it for up to 3 months. Just be sure to thaw and reheat properly before serving.

If you want to reheat your Hay Stacks, I recommend doing it on low heat until warmed through. The Fritos won’t stay crispy upon reheating, but it will still taste great. Top with fresh sour cream, shredded cheese, chopped onion, lettuce and tomatoes.

Don’t forget to save some extra Fritos aside instead of mixing them with chili and cheese so that you can sprinkle some on top of reheated leftovers before serving.

Trust me– this dish just gets better with time!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Don't even think about eating this one with utensils- get your hands dirty!
Don’t even think about eating this one with utensils- get your hands dirty!

As a seasoned culinary explorer, I’ve learned a few tips and tricks over the years when it comes to perfecting a recipe. Here are some recommendations to take your Hay Stacks (aka Frito Chili Pie) to the next level:

– Crush those Fritos with abandon: Don’t be shy with crushing those Fritos! The finer they are, the better they will meld with the chili and toppings. I always opt for the classic salty corn chip version, but feel free to try this recipe with different chip variations too.

– Opt for homemade chili: While store-bought chili does in a pinch, homemade chili will make all the difference in this recipe. I recommend making a big batch of your favorite chili recipe and freezing leftovers for future Frito Chili Pie-making sessions.

– Top with fresh ingredients: Don’t skip out on topping your Hay Stacks with fresh ingredients like chopped onion, tomato, and lettuce. These ingredients provide a necessary crunch and burst of acidity to balance out the rich flavors of this dish. Plus, adding a dollop of sour cream never hurts!

– Don’t be afraid to mix things up: Experiment with different variations of Hay Stacks! Add ground turkey instead of beef or swap out Fritos for corn chips. You can even try layering your Hay Stacks into an easy-to-make casserole.

Following these tips will allow you to make the best Frito Chili Pie ever! Just remember, there’s no right or wrong way to make this dish; it’s all about personal preference, so tweak as necessary until you find your perfect combination.


Now that you have all the details for making the mouthwatering Hay Stacks, you might still have some lingering questions. So, let us take a quick look at some of the burning questions that people commonly ask about this exciting recipe so that you can cook it like a pro. In this FAQ section, we will go through some of the commonly asked questions, including those about substitutions, making ahead, reheating, and many more.

Is Frito pie and walking taco the same thing?

It’s an interesting fact that Frito chili pie and walking tacos have very similar ingredients. Both involve chili, diced onion, corn chips, and shredded cheddar cheese. However, the only thing that sets them apart is how they are served. Frito chili pie is typically served on a plate while walking tacos are eaten directly from a bag of corn chips.

Is Frito chili pie a Texas thing?

Frito pie is a popular dish that has caused some controversy over its origin. Anthony Bourdain referred to it as “warm crap in a bag” in a 2013 episode of his CNN series Parts Unknown. He also attributed its origin to Texas, which has been disputed by New Mexicans who also claim to have created the dish.

What is Sonic Frito chili pie?

Experience the famous local delicacy of crispy FRITOS® smothered with our special chili and gooey cheddar cheese in every bite.

Is Frito chili pie a southern thing?

The United States is home to a dish that enjoys popularity in the Midwest, Southeast and Southwest regions. This dish is known as Frito pie and its three main ingredients are chili, cheese and corn chips, which are typically Fritos.

Bottom Line


In conclusion, if you’re a foodie who loves comfort food and wants to switch up your dinner routine, then you’ve got to try this Hay Stacks (aka Frito Chili Pie) recipe. It’s easy, quick, and perfect for those busy weeknights when you don’t have time to make a complicated meal. Plus, its versatility leaves room for creativity with variations that fit your personal style.

With just a few simple ingredients such as corn chips, chili, ground beef, and cheese, you can create a mouth-watering meal that will satisfy any hunger craving. Whether it’s for a family dinner or get-together with friends, this recipe is sure to impress and become a cherished favorite.

I strongly recommend serving Hay Stacks with lettuce, chopped tomatoes, onions and sour cream so that everyone can build their own personalized Frito chili pie creation! The possibilities are endless with this delicious recipe – imagine the twist of adding your favorite toppings like avocado or guacamole? What about using different types of cheese for creative texture contrast? Or even experimenting with different flavors of chili!

In summary, if you’re looking for a fun twist on classic comfort food, then Hay Stacks (aka Frito Chili Pie) is the way to go. This recipe is guaranteed to win over even the hardest-to-please palates with its bold flavors and endless possibilities. Give it a try and let me know how it turned out – I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!

Hay Stacks (Aka Frito Chili Pie)

Hay Stacks (Aka Frito Chili Pie) Recipe

A simple, quick meal, that will fill the growing boys quickly. I make this for small group get togethers.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 1278.5 kcal


  • 1 (16 ounce) bag corn chips (Fritos)
  • 1 (32 ounce) jar bush's chili (beans or no beans it's you choice)
  • 8 ounces shredded lettuce
  • 12 ounces shredded cheese (your favorite)
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 (8 ounce) container sour cream


  • Heat the Chili till hot.
  • place a handful of Frito's in bowl, cover with Chili about two tablespoons, small handful of cheese, lettuce, tomatoe, and onion, add a spoonful of sour cream.
  • serve and enjoy.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 602gCalories: 1278.5kcalCarbohydrates: 113.9gProtein: 39.8gFat: 78.3gSaturated Fat: 30.4gCholesterol: 119.6mgSodium: 2763.2mgFiber: 17.6gSugar: 6.9g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Beans, Easy, Inexpensive, Lunch, Meat
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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