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5 from 2 votes

Frito Pie Mac and Cheese

Frito pie is a popular Southern and Southwestern dish made of chili, cheese and crusted corn chips. It is commonly served in an individual sized bag of Fritos with the chili and cheese poured right on top.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: frito pie, mac and cheese


For the Chili

  • 1 lb ground sirloin
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves minced
  • 3 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 14.5 oz crushed tomatoes

For the bechamel sauce

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp mustard powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 8 oz extra sharp cheddar grated
  • 6 oz pepper jack grated
  • 12 oz elbow macaroni
  • 1 bag Fritos original corn chips


For the Chili:

  • In a deep set saute pan, brown the meat over medium heat with a little bit of olive oil and drain any excess grease. Add the onions and saute 5-6 minutes until soft. Add the minced garlic, and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.
  • Stir in the chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and peppers. Cook for another 30 seconds, and then mix in the stock and tomatoes.
  • Stir to combine and cook on a low boil, uncovered for 20 minutes until thick and most of the liquid has been cook out.
  • While cooking the chili, bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the macaroni according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

For the bechamel sauce:

  • In a medium pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Once almost completely melted whisk in the flour and mustard powder. Cook for a minute to get the raw flour taste out and then slowly whisk in half of the milk.
  • Cook, while constantly whisking for one minute to get any lumps out, then slowly whisk in the remaining milk.
  • Whisking every 30 seconds or so, cook the bechamel for 7-10 minutes until it is thick and coats the back of a wooden spoon. If your milk starts to boil, lower your heat. You do not want to break the sauce. The best test for thickness, is to run your finger against the back of the spoon, if the line you made stays, the sauce is ready.
  • Turn off the heat, and whisk in the cheese a little at a time. Whisk in more, once the previous batch is completely melted.
  • As soon as all the cheese is melted into the bechamel, stir in the macaroni.
  • Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a 9X13 baking dish, pour in your mac and cheese and spread evenly with the back of a wooden spoon.
  • Next layer the chili on top, smoothing the surface, so it is even throughout.
  • Finally, cover with crushed Fritos and bake for 15 minutes to set.
  • Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.


Recipe is a guest post by The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen