Red Chile Frito Pie

If you are from anywhere other than New Mexico, then you are probably used to what us New Mexicans call Texas chili, which is a tomato based meat and bean stew. Here in New Mexico, we use New Mexican red chile (notice the difference in the ‘e’ at the end as opposed to ending in an ‘I’) powder to make this delicious dish. This is my best friend’s favorite meal, and I tend to make this recipe at least twice a month. Usually, you can find red chile powder in the Hispanic aisle or produce department in your local grocery store. If you aren’t able to find it, you can get it on Amazon in Med-Hot or extra hot. If you are new to chile, I would suggest starting with the mildest you can find and build up from there, as it can be a bit spicy if you are not used to it.

Red Chile Frito Pie
Red Chile Frito Pie


2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 tablespoons white flour

4 tablespoons red chile powder

2 cups of water

Salt to taste

Garlic powder to taste

Fresh ground black pepper to taste

20 ounces of your favorite ground meat (I always use lean turkey)

2 cans of your favorite pinto beans or 4 cups homemade beans

1 9.75 – 10 oz bag of Frito lay Fritos

Optional Toppings

Shredded cheddar cheese

Sour cream

Cut lettuce

Chopped tomatoes

Chopped onions


1. Heat vegetable oil in a dutch oven or sauce pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, stir in the flour and stir in completely. Cook for a few minutes to get rid of the rawness of the flour, until it starts to brown.

2. Mix in the red chile powder with the flour and let it cook until it starts to smoke. When you see the smoke, pour in the water and whisk the mixture until it smooth.

3. Stir in the beans and their liquid into the red chile and turn the heat to medium-low to start to simmer.

4. In a separate frying pan brown the ground meat, seasoned with salt, garlic powder, and ground black pepper.

5. Mix the browned ground meat into the chile and bean mixture and continue to simmer. Season chile with salt and garlic powder to taste.

6. Pour fritos into a bowl and spoon chile mixture over them. Top with any of the optional toppings you choose.

7. Enjoy this delicious meal

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