Looking for an easy, hearty, taco bake with Fritos or taco casserole recipe? This Frito Casserole with Fresh Guacamole must be on your radar. This Frito casserole is full of delicious taco flavors and topped with everyone's favorite corn chip.
A healthy dollop of fresh guacamole on top of this Frito taco casserole, and you've got the perfect dish for Taco Tuesday or any other night for that matter! This taco bake with Fritos is always a big hit!
Frito Pie Casserole with Fresh Guacamole
I'm a Fritos kinda girl. I said it and I'm not taking it back. I'll eat Fritos any time of the day, but when I can pair them with this homemade casserole, it's one of my favorite textures.
For me, this taco bake with Fritos reminds me of a giant bowl of chili combined with tasty taco flavors. Or maybe a burrito in casserole form. Either way, I love that it's simple and make and that it easily feeds a crowd, too.
There's nothing quite like scooping out a big helping of this taco casserole recipe to enjoy, all on your own. I love to add in a bit more salsa or top with sour cream and guacamole as well but that's entirely up to you.
How Chili, Tacos, and Fritos Came Together for Frito Casserole
This Frito casserole is made up of two distinct parts. You have the taco/chili filling and the Frito topping; both of which are combined to create this taco bake with Fritos. Without these main ingredients, we'd never have this delicious dish. So where did this Frito casserole, also called Frito Pie come from?
Like many foods throughout history, the exact origin of Frito Pie is not clearly known. Most food historians believe that it was created somewhere in Mexico before making its way to other countries like the USA, although even that is not entirely clear.
The first known recipe using Fritos with chili was published in Texas in 1949. Many believe it was invented by Daisy Doolin, the founder of Frito Corporation's mother and the first person to use Fritos as an ingredient in a dish.
Another theory is that Doolin's executive secretary, Mary Livingston. The Frito-Lay company itself points to Nell Morris as the creator of Frito Pie. She joined the company in the late 1950s and helped create an official cookbook that contained the signature dish.
While the history of Frito Pie remains a bit murky, one thing is crystal clear. It's delicious. For this Frito casserole, I took the classic flavors of the Frito Pie and married them with the sensibilities of tacos to create a Frito taco casserole that tastes a bit like a gigantic burrito.
It's delicious, and everyone always loves it.
Is Frito pie a southern thing?
Typically, you'll find this type of taco casserole more in the southern states or even the Midwest. (and they've even adapted this recipe to call it a walking taco, which is such a crazy fun dish, too!)
Even though it's popular in the south, this doesn't mean that you can't make it. I promise you that you're going to love the ease of this recipe so much that you'll be adding this to your meal planning rotation in the very near future.
What goes with this taco bake with Fritos?
While this Frito taco casserole is a meal in itself, you can always add other side dishes or options to it, too. This Broccoli Salad is a great way to add in some greens or you can have this recipe for Grandma's Fruit Salad as a nice and refreshing dessert as well.
Can you make Frito pie casserole with canned chili?
You can...but trust me when I say that adding in the ingredients separately is so much better. The good news is that this recipe isn't a lot of work and it's totally worth it once you have your first bite.
Ingredients Needed to Make Frito Casserole
Just gather up the list of ingredients below to get started! It's an easy list of ingredients, using ingredients that are all readily available at the store. They're easy to find and easy to transform into this delicious recipe.
- ground beef, ground pork or ground turkey will work and work well
- yellow onion
- taco seasoning
- enchilada sauce
- black beans
- fresh jalapenos
- Frito corn chips
- shredded Mexican cheese or cheddar cheese
- refried beans
- sour cream
- lettuce tomatoes
- bell peppers
- green onions
Don't forget that you're going to want to whip up some fresh guacamole to go along with this tasty taco dish!
Ingredients needed to make homemade guacamole
Store-bought guacamole is fine but homemade is always better. And as you can see, the ingredient list for this guac is just as easy as the list of ingredients for the Frito taco casserole.
Our ultimate guacamole recipe is even better if you have more time but this s the recipe I use when I am in a hurry. Again, everything you need will always be found at your local grocery store with ease.
- white onion
- salt & pepper
How to make Frito Chili Pie Casserole
Making casseroles are pretty simple but there are a few tips to keep in mind that is certain to be helpful!
Brown the beef and onions first
Use a skillet and cook up the beef over medium high heat until browned and the onions until translucent. Make certain to drain off any excess grease.
Adding in the taco seasoning
You're going to be adding the taco seasoning and water directly to the skillet where you cooked the beef and onions so this is why it's important to drain off the excess grease.
Let the flavors simmer
Be certain to turn the heat to low and let beef mixture simmer as this helps to thicken up the ingredients a bit and give a nice flavoring, too.
Adding to the casserole dish
You don't need to spray baking dish with cooking spray before adding because of the natural grease from the beef. Just make certain that you spread the mixture out evenly once added and preheat oven.
Layer on the Fritos and cheese
Don't be stingy here! You can follow the recipe measurements or have a hay day and load up your chili cheese fritos!
How to make homemade guacamole
While the Frito casserole is baking in the oven, it's the perfect time to make your guacamole from scratch. As I mentioned, I have my favorite guacamole recipe or when in a rush, I make this quick guacamole recipe that makes this casserole taste even better.
It's up to you whether or not you want to skip it altogether. I don't always serve this easy Frito pie dinner casserole with guacamole and you don't have to either.
Mix with a fork
As long as the avocadoes are ripe, you should be able to use a fork to mix and mash all the ingredients together.
Let the casserole cool before adding to the top
Make certain to let the casserole cool for about 5-10 minutes before putting the guacamole on top. You can also serve it up in a bowl with chips, too.
How do you know when avocados are ripe?
The best guacamole is made when using ripe avocadoes. To tell if the avocadoes are ripe, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Give them the squeeze test
To determine ripeness, they should be able to be slightly squeezed and have a softness to them.
Look at the coloring
The darker the color of the avocado, the riper it's going to be. Green ones aren't ripe at all and black ones are too ripe.
Peel off the stem and look underneath
If you pick off the little stem on the end and look underneath, you can tell if it's ready, too. If the coloring is brown, it's too ripe. If the coloring is a nice green, it's ripe. (use this method along with the other two to be certain!)
Tips for making Frito Casserole
This delicious Frito taco casserole is incredibly easy to make, but that being said, there are a few tips that can help you make a taco bake with Fritos that is absolutely everything you'd ever want. These are simple tips that will help you tailor-make this dish to suit you and your family perfectly.
- Use 93% lean ground beef for this dish. Less grease to have to worry about draining.
- If you don't want spice, just omit the jalapenos.
- There are many different flavors of Frito corn chips but I love the original flavor best.
How to store leftover Frito Casserole
Since this makes a pretty big serving size, you can store it in the fridge for up to 5 days once cooked. Just make certain to have a lid on it to keep it as fresh as possible.
There is a possibility that the chips are going to become soft or stale as each day passes so that is something to be aware of as well.
Variations to this Simple Frito Casserole Recipe
While I LOVE this recipe just how it is, I've also seen people top this dish with Doritos as well. In that instance, it's basically a Dorito Casserole instead of a Frito Casserole, and honestly, they both are amazing.
If you do make the Dorito version, let me know which one you like better because you know that you have to have a taste test to find out!
Give This Frito Casserole a Try
This delicious Frito taco casserole is absolutely delicious, and it's so easy to make. Filled with a combination of all the flavors we love in both tacos and chili and topped with crispy, salty Frito corn chips, this casserole is one of the most delicious you'll ever make.
Serve up this tasty dish for your Taco Tuesday, a weekend meal, at potlucks, or even at holiday get-togethers. It's a perfect casserole for the Fourth of July. Wherever and whenever you decide to make this casserole, you and your guests will agree that it's one of the best you've ever had. It's delicious, and it's easy. With a combination like that, it only makes sense to give it a whirl.
More Delicious Casserole Recipes
- Cheesy Mexican Corn Casserole
- Easy Cream Cheese Corn Casserole with Bacon and Ham
- Cheesy Tuna or Salmon Pasta Casserole
For a full list of cheap casserole dishes that will serve a large family, check out that list that we created for your dining pleasure. I'm sure you'll find at least one or two recipes there that will speak to your heart and your belly
Frito Casserole with Fresh Guacamole
- 1 lb lean ground beef Recommend using lean ground beef for this dish. If using regular, be sure to drain after browning.
- 1 cup yellow onion chopped
- 1 pkg (1 oz) taco seasoning
- ⅔ cup water
- 1 can (10 oz) Enchilada sauce
- 1 can (15 oz) black beans
- ¼ cup tomatoes chopped
- ¼ cup fresh jalapenos Optional
- 1 bag (9.25' oz) Frito corn chips
- 2 cups Mexican cheese blend, shredded
- 2 ripe avocados
- ⅓ cup white onion chopped
- ⅓ cup tomatoes chopped
- 1 lime juiced
- ½ lemon juiced
- 1 tablespoon fresh, cilantro chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Pull out and measure all of the ingredients.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium skillet, combine ground beef and onions. Cook over medium heat until the ground beef is fully-browned.
- Drain, if needed, and return to pan.
- Stir in taco seasoning and water. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low, Cover pan and allow to simmer for 3-4 minutes.
- Remove the lid and stir in Enchilada sauce and black beans. Stir for 1-2 minutes.
- Add Jalapenos and tomatoes. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Stir until blended.
- Pour mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish. Spread mixture evenly across the bottom.
- Top mixture with about half of the Frito corn chips.
- Followed by the 2 cups of cheese.
- Top with the remaining Frito chips.
- Place in the oven and cook for 18-20 minutes.
- While the dish is cooking, prepare Guacamole.
- Place avocado in small mixing bowl and mash with a fork.
- Add in remaining ingredients and stir until blended. Use the back of the fork to gently mash avocados down.
- Mix until all ingredients are well combined. Set aside.
- When casserole is ready, carefully remove it from the oven and allow 5-10 minutes to cool.
- Serve hot.
- Inside separate bowls.
- Top with fresh guacamole.
- Enjoy every bite.