Frito pie

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Frito pie
Frito Pie as Seen Today.jpg
Place of origin United States
Main ingredients Chili con carne, cheese, corn chips (Fritos)
Cookbook: Frito pie  Media: Frito pie
Frito pie variant served in a single serve Fritos bag

Frito pie is a dish popular in the Southern, Midwestern, and Southwestern United States, whose basic ingredients are chili, cheese, and corn chips (especially Fritos). Additions can include salsa, refried beans, sour cream, onion, rice or jalapeños. There are many variations. Frito pie can be prepared in a casserole dish, but itinerant versions prepare it in a single serve fritos type corn chip bag with various ingredients as toppings. Variations on the dish made in a corn chip bag include pepper bellies, walking tacos, Frito boats, Texas Straw Hat and tacos in a bag. In Mexico, a similar type of dish is tostilocos.


The exact origins of the frito pie (or tacos frios) is not completely clear. It is believed that frito pie (or tacos frios) has been around for about 50 years. It is believed that is was created somewhere in Mexico and was popular at fiestas before it took off in other countries like the United States.[1][2]

Another story claims that true Frito pie originated only in the 1960s with Teresa Hernández, who worked at the F. W. Woolworth's lunch counter in Santa Fe, New Mexico.[2]

In the 1950s, Nell Morris joined Frito-Lay where she helped develop an official cookbook which included the Frito pie.[3]


Frito Pie is a cold dish involving sour cream, cream cheese, taco seasoning, and your preferred toppings.[4] Because so many chips are used in the dish, they tend to be moistened but not soggy from the chili. An easier option is to place the Fritos in single-serving bowls and covering them with chili, then cheese and other toppings.


Frito boats and walking tacos[edit]

Frito Pies are sometimes referred to by the name walking taco or Frito boat, and can be made in a small, single-serving bag of corn chips, with chili, taco meat, garbanzos, pork rinds, pepitas, and many other varied ingredients, poured over the top. The combination can be finished with grated cheese, onions, jalapeños, lettuce, and sour cream, known as a Frito boat or walking taco in the Midwestern United States. In the Ohio Valley region, this preparation is commonly called taco-in-a-bag. ("Walking taco", however, is the more widespread term at least in the Midwest). In many parts of Southern California, they are known as "pepper bellies".[citation needed] Frito pies are popular at sports venues, fundraisers, bingos, open houses, state fairs and street vendors.[5] The term Tostiloco comes from Tijuana, and is found in California.[6] Another term is Doriloco, after Doritos.

Texas Straw Hat[edit]

Frito chili pies are sometimes referred to as Texas Straw Hat in Texas.[7]


In Mexico, a version of the dish is known as tostilocos. It includes some different ingredients.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Harris, Joyce (13 June 2007). "The allure of Frito Pie". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 21 October 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "10 more foods that make America great: Frito pie". July 7, 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-04. 
  3. ^ "Santa Fe has strong hold on Frito pie title". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. 1999-10-27. Retrieved 2012-08-19. 
  4. ^ Frito Pie Recipe from Retrieved December 10, 2008.
  5. ^ Popik, Barry (28 November 2007). "Walking Taco". The Big Apple. Barry Popik. Retrieved 21 October 2010. 
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ Texas Straw Hat and really big rabbits September, 2009 Southern Plate

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