Firehouse Frito Pie

January/February 2012

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (43 votes)

Classic Frito pie is a pile of Fritos topped with beefy chili and runny cheese often made straight in the chip bag! Our refined and lightened version is fresh-tasting and delicious. A whole 1/2 cup of chili powder gives it plenty of punch, but be sure to use mild chili powder. If you have spicier chili powder, start with 1 to 2 tablespoons and taste as you go. Top with tomato, lettuce and just a little cheese (hold the Whiz, please).

Firehouse Frito Pie

Makes: 8 servings

Active Time:

Total Time:


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 pound 93%-lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup mild chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 large zucchini, shredded
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium beef broth or chicken broth
  • 16 5- to 6-inch corn tortillas
  • Cooking spray, preferably canola oil
  • 2 15-ounce cans red kidney beans, rinsed, divided
  • 2 cups shredded Colby-Jack cheese or sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced
  • Pickled jalapeños (for garnish)


  1. Position racks in middle and lower third of oven; preheat to 375°F.
  2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and turkey; cook, stirring and breaking up with a spoon, until the turkey is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder and cumin; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add zucchini, tomatoes and broth and bring to a simmer. Partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally and maintaining a simmer, for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, coat both sides of each tortilla with cooking spray. Cut them in half, then cut each half into 1-inch strips. Spread the strips on 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Bake, rotating the pans from top to bottom and stirring halfway through, until crisp, about 25 minutes.
  4. Mash 1 cup beans in a bowl. After the chili has simmered for 30 minutes, stir in the mashed beans and whole beans. Cook until the beans are heated through, about 3 minutes more.
  5. To serve, place about 3/4 cup tortilla strips in each of 8 shallow bowls. Ladle about 1 1/4 cups chili on top. Garnish with cheese, tomato, lettuce, scallions and pickled jalapeños (if desired).

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the chili (Steps 2 & 4) for up to 2 days.


Per serving: 447 calories; 17 g fat (7 g sat, 4 g mono); 58 mg cholesterol; 49 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 29 g protein; 13 g fiber; 735 mg sodium; 1067 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (82% daily value), Vitamin C (40% dv), Calcium (37% dv), Iron (33% dv), Potassium (31% dv), Magnesium (27% dv), Folate (23% dv), Zinc (18% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 2 1/2

Exchanges: 2 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 1 high-fat meat

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Total Time
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8 or more
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January/February 2012
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