4 ratings

Dean Fearing's Frito Pie Recipe


Frito Pie

A Super Bowl party would not be complete without this favorite from Chef Dean Fearing, of Fearing’s Restaurant in Dallas, Texas. He creates individual Frito pies by topping a heap of freshly made tortilla chips with his classic Cos’ Chili, named for, and a favorite of, actor Bill Cosby. Serve this dish alongside Fearing's Tortilla Soup.

Click here to see 7 Things You Didn't Know You Could Make with Potato Chips.


For the fried tortilla strips:

  • 1 quart of vegetable oil
  • 5 yellow corn tortillas, cut into short, narrow strips

For the chili base:

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • ½ small yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium shallot, roughly chopped
  • 3 medium cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1 rib of celery, leaves removed and chopped
  • 2 jalapeños, sliced
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 10 ancho chilies, stem and seeds removed
  • 2 pasilla chilies, stem and seeds removed
  • 1 12-ounce beer, preferably Shiner Bock or another dark amber beer
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup rich chicken stock
  • ¼ cup toasted unsalted peanuts
  • 1 cup of fried tortilla strips or Fritos Corn Chips

For Cos’ chili:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 16 ounces beef sirloin, diced small
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 3 cups chili base
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Fried thin tortillas, or Fritos Corn Chips
  • Grated cheddar cheese, for garnish
  • Fresh jalapeños, minced, for garnish
  • Red onions, minced, for garnish


For the fried tortilla strips:

In a medium sauté pan, heat oil to 350 degrees. Add tortilla strips and cook until crispy. Remove from oil and place on paper towels to strain excess oil. Season with salt.

For the chili base:

In a medium sauté pan over medium high heat, add oil, onions, carrot, shallots, garlic, celery and jalapeño. Sauté until vegetables begin to caramelize, about 10-15 minutes. Stir in cumin and chilies. Deglaze mixture with the beer, orange juice and stock. Cook for an additional 5 minutes over medium high heat. Turn fire down to a simmer and add peanuts and tortilla strips and cook mixture until the liquid has been reduced by half, about 30 minutes. Purée in a blender until very smooth. 

For Cos’ chili:

In a medium sauté pan over high heat, add olive oil, diced meat, and onions and cook until onions turn translucent, about 5-8 minutes. Add the chili base and continue to cook over medium heat until meat is tender, about 1 hour. Season with salt, black pepper, cumin, Tabasco sauce, and lime juice.

To serve, add tortilla chips in each of four warm bowls. Spoon chili on top of chips. Add garnishes, as desired.