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Frito Casserole Recipe

Frito casserole

Frito Casserole 

Frito casserole

What goes good with Frito Casserole?  Beer!

My families favorite time of year is when the carnival comes to town.  Every year for 4 days in June our small (but rapidly growing) little country town closes the Main Street and holds a super fun carnival.  
When I was growing up we were a boasting town with a population of 5,000.
Now….50,000!  Crazy huh!  Well, back then the carnival was held in an open lot right in the middle of the town.  Now, the carnival is set up in 3 huge lots spanned over several acres.  The entire Middle of the town is a big celebration of carnival goers.  It’s a crazy good time!  

It seems every year, without fail, there is some freakish 10 minute rain storm.  The clouds roll in and out of nowhere you are getting pounded with a huge dump from above.  

My husband (the smart man that he is) saw the storm coming and suggested we take cover before the storm pounded us.

Now to let you in on a little fact about me, I am a funnel cake junkie!  I’ll admit it!  I can smell them a mile away!  It is my own personal tradition that if I am somewhere that is selling a funnel cake, I’m eating it!  No yucky fruit to ruin the beautiful creation,  just pounds of powdered sugar and were good!

*Attention fruit lovers, I too love fruit, just not on my funnel cake!😋

Anyhow, back to the story.  We were taking shelter from the hairy 10 minute storm and we were conveniently located under the awning at a food stand. Yes- I did get my funnel cake and it was sooo good!  As I’m looking at the menu I saw Frito Pie!  Well, my friends, I knew what I would be putting on the menu for dinner this week!  (I honestly would be a little scared to try a Frito pie at a carnival but who knows, maybe it’s tasty!?)  I grew up eating Frito Casserole so I know how tasty it is!  I started craving that southwestern, homey, delicious casserole.  The rain stopped and we enjoyed several more hours of carnival fun!

Lucky for you, the very next day, I ran out and stocked up on all the ingredients to make Frito Casserole. Lucky for me, I included a quick stop to pick up some beer!🙃

To make the Frito Casserole 

Frito casserole

For the filling you will need:  3 cups of cooked elbow macaroni, 1 pound of ground beef, 1/4 cup of chopped onion, 1 cup of sweet corn, 7 oz can of green chilies, 1 can (14.5 oz) drained, diced tomatoes, 1 tsp. cayenne, 1 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. chili powder, 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper.  For the topping you will need:  1/2 bag of a (9 1/4 oz bag) Frito chips and 1 cup (or more) Cheddar/Jack Cheese blend. 

Mix all filling ingredients together in a casserole dish. (Reserving the Fritos and cheese for the topping to be added later.)

Frito casserole

Bake until hot.

Frito casserole

Top with Fritos.

Frito casserole

Top with cheese.  When you ask yourself “is that enough cheese?” Add more!

Frito casserole

Bake until the cheese is melted.

Frito casserole

Top with green onions.

Frito casserole

Serve with your favorite beer and enjoy!

Frito casserole

Looking for more Mexican style dishes? 
Check out these!

Stuffed Poblanos With Chicken and Chorizo 

Homemade “No-Cook” Chunky Salsa

Crock Pot Chicken Chili

Chorizo burger with a bite

Thanks for reading!  

Come see this and many more yummy food @ Nifty Thrifty Sunday!

One of my new favorite places to check out is Saucy Saturdays!

Even more fun recipes at Turn It Up Tuesday
 Happy Blogging!

Frito Casserole
A southwestern casserole packed full of flavors with a Frito nacho topper.
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Ingredients
  1. 3 cups cooked elbow noodles
  2. 1 pound ground beef, browned
  3. 1 teaspoon salt
  4. 1 teaspoon black pepper
  5. 1/4 cup chopped onion
  6. 1 cup sweet corn, drained
  7. 8 oz green chilies, drained
  8. 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
  9. 1 teaspoon cayenne
  10. 1 teaspoon chili powder
  11. 1 teaspoon cumin
  12. 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  13. 1/2 of a (9 1/4 oz) bag of Frito chips
  14. 1 cup cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese blend
  15. 3 tablespoons chopped green onions for garnish
Bake at 350°
  1. Cook the Elbow Noodles as directed on package and drain
  2. Cook the ground beef with the onion, salt and pepper until browned. Drain excess fat
  3. In a large bowl add the cooked noodles, beef mixture, corn, green chilies, tomatoes, cayenne, cumin, chili powder and garlic powder
  4. Mix well and transfer to a lightly greased casserole dish
  5. Bake @ 350° for 30 minutes
  6. Remove from oven and layer the top with Frito chips
  7. Top the chips with the cheese blend
  8. Return to the oven for an additional 10 minutes until the cheese is melted
  9. Remove from oven and garnish with the chopped green onion
Notes
  1. This casserole can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator overnight. Add approximately 10 minutes to the cook time.
  2. For a mild version 1/2 the amount of chilies and omit the cayenne and chili powder.
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8 thoughts on “Frito Casserole Recipe

  1. We love taking the kids to the carnival too! It’s our favorite! This casserole would be a hit at our house too! The fritos are so fun!

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