Easy Instant Pot Frito Pie + Stovetop Instructions

Disclosure: I sometimes use affiliate links in my content. This won't cost you anything, but it helps me offset the costs of paying for this website (and my coffee addiction). Thank you!


This Instant Pot Frito Pie is incredibly filling, easy to make, and done in less than 30 minutes! The perfect combination of salty, creamy, and crunchy will have your family asking for this recipe on repeat.

Frito Pie in a bowl

Football stadium lights, cooler nights, and a season of frights. Frito Pie always has and always will be a staple in our home in the fall. Unfortunately, it’s also the season that we always have the most going on with sports, theatre, and planning birthday parties (not to mention all of the looming holidays). This quick 30-minute recipe is a surefire way to make sure everyone is fed and happy–not just for one meal but repurposed as so many other things for leftovers.

WHY IS IT CALLED FRITO CHILI PIE?

Well, as much as I love sweets, pie doesn’t always have to be packed with fruit and sugar.

In this instance, you layer a hearty chili over a “crust” of Fritos and top it with some of my favorite creamy dairy ingredients. Garnish with a few fresh veggies and you have a perfectly savory “pie”.

WHY MAKE IT IN THE INSTANT POT?

I admit, before I started using my Instant Pot on a regular basis, I never understood why people would cook things in the Instant Pot when they could just toss a pan on the stove instead. After all, the Instant Pot liner isn’t small and it can be a hassle to clean if you have a small kitchen sink.

Well, let me tell you why you should make this in the Instant Pot.

Flavor, that’s why. If you’re a chili lover (which I TOTALLY am) you know the difference a little time and love can make in the flavor development of your chili. With the help of your Instant Pot, you can turn what used to be hours of simmering and stirring on the weekend into a rich and absolutely crave-worthy chili in less than 30 minutes on a weeknight.

Cooking all of the ingredients under pressure helps infuse the flavor into the beans and ground beef. This creates layers of the chili flavor you love instead of biting into tasteless beans from a rushed stovetop technique.

INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED

Do you know why I love chili? Well, no one has the time or the patience to listen to all of the reasons I love chili.

However, one of the most noteworthy reasons I love chili is how inexpensive it is to make. With a house (literally) full of boys, my grocery budget never stops growing. One recipe I can always count on to stretch it a little more is this Instant Pot Frito Pie.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make it — and you’ll likely have most in your kitchen already!

Frito Pie Ingredients

Ground Beef– I used 80/20 but you can use a leaner cut, or even substitute ground turkey in this recipe. If you use a fattier blend of ground beef, you may need to drain some of the fat from the Instant Pot before adding the additional chili ingredients.

Tomato Sauce– I prefer a thinner chili when I make my Frito Pie, so I use tomato sauce. If you like your chili extra chunky, feel free to substitute canned diced tomatoes.

Broth– Ideally you would use beef broth for this recipe to enhance the flavor from the ground beef. If you only have chicken or vegetable stock in your pantry, those will work in a pinch as well. The flavor of the chili seasoning makes this recipe very forgiving.

Onion– sweet onion helps balance some of the saltiness from the chili seasoning and Fritos.

Chili Beans– I love using canned chili beans because they have already been marinating in chili flavor. If you don’t have chili beans in your pantry, you can use pinto beans, kidney beans, or a combination of all three.

Chili Seasoning– I’ll be honest. I’ve tried just about every prepackaged chili seasoning under the sun. Some are WAY too salty, and some are seriously lacking flavor. Believe it or not, my favorite chili seasoning is the Walmart brand GV chili seasoning.

Fritos– Sure, you could grab a bag of off-brand chips. And believe me, there are weeks that that’s all our budget allows. There’s just something about that red and yellow bag that has the perfect texture, size, and saltiness. For the perfect Frito Pie, I reach for the name brand.

Cheese– I keep finely shredded Mexican blend cheese in my fridge because of how versatile it is. I used that for this recipe but any variety of shredded cheese would be a great addition to this bowl.

Sour Cream– This gives a cooling balance to a slightly spicy dish.

Jalapenos– These are completely optional. I love to add a few slices on top of my Frito Pie to dial up the spice level while still serving a tasty meal to my family that prefers things on the milder side.

HOW TO MAKE A FRITO PIE IN THE INSTANT POT

Step 1: Set your Instant Pot to Saute. Spray your Instant Pot liner with a small amount of nonstick spray to prevent any unnecessary sticking.

Step 2: Place the ground beef and onions into your Instant Pot liner and saute. Continue stirring frequently until the beef is cooked through and the onions are translucent.

Step 3: Add the remaining chili ingredients. Pour in the chili beans, broth, and chili seasoning. Stir these ingredients.

Finally, pour the tomato sauce on top. DO NOT STIR. Letting the tomato sauce touch the bottom of the Instant Pot liner has been known to create a BURN message. To avoid that I add in the tomato sauce last.

Step 4: Cook the chili. Place the lid on your Instant Pot and set it to High Pressure for 15 minutes. Once the cooking time is complete, quickly release the remaining pressure, remove the lid, and stir.

Step 5: Create your Frito Pie! Fill a bowl about halfway full with the Fritos. Pour a generous helping of your Instant Pot Chili on top. Garnish with shredded cheese, jalapenos, sour cream, and a few raw onions.

STOVE TOP INSTRUCTIONS

Step 1: Brown the ground beef and onions in a skillet.

Step 2: Add the cooked ground beef, onion, chili beans, broth, tomato sauce, and chili seasoning to a large pot.

Step 3: Simmer for 30 minutes to an hour. If you’re rushed for time, the chili is safe to eat as soon as it is warmed throughout. For further depth of flavor, allow simmering for additional time.

Step 4: Add Fritos, a hearty scoop of chili, cheese, sour cream, jalapenos, and diced raw onions to a bowl and serve.

TIPS, TRICKS, AND VARIATIONS

Chili is the heart of this recipe and it is amazingly versatile. This makes the ways you can customize this recipe and repurpose it virtually endless. Here are a few different ways you can enjoy this tasty main course:

  • Make it spicy. Use spicy chili seasoning and dice up extra peppers before starting up the Instant Pot.
  • Skip the beans. Like your chili Texas style? Double the meat and skip the beans.
  • Vegetarian style. Love a great meatless Monday dish? Double up on the beans and leave the meat out.
  • Wrap it up. Use all of the ingredients you would use to make a Frito Pie and wrap them up in a tortilla. Thank me later.
  • Try a casserole. Instead of serving individual portions in a bowl, make it a family-style meal and serve it in a casserole dish with plenty of fritos on top instead of the bottom so they don’t get soggy.

WHAT GOES WITH FRITO PIE?

This is one of those recipes that doesn’t really require a side dish. It is wonderfully filling, packed with protein, and even has a few veggies sprinkled in.

If your family needs the comfort of sides with their main dish, here are a few things that would pair nicely with it:

  • Spanish Rice
  • Side Salad
  • Queso
  • Tortillas

STORAGE/MEAL PREP

Who doesn’t love a meal that is great for meal prep AND doubles as leftovers?

If you like to cook meals ahead of time to have in the freezer or rely on the convenience of packing leftovers to reheat for lunch at work, this recipe is perfect for you.

Instant Pot Frito Pie is as good (if not better) as the day you made it for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Just keep the chili separate from the chips and the toppings and assemble the pie after you reheat the chili.

To reheat the chili, just pop a bowl of it in the microwave for 2 minutes and stir.

If you are prepping this for the freezer, make the chili in the Instant Pot or stovetop as directed. Allow to cool, portion it to your preferred serving size, and package in a freezer-safe container. You can store it for up to months before reheating.

To reheat the chili from frozen, it is best to place the frozen chili in the refrigerator overnight to defrost. Then you can microwave the same as you would the refrigerated version. If you need to grab something from the freezer in a pinch, you can add the frozen chili to the Instant Pot with 1 cup of water and cook under high pressure for 20 minutes or until it is heated through.

Frito Pie in a bowl topped with condiments

More Comforting Recipes

If you love this Instant Pot Frito Pie as much as we do, make sure you share the recipe with your friends and family so they can try it too. Don’t forget to Pin it so you can make it again soon!

Easy Instant Pot Frito Pie + Stovetop Instructions

Frito Pie in a bowl topped with condiments

This Instant Pot Frito Pie is incredibly filling, easy to make, and done in less than 30 minutes! The perfect combination of salty, creamy, and crunchy will have your family asking for this recipe on repeat.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

To Make The Chili

  • 1 pound- ground beef
  • 2 15 oz cans- chili beans
  • 1 15 oz can- beef broth
  • 1 16 oz can- tomato sauce
  • 1 package- chili seasoning
  • 1/4 cup- diced onion

To Garnish

  • 1 bag- Fritos
  • 2 cups- shredded cheese
  • 4 oz- sour cream
  • 1- diced jalapeno

Instructions

Instant Pot Instructions

Step 1: Set your Instant Pot to Saute and cat the inner liner with nonstick spray.

Step 2: Place the ground beef and onions into your Instant Pot liner and saute.

Step 3: Pour in the chili beans, broth, and chili seasoning. Stir these ingredients. Pour the tomato sauce on top. DO NOT STIR after the tomato sauce is added.

Step 4: Place the lid on your Instant Pot and set it to High Pressure for 15 minutes. Once the cooking time is complete, quickly release the remaining pressure, remove the lid, and stir.

Step 5: Fill a bowl about halfway full with the Fritos. Pour a generous helping of your Instant Pot Chili on top. Garnish with shredded cheese, jalapenos, sour cream, and raw onions.

Stovetop Instructions

Step 1: Brown the ground beef and onions in a skillet.

Step 2: Add the cooked ground beef, onion, chili beans, broth, tomato sauce, and chili seasoning to a large pot.

Step 3: Simmer for 30 minutes to an hour depending on the desired depth of flavor.

Step 4: Add Fritos, chili, cheese, sour cream, jalapenos, and raw onions to a bowl and serve.

Comfort Cooks Ashley Picture 2

Hi! I'm Ashley.

Welcome to my corner of the internet!


I'm married to my high school sweetheart and we have three amazing sons.

I love carbs, cheese, and all things spicy and deep fried. There's nothing that makes me happier than a full kitchen table and a family with a full belly!


Learn More About Me