Walking Frito Pie Perfect Camping Recipe

Walking Frito Pie Perfect Camping Recipe

All of us have heard of chili, most of us have heard of Fritos corn chips, any natural born Southerner can conjure a memory of Frito Pie, but fewer are familiar with Walking Frito Pie. However, Walking Frito Pie is possibly the most perfect camping recipe ever conceptualized. Allow me to explain.

What is Frito Pie?

First, for the uninitiated, Frito pie is a simple Texas dish made from a base of Fritos corn chips topped with chili. Cheese and onions are available for garnish based on preference. It’s a satisfying dish that’s hardy and warm with a salty crunch from the Fritos chips that’s perfect summer of winter, but especially on colder evenings when the wind is blowing down from Amarillo, howling through mesquite trees and kicking up tumbleweed across many an unpaved Texas road. Fritos chips first appeared in the 1930’s when it accompanied dips, frijoles and olives at dinner parties. Often, served separately, would be chili. In a likely food-on-plate-collision, guests began realizing the magical combination of Fritos chips and chili – together. Soon, the Frito pie was created and it continued to gain steam in Texas, even adorning many tables as a main dinner entree.

However, the future of Frito pie would change forever when in the 1960’s Fritos chips were served in cellophane bags instead of paper. Suddenly, the very bag Fritos were delivered in could easily accommodate chili, onions, cheese and jalapeños. Frito pie had been transformed from a dinner plate to a convenient, hand-held “walking Frito pie.” No longer were enthusiasts relegated to stodgy dinner parties or expected to sit at the dinner table with the family – Frito pie could be enjoyed anywhere, on the go. It was this last quality that endeared the mobile treat to fairs, sporting events, outdoor arenas and rodeos around the state. 

For campers, we are always looking for something tasty, satisfying and hearty after the adventures of the day, but that’s easy to cook and assemble at a campsite. Walking Frito Pie is the perfect camping recipe as it checks all the boxes:

What you’ll need:

  • Snack size Fritos chip bag (1-2 per person)
  • Canned chili
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Chopped white onions
  • Sliced jalapeños 

Walking Frito Pie Instructions:

  1. Heat chili, preferably over an open campfire, until just steaming hot
  2. Carefully open the Fritos chip bag along the top seam
  3. Scoop about 1/2 cup of chili into the Fritos chip bag, careful not to spill on your hand
  4. Eat as-is with a spoon, or top with optional cheddar cheese or jalapeños 

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