Frito Chili

Looking for the perfect camping food? This Frito Chili recipe fits the bill!


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We’ve taken Frito Chili across country to enjoy on many a camping trip. You simply whip up a batch, let it cool, then put in freezer bags and stash in the freezer until you’re ready to go. Keep this in your cooler and reheat when you get to your destination.

Having a few pre-made meals like this was a lifesaver when we pulled in to our camping spot at Palo Duro Canyon in N. Texas after dark a few years ago. After being warned of rattle snakes and tarantulas (?!?) when we checked in with the ranger, we wound our way down the canyon to set up camp for the night. The wind was blowing something fierce – so fierce it picked up our tent a few times before we got it tied down!

While kids and hubs wrangled the tent, I was able to set up our camp stove and heat up our Frito Chili in a jiff. We served it over bags of Fritos, of course,  with cheese and sour cream. Delicious and satisfying, it was just the thing to fill our bellies before we climbed in the tent for the night.

Frito Chili

A delicious, freezer-friendly meal you can make ahead and bring on your next camping trip.

Course Main Course
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 people


  • 1 lb ground beef or turkey
  • 1 bell pepper chopped
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 tbs garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 28 oz crushed or whole tomatoes
  • 1 can black beans rinsed
  • 1 can pinto beans rinsed
  • 1 can kidney beans rinsed
  • 1/4 cup corn meal (this chili is good without this, but it's even better with!)
  • 1-2 tsp salt
  • 6 1 oz bags Fritos Original Corn Chips


  1. In a large pot, add the ground beef or turkey, onion, green pepper and garlic (the fat from the meat will help the veggies not stick). Crumble the beef as it browns with a spoon and stir frequently until the veggies are soft and the meat is completely browned. Add in the cumin, chili powder and salt and stir. Add in the can of tomatoes, the beans and the corn meal and bring to a boil, then reduce to heat to medium-low for about 10-15 minutes. Adjust salt to your taste before serving or freezing.

  2. If freezing, allow it to cool and transfer into gallon-sized freezer bags. Store in your freezer up to one month before your trip. Reheat over medium heat and serve in bowls or spoon over individual bags of Fritos corn chips*, sour cream, cheese, sliced jalapenos, olives, avocado or whatever strikes your fancy.

Recipe Notes

* The only place I've found a big box of Fritos snack bags without a bunch of other chips is on Amazon

* You can substitute other types of beans if you don't like one of the three listed or just use three cans of one kind. It will still taste delicious!

* If you have leftover chili, pack it up in your freezer bag and serve the next day over hot dogs!

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