This hearty dinner comes together quickly. Seasoned beans, corn, chilies, chicken, and cream cheese are layered with Fritos and cheese to make a delicious and easy family-favorite Frito Casserole!
What’s in Tortilla Chip Casserole?
Fritos corn chips are the star of this delicious baked casserole recipe! They make it a super crunchy and fun variation of your average Mexican-style casserole.
- Olive Oil: Used for sautéing the onions and garlic, adding flavor and helping to cook them evenly.
- White Onion: Provides a savory and slightly sweet flavor to the dish. It adds depth and aroma to the casserole.
- Garlic: Adds a rich and aromatic flavor to the dish. It enhances the overall taste and complements the other ingredients.
- Cumin + Chili Powder: These spices contribute a warm and earthy flavor with a hint of smokiness. They are commonly used in Mexican cuisine and provide a traditional taste to the casserole.
- Black Beans: They add protein, fiber, and a creamy texture to the dish. Black beans also contribute to the overall heartiness of the casserole.
- Corn: Adds a touch of sweetness, texture, and color to the casserole. It complements the other ingredients and adds a burst of freshness.
- Diced Green Chilies: These provide a mild to medium level of heat and add a slight tangy flavor. They enhance the overall taste and give a nice kick to the casserole.
- Cooked Chicken: Adds protein and substance to the dish. I like to use shredded chicken.
- Cream of Chicken Soup: Creates a creamy and rich texture while adding flavor to the casserole. It serves as a binding agent and helps to create a cohesive dish.
- Rotel: Adds a spicy kick and tanginess to the casserole, providing a burst of flavor.
- Sour Cream: Adds creaminess and tanginess to the casserole. It helps to balance the flavors and provides a smooth texture.
- Cream Cheese: Contributes to the creamy and rich consistency of the casserole. It adds depth of flavor and richness.
- Fritos: These corn chips provide a crunchy and savory texture to the casserole. They add a fun element and are often used as a topping.
- Mexican Cheese Blend: Typically a mixture of cheeses like cheddar, Monterey Jack, and/or queso quesadilla. It melts well and adds a cheesy, gooey element to the casserole.
- Cilantro: Adds a fresh and herbaceous flavor to the dish. It serves as a garnish and provides a pop of green color. The flavor of cilantro can vary, and some people may choose to omit it if they don’t enjoy the taste.
Pro Tip: Feel free to increase or reduce the amount of chili powder based on your spice preferences.
Variations on Corn Chip Casserole
This casserole is easy to customize to your personal tastes.
- For a spicier casserole, add some diced jalapeños. You could also double up on the diced green chilies for a more pronounced flavor.
- For a milder casserole, you can swap out the Rotel for a can of diced tomatoes and add diced bell peppers.
- For a vegetarian casserole, omit the chicken and add extra veggies, like zucchini or bell peppers. Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, and use cream of mushroom. or cream of celery soup instead of cream of chicken.
- Take this casserole up a notch by using BBQ shredded chicken, and swap out the Mexican cheese for cheddar. Yum!
Frito casserole is a hearty casserole consisting of sautéed onions, garlic, and Mexican spices mixed with corn, beans, green chilies, Fritos, and shredded chicken in a creamy, cheesy sauce.
Absolutely! Feel free to use Doritos or tortilla chips instead of Fritos.
There are quite a few opportunities to reduce (or increase!) the spice in this recipe. First, you can reduce the amount of chili powder down to as low as ⅛ teaspoon. You can also choose to omit the spicy diced green chilies. Finally, you can choose the original Rotel or Rotel Hot to play with the spice even more. If original Rotel is too hot for you, simply sub in diced tomatoes!
How to Make Ahead and Store
You can make this dish without the Fritos up to 1 day in advance and then assemble as you serve. Store the casserole tightly wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Just put a handful of Fritos on the plate and serve a large spoon of the casserole over the Fritos.
Store leftover Frito casserole in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a 350°F oven for 10-15 minutes or in the microwave for 30-60 seconds, until hot.
How to Freeze and Reheat
Freeze Frito casserole baked or unbaked tightly wrapped in 2 layers of plastic wrap and 1 layer of aluminum foil for up to 3 months. If frozen baked, let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. If frozen unbaked, bake directly from frozen in a 350°F oven for about 50-60 minutes.
Frito Casserole Recipe
Seasoned beans, corn, chilies, chicken, and cream cheese are layered with Fritos and cheese to make a delicious Frito casserole!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total Time : 40 minutes
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan and cook the onions for 4 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, and chili powder and cook for another minute.
1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 white onion, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon chili powder
Add the black beans, corn, chilies, and chicken and stir. Then, add the soup, and the Rotel, combining well.
15 ounces canned black beans, 15 ounces canned corn, 4.5 ounces canned diced green chilies, 3 cups cooked shredded chicken, 10.5 ounces cream of chicken soup, 10 ounces Rotel
Add the sour cream and cream cheese and stir until melted.
½ cup sour cream, 4 ounces cream cheese
Spread a layer of fritos in the bottom of a 9×13-inch pan, then spoon the meat mixture over the fritos, top with cheese. Repeat the layers again, then top with more fritos and cheese.
9.25 ounces Fritos, 2 cups Mexican cheese blend
Place the pan in the oven and bake until bubbly and the cheese is melted, approximately 20 minutes..
Remove and sprinkle with cilantro.
¼ cup Chopped fresh cilantro
- You can use a yellow onion instead of a white onion.
- You can use ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder in place of fresh garlic.
- Feel free to increase or reduce the amount of chili powder based on your spice preferences.
- You can use pinto beans in place of the black beans.
- You can use fresh or frozen corn in place of the canned corn.
- You can use pickled jalapeños in place of the green chilies.
- I like to use rotisserie chicken, but you can also use my instant pot shredded chicken or crockpot shredded chicken recipes.
- In place of the cream of chicken soup, you can use more sour cream.
- Feel free to adjust the heat by choosing mild or hot Rotel.
- You can use any cheese you prefer in place of the Mexican cheese blend, such as mozzarella, cheddar, Colby, Monterey Jack, pepper Jack, or gouda.
- In place of the Fritos, you can use Doritos or tortilla chips.
- Feel free to leave out the cilantro if you’re not a fan, or use parsley instead.
- Save time by using a store-bought rotisserie chicken.
- To get this casserole extra crispy, place it under the broiler for a few minutes, until the cheese is browned and bubbly.
- For extra crunch, serve the casserole with additional Fritos.
- Once baked, do not leave this casserole out of refrigeration for more than 2 hours.
Storage: Store Frito casserole tightly wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Frito Casserole Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 315
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 13g81%
Trans Fat 0.2g
Polyunsaturated Fat 8g
Monounsaturated Fat 11g
Vitamin A 729IU15%
Vitamin C 13mg16%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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