Frito Pie Bar & Chili Sauce

Recipe and photography by Karen Gerard

Frito Pie Bar – serves 6

6 small bags of Fritos corn chips

1 recipe chili sauce (or your favorite homemade tailgate chili)


Sour cream

Shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese

Sliced pickled jalapeno peppers

  1. Arrange your Frito pie bar components in bowls with forks and spoons.
  2. Carefully cut open the chip bags to create pouches and let guests serve themselves from the assorted toppings.

Chili Sauce – serves 6

10 oz ground beef

1/2 large sweet onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp prepared yellow mustard

1 tbsp dried, minced onion

2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp celery salt

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1, 8 oz can tomato sauce

1 tbsp tomato paste

1 cup water

1tsp corn starch, optional

  1. Brown the ground beef in a large pan over medium-high heat with the diced onion.  Add in the garlic, sugar, dried onion, chili powder, Worcestershire, salt, celery salt, cumin, and black pepper. Stir and let cook for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add in the tomato sauce, tomato paste, and water and simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered.
  3. Use an immersion blender to turn the chili into a smooth, pourable sauce or very carefully transfer to a blender and pulse to your desired consistency.
  4. Transfer back into the pot and simmer 20 minutes to an hour. Serve hot at the Frito pie bar, over hot dogs, fries, nachos, or chili burgers.
  5. Optional: If your sauce is more liquid than you would like, whisk in 1 teaspoon of cornstarch and quickly bring to a boil to tighten it up a bit.