Frito Pies with Harissa & Roasted Tomato Chili

Sure, you could build your Frito pies in bowls, but what’s the fun in that? Instead, cut open snack-size bags of chips and let guests pile on their favorite toppings.
Publish date:
frito pies harissa roasted tomato chili

Recipe by MacKenzie Smith

Start to Finish: 1 hour

Servings: 12


  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

  • 2 sweet onions, chopped

  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 2 1/2 lb. ground lamb or beef

  • 2 tbsp. chili powder

  • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika

  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano

  • 2 tbsp. harissa paste

  • 2 cans (about 15 oz. each) chickpeas, rinsed

  • 1 can (28 oz.) fire-roasted tomatoes

  • 1 can or bottle (12 oz.) light beer (such as Modelo)

  • 12 bags (1 oz. each) corn chips (such as Fritos)

  • Greek yogurt, chopped fresh parsley, and sliced pepperoncini, for topping


1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium. Add the onions and bell pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the onions begin to brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes more. Transfer the onions, bell pepper, and garlic to a medium bowl.

2. Add the lamb to the pot. Increase heat to medium-high. Season the lamb generously with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up the meat with a spoon, until the lamb is browned in spots but not fully cooked, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, paprika, and oregano. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the lamb is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Return the onions, bell pepper, and garlic to the pot.

3. Stir in the harissa, then the chickpeas, tomatoes, and beer. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer the chili, stirring occasionally, until the chickpeas are soft and the chili thickens, about 20 minutes.

4. Using scissors or a sharp small knife, cut open the fronts of the corn chip bags. Top the chips with the chili. Serve with the toppings.