Santa Fe Woolworth’s Frito Pie

Frito Pie is one of my favorite things in the world.  When I was in high school we had a little eating place across the street where we all walked to in droves to catch a fast food fix! The food I always ordered was Frito Pie. Frito Pie was very famous at the old Woolworth’s store in Santa Fe and they claim to have come up with the recipe. However, Frito Lay says that the wife of the Frito Lay President in the 1930’s came up with the recipe. Who knows? Last year a friend and I gave a shower and served the Woolworth’s Frito Pie recipe. There are several versions on the web. This is the version we served up. It is beyond good!

Woolworth’s Frito Pie

2 slices bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 pound ground chuck
1 teaspoon salt (more or less to taste)
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 1/2 cup water (more if necessary)
1 cup canned pinto beans, rinsed and drained
Small bags of Frito’s
1/2 pound Cheddar or Monterrey jack, shredded
Optional: chopped onion and diced fresh jalapenos for garnish

Cook bacon in heavy skillet until fat is rendered. Add onion and
garlic and cook until onion is softened.

Add ground chuck and cook over medium high heat, stirring and
breaking up lumps, until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Pour off excess
fat and add salt, chili powder, cumin, and tomato paste.

Slowly add water and simmer 10 min, adding more water if necessary.
Add beans until heated through.

Split open Frito bag and add chili over Frito’s.

Garnish with cheese, onion and jalapeno if desired.

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  1. Mmm… that does sounds good! I remember we always had Frito Pie at our high school football games. 🙂

    Good to hear from you. You have a great blog, btw!

  2. Mmmmmmm…Frito pie. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

    Hope you had a faboo Easter!

    • weekendcowgirl says

      This recipe is the best I have ever had. If you make it let me know if you liked it as much as we do.

  3. Ooooh. For some reason I was thinking a dessert pie that had Fritos in it somehow. Wow, that would be odd. This is sounding pretty tasty though. Definitely need to give it a try.

  4. LOVE your website. And allow me to tell you that I think it is kinda like other “_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _” websites.

    Your website is FAR better and does not try to bullshit us readers with how “rich” you are, how you “_ _ _”, or how you are “better” than us ordinary blog readers.


    Keep up the good recipes, the good comments, and the fact that YOU are above ” _ _ _ _ _ ” bullshit where they try to intimidate people.

    • weekendcowgirl says

      Thanks for your comments. I hear you and know what you are trying to say. I did take the liberty of removing the words because I really just want to remain neutral here and want to not make my blog a place of conflict.

      I try to just be myself because I am just a normal kind of girl & an ordinary blog reader also. We are hard working people and I do not want to appear to be something I am not. I am not a professional blogger and have no desire to do so. I do this more as a hobby for myself. I very much try to just do my thing and not compare myself to anyone. I think there is a place for every kind of blog and we just have to gravitate to those we enjoy…

  5. I canNOT believe I found your website/recipe for Frito Pies m Woolworth’s!!! I went to Santa Fe Mid-High back in the 70’s. I could barely afford the $0.35 I spent on the F-Pies, but it was like an addiction I had to have them (give me the pie, and no one gets hurt!)

    I took my wife back to Santa Fe (from California) in ’87. The outdoor food cart was gone, and the lunch counter INside now served the F-Pies. But even at $2.25 ea, they were oh so worth it! My wife was skeptical, but about 1/2 a block away whe she finished hers she asked “uh, can we go back and get another?” Wiping a tear from my eye, I said “well, a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do”. (we didn’t have room for any dinner that night:-)))

    One thing about your recipe though, make sure folks use “NEW MEXICO” chili powder (or better yet, grind up some whole dried NM chilis and saute them before putting them in the chili mix) The flavor is very unique! But you already know that.

    Is Dona Elena’s still in business (off St. Michaels)?

    Thank you thank you thank you!


  6. Gerard Laitres says

    Ray said to use New Mexico chili powder. He is absolutely right! You can get it from Chimayo, NM. Rancho de Chimayo “Chimayo To Go” is on the internet. I left Santa Fe in 2004. They closed Woolworths a few years before that. But, my frito pies are almost as good.


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