Frito Bandito (Darlena Style)

There are many different recipes for Frito Bandito. This one is my all-time go-to meal for a fast and easy dish when the grandkids are around. I started making this when my grown sons were young. It comes together so quickly and easily. The ingredients are ones you likely have in your home and can pull this simple dinner together in no time at all.

I have no idea where I got the recipe initially, but it doesn’t matter. You can find many different renditions on Pinterest using different ingredients. This family-friendly Frito Bandito is the perfect choice for a busy weeknight dinner. It’s loaded with hearty chili, cheese, and corn chips, plus it has plenty of room to add all of your favorite toppings.


Feeds 4-6 people

You’ll need:

  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced finely
  • 1 can of chili with beans and meat (Chose your favorite brand)
  • 1 cup of cooked (hot) rice
  • 1½ cups shredded lettuce
  • 1½ cups Monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 1½ cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 cups corn chips


  1. Cook your rice so it will be ready when everything else is done.
  2. Cook the onion in a frying pan with a little olive oil, until the onion is translucent. Add the ground beef and cook until completely and crumbling.
  3. Add the Chili Beans and Meat to the cooked ground beef and cook until heated through.
  4. Layer the ingredients (use a 13×9 casserole dish, that works best).
  • Fritos
  • Hot Rice
  • Hot ground beef/chili mixture
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Cheese

Serve up right away while the food is hot.


VEGGIES: You can add any veggies you’d like to this Frito Bandito recipe. Choose your “extras” based on what you have available or what people like, including corn, diced tomatoes, jalapeños, green chilies, black olives, or bell peppers.

TOPPINGS: These are some toppings I have included at times: guacamole, sour cream, salsa, queso, chopped red or white onions, green onions, diced tomatoes, jalapeños, and pico de gallo

CHEESE: You could use a Mexican blend on this dish as well, or top with a Mexican crema as well.

BEANS: Sometimes I add some extra beans, you can use black beans, kidney beans, or pinto beans.

I hope you enjoy this family favorite of mine. I know the youngsters and grown-ups will ask you to make it again!!

Additional Family Favorites can be found here on Darlena’s Family Recipes. Enjoy