Frito Pie


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1.25 ounce packet taco seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained
  • 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 16 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1 9.25 ounce bag Fritos Corn Chips
  • 2-3 cups Mexican-style shredded cheese


  • Heat oven to 350°F and spray a 7×11-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Heat a large skillet, over medium heat, and add the olive oil and butter. Add the chopped onion and cook 3-4 minutes or until translucent and tender. Add the minced garlic, stir and cook 30 seconds until the garlic has blossomed and is fragrant. Transfer the onion and garlic to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.
  • Place the ground chuck in the skillet and cook until browned. Drain the fat from the beef in a mesh colander and return the beef to the skillet. Add the onion/garlic mixture, salt, pepper taco seasoning, Worcestershire Sauce, cider vinegar, tomato sauce and diced tomatoes.
  • Mix well and bring the mixture to a low boil over medium heat.
  • Reduce the heat to low and add the beans, mix well. Simmer, stirring often, for 15-20 minutes or until the mixture has thickened and most of the liquid has evaporated. Season to taste, with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. *Keep in mind, Fritos are very salty and so is cheese, so use salt lightly.
  • To prepare the casserole:
  • Place 2 cups corn chips in an even layer on the bottom of the prepared casserole dish. Top with 1 cup shredded cheese, taco meat, 1 cup cheese, and another 2 cups corn chips.
  • Bake 15-20 minutes or until the casserole is heated throughout.
  • Serve with chopped tomatoes, lettuce, black olives, chopped scallions, chopped cilantro and/or your other favorite taco toppings.

Baked Caesar Chicken


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds total)
  • 1 cup creamy Caesar dressing
  • 2 ounces  Parmesan cheese, finely grated (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons  coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves (optional)


  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 400ºF.
  2. Pound 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts one at a time: Place 1 chicken breast in a gallon-sized zip-top bag and pound with a rolling pin or the flat side of a meat mallet to an even 1/2-inch thickness. Set aside and repeat with the remaining breasts.
  3. Pour 1 cup creamy Caesar dressing in a baking dish large enough to fit the chicken in a single layer. Place the chicken breasts in the baking dish, then flip them so that they are evenly coated with dressing.
  4. Bake until the chicken is golden-brown, cooked through, and registers 165°F on an instant-read thermometer, 20 to 25 minutes. Meanwhile, finely grate 2 ounces Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup) and coarsely chop enough parsley leaves to get 2 tablespoons, if using.
  5. Heat the broiler to high. Remove the baking dish from the oven. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the chicken in an even layer. Broil until the cheese is melted and lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve the chicken garnished with the parsley if using.


Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Beef and Noodles


  • 2 1/2 pounds chuck roast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups beef stock, divided use
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 guajillo chili pepper, dried – optional
  • 2 cups water
  • 16 ounces egg noodles
  • 1/2 cup butter, divided use
  • Parsley
  • ½ cup sliced/grated carrots


  • Season both sides of chuck roast with salt & pepper, rubbing it in gently.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet until popping.
  • Add roast.
  • Brown for 3 minutes, turn, and brown the other side.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Oil the inside of your slow cooker.
  • Add the onion, celery, and garlic.
  • Transfer the roast to the slow cooker.
  • Pour 1 cup of the beef broth into the cooker.
  • Add the guajillo pepper if you are using it and the Worcestershire sauce
  • Cover crock pot and cook on low for 8 – 10 hours.
  • Remove the celery and shred the meat with two forks about 30 minutes before cooking time is over.
  • Replace the cover to the slow cooker.
  • About 10 minutes before you are ready to serve dinner bring 2 cups of water and the remaining beef broth to a boil in a large pot.
  • Add the 1/4 cup butter and the egg noodles.
  • Cook until tender.
  • Drain and stir in the remaining butter.
  • Serve the beef over the noodles.
  • Sprinkle with parsley before serving.

Instant Pot

  • Turn the instant pot on high and add the oil.
  • Cube the beef and season it as in the recipe. When the oil is hot add half of the beef cubes to the pot and sear on each side.
  • Remove the beef from the pot to a large plate. Repeat the process with the rest of the seasoned beef cubes and then remove them to the plate.
  • Add about 1/4 Cup of the beef broth to the instant pot and use a wooden spatula to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Turn the Instant Pot off.
  • Add the beef, onion, garlic, celery, and guijillo pepper to the instant pot. Place the lid on the pot and set the valve to seal.
  • Cook on manual high pressure for 45 minutes. When the timer is up, allow the instant pot to natural pressure release – don’t open the seal!!- for 10 minutes. Once 10 minutes is up, open the seal to manually release any pressure that is left.Cook the noodles as directed in the recipe.

Stove Top Instructions

  • Season the meat as in the recipe then brown it in the oil in a Dutch oven.
  • Add the broth, onion, celery, guijillo chile, and garlic. Simmer, covered, on low heat for about 1-1/2 hours on top of the stove.
  • Cook the noodles as directed in the recipe.


You can thicken the gravy by pouring it into a saucepan and stirring in 2 tablespoons of cornstarch that has been blended with 1/4 cup cold water. Simmer until thick.

More Tips 

  • Browning the meat gives it a more robust flavor and adds some texture. You can skip that step if you must but I don’t recommend it. Without the browning step the recipe is pretty average. Once you brown that beef though – WOW.
  • I add part of the beef broth to the water I cook the egg noodles in because it gives them that “second day” flavor. You know, things like this are always better on the second day because they’ve had time for the flavors to blend? Well this speeds that process up.
  • Use 10 ounces frozen seasoning mix instead of onions and celery to save time.