Total Time
Prep 5 mins
Cook 30 mins

Easy classic Tex Mex from the cookbook, Best Recipes from the the Free State of Van Zandt County TX.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 (16 ounce) can tamales
  • 1 (16 ounce) can chili without beans
  • 8 ounces corn chips, broken
  • 14 lb sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 small onion, chopped


  1. Break up tamales and place in bottom of 1 quart casserole. Layer chili, chips, onion, and cheese. Pour juice from tamales over all.
  2. Bake 1/2 hour at 350 degrees.
Most Helpful

I have been making this for more years than I care to remember. It is one of my "quick and easy" dishes when I get home from work and just don't want to cook. I use fresh packaged tamales which are readily available in our area. I put a light layer of chili in the bottom of the casserole dish, remove the corn husks and then just lay the whole tamales down and cover them with the remaining chili, chopped onion and grated cheese. We have tortilla chips on the side. One of our favorite comfort foods!

Susie in Texas January 03, 2014

Yum! This was so simple and very good. As an other reviewer said, the tamales brought the Frito Pie to a great new level. I used a chili with beans and a Mexican 4-blend cheese. Thanks Vicki for a nice simple keeper. Made for Zaar Chef Alphabet Soup Tag.

lazyme April 08, 2011

This recipe was made on 11/16/09 for the One Dish / Casserole Event in the Cooking Photo Forum and as part of our dinner.It was very quick and easy to make, also had a very good taste. We though the addition of the tamales brought the humble Frito Pie up to a new level. If this is made again, I'll add a sprinkling of crushed red pepper flakes to " kick up " the heat level a bit. This was served with 10 Minute Cheesy Mexican Rice and Gloria's Refried Beans which made a very nice Mexican themed meal. Thanks for posting and, " Keep Smiling :) "

Chef shapeweaver � November 17, 2009