Vegan Frito Pie

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Rather than layering the chili with extra fat, I add a bunch of pickled onions and jalapeños to add an acidic bite that adds complexity and balance to the dish. A sprinkle of fresh cilantro, a scattering of sliced scallions, and a squeeze of lime all add freshness.

Note: This recipe makes more pickled red onions than you need. Store leftover pickled red onions in a sealed container in the fridge for up to two months. You can use any vegetarian chili recipe you'd like, such as Vegetarian Chili with Porter and Chipotle, or Winter Vegetable Chili.

Vegan Frito Pie

About This Recipe

Yield:makes 1 serving
Active time:10 minutes
Total time:10 minutes
This recipe appears in: Hangover Helper: Vegan Frito Pie


  • 1/2 cup rice wine or distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup vegan sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced into 1/4-inch rings
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • One (2 7/8 ounce bag) Frito's
  • 1 cup leftover vegan or vegetarian chili, heated
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (optional
  • 1 or 2 sliced scallions (optional)
  • 1 lime wedge (optional)


  1. 1

    Combine vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add jalapeño and red onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions have lightly softened and are translucent and jalapeños have become dirty green, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

  2. 2

    Carefully slit open the front of the Frito's bag with a knife or kitchen shears and pull sides apart. Place bag with opening facing up in a bowl. Add half of chili and stir to combine. Top with remaining chili. Garnish with pickled onions and jalapeño rings, sliced avocado, cilantro, and scallions if desired. Allow to sit until softened to desired texture and eat with lime wedge (if desired).


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