During high school I was a competitive sailor and if there’s one thing sailors love, it’s food. At almost all regattas, food stands were set up as fundraisers for whomever was hosting that day’s regatta. One day I stumbled upon this dish; they named it Sailor’s Chili. Apparently the story goes that a man and wife were out to sea and the man needed to stay up-deck to keep the boat on course. Being hungry but not able to leave the helm, the man asked his wife if she could whip up something for him that didn’t involve sitting down. The wife, being handy in the kitchen added chili to a bag of Fritos and voila, made Sailor’s Chili.
After doing some research into this, I came to realize the dish is actually called Fritos pie and is a Southern staple. Nonetheless, the Sailor’s Chili or Fritos pie (whatever you want to call it) was ridiculously good and the best part is, you eat it out of a Fritos bag. Yup, it’s literally chili in a Fritos bag with cheese added on top. It sounds weird at first but damn, is it good. A great idea for parties and gatherings with friends and family, and then some.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 ½ hours
Total Time: 2 hours
1-lb ground beef/pork mix (50:50 ratio)
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (28-oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (15-oz) can tomato purée
1 (16-oz) can chili beans, drained
1 tablespoon olive oil
Mexican cheese blend to garnish
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Dice up the onions and green bell peppers; mince the garlic while you’re at it.
2. Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the bottom of a large sauce pan over high heat. Add the green bell peppers, the onions and the meat to the sauce pan. Brown up the meat, this should take about 5 minutes or so.
3. Once the meat is browned and smelling luxurious, add the diced tomatoes, tomato purée, garlic, bay leaf, cumin and chili powder. Stir that bad boy and bring it to a boil; put a cover on the pot unless you want to redecorate your kitchen with tomatoes.
4. Once at a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 90 minutes while stirring occasionally.
5. About 15 minutes before the end of the simmer, drain the beans but don’t rinse them. Add them to the pot and stir.
6. Now comes the fun part, you can either open a Frtios bag the normal way or slit it open across the middle. Put 1 good serving spoon full (how ever much you want) into the bag on top of the Fritos. Add Mexican cheese blend and serve.
- If you want to make it spicier, add 3 tablespoons chili powder or dice up some jalapeños and add it when you add the garlic/tomatoes/cumin.
- The bag thing is really cool and cuts down on dirty dishes (hell yes), but if it’s not your cup of tea just add the chili to a bowl and add the Fritos on top.
- You could also try other chips like Doritos, whatever you think would go well with chili.
- Don’t be afraid to add toppings: maybe some sour cream or salsa.
- Fritos are surprisingly gluten-free. In fact, everything in this recipe is gluten-free so have at it!
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