Fritos Chicken Casserole is a mouthwatering dish that makes a hearty meal or a great dish to serve as part of tailgating or football get-together. This chicken casserole is easy-to-make and bursting with flavour.
This dish has become one of our family’s favourite comfort dishes. It combines the flavours of chili with the salty, BBQ flavour of Fritos, to make a dish everyone can agree on. This dish has our kids coming back for seconds every time we make it.
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What is Frito Chicken Casserole?
This dish is a delightful combination of tender chicken breasts, chili flavours, and crunchy corn chips. We use Fritos but you can use any brand you like. This dish is a comforting blend of BBQ flavours in a hearty casserole.
Serve this dish for dinner or use at a potluck. It is also great for tailgating or just watching the game at home.
What’s Different About This Frito Casserole?
If you search for Fritos Casserole, you will get so many results. Even narrow it down to Fritos Chicken Casserole and there are still a lot of results. The difference with this dish is that it does not have cream of chicken soup in the recipe.
When looking for a recipe one day, I noticed every recipe called for cream of chicken soup, but that is not something we keep on hand nor something that we buy. So we decided to create our own recipe without a cream soup.
Also, there is no cream cheese in this recipe. This recipe is not creamy like the ones you make with cream of chicken soup, but it has a ton of flavour so you won’t miss the cream soup or the cream cheese.
Ingredients For This Casserole
This Fritos Chicken Casserole recipe has ten ingredients in total, which includes salt and pepper.
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs (sometimes I marinade the chicken the night before in a mix of chili powder, cumin, oregano, olive oil and lime juice)
- Diced tomatoes
- Reduced-sodium chicken broth
- Black Beans
- Chili powder
- Cheddar Cheese, Monterey Jack, or Nacho Cheese blend
- Fritos BBQ corn chips
- Kosher salt
Oven or BBQ?
The choice is yours when it comes to baking this dish. Fritos Chicken Casserole can easily be baked in your oven or on the BBQ. The method of baking remains the same either way.
If using the BBQ, the time of baking may take more or less time depending on whether you have consistent heat or not. We like to use the Weber for making this casserole and using charcoal can be a bit more time-consuming to keep the heat at a level temperature.
In a propane BBQ or pellet grill, the temperatures can be kept consistent with little effort just like an oven. This is our preferred method when we don’t want to fuss with charcoal.
What to Cook The Casserole In
When it comes to baking this dish, especially when we are making it for a crowd or for a day of football, we bake it in a disposable aluminum pan. The recipe fits in a deep 9-inch by 13-inch pan.
If you are baking it in the oven, an oven-safe bakeware pan works well. (I don’t trust or recommend using glass on a BBQ)
Can I Use Other Chips In Place of Fritos?
Although the recipe calls for Fritos, any corn chips can be used. We like to use BBQ flavoured Fritos but you can use the regular ones as well.
Hickory Sticks are also good on top of this casserole. Or you can use regular or BBQ potato chips.
Can This Dish Be Made In Advance?
Yes, it can be made in advance, partially. The chicken base can be made in advance, up to 24 hours before. Cover it and store it in the fridge til ready to use.
When ready to make it, take it out of the fridge, and preheat your BBQ or oven. Because the chicken has been cooled the baking time will have to be adjusted. Usually, we put the chicken on the BBQ to warm up a little before adding the cheese. This is usually 5 or 10 minutes, and you may have to add a little more chicken broth so it isn’t dry.
Can The Spiciness Be Adjusted?
Definitely! We use 1 or 2 jalapenos in a pan of this casserole. You can use more or less jalapenos depending on how spicy you want it.
Different types of peppers can also be used. If we are making it and don’t want any heat, we will add Anaheim peppers which are milder. Or you can add a hotter pepper you can go with a serrano pepper. The choice of spiciness is up to you.
What To Serve With Fritos Chicken Casserole
This casserole can be served on its own or with a side. Or it can be served as part of a potluck as well.
Some sides to go with this dish include:
- Grilled corn on the cob
- Garden Salad
- Additional corn chips
Toppings For This Dish
There are plenty of toppings you can add to this casserole:
- Sour Cream
- Pickled jalapenos
- Diced tomatoes
- Cheese Sauce (try our Velveeta Nacho Cheese)
- Diced red onion
- Avocado Slices
What To Do With Leftovers
This dish does not store well. The corn chips lose their crunch when stored and it is impossible to get the crispiness back. If you don’t think you can finish the whole dish, I would recommend making a half recipe.
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Fritos Chicken Casserole
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 can diced tomatoes, 796 ml / 27 oz
- 1 can black beans, drained, 540 ml / 18 oz
- 4 Tbsp chili powder
- 1-2 Jalapenos, diced
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 500 grams cheddar or Monterey Jack, shredded, divided
- 1 bag BBQ Fritos, 340 grams / 12 oz
- cheese sauce
- pickled jalapenos
- sour cream
- Preheat BBQ or Oven to 400℉. BBQ should be set to indirect heat
- Cut chicken into strips and place in BBQ/oven safe dish
- Add broth, tomatoes, beans, chili powder, jalapeno, salt and pepper.
- Place pan on BBQ or in oven. Close lid if using BBQ
- Allow to cook, stirring occasionally until chicken is cooked and falling apart, about 30 minutes.
- Once chicken is cooked, use a spatula or spoon to break up chicken into shreds
- Top with 3/4 of the cheese and bake until cheese starts to melt, about 5 minutes
- Spread the Fritos over the melted cheese and top with remaining cheese.
- Bake additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and Fritos are warm.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
- Serve with toppings.