Texas Straw Hat

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Also called Frito Pie, these Texas Straw Hats are an easy meal that are satisfying and quick for weeknight prep! Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

texas straw hat

Today I’m bringing you another easy ground beef recipe. Don’t you just love recipes that use the words “easy” and “ground beef”? For me, that spells food for the masses! This one is also easy to tailor to what you have on hand so don’t go out buying special ingredients if you don’t already have them. Feel free to add drained diced tomatoes or tomato sauce in lieu of the tomato paste, leave out the thyme if you like, and just add a little extra chili powder. Cook it until it is nice and thick for layering and you’ve essentially just made yourself a Frito Chili Pie. 

Check out some of my other easy meals like Cream Cheese Chicken EnchiladasFiesta Taco SaladEasy Skillet Chili BakeEasy Taco Soup, and Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa Tacos.

Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Texas Straw Hats:

ingredients for texas straw hats

  • ground beef
  • chili powder
  • tomato paste
  • onion
  • pepper
  • thyme
  • salt
  • fritos
  • cheese

Quick tip! Sometimes I make the meat up and then just pop whatever is left in the fridge so throughout the week if anyone is hungry they can just heat up some meat and toss it on some corn chips! It’s kinda like my pizza rolls, gives you some time off from cooking later 🙂 

Helpful Kitchen Tools

How to Make Texas Straw Hats:

brown the beef and onion together

Brown your beef and onion together.

Use this amazing Ground Beef Chopper while you brown your meat. This is one of my very favorite cooking implements. It makes browning ground beef SO much easier, AND is under $5!

Another quick ground beef tip: Usually I have my beef all browned and in the freezer and just take out a bag to use in order to cut out this extra step

drain grease and add tomato paste

Drain your grease off good and add tomato paste…

add spices

then add Salt, Pepper, Thyme and Chili powder.

add Worcestershire

and Worcestershire sauce.

pour in water
and pour in your water.

stir and bring to a boil

Stir all of that up good and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for twenty minutes, stirring occasionally.

How to Serve Texas Straw Hats:

Serve hot atop corn chips! Top with your favorite toppings. Some of our suggestions are:

  • cheese
  • sour cream
  • tomato
  • avocado
  • lettuce (make it a taco salad and add a yummy dressing!)
  • your favorite salsa
  • guacamole



Texas Straw Hat


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt 1/8 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1 c chopped onion
  • 1 c water
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire
  • 2 c shredded cheddar cheese
  • corn chips


  • Brown beef and onion in a skillet. Drain off grease. Add all other ingredients except corn chips and cheese. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for twenty minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve atop corn chips, topped with cheese.
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!

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  1. I was reading through some of the other posts and someone mentioned vegetarians. You can replace the meat with TVP (textured vegetable portein, also called textured soy protein). The trick with that would be measuring out the dry protein product, add boiling water with enough water left out to be replaced with either the spicy V-8 or the El Pato Sauce and tomatoes. I would also add a couple of beef bullion cubes to the boiling water to make it taste more like beef (it’s like tofu, it will take on the taste of whatever flavoring you add to it). You have to let the TSP sit in a hot liquid in order to reconstitute it or it’s like eating little rocks! (Ask me, I made that mistake ONE time, learned my lesson real quick!) But add the V-8 or El Pato Sauce to it once you start to brown it in a skillet. Then continue on with your choices from there. And we used to do it buffet style, bowls of this, that and the other thing, just like with the tacos and tostadas, and everyone built their own.

    Speaking of tacos, if you don’t want a fried shell, try half a wheat pita bread. The pita bread makes a nice pocket to hold all the goodies and it definitely give you a different taste experience.


  2. Here’s another recipe where I would be replacing the tomato paste, water, thyme and Worcestershire sauce with my good old trusty El Pato Sauce and about enough water to rinse out the can good, maybe half a can (comes in cans the size of the small tomato sauce does).

    And I would replace the American chili powder with some my friend from India brought me. That stuff is so potent that where I was using 1/2 cup to make chili and it still wasn’t spicy enough, I used about a tablespoon of that and definitely cleaned my sinuses out! You can get the really good chili at any of the Middle Eastern food stores (they are cropping up everywhere I have been and they have some really good stuff in them!).

    Again, it is all a matter of taste and I love to experiment! My mom and I have added salsa to pizza sauce to give that some kick and topped the sauce with frozen stir fry vegetables (at least partially thawed out or it takes forever to cook that pizza where the center isn’t frozen anymore). Then top with cheese. She loves it so I make a medium one every time I go over there, even if we are having something else for dinner. She doesn’t eat much at one sitting, but she eats a whole pizza within 24 hours because she doesn’t sleep much. I am sitting here chuckling about it even now.

    And I sure would like to get my hands on one of those Texas rabbits. That critter would make a mess of stewed rabbit and dumplings! YUM!!


  3. hey Christy, another gluten free meal. !be sure to use real fretos and gf chilli powder. thanks
    . getting your book at Sams this weekend.

  4. Your site is so easy, down to earth and you show pictures of the products you use. You make it seem so easy and for a task that I do not like you make me want to try. I love your imput and the way you make me feel right @ home. I really like your site and I thank you for a fresh idea when I am all out of them. My daughter is very picky and I just don’t want to eat the same things night after night. I like to try something new.
    Your really cool!
    Thanks and God Bless!

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