To make New Mexico Frito pie, also called Southwest Frito pie, place Fritos corn chips in serving bowls. Top the Fritos with a saucy mixture that combines browned ground beef, chili powder, flour, salt and garlic powder. Some people also add pinto beans to the beef mixture. Toppings for Frito pie include shredded lettuce, cheddar cheese, tomatoes and chopped onion, along with sour cream and cilantro.
To prepare the beef mixture for Southwest Frito pie, brown 2 pounds of ground beef in a stockpot, and drain the fat from the meat. Add 3 tablespoons of chili powder, 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, and mix well. Slowly add 2 cups of water to the beef. If desired, add a 15-ounce can of rinsed and drained pinto beans. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the sauce is thickened.
Prepare the toppings, including 2 cups of shredded lettuce, 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese, 3/4 cup of chopped tomatoes and 6 tablespoons of finely chopped onion. Divide 4 1/2 cups of Fritos corn chips among six serving bowls, and top with the beef mixture and desired toppings.