Texas Straw Hat

As I have mentioned previously, I am a graduate of The Ohio State University (Go Buckeyes!). I attended the years before food really became a priority in attracting and retaining students so our choices for eating as part of the meal plan were clear. You had 11, 15 or 19 meals a week. All dining areas utilized the same menu and it was the typical all you care to eat cafeteria. Think high school cafeteria on the next level.

Food was generally what you would expect for mass production. Today, universities have poured money into the dining experience. Typically each dining area has a specialization (healthy dining, Italian, Mongolian Grill) and the student often can purchase food off campus from their dining plan.

Back then there were really only two meals that got the students excited. The first was served only for the brunch meal on rare Sundays – breakfast chicken. Think Chik-Fil-A chicken biscuits without the biscuits. Very yummy.

The second meal took on mythic status around the residence halls – Texas Straw Hat!

TSH was nothing more than what many call FritoΒ pie. Southwestern flavored ground meat (with some onions) served over a bed of Fritos and topped with shredded cheese. I can’t tell what made it so wonderful, but it was and I’m glad to relive it here.

Not a healthy bite on the plate.

I was surprised to find celery in this recipe, but it works.

Frying up the meat and sauteing the vegetables at the same time.

Adding the ingredients for the sauce.

TSH – a classic!

Texas Straw Hat

Prep Time: 20 mins | Cook Time: 35 mins | Makes: 4-6


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2/3 cup chopped celery
  • 2/3 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 (6 ounce) tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 dash hot sauce
  • corn chips
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


1. Combine ground beef and next 3 ingredients in a large skillet; cook until meat is browned, stirring to crumble.

2. Drain off pan drippings.

3. Stir in remaining ingredients except corn chips and cheese; bring to a boil.

4. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Serve over corn chips, and top with cheese.

Nutritional Info:

Calories 571.1 Calories from Fat 328 Total Fat 36.4 g Saturated Fat 18.7 g Cholesterol 136.4 mg Sodium 1437.6 mg Total Carbohydrate 23.6 g Dietary Fiber 5.5 g Sugars 13.5 g Protein 39.7 g

Source: http://www.food.com/recipe/texas-straw-hat-30129

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Beef, Cheese, chili, Fried, Lunch, Main Dish 2, Mexican, Recipes, vegetable3

Author:The Ranting Chef

Check out the best recipes at rantingchef.com

30 Comments on “Texas Straw Hat”

  1. October 10, 2012 at 11:04 am #



  2. October 10, 2012 at 11:36 am #

    I love this stuff. Used to eat it at little league games when my kids were growing up. And yep, nothing healthy about this one.


  3. T.W.R.
    October 10, 2012 at 11:44 am #

    Fond memories! Glad this is documented for posterity… πŸ™‚


  4. Maggie
    October 10, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

    My nieces place taco meat, cheese and lettuce in a snack size bag of Fritos and call them Walking Tacos- eat them right out of the bag! Portable TSH!
    Love this, Pat!


  5. October 10, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

    I think this will go down well with the Grandchildren! Thank you πŸ™‚


  6. October 10, 2012 at 12:35 pm #



  7. October 10, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

    My university had great food the first year. The head chef then got a job at one of the really big Mariot hotels and the food went downhill each year. But there was one dish we all loved. It was a wilted ceasar salad. The typical salad with diced grilled chicken. But it was drizzled with a hot ceasar dressing. I’ve never found the right recipe for it and most of my attempts at it have been the kind you don’t want people to know about. I just stopped trying.


  8. ctminnesota
    October 10, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

    Delicousness…fun to serve in a frito bag and eat with a fork. Look mom, no clean up!!! (well, except the kids, maybe)


  9. thatoldschoolgirl
    October 10, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

    Great idea with the fritos. I have always used tortilla chips. Next time I will try it with the fritos.


  10. October 10, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    Looks good. I’m reminded a bit for Cincinnati 5-way. For years our local Woolworth’s (long gone) served chili poured inside an individual Frito bag, topped with cheese and sold as Frito pie. Lots of locals still eat that version.


    • October 10, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

      I remember that too. It was in the downtown Akron store too. My mother would not by it for me because she said it was too messy.


  11. Dee
    October 10, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

    Ha! I remember the meal plans and how going to any part of campus didn’t matter. I had the 19-meal plan right around the time the options to eat off campus were being test (early 90s). That was a true waste of my parents’ money. πŸ˜€


  12. October 10, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

    My kinda eatin’


  13. Naomi
    October 10, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

    My college president was Jean Mayer who was a nutritionist and effected certain legal developments – like printing nutritional information on packages and displaying cost per unit information in store aisles. Those, aside, we had yummy food!


  14. October 10, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

    Not too long ago I ate lunch at a cafeteria at a universtiy. I was amazed! They had all types of yummy food. And some of it was even trying to be healthy!

    I am thinking that these seasonings have that “taco” flavor. I’m gonna use this instead of the taco flavoring packages!


  15. October 10, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

    I love frito pies! I hate that Sonic quit making them – I could always get a quick fix when I wanted it!


  16. October 11, 2012 at 1:02 am #

    Reblogged this on thesurvivalplaceblog.


  17. October 11, 2012 at 2:14 am #

    Love it!!!!


  18. October 11, 2012 at 5:32 am #

    Nice!! πŸ™‚ BTW, I made your recipe from yesterday and it was a hit! Thanks for sharing such great recipes πŸ™‚


  19. October 12, 2012 at 10:08 am #

    May not be “healthy”, but there’s nothing wrong with a tasty indulgence now and then. I would’ve loved it if this was served at my college cafe.


  20. Jeffrey
    March 22, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

    Was walking down memory lane and got here through a Google search of TSH and Ohio State. Thanks for the smile. If you post one for Meatless Moussaka, let me know! That was like the other end of the taste spectrum…shudder. πŸ™‚ Go Bucks! Jeff


  21. August 31, 2015 at 5:45 pm #

    I was at The OSU and loved Texas Straw Hat! (I was there in the late 1980s/early 1990s and ate at Raney on north campus. My favorite Sunday Brunch dish was fish nuggets.) Thanks for sharing this recipe!


  22. Gabby
    February 17, 2016 at 7:42 pm #

    Thank you so much for this post! We so looked forward to the TSH! Brought back great memories of the North Campus Dining Hall and dorms – none of which exist anymore. Great Post!


  23. Bob Carl
    February 17, 2016 at 8:37 pm #

    Go Buckeyes!!!! This looks like a recipe I will try. I want to tame the carbs down some and use low carb tortillas baked and cut into small pieces.



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