Navajo tacos will forever and always be one of my favorite foods! Yes eating healthy is great and all but sometimes we need some all-out comfort food like these Navajo Tacos! I grew up on Navajo tacos, I was always so excited when my mom said we were having Navajo tacos for dinner (I was that annoying child that would ask my mom what was for dinner just as we were finishing lunch, or sometimes even they day before. I liked to know the menu). They’re just so incredibly delicious, you really need to try them for yourself and see!
I actually shared this recipe about 4 1/2 years ago when I first started blogging, but I make these probably once a month so I decided to update the photos. Another way I make these, besides the beef filling listed is just with leftover chili. They both work perfectly as long as you make this simple homemade Indian fry bread – that’s the key to this recipe. If using leftover chili just rewarm it and be sure to use a slotted spoon to drain of excess liquid before you add them to your fry bread.
Can we talk a little be more about that Indian fry bread? Oh myyyy goodness is it good and they are actually really easy to make. This recipe should give you a couple extra fry breads so you can serve them warm with honey butter for dessert. Mmmmm, mmmmm, mmmmm!
Just imagine a pillowy-soft yet chewy center is encased by a lightly crisp, perfectly fried golden brown exterior then its generously topped with a deliciously flavorful, browned beef taco filling and all those classic southwestern toppings. Such a satisfying taco to say the least! Try them out and you’ll see why I’ve craved these as long as I can remember.
Mom’s Navajo Tacos and Indian Fry Bread
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 3/4 cup yellow onion , diced
- 2 cloves garlic finely minced
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 (15 oz) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes, drained (or sometimes I used an 8 oz can of tomato sauce instead)
- 1 (4 oz) can diced green chilis
- Salt and pepper , to taste
- Navajo Fry Bread , recipe follows
- Romaine or Iceberg lettuce , chopped
- Cheddar or Monterrey Jack cheese (I use a combo of both), grated
- Roma tomatoes , diced
- sour cream
- Optional toppings - sliced black olives , diced avocado, chopped cilantro, salsa or hot sauce
Navajo Fry Bread
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp rapid rise or active dry yeast
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup warm milk (110 degrees)
- 1 Tbsp butter or shortening , melted
- Vegetable oil , for frying (sometimes I use half olive oil)
- Heat olive oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute 2 minutes, add garlic and saute 20 seconds. Scoot mixture to the side then crumble beef into skillet. Season with salt and pepper and cook stirring occasionally and breaking up beef when stirring, until beef has browned and cooked through. Drain fat from beef and return to skillet. Stir in chili powder, cumin, paprika, kidney beans, canned diced tomatoes and green chilis then season mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes (if you used the tomato sauce you can add in a few tbsp of water to thin a little if needed). Using a slotted spoon, spoon mixture over fry bread, then top with lettuce, cheese, tomatoes and sour cream (and any of the other optional toppings listed). Serve immediately.
Navajo Fry Bread
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, yeast and salt. Whisk melted butter into warm milk and pour milk mixture into dry ingredients. Stir until mixture comes together and slightly forms a ball, dough should be fairly sticky (if needed you can add in a little more flour or a little more water to reach a good consistency but try not to overwork the dough). Cover dough with plastic wrap and allow to rest 10 minutes. Heat 1 inch of oil in a large cast iron skillet to 350 - 360 degrees over stove top. Divide rested dough into 8 equal pieces. Working with floured hands and one piece of dough at a time (keep other pieces covered with plastic wrap), pat dough out on a lightly floured surface into a 6-inch circle and gently drop into hot oil, and cook until golden brown, then flip and cook opposite side until golden brown. Remove from oil and drain onto a plate or baking sheet lined with paper towels. Serve warm with Navajo Taco topping or for dessert, spread with honey butter.
- Recipe source: Cooking Classy