Mom’s Navajo Tacos and Indian Fry Bread


Mom’s Navajo Tacos with Homemade Fry Bread 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.

With this recipe you get tender fry bread layered with a seasoned ground beef filling, followed by lots of veggies (think taco salad), cheese and sour cream. Then olives if you’ve got them.

Homemade Indian Fry Bread

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.

Homemade Indian Frybread Cooling on Paper Towel

Can’t Get Enough!

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. Yum yum and YUM!


Making Navajo Tacos On Fry Bread

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.

how to make fry bread at home

More taco recipes to try:



Mom’s Navajo Tacos and Indian Fry Bread

5 from 4 votes

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 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

For serving

  • Romaine or Iceberg lettuce, chopped
  • Shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (I use a combo of both), grated
  • Roma tomatoes, diced
  • Sour cream
  • Sliced black olives and chopped cilantro (optional)

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)


  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. Stir in chili powder, cumin, paprika, kidney beans, canned diced tomatoes and green chilis then season mixture with salt and pepper to taste. 
  4. 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). 
  5. 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

  1. 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.
  2.  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).
  3. Cover dough with plastic wrap and allow to rest 5 - 10 minutes. 

  4. Heat 1 inch of oil in a large cast iron skillet to 350 - 360 degrees over stove top.
  5. Divide rested dough into 8 equal pieces. 

  6. 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.

  7. Remove from oil and drain onto a plate or baking sheet lined with paper towels. 
  8. Serve warm with Navajo taco filling or for dessert, spread with honey butter.

  9. Recipe source: Cooking Classy


  • Sook: I love navajo tacos! This reminds me that I haven’t had them in quite a while! I used to make the bread at home too! I want to try your recipe as well! August 22, 2012 at 9:30pm Reply

  • Brittany: can’t wait to try this! August 22, 2012 at 9:22pm Reply

  • Tara: That looks so good. I am going to add it to my Mouth Watering Mondays post this Monday. Come on by to see it at Cheers, Tara August 22, 2012 at 7:50am Reply

  • Shawn @ I Wash…You Dry: Love this! I seriously can’t wait for the State Fair so I can go and devour one! Looks like now I can make them at home too. YUM! August 21, 2012 at 8:59pm Reply

  • Patricia @ ButterYum: Oooooo… I’ve had Indian fry bread, but never topped with a glorious concoction like this! Pinning :).
    August 21, 2012 at 7:19pm Reply

  • Jaclyn: Kensey – that is so great to hear that you loved these! I always eat way too much of them too, it’s so hard not to =). Thanks so much for your comment! August 21, 2012 at 6:35pm Reply

  • Kensey: Made these tonight with your version of scones- absolutely delish!! I ate way too much haha :) Adding these recipes to the rotation for sure! August 21, 2012 at 5:32pm Reply

  • Terry Ann: I have been eating the Pomo version(one of our local tribes here in Mendocino County)of these for 32 years and I love them. Can not wait to try yours. They look wonderful and I want some now after reading your post. Love your blog. Thanks for giving me an idea for a dinner this weekend. August 21, 2012 at 4:12pm Reply

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