Navajo Tacos ~ Indian Fry Bread Tacos

Tacos From the Navajo Nation

Navajo Tacos or Indian Fry Bread Tacos are a delicious and unique twist on your standard taco. You won’t find anything like this at Taco Bell. This recipe comes to us from the Navajo Nation in Chinle, AZ.

These unique tacos bring a fresh new taste to “Taco Tuesdays“. Made with homemade Indian Fry Bread, a hot spice mix, kidney beans, onions, green chilies, and topped with sour cream, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, sliced black olives, sliced avocado, and some Pico de gallo.

The Indian Fry Bread is made with all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, warm water, and a little oil for frying. They take a few minutes to make but will be worth the effort.

This recipe will have the whole family and all your friends begging for more.

The City of Chinle, Arizona

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Chinle serves as the Gateway to Canyon de Chelly where the canyon has provided food, water, and shelter for groups of people for over 5,000 years including Archaic, Basketmakers, Ancestral Puebloans, and Hopi. Today, about 40 Navajo families live and farm in the canyons which limits access into the area. Nearly 84,000 acres of tribal lands were established as Canyon de Chelly National Monument under the National Park Service by President Herbert Hoover on February 1, 1931. To better manage the park, the National Park Service is working with the Navajo Nation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and other stakeholders to establish a cooperative management agreement.

Chinle Arizona
Chinle Arizona

The Navajo people call this area Ch’ini’li which means “where the water flows out” to describe the location of the water flowing out from Canyon de Chelly. The Chinle community is situated in the center of the Navajo Nation and was established after the Navajo people returned from the Long Walk when thousands of Navajos were forced from their homes to march over 300 miles to Ft. Sumner, New Mexico. After the Treaty of 1868 was signed, Navajos returned to their homelands and many families came back to this area.

Missions, schools, and trading posts were established to help Navajos adjust to a new way of life. Chinle became a major trading center with the canyon attracting visitors from around the world. Thunderbird Lodge was the first trading post, Lady of Fatima Catholic Church was the first mission and Chinle Boarding School was the first school.

Visitors from far and near come to see the breathtaking views of the canyon or come to seek the services provided in Chinle.

 Calvin Osife, whose heritage traces to the Navajo people of Chinle, Arizona, wears a traditional "jingle dress" at the Celebrations of Traditions Pow Wow, an official Native American Pow Wow
Calvin Osife, whose heritage traces to the Navajo people of Chinle, Arizona, wears a traditional “jingle dress” at the Celebrations of Traditions Pow Wow, an official Native American Pow Wow

Ingreadents Needed to Make Indian Fry Bread Tacos

Indian Fry Bread

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 3 cups oil for frying

Navajo Tacos

  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion diced
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1 15 oz. can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 4 oz. can diced green chilies, mild

Toppings

  • Sour cream
  • Shredded cheese
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Sliced black olives
  • Slice avocado
  • Pico de gallo
  • Cilantro

How to Make Indian Fry Bread Tacos

  1. Indian Fry Bread

    In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the warm water and mix using a fork until a dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, then transfer to a clean bowl and cover tightly in plastic wrap. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.

  2. Divide the Dough

    Divide the dough into 8 equal sections by pinching off golf-ball-sized balls of dough, then pat and roll out the dough balls into roughly 6-inch discs on a lightly floured surface. Keep them covered with plastic wrap while you prepare to fry them.

  3. Cook the Fry Bread

    Heat 3 cups of oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes until the oil temperature reaches between 350 and 360 degrees F. Working in batches, fry each disc in the hot oil until the dough is golden brown on one side, then carefully flip with tongs and fry on the other side. Set on a paper towel to drain the oil and stick in a warm oven to stay hot while the other fry bread is cooked.

  4. Navajo Tacos

    In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat, then add the onions and cook for 2-3 minutes, just until they begin to soften. Add the meat and brown with the onions.

  5. All the Other Ingredients

    When the meat is no longer pink, add all of the spices, kidney beans, tomatoes, and chilies, and decrease the heat to medium-low. Stir everything together, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes, then use to top Indian fry bread for Navajo tacos.

  6. Build Your Taco

    Add any toppings you like to the base of fry bread and taco mixture, piling it high.

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Navajo Tacos

Navajo Tacos ~ Indian Fry Bread Tacos

Deliciously crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside, Navajo Tacos made with Indian Fry Bread are topped with a meaty mixture of taco seasoned ground beef and beans, then all the fixings like sour cream, shredded lettuce, cheddar cheese, and tomatoes!

Please Rate This Recipe

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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Resting Time 10 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Native American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 1180 kcal

Ingredients
  

Indian Fry Bread

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 3 cups oil for frying

Navajo Tacos

  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion diced
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1 15 oz. can dark red kidney beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes drained
  • 1 4 oz. can diced green chilies mild

Toppings

  • Sour cream
  • Shredded cheese
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Sliced black olives
  • Slice avocado
  • Pico de gallo
  • Cilantro

Instructions
 

Indian Fry Bread

  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the warm water and mix using a fork until a dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, then transfer to a clean bowl and cover tightly in plastic wrap. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into 8 equal sections by pinching off golf-ball-sized balls of dough, then pat and roll out the dough balls into roughly 6-inch discs on a lightly floured surface. Keep them covered with plastic wrap while you prepare to fry them.
  • Heat 3 cups of oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes until the oil temperature reaches between 350 and 360 degrees F. Working in batches, fry each disc in the hot oil until the dough is golden brown on one side, then carefully flip with tongs and fry on the other side. Set on a paper towel to drain the oil and stick in a warm oven to stay hot while the other fry bread is cooked.

Navajo Tacos

  • In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat, then add the onions and cook for 2-3 minutes, just until they begin to soften. Add the meat and brown with the onions.
  • When the meat is no longer pink, add all of the spices, kidney beans, tomatoes, and chilies, and decrease the heat to medium-low. Stir everything together, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes, then use to top Indian fry bread for Navajo tacos.
  • Add any toppings you like to the base of fry bread and taco mixture, piling it high.

Nutrition

Calories: 1180kcal
Tried this recipe?Share it on Instagram and mention @BarbariansGuideToCooking or tag #barbariansguidetocooking!
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Featured Restaurant

Thunderbird Lodge
Located in: Canyon de Chelly National Monument
Address: Rte 7, Chinle, AZ 86503
Phone: (928) 674-5842

The lodge sits on the site of a trading post built in 1896, and its cafeteria-style restaurant is located in the trading post’s original building. The all-day cafeteria serves Native American dishes as well as continental cuisine. Adorning the walls of the dining room are excellent examples of Navajo Rugs and artwork available for purchase. In the center of the dining area is a vault-like room, that at one time served as a jail for the trading post.

Thunderbird Lodge in Chinle AZ
Thunderbird Lodge in Chinle AZ – By Thierry Caro – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0
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Conan the Barbarian Chefhttps://barbariansguidetocooking.com/
So, did Conan return the wayward taco of King Osric to his dinner plate. And having no further concern, he and his companions sought adventure in the West. Many cooking schools and chili cook-offs did Conan attend. Honor and praise were heaped upon his name and, in time, he became a chef by his own hand... And this story shall also be told.

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