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Take your typical tacos up a notch by making Navajo Tacos with Indian fry bread! All your favorite taco fillings snuggly wrapped in a buttery, crunchy, golden shell will make your next Taco Tuesday the most delicious one yet.
Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat… these are NOT Taco Bell Chalupa Tacos!
Secondly, you won’t want to wait until Tuesday to make these amazing Navajo Tacos (pronounced Navaho tacos)! Homemade dough fried to perfection and loaded with seasoned meat and plenty of other toppings will ensure that each bite is a flavorful one.
While making dough from scratch can seem a little intimating, don’t shy away from this recipe! All great things take a little time and effort, and these crispy tacos are certainly no exception.
Plus, the best part is that you can make a few extra and serve them as dessert! Yes, you heard me — there’s a sweet version for Indian fry bread as well. Top with honey and powdered sugar or drizzle on some of my Homemade Caramel Sauce for an indulgent after dinner treat.
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- All Purpose Flour – The main ingredient in making your fry bread dough.
- Baking Powder – Will make your dough light and fluffy and ensure that it rises evenly while cooking.
- Salt – I always opt for Kosher salt, but any salt will work!
- Butter – Can’t create these buttery shells without it! Ghee is a perfectly compatible substitute.
- Whole Milk – Adding milk will make the dough rise evenly and come out a beautiful golden-brown color.
- Vegetable Oil – Fry your dough in a deep skillet with oil, and voila! Indian Fry Bread that looks as delicious as it tastes.
- Taco Toppings – Brown ground beef and season with my homemade taco seasoning or steak fajita seasoning. Drain a can of black beans, then chop up your produce — lettuce, avocado, and tomatoes — and chill until it’s time to assemble. Don’t forget sour cream and shredded cheese.
HOW TO MAKE INDIAN FRY BREAD
1. Make The Dough. Add all of the dry ingredients to a large bowl, then mix in the butter until the mixture is crumbly. Make a small well in the center and pour in the milk. Knead until everything is incorporated and you have a smooth, soft dough. Cover the bowl with a towel and set it aside for 15 minutes.
2. Roll and Divide. On a clean surface, roll the dough into a log and divide into 12 equal balls. Then, form the balls into 6-inch flat circles and poke each several times with a fork.
3. Cook ‘Em Up! Heat oil in a deep skillet over medium heat until 350°F. Carefully lower each dough circle into the oil and cook for 30 seconds on one side. Then, use tongs to flip and fold it into a taco shell and let cook until golden. If you’re preparing these as a dessert, simply fry it flat on both sides!
4. Let Cool. Remove shell and place on paper towel lined plate or wire rack to drain and cool.
HOW TO ASSEMBLE NAVAJO TACOS
1. Prep Toppings. While the fry bread dough is resting, prep all of you favorite taco toppings!
2. Layer & Serve. Add ground beef and black beans in the bottom of each shells, then top with lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado slices. Add a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of cheese, and enjoy!
How Do You Store Leftover Indian Fry Bread?
This recipe is best served and enjoyed freshly fried and warm. If you do end up with some leftovers, keep them at room temperature loosely wrapped in plastic or in an unsealed plastic bag for up to 2 days.
What Do You Eat With Navajo Tacos?
Honestly, this meal is so filling and customizable, that they are perfect just as they are on their own!
But, if you’re looking to add a little more green to this meal, my zesty Spicy Cilantro Lime Slaw would be a wonderful side dish!
What’s The Difference Between Indian Fry Bread and Sopapillas?
Fry bread is flatter and more dense, while Sopapillas are puffier and hollow on the inside. Also, fry bread is typically prepared in a large, round shape while Sopapillas tend to be in the form of a square or triangle.
Are Navaho Tacos Similar To Mexican Tacos?
For the most part, yes! They use the same toppings, but Navaho tacos are made with a shell of crispy fry bread while Mexican tacos use corn or flour tortillas.
Sometimes when I’m too lazy to make all the taco fixings I slather on my Beef Queso dip and call it a day. Enjoy!
Navajo Tacos (Indian Fry Bread)
- In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and butter until butter is worked in and crumbles. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk. Using your hand, bring everything together and knead a soft dough. Cover with a towel and set aside for 15 minutes.
- If making savory tacos, brown the ground beef and seasoning in another skillet over medium heat. Add half cup of water and stir through, breaking up meat. Cook 10 minutes and set aside. Prep and have all other toppings ready in bowls to stuff the fried shells.
- On a clean surface, roll into log and divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll into balls and cover with towel. Take each dough ball and roll it out to a 6-inch circle. Prick several times with a fork.
- Heat oil in a deep skillet over medium heat to 350°F. Carefully lower the dough circle into the hot oil closest to you, draping away from you and submerge into oil (to avoid splashing). It will then immediately float and puff up (See Note 1).
- Let the dough fry for 30 seconds on side one. Using tongs, flip the dough over and gently fold the dough in half like a taco shell. Hold the dough in that position and continue to fry for 30 seconds more and outside is golden brown. Roll the shell over to cook other side.
- Remove the shell and let it drain on a paper towel lined plate or wire rack lined tray. Repeat with remaining dough balls (roll out, prick with holes and fry).
- Fill with ground beef, black beans, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, queso sauce or grated cheese.
- Drizzle honey and dust with powdered sugar on each and serve warm.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.