clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
photo of navajo taco on fry bread

Navajo Tacos

  • Author: Melissa Griffiths - Bless this Mess
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8


Navajo tacos are such a fun spin on traditional tacos, made with puffy, fried, flour-tortilla-like fry bread and flavorful ground beef and beans, plus any and all of your favorite taco toppings!



For the Meat Topping:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium white or yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 can dark red kidney beans (15 ounces), drained and rinsed
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes (14.5 ounces), drained
  • 1 can diced green chilis (4 ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the Fry Bread:

  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon rapid rise or active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 quarts vegetable oil, for frying


  1. In a medium Dutch oven or stock pot, add the beef and onion, and cook together over medium to medium-high heat until the beef is cooked through and no longer pink, about 8 minutes.
  2. If there's extra grease, drain it from the pan.
  3. Add the garlic, and cook until just fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add the beans, tomatoes, and green chilis, and stir to combine.
  5. Add the chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika, and stir to combine.
  6. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the mixture is heated through.
  7. I like to get the meat topping going and then make the fry bread. The topping is okay to rest over low temperature, keeping warm until the fry bread is ready.

To make the fry bread:

  1. Add the milk and the butter to a small microwave-safe bowl, and heat until just warm and the butter is melted. You’ll want to milk to be no warmer than 110 degrees F. when you use it.
  2. Add the flour, baking powder, yeast, and salt to a medium mixing bowl, and stir to combine.
  3. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, and pour the milk/butter into the center of the well.
  4. Stir to combine well.
  5. Dump the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead it a few times to work the dough into a smooth ball. If the dough is sticky, add a bit more flour.
  6. Cover the dough ball with a clean dish towel, and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  7. While the dough is resting, heat the oil over medium to medium-high heat in a heavy bottom Dutch oven or pan. Prepare a baking sheet with a layer or two of paper towels.
  8. After the 10 minutes have passed, cut the dough into 8 even pieces
  9. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into 1/4-inch thick circles, using additional flour as needed. Don’t stack the uncooked dough on top of each other, as they tend to stick together.
  10. When the oil has reached 350 to 375 degrees F. on a thermometer, start cooking the dough, a few at a time, depending on the size of your pan. Don't crowd the pan; they shouldn’t touch while cooking.
  11. Cook for roughly 90 seconds per side, or until each side is golden-brown. Flip the dough over after 90 seconds, or when the oil side is brown, and cook the other side until it is also golden-brown.
  12. Use a slotted spoon to remove from the oil, and place on your paper towel-lined cooking sheet.
  13. Repeat with remaining dough until it’s all cooked.
  14. Serve with Navajo taco toppings or with honey butter on top.


  • Top with any additional favorite taco toppings, like shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, sliced black olives, diced tomatoes, or sour cream.
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 25 min
  • Category: main dish
  • Method: stove top, fry
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: how to make navajo tacos, navajo tacos, navajo taco recipe, easy navajo tacos and fry bread