Frybread Navajo Tacos — traditional Native American bread topped with deliciously seasoned beef, crisp shredded lettuce, fresh tomatoes, and cheese.
I was first introduced to this wonderful fried bread during a diversity week activity at work. We each received a recipe from another culture that we had to learn to make and share with the group. I was blessed to receive this traditional Frybread (also fry bread) recipe that included instructions for Navajo Tacos (source no longer available). It’s been close to 10 years and it’s still one of my favorite recipes to share.
What is frybread?
Frybread is a Native American pan fried or grilled flatbread made from seasoned flour, leavening agents, fat, and water or sometime milk. It’s used in savory and sweet dishes and is served alongside of meals or as the base of others.
Navajo tacos using frybread
Navajo tacos uses frybread as the shell for the tacos and are topped with seasoned meat, usually ground beef, along with other toppings common to tacos. There are no set rules about the toppings but I prefer to keep it simple like the recipe I was given.
Ingredients need to make frybread tacos
Chili powder- I use chili powder in the frybread according to my taste preference. It’s an optional ingredient and won’t effect the recipe to eliminate it.
Lean ground beef
White onion diced
How to make Frybread tacos
Start by making the dough by whisking together flour, salt, baking powder, and chili powder if using in a medium to large bowl. Blend the flour with the milk and oil to form a soft dough.
Pour the dough out onto a floured surface and knead into a ball. From the dough ball, pull palm sized dough balls.
Roll the small balls flat and fry them in canola oil heated to 375-degrees for 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.
Next, heat another skillet over medium flame to brown the ground beef. Partially through browning, season the beef with the spices then add the onion. Continue cooking until crisp. Remove the heat and serve immediately.
What to serve on Navajo tacos
The original recipe that I learned only used lettuce, tomato, and cheddar cheese. To that I also serve sour cream and occasionally diced onion and sliced black olives. Jar salsa is nice but consider trying the tacos with my delicious Orange Taco Sauce.
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*This recipe was updated on 9/25/2020 for improved content. It was originally posted on 2/9/2019.*
Frybread Navajo Tacos
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 c white onion diced
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 ½ tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp oregano
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 2 ½ c all purpose flour more for rolling as needed
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 ½ tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp chili powder optional
- 1 c milk
- oil for frying
- Sour cream
- Black olives
- In a large bowl blend 2 cups of flour, baking powder, salt and chili powder. Add oil and milk and mix until a soft sticky dough is formed.
- Pour dough on to floured surface and cover with remaining 1-2 cup flour and knead into a ball. Pull palm sized amounts of dough and roll with hands to form balls. Use a rolling pin to flatten and shape dough balls into disks.
- Heat cooking oil (enough to fry; about 2-3 cups) in a cast iron skillet to 375. Fry 1-2 breads until golden on each side. About 1 ½ minutes per side. Drain on paper towels and keep warm until ready to serve.
- In a separate skillet over medium heat, add oil and ground beef. Season with suggested seasonings and spices and allow to brown for 5 minutes. Add the onion and cook until the beef is crispy. Drain any excess fat before serving.
- To serve, add 2-3 tbsp of beef to a frybread along with preferred toppings.