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Navajo Tacos

These Navajo Tacos start with the absolute best homemade Fry Bread! The bread is topped with a deliciously seasoned beef and bean mixture and then topped with all your favorite taco toppings like cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and sour cream.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword navajo tacos
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 8 servings (1 taco per serving)
Calories 349kcal
Author Chelsea
Cost $7.62


Meat & Toppings

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb. (16 oz.) lean (93/7) ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 pkt. taco seasoning mix (Note 1)
  • 1/2 cup mild picante sauce (or use salsa)
  • 1 can (16 oz.) undrained chili beans (Note 2)
  • Optional toppings: shredded iceberg lettuce, halved cherry tomatoes, sliced olives, fresh guacamole, sour cream, fresh cilantro, fresh lime

Fry Bread

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2-1/3 cup white, all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons each: white sugar, baking powder (NOT soda!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: instant yeast, fine sea salt
  • 1 cup milk (we use whole)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil + more for frying


  • PREPARE FRY BREAD: Start here so the dough can rest while preparing the meat. Melt butter in the microwave. Let the butter cool back to room temperature (it's important it's not hot!)  Microwave the milk until just warmed (Note 3), but not hot. Mix together melted butter and milk and set aside. In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, yeast, and salt. Whisk to combine. Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together.
    The dough should be rough, shaggy, and fairly sticky, but not so sticky you can't work with it. Lightly flour your hands and knead the dough a few times into a ball, being careful to not overwork/over-handle the dough. Drizzle a tablespoon of vegetable oil in the bowl, turn the dough in the bowl to coat in the oil, and cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel. Let rest until the meat filling is finished. We don't need the dough to rise, just the gluten to relax!
  • MEAT FILLING: While dough is resting, add the olive oil to a large skillet over high heat. Once oil is shimmering, add in the ground beef. Let beef sear (brown) before crumbling with a wooden spoon and browning all the way through. Reduce the heat to medium and add in the seasoning mix and garlic. Stir until very fragrant, about 1 minute. Add in picante sauce, scraping the bottom of the pan to release any browned bits. Mix until incorporated and then add in chili beans undrained). Stir and cook until beans are warmed through. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally until fry bread is ready.
  • FRY THE BREAD: Add 1 inch of oil to a large cast iron pot and heat to 350 degrees F. Divide the rested dough into 8 equal portions (cut the ball of dough in half then half again to get 4 large triangle pieces. Cut each triangle into 2 pieces to get 8 equal triangles). Lightly flour your hands and work with one piece of dough at a time (keep the rest of the dough portions covered). Holding the pieces of dough with your hands gently work the dough into a circle pressing it out with your fingers (don't roll out the dough with a rolling pin or flatten on the table). The dough should make a thin 5 to 6-inch circle and doesn't need to look pretty -- it's supposed to be rustic!). The thinner the pieces, the better; keep working the dough outwards, being careful to not rip it.
    Gently drop only one piece of dough at a time into the fully heated oil. Cook until golden brown, about 30 seconds up to 1 minute per side (if not using cast iron pot, it will take longer) flipping the dough with 2 forks halfway through. Use a large slotted spoon to remove the dough onto a paper-towel-lined plate. Repeat this process to fry the remaining dough.
  • ASSEMBLE: Set out fried dough and top with equal amounts of meat filling. Add your favorite toppings such as shredded iceberg lettuce, halved cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced olives, guacamole, sour cream, cilantro, and/or lime. Enjoy immediately.



Note 1: Taco seasoning packet: Taco seasoning packets can vary in the spice level and even in overall flavor. We love McCormick® or Old El Paso® mild taco seasoning packet. Otherwise, we usually use a homemade taco seasoning blend. If you're concerned about heat, be sure to pick a "mild" packet.
Note 2: Chili beans: You can find chili beans near other canned beans in the grocery store. They are generally pinto beans in a mild chili-spiked sauce. If you can’t find chili beans (sometimes called ranch-style beans), I’d recommend using a can of drained pinto beans instead.
Note 3: Test milk temperature: Drizzle a few drops of the warmed milk onto the inside of your wrist. If it is warm and comfy it will be perfect for the yeast. If it feels hot, it will be too hot for the yeast. Too cold and the yeast will simply remain dormant.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 349kcal | Carbohydrates: 36.2g | Protein: 22.1g | Fat: 12.5g | Cholesterol: 54.1mg | Sodium: 400.2mg | Fiber: 1.7g | Sugar: 2.9g