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Authentic Indian Fry Bread Tacos (Navajo Tacos)

Dive into the delicious world of Indian Fry Bread Tacos with our easy-to-follow recipe. Perfect for any occasion, these tacos bring a delightful twist to your traditional taco night.

February 15, 2024
spicy food icon
Indian Fry Bread TacosPhoto By Canva
Difficulty Medium
Servings 8 people
Preparation 15 mins
Cooking 30 mins
Total 45 mins



Fry Bread

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Gradually add warm water to the dry ingredients, stirring until a dough forms.
  3. On a floured surface, knead the dough until smooth. Let it rest for 20 minutes.
  4. In a large skillet, heat about 1 inch of vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
  5. Divide the dough into small balls. Flatten each ball into a thin circle and fry in the hot oil until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.


  1. In a skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef with taco seasoning until browned.
  2. Arrange the lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, onions, sour cream, and salsa in serving dishes.

Assembling the Tacos

  1. On a piece of fry bread, layer the cooked meat, followed by lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, onions, sour cream, and salsa.
  2. Enjoy your Indian Fry Bread Tacos hot for the best taste experience.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 Indian Fry Bread Tacos
Serves 8
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*
Protein 25 g50%
Total Fat 35 g44.9%
Sodium 700 mg30.4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.


  • The dough should be soft but not sticky. If it's too sticky, add a little more flour until it reaches the right consistency.
  • Make sure the oil is hot enough for frying (about 350°F to 375°F). If the oil isn't hot enough, the bread will absorb too much oil and become greasy.
  • Don't overcrowd the pan when frying the bread. Fry one or two pieces at a time to keep the oil temperature consistent.
  • Feel free to customize the toppings based on your preferences. Beans, avocado, and jalapeños make great additions.
  • For a vegetarian version, substitute ground beef with cooked beans, tofu, or your favorite meat alternative.
  • Serve the fry bread and toppings separately, allowing everyone to build their own taco.
Rate This Recipe

Indian Fry Bread Tacos, a fusion of Native American and Mexican cuisines, offer a unique and tantalizing taste experience. This dish combines the crispy, fluffy texture of Indian fry bread with the zesty, savory fillings of a taco. A favorite at gatherings and a wonderful way to celebrate diverse culinary traditions, Indian Fry Bread Tacos are not just food; they're an adventure in every bite. Let's embark on this culinary journey together.

Origins of Indian Fry Bread Tacos

Indian Fry Bread Tacos, also known as Navajo tacos or Indian tacos, present a fascinating blend of Native American and Mexican culinary traditions. This dish takes the iconic fry bread, a creation borne out of necessity and resilience, and tops it with ingredients commonly found in Mexican tacos such as ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese. The origin of fry bread traces back to the 1860s when the Navajo were forced to relocate to Bosque Redondo, a journey known as the "Long Walk." Here, they were introduced to canned goods, white flour, sugar, and lard, which led to the creation of fry bread.

Navajo tacos have since evolved into a symbol of Native American ingenuity and survival, transforming a simple food item into a versatile base for various toppings. This fusion dish has gained popularity across the United States, especially in the Southwest, where it is a staple at gatherings, powwows, and family dinners. It represents a poignant piece of history served on a plate, blending the savory flavors of tacos with the unique texture and taste of fry bread.

The popularity of Indian tacos and fry bread tacos continues to grow, with variations of the dish appearing in restaurants and food trucks, each adding their unique twist. Despite its complex history, fry bread and its derivative dishes like Navajo tacos celebrate the resilience and creativity of Native American cultures. They serve not only as a reminder of the past but also as a testament to the ability of food to bring people together, transcending cultural and historical boundaries. Whether enjoyed at a state fair, a local eatery, or made at home, Indian tacos offer a delicious way to experience and honor Native American culinary traditions.

Indian Fry Bread vs Sopapillas

Indian Fry Bread and Sopapillas are both beloved staples in various cuisines, celebrated for their delicious taste and versatility. Despite their similarities, such as being fried dough, they have distinct characteristics, origins, and uses that set them apart.

Indian Fry Bread:

  • Origin: Indian Fry Bread originates from Native American cuisine. It was created in the mid-19th century when Native Americans were relocated and given government rations of flour, sugar, and lard.
  • Texture and Flavor: It is a flat dough bread, deep-fried until it puffs up and becomes golden brown. The outside is crispy, while the inside remains soft and chewy.
  • Uses: Indian Fry Bread can be served both as a savory or sweet dish. In its savory form, it's often topped with ingredients similar to tacos, hence the popular "Indian Fry Bread Tacos." For a sweet variation, it can be topped with honey, powdered sugar, or jam.
  • Cultural Significance: It holds a significant cultural value in Native American history, symbolizing survival and resilience.


  • Origin: Sopapillas are a traditional Latin American cuisine, particularly popular in Mexican and New Mexican dishes. They are believed to have originated in Albuquerque, New Mexico, around 200 years ago.
  • Texture and Flavor: Sopapillas are lighter and puffier than Indian Fry Bread, made from leavened wheat dough that expands when fried, creating a hollow center. They are typically softer with a more pillow-like texture.
  • Uses: Sopapillas are usually served as a dessert, drizzled with honey or sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. However, they can also be stuffed with savory fillings, making them a versatile component of a meal.
  • Cultural Significance: Sopapillas are often enjoyed at celebrations and festive occasions, embodying the warmth and hospitality of Latin American and Southwestern American cultures.

Key Differences:

  • Ingredients and Preparation: While both are made from basic ingredients like flour and water, sopapillas include a leavening agent, which causes them to puff up and form a hollow center when fried. Indian Fry Bread is typically unleavened, resulting in a denser texture.
  • Serving Occasions: Indian Fry Bread is often used as a base for savory meals in addition to being a dessert, whereas sopapillas are more commonly served as a sweet treat after a meal.
  • Cultural Roots: Indian Fry Bread is deeply rooted in Native American history, while sopapillas have a broader cultural presence across various Latin American and Southwestern American cuisines.

Despite these differences, both Indian Fry Bread and Sopapillas are cherished for their delicious taste and the cultural stories they carry. Whether enjoyed as part of a savory meal or as a sweet treat, they offer a delightful culinary experience that reflects the rich heritage and traditions of their respective cultures.

What To Serve with Indian Fry Bread Tacos?

Indian Fry Bread Tacos are delicious dishes for a variety of toppings, providing a blend of flavors and textures.

Here are our delicious recipes that you can serve with Indian Fry Bread Tacos:

Recipe byPetite Gourmets

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