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Navajo Tacos | www.tasteandtellblog.com

And now – Navajo Tacos. I feel so badly, because I have been sitting on this recipe for months now. We were having our monthly family dinner, and my sister chose to have my mom’s Navajo Tacos for the dinner that night. (So yeah – technically, I didn’t even make these. But I was there while they were being made!!) For some reason, this post has been pushed back for too many reasons to list, but I am so happy to be finally bringing it here.

Because this is one of my favorite meals.

I grew up in a smallish town in New Mexico, just miles outside of a Navajo reservation. It was always said that the population of my hometown doubled on the weekends because the indians from the reservation would all come into town to do their shopping. So it goes without saying that I’ve had a Navajo taco or two in my life. ๐Ÿ™‚

This is one of those recipes that is going to vary widely depending on who is making it. It’s a traditional Navajo meal that has been made since the 1800s. The main component – and most important, in my opinion – is the fry bread. There are 2 different versions of fry bread you will find – with yeast, or without yeast. My mom usually made the non-yeasted version growing up, which I think is the most traditional version. But more recently, she’s been making a yeast version. And while I will always love the non-yeasted one, I really do think that the yeast version is my favorite.

Navajo Tacos | www.tasteandtellblog.com

I know that many people will just use frozen rolls to make the fry bread, which is totally ok, but I think it’s worth the effort it takes to make it from scratch. It does take some time to make, but the hands on time is minimal. The bonus is that you can make the dough the day before!ย  Many times, the Navajo tacos will be served with mutton, but I definitely prefer to stick with ground beef.ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

And make sure you make extra of the fry bread. You’ll want some to eat with honey for dessert. You totally don’t want to skip out on that!!

Navajo Tacos | www.tasteandtellblog.com

Navajo Tacos
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A version of a traditional Navajo Taco - fry bread topped with meat, beans, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes. Save any leftover fry bread to eat with honey for dessert!
Serves: 12 servings
Fry Bread
  • 5 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons oil or lard
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2-4 cups additional all-purpose flour
  • oil for frying
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 small to medium onion, chopped
  • 1 can (4 oz) chopped green chiles
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 can (16 oz) pinto beans, warmed
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • chopped lettuce
  • chopped tomatoes
  • sour cream
To make the fry bread:
  1. In a large bowl, combine the honey and the oil with the warm water. Stir in the yeast. Allow to sit for 5 minutes for the yeast to proof.
  2. Add in the whole wheat flour, 1 cup of all-purpose flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix together. Add 2 more cups of flour, oil hands well and knead until dough is firm and begins pulling away from the sides of the bowl, adding more flour as needed.
  3. Spray the inside of a large ziptop bag with oil, put dough in and seal, leaving plenty of air inside. Put in the refrigerator for 12 hours. De-gas the dough by squeezing the bag to deflate the dough and let it rise again, preferably overnight.
  4. When ready to fry, bring the dough to room temperature. Heat at least an inch of oil in a large cast iron skillet.
  5. Flour your work surface, then roll the dough into a long rope. Cut into 12 equal portions. Roll each into a ball and flatten into a disc. Keep the dough covered, and working with one or two portions at a time, fry in the hot oil until browned and bubbled. Flip and cook the opposite side. Drain on paper towels.
To make the meat mixture:
  1. In a large skillet, cook the ground beef, breaking up as you cook it. Cook until browned through, then add the diced onion and cook until the onion starts to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the green chiles and season to taste with salt and pepper.
To assemble:
  1. Put a fry bread on a plate. Top with some of the meat mixture, followed by beans, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes. Top with sour cream if desired.
  2. -----------------
  3. source: my mom

And now to the link up. First up, a few posts from last week that caught my eye!


Reese's Rocky Road Brownies from Inside BruCrew Life

Reese’s Rocky Road Brownies from Inside BruCrew Life (the most clicked link of the week)

Butterfinger Muddy Buddies from Crumbs and ChaosButterfinger Muddy Buddies from Crumbs and Chaos

Easy Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip from What's Baking in the Barbershop?Easy Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip from What’s Baking in the Barbershop?

Four Ingredient Apple Pie from Rebekah of Schenewark FarmFour Ingredient Apple Pie from Rebekah of Schenewark Farm

The rules for the link up are simple:

1 โ€“ you can link up to any recipe
2 โ€“ link must be to a blog post โ€“ no etsy stores or advertisements
3 โ€“ please add a link in your post back to this post
4 โ€“ you can link up as many times as you want โ€“ go crazy!

Donโ€™t forget to click over on some of the other links so that we can all enjoy each otherโ€™s creations!!

And Iโ€™d love to have you follow me via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Google+. And donโ€™t forget to subscribe to my weekly newsletter!

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30 Responses to Taste and Tell Thursdays – Navajo Tacos

  1. Congrats on your site makeover! I have one in the works as well right now and it’ll be live within a few weeks I think…but yea, it’s never easy going thru it. Can’t wait to see your new look!

  2. Ooooh, that fry bread! It looks so good!
    Excited to see your new look ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Tieghan says:

    Congrats on you new look! That is very exciting! Can’t wait to see the new look!

    These tacos sound amazing! I have never seen, nor heard of them before. I am in aw! Fried bread? Holy yuum!

  4. I can’t wait to see the new look here. How exciting! Thank you so much for sharing my Reese’s brownies…I am thrilled to see they were the most clicked ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for hosting and have a wonderful day!!!

  5. Tracey says:

    I’ve never heard of this kind of taco, but oh my word does it ever look good!! You can never go wrong with fried bread can you?

    PS – can’t wait to see your new look! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Love the looks of these navajo tacos – YUM! Thanks for featuring my muddy buddies – hope you’re having a fabulous week ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Heavens to Betttttssaaaaaay.

  8. Deborah,
    I’ve been married in NM (twice–I love how all we needed was $25 and a photo ID, minimum age 13!) but I ate Navajo fry bread at the American Indian Museum in Washington DC, at one of the most unique museum cafeterias I think I’ve seen.

    Today I am linking up a pizza, since every Friday Night is a Pizza Night around here–this one is a change up: Beef and Mushroom FFF-boli. It’s a rolled pizza, so my photo above shows the mid-roll process.

    I’m also linking up a ‘suitable for Cinco de Mayo’ recipe, Fish Taco Enchiladas. My family gets into fights at the dinner table about burrito folding, so I sidestep the wars and made enchiladas instead. They are light, fresh, and my first time using Swai fillets.

    Last, and I admit trepidation posting this since your photos are so wonderful (who am I to think I know anything?) I have a post on the five lessons I learned during the 30 Days to Better Food Photography Challenge that I did during the month of April. You obviously don’t need the lessons, so I’ve also got a recipe for Sunny Hello Dolly Bars for some value-added.

    Thanks for hosting, and good luck with your site redesign!

  9. Krista Low says:

    Your Navajo tacos look amazing! My husband and I were talking not to long ago about making these. Every summer in the town I grew up going to the fair and eating Navajo tacos is a tradition and since we are in the military and rarely home in the summers we haven’t had one in years. Thank you so much for sharing this. I will surprise him with these ๐Ÿ™‚ Krista @ A Handful of Everything

  10. It’s been too long since I’ve had a Navajo taco. I’ll have to try your recipe.

  11. These look so tasty! Can’t wait to see your new look!

  12. These look amazing and I had never heard of them before. How neat to grow up near a Navajo reservation.

  13. Chels R. says:

    Mmm, those look delicious!!

  14. Janell says:

    We were just talking about Navajo Tacos last night. Kevin was surprised to hear that a co-worker didn’t even know what a navajo taco was!! These look perfect. I think I need one…soon!

  15. Kate says:

    Can’t believe how many people haven’t heard of Navajo Tacos!!!

  16. So I had a friend a long time ago who was Navajo and she made these for us one time. They are the most amazing food, like ever! I have attempted to make them once for my family. Good but not amazing. Definitley takes some time but oh so worth trying!

  17. That Navajo nacho looks awesome. I think the Snickerdoodle Handpies will go on my to do list first though! Thanks for the party.

  18. Joanne says:

    I used to love the Navajo fry bread at the Cheesecake Factory and would LOVE to make it myself! This is such a great recipe and I’m so excited to try it!! And also excited for the new site. If I remember correctly, you used Wooden Spoons Kitchen who I’ll be working with soon…and you’ve got me even more excited about it!

  19. Erin says:

    Where in nm? Sounds like where I am from. ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Yum. Navajo tacos are one of my favorite meals but I haven’t made them for several months. Thanks for reminding me about them. I’m eager to see your new blog look. Thanks for hosting the link party.

  21. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I want this right now. And I can’t wait to see your new design!

  22. I have always wanted to try navajo tacos, but have never had the chance ๐Ÿ™ Now that we live in CO, and are planning a trip to New Mexico I hope to change that. In the meantime, I am going to have to try these at home instead!

  23. grace says:

    fry bread is AWESOME. this is a fantastic creation because even though i can eat fry bread all by itself, it’s even better when topped like this!

  24. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    Wow, this looks delicious ๐Ÿ™‚ this is the kind of dish my husband would go nuts for!

  25. Leanna Dreher says:

    I went to High School in Farmington, New Mexico – where did you live in NM? I loved it – and I loved the food. Navajo Tacos were one of my absolute favorites! I can’t wait to try this…. Thanks!

  26. Leanna Dreher says:

    Judging from your photo, you graduated from FHS way after I was there…probably my daughter’s age…lol. I also see that you might be living in Utah now. We spend our summers at a remote cabin in Alaska, and our winters in New Braunfels, Texas. We are at our cabin for the summer now. No driving in or out – no stores nearby, and no mail delivery… Lots of planning re food, etc., to last until mid-September… Love the food blogs on Facebook to give me ideas – and loved seeing your recipe for the Navajo tacos and fry bread!

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