These easy Indian Fry Bread Tacos are simple to throw together and taste amazing! If you’ve never tried these unique twist, you’re in for a special treat. Plus, it makes a very convenient way to use up all of your leftovers too!
Indian Fry Bread Tacos
Indian Fry Bread Tacos, often referred to as Navajo Tacos or Indian Tacos, are a dish that combines elements of Native American and Mexican cuisine. They’re typically made by topping a piece of traditional Native American fry bread with ingredients you might find in a taco.
Fry bread is a type of bread made by frying a simple dough in oil or fat. It has a light, airy texture and a rich, savory flavor that’s not unlike that of a doughnut, albeit without the sweetness. Its origin traces back to the Native American communities, particularly the Navajo tribe.
The toppings for Indian Fry Bread Tacos often include seasoned ground beef or other meats, beans, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and sometimes sour cream and salsa or other sauces. Some versions might include ingredients like olives, avocado, or jalapeños.
Despite the name, Indian Fry Bread Tacos are more akin to a tostada than a traditional taco due to the flat, open-faced nature of the dish. The fry bread serves as a base or plate, and the toppings are piled on top.
It’s worth noting that while fry bread is an important cultural symbol for many Native American tribes, it also has a complex history. It originated during the Long Walk in the 1860s when the U.S. government forcibly relocated the Navajo from Arizona to New Mexico and gave them ingredients like flour, sugar, salt, and lard to survive. Despite its painful origins, fry bread has become a symbol of resilience and strength for many Native American communities today.
In modern times, Indian Fry Bread Tacos are a popular dish at state fairs, festivals, and in restaurants that serve Native American cuisine. They’re celebrated for their unique combination of textures and flavors—crispy, soft fry bread paired with savory, spicy, and sometimes creamy toppings.
A note on the name of this recipe
The term “Indian Tacos” can be sensitive due to its use of the term “Indian” to refer to Native Americans, a term some Native individuals and communities find outdated or offensive. Many people prefer the terms “Native American” or the names of specific tribes or nations.
Since people are actively searching for an “Indian Taco” recipe as opposed to a “Native American Taco” recipe, we’ve kept the original name for this post. As with all of the recipes here that originate from cultures outside of my own, we strive to honor and respect the origins of the dish while also celebrating and respecting the flavors and the people which it came from.
More South-of-the-Border Inspired Recipes here!
Indian Fry Bread Tacos shopping list
Wondering if you have to hit the store? Here’s the list of items you’ll need to make this recipe. For specific amounts, please refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Baking powder
- Vegetable oil
- Ground beef
- Taco seasoning
- Pinto beans
- Black beans
- Taco seasoning
- Salsa verde
- Mexican blend cheese
- Sour cream
- Black olives
- Diced tomatoes
Try our Blackstone Chicken Fajitas
How to make Indian Fry Bread Tacos
This is just the overview so you can see what you’re actually getting into here. When you are cooking, you’ll want to use the full recipe at the bottom of the page.
Mix up the dough and set it aside to rest.
Preheat your oil and roll out the dough into 8 equally sized balls. Roll out thin and fry until golden brown on both sides.
Heat up your leftover meat (or cook some new stuff if you’re going that route) and load it up on the freshly cooked fry bread.
Put all the fixings you want on those bad boys and dig in!
Try our Traeger Carnitas Taquitos
Indian Fry Bread FAQ
Can these be made in advance?
Fry bread is best eaten right after frying for the best results. I wouldn’t purposely make them in advance. A few hours would be okay, but try and fry the bread as close to when you’ll be eating them as you can.
What’s the best way to store and reheat leftovers?
If you do make a bit more than your family can tackle in one night, store the fry bread in an airtight container. Reheat in an air fryer, oven, or your toaster on warm for the best result.
Make some Homemade Salsa Verde with this!
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- Blackstone Mexican Pizza
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- Blackstone Mexican Corn (Off The Cob)
- Homemade Guacamole Recipe
- Traeger Bean Tostada
- Blackstone Brisket Tacos
- Homemade Churros
- Chorizo Breakfast Tacos
- Shrimp Fajitas
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup cold water
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 cups oil (for frying)
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 1 can pinto beans, drained
- 1 can black beans with garlic and onion, drained
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
- 1/4 cup salsa verde
- 2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
- chopped onion
- sour cream
- black olives
- diced tomatoes
- Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and water in a mixing bowl. Stir until a dough forms, and knead a few times until it is smooth. For a ball. Add the 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and coat the outside of the ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 15-20 minutes.
- While the dough is resting, cook the taco meat. Or if you are using leftovers, heat them up.
- Combine all the pinto bean ingredients in a pot and let heat over medium-low heat.
- In a high-sided frying pan, add the oil and let it heat over medium heat. You're aiming for about 350°-375°F for the oil temp.
- While it is preheating, cut your dough into 8 equally sized pieces. Roll into balls, and then roll out into rounds with a rolling pin. about 4-6" in diameter is about right.
- Fry each of the rolled-out rounds until they are golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.
- Assemble the tacos with the cheese, meat, and beans, and let everyone top them with all of the fixings they could possibly want.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 705Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 128mgSodium: 1147mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 10gSugar: 4gProtein: 48g
Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate.