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Navajo Tacos are easy to make and fun to eat! Pillowy fry bread piled with chili, cheese and your favorite toppings.
Navajo Tacos are such a staple of our childhood. We ate them at 4th of July parties, county fairs, chili cook-offs and lake trips. We would eat them outside on the grass or on a picnic table so we didn’t make a huge mess, and almost always on a thick paper plate. The chili would seep through but we didn’t care. It was summer food and it didn’t matter if we got it all over the place. Light Indian Fry Bread piled high with either chili or ground beef or a mixture of both, lots of shredded lettuce, tomatoes, olives and cheese and smothered in sour cream is one of my most treasured meals of my youth.
Ingredients in Navajo Tacos
- The base of a delicious Navajo taco recipe is our soft Homemade Fry Bread. This from scratch recipe is super easy and always turns out light, fluffy and delicious! Use the fry bread on for scones too! Top with honey and butter or cinnamon sugar. YUM!
- If you’re pressed for time, use biscuit dough in place of fry bread dough. You know, the refrigerated dough in a can. You can use pre-made pizza dough too. Just flatten out the biscuit dough into round discs and then fry up in hot oil as directed in the recipe card below.
- Frozen dough is another quick alternative to Navajo fry bread. I love using Rhode’s frozen dinner rolls because the dough balls the perfect size for mini Navajo tacos. Let them rise on a cookie sheet covered in plastic wrap, then form each piece of dough into flat discs, then fry just like you would a the biscuit dough or homemade dough.
- Then, you’ll need chili. We make a huge batch of our Easy Homemade Chili, use some for this recipe, then freeze the rest for later. You can use a can of your favorite chili for an easier dinner too.
- Shredded cheese is next. Do yourself a favor, and shred it from the block. The pre-shredded cheese is convenient but doesn’t melt as well and just doesn’t taste as good.
- Top with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, anything you like.
Toppings for Navajo Tacos
This recipe is perfect for anyone who has little time but a big appetite! They’re really simple to throw together and so delicious. For toppings, I know some people like to use re-fried beans instead of chili. That’s not the way I was brought up, so I can’t in good faith encourage this sort of behavior. You can have refried beans AND chili, but never JUST re-fried beans. The chili is what makes them so good! So here are our favorite toppings for Navajo tacos, and of course add your own to the mix!
- Refried beans (if you must)
- Seasoned ground beef – brown in a large skillet in a little vegetable oil, then season with cumin, chili powder, and paprika. Or you can use your favorite taco seasoning.
- Shredded chicken
- Cheddar cheese
- Shredded lettuce
- Diced tomatoes
- Green onions
- Green pepper
- Black Olives
- Sour Cream
- Ranch Dressing
- Sliced Avocado or Guacamole
More Hearty Chili Recipes
This dish is a complete meal all on its own. We rarely serve anything alongside our Navajo tacos, except a big old napkin, and maybe some ice cream for dessert. Here are a few more hearty recipes guaranteed to fill you up!