Indian fry bread tacos are served on crispy and delicious bread. They are loaded with flavorful ground beef and all your favorite toppings.
Why is it called an Indian taco?
Indian tacos or Navajo tacos originated when Indians living in Arizona were forced to relocate to New Mexico in 1864. They were only given a small portion of staples that included flour, salt and lard by the government.
Their traditional diet of vegetables and beans could not be supported in this new land so they made this fried dough.
Fry bread used to make Indian tacos became a staple in their journey. This Native American dish can be made with dough using very few ingredients.
Let’s make Indian fry bread tacos.
The dough is fried to a golden crisp and so delicious. Traditional taco toppings go right on top for an amazing meal.
For the Fry Bread:
Check out our Indian Fry Bread Recipe for the best way to make homemade fry bread.
- Baking Powder
- warm water
- Oil for frying
For the Toppings:
- Hamburger Meat. We used ground beef but you can substitute ground turkey.
- Taco Seasoning. Try making homemade taco seasoning. It is very easy.
- Taco Sauce
- Ranch Style Beans. We love to make homemade ranch style beans in the crock pot. I think refried beans would also be delicious.
- Head of Lettuce
- Roma Tomatoes
- Red Onion
- Sour Cream
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese. We used cheddar but you can use any type of cheese you prefer. A Mexican blend cheese would also be delicious.
How do you make fry bread
- First, in a medium size bowl, combine the baking powder and salt with the flour.
- Next, slowly stir in the warm water until a dough forms. Continue to gradually add the water until the dough forms. You may not need all of the water so it is important to add it gradually.
- Once the dough has been combined, let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Now roll the dough out slightly on a lightly floured surface. Cut it into 6 pieces. Then take each piece and roll it to about ½ inch thick circles.
- Finally, heat about 3 inches of the oil in a large deep pot. Once you have heated the oil, start to fry the dough circles in the oil until the dough is golden brown.
It will poof up slightly in the hot oil. That is when you flip the dough to fry the other side. Keep a close watch on the dough. It only takes a few minutes per side to cook.
- Once fried, place the dough on a plate lined with paper towels. This will allow excess grease to drain on paper towels.
Cook the taco meat:
- Start by browning the ground beef in a large skillet over medium high heat.
- Once brown, add the taco seasoning and ¼ cup of water. Let this simmer uncovered for 4 to 6 minutes until everything is well combined.
- Next, heat the ranch style beans in the microwave until they are heated through.
How to make Indian Tacos
Now it is time to assemble the tacos.
Just top each fry bread dough with the taco sauce, then the meat mixture and beans. Finally add your favorite toppings.
Indian Taco Topping ideas
- lettuce. This is best shredded and makes it easier to eat.
- tomatoes. Dice any kind you prefer. I like roma tomatoes.
- onions. Red, white or Vidalia make good toppings. Just dice whatever type of onion you like best.
- cheese. Shredded cheddar is tasty but other ideas include Colby and Pepper Jack cheese.
- cilantro. This adds so much flavor to the tacos. Don’t skip this topping.
- sour cream. Just a little dollop of sour cream makes these even better.
Serve immediately and enjoy. I like to pile my tacos high with lettuce tomatoes, cheese, onion and more.
It is fun to set out a topping bar so everyone can choose what they like on their tacos. I think this would also be a fun party idea.
Let everyone top the fry bread with the taco meat so it does not get soggy. Then choose any toppings they like. It is a great party idea or for Game day.
Side dish ideas:
- Refried Beans. You can buy the canned version but we love to make homemade refried beans. The slow cooker makes it really easy and you can actually freeze them for easy meals like this.
Instead of paying around $1 per can, you can easily make your own refried pinto beans and place them in the freezer. Then you only have to heat them up to eat.
- Easy Spanish Rice. Our family loves this and I often make a double recipe to freeze for later. Once you make this and can freeze it, there is no reason to use those box mixes for Mexican Rice.
Can fry bread be made ahead of time?
It is best served fresh as soon as you fry the dough. If you need to make it in advance, I would suggest making the dough the day before.
Just put in a bowl and cover overnight in the fridge. Take out the next day and allow to come to room temperature.
Roll, cut and fry as normal.
I know life gets busy so if you must fry them in advance, here is a trick to reheat them. Wrap in foil to prevent them from drying out and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
To save time since the dough is best made fresh, you can make the taco meat ahead of time. You can easily take this out of the fridge or freezer when needed. We actually keep browned taco meat in the freezer to help make dinner time even easier.
How to store:
Put leftovers in the refrigerator in an air tight container for up to 2 to 3 days.
How to use leftovers:
- Make dessert with leftovers. I try to actually make extra dough because the kids love when I use it for dessert. They like it drizzled with honey and dusted in powdered sugar. It is also good with a cinnamon sugar mixture.
How to freeze fry bread:
Make sure there isn’t any excess oil or moisture. You may need to pat the bread with a paper towel.
Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and put in an airtight container in the freezer. It will last up to 3 to 4 months.
To reheat, place in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. I like to wrap each piece of bread in foil.
- When you are making the dough, do not knead it too much. This will result in the bread being tough.
- Gradually add water. You may not use all of the water so resist the temptation to just dump it all in at once.
- You can make the thickness of the bread to suit your needs. I like to roll the dough on the thinner side if I am using it for tacos.
- Keep the fry bread warm by putting it on a baking sheet in the oven. This is so handy if you are cooking for a crowd and need to keep it warm while frying.
- Save some dough and use it for dessert. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. The kids will love it. You can also drizzle honey on them dust with powdered sugar.
What oil is best for Indian tacos:
Peanut Oil, Vegetable Oil or Canola Oil would be great for frying. It is best to use a neutral oil so the flavor of the bread is not altered.
You also need to use an oil with a high smoke point for frying. For example, don’t use olive oil. It does not have a high smoke point and your bread will easily burn and your house will be smoky.
It is very important to use the correct oil when frying.
Indian fry bread tacos are delicious.
Print this Indian Fry Bread tacos Recipe:
Indian Fry Bread Tacos
- For the Fry Bread:
- 2 cups Flour
- ½ tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Baking Powder
- 1 cup warm water
- Oil for Frying
- For the Toppings:
- 1 lb Hamburger Meat
- 2 Tbsp Taco Seasoning or a packet
- 8 oz Taco Sauce
- 1 can Ranch Style Beans 15 oz.
- ½ Head of Lettuce
- 2 Roma Tomatoes diced
- ½ Red Onion Diced
- ½ cup Sour Cream
- 1 ½ cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- 1 Bunch of Cilantro chopped
- To Make the Fry Bread:
- In a medium size mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda. Slowly stir in the warm water into a dough forms. Gradually add in the water until the dough is form (you may not need all the water).
- Let the dough sit for 5 minutes.
- Then roll the dough out slightly and cut it into 6 pieces.
- Then roll out each piece into a ½ inch thick circles.
- Heat 3 inches of the oil in a deep pot. Fry the dough circles in the oil until the dough is golden brown and poofs up slight. Then flip the dough to fry the other side.
- Set the fried dough on a plate lined with paper towels.
- To Make the Toppings:
- Brown the hamburger meat in a large skillet over medium high heat. Then stir in the taco seasoning and ¼ cup of water. Simmer uncovered for 4-6 minutes until the seasoning is thoroughly combined.
- Heat up the ranch style beans in the microwave until heated through.
- Then it’s time to assemble the tacos!
- Top each fry bread with the taco sauce, then the meat mixture and beans. Then top with your favorite toppings: lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cheese, cilantro and sour cream!
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
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