Photo by food writer Victoria Bishop-Smith.

It’s National Native American Heritage Month and that means it’s time to cook up some great classics that have been in the indigenous community for hundreds of years.

Navajo Tacos is a meal of celebration and an important symbol of strength and perseverance in the Native American community.

The star ingredient in Navajo Tacos is the fry bread which has been around since 1864 following the 300-mile walk Native Americans took after being forced to relocate from their homeland. This was also known as the “Long Walk.”

Their new land could no longer harvest their long cherished crops, so the fry bread recipe arose from staple ingredients provided by the new American settlers including flour, salt, sugar and lard. This was later topped with a variety of ingredients and one of those versions became the Navajo Taco.

The fry bread only requires a couple of ingredients and you top the doughy base with a meaty and bean filled mixture alongside a variety of toppings like lettuce, tomato, onion and cheese.

If you’d like to make this recipe for yourself, follow the steps below!


1. In a medium bowl, add all the dry ingredients for the fry bread and mix.

2. Add the milk and butter and mix until a dough forms.

3. Add the dough to a floured surface and continue to knead until a smooth dough forms. Shape in a form of a ball. Cover with a paper towel and let rest for 30 minutes.

4. While the dough is resting, chop all your vegetables.

5. In a medium pan, prepare a meat and bean mixture. Set all this aside.

6. After 30 minutes has passed, add canola oil to a large pan over medium heat.

7. Prep the dough by rolling it into 6-8 separate balls of dough. Flatten them all out into big tortilla shaped pieces.

8. When the oil is ready, add the fry bread and allow to brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining dough balls.

9. Top with everything, serve and enjoy!


Fry Bread
  • 2-1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp dry active yeast
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1-1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • Meat and beans (I used pinto beans!)
  • Shredded cheese
  • Onions, chopped
  • Lettuce, shredded
  • Tomatoes, chopped
  • Anything else you’d like!

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