Navajo Tacos are perfect for an easy weeknight dinner. Simple homemade fry bread topped with chili, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, onions and sour cream.
What are Navajo Tacos?
Navajo Tacos are a little bit like regular tacos but the main difference is that you use fry bread instead of a tortilla. Also, you usually use chili instead of prepared taco meat as the base for all of the other toppings. The chili is topped with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream and and anything else you like to eat with your tacos!
What to serve with Navajo Tacos?
Navajo Tacos are pretty much a full meal on their own – you’ve got the bread, meat, cheese and veggies all together! I love to serve them with our Easy Mango Fruit Salad and some Churro Bites for dessert! Perfect meal for Cinco de Mayo, family gatherings or even just a regular weeknight dinner.
Can you make Navajo Tacos in the air fryer?
Traditionally, the fry bread used in Navajo Tacos is made by deep frying a simple dough. This is my preferred method, but I have experimented with the air fryer and it works great too!
To make Air Fryer Navajo Tacos, you will make the dough as directed and cut into circles. Coat the basket in your air fryer with a light layer of oil (vegetable, canola or even olive oil) to prevent the dough from sticking. Place the dough circles in the basket with at least 1/2″ of space around the edges – you don’t want the circles to be touching. Brush a light coating or use a mister to spritz a little bit of oil on the top of each dough circle.
Air fry at 330° for about 7 minutes. Flip the dough over and air fry for another 3 minutes. The fry bread should be golden brown on all sides. Add all of your toppings and serve!
Ingredients in Navajo Tacos
Flour – All-purpose flour works great.
Salt – You will just need a teaspoon of salt to add the right amount of flavor to the dough.
Sugar – Just a half cup of sugar adds a little bit of sweetness to the fry bread. You can reduce this a little bit if you’d like. Or add a little more – totally up to you!
Baking powder – The baking powder is what helps the fry bread to puff up a little bit, so for best results, make sure your baking powder isn’t old or expired.
Milk – 2 cups of milk provide all the liquid you need to make the bread dough. Any kind of milk works just fine!
Chili – You will need two 15-ounce cans of chili. You can use chili with or without meat – any variety that you prefer will work just fine! Make sure to heat the chili while preparing the fry bread – it is so much better warmed up!
Toppings – We usually use shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese and diced onions. I like to put each topping in a separate bowl and let everyone add whatever they want to their own Navajo taco.
Sour cream, ranch or salsa – You can use any or all of these to add a little more flavor on top! Guacamole is delicious too!
How to make Navajo Tacos
Combine flour, salt, sugar and baking powder. Mix well. Add milk and mix. Roll out on floured surface to about 1/4” thick. Cut into desired shape/size. (I usually make large circles (3”-4” – either trace a small bowl or use a large circle cutter).
In a large wok or skillet, heat 3-4 cups vegetable or canola oil over medium heat to 350°. Fry each dough circle for about 1 minute on each side or until golden brown on both sides. Top with chili, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, onions, etc.
- 4 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cans chili (15 oz each)
- Shredded lettuce
- Diced tomatoes
- Shredded cheese
- Diced onions
- Sour cream ranch or salsa
- Combine flour, salt, sugar and baking powder. Mix well. Add milk and mix. Roll out on floured surface to about 1/4” thick. Cut into desired shape/size. (I usually make large circles (3”-4” – either trace a small bowl or use a large circle cutter).
- In a large wok or skillet, heat 3-4 cups vegetable or canola oil over medium heat to 350°.
- Fry each dough circle for about 1 minute on each side or until golden brown on both sides. While frying the dough, put the chili into a separate saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally until warmed through.
- Top with chili, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, onions, etc.
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Tips for making Navajo Tacos
We’ve been making these for years, and while we usually just make the recipe as is, there are a few different things you can do to change things up a little bit.
- Meat: You can use taco meat instead of chili if you prefer. You can’t get much easier than canned chili, but I really love using ground beef that has been cooked and seasoned with taco seasoning. You could also use Easy Slow Cooker Sweet Pork or our Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas recipe.
- Chili: If you want to stick with chili, but want to step it up a little bit, you can make a homemade chili instead of using the canned variety. Our Bold 3-Meat Crockpot Chili is one of my favorites, but our Easy Chili Recipe can be made in under an hour if you’re short on time.
- Fry bread: The recipe for the dough is a pretty simple one, but if you want to simplify the recipe even more, you can use a pre-made bread dough. I love using Rhodes rolls for this! Just thaw out the frozen rolls and then flatten them out to about 1/4″ thick with a rolling pin. Fry as the recipe indicates.
- Toppings: You can get as creative as you’d like with the toppings! I love to add avocado or guacamole and diced peppers to mine. Refried beans, black beans or pinto beans are all delicious on top too…especially if you use meat instead of chili. My kids usually just do chili and cheese. I love this meal because everyone can build their own taco exactly the way they want!
- Dinner for dessert: Often, I will double the batch of dough and fry up some extra fry bread to save for dessert. Warm fry bread dipped in honey butter is one of our favorite treats! Or you can coat the fry bread in cinnamon and sugar right after cooking and then dip in fudge or caramel sauce. Yep, it’s as good as it sounds!
Love Mexican food? So do we! Here are some of our favorite Mexican food recipes!
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Enchiladas
- Easy Slow Cooker Sweet Pork
- Mexican Chicken Alfredo Bake
- Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
- Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas
- Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Dip
- Mexican Chicken Lasagna
- Mexican Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Cheesy Salsa Dip
- Easy Blender Salsa
- Easy Salsa Chicken
- Instant Pot Refried Beans
- Easy Taco Calzones
- Creamy Salsa Verde
- Cheesy Green Chile Bean Dip
Navajo Tacos are perfect for an easy dinner. Simple homemade fry bread topped with chili, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, onions and sour cream.
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