Navajo Tacos

Lunch / Dinner

Navajo Tacos

The trademark of Navajo tacos is the fry bread. One bite of the crisp, puffy flour shell topped with chili meat and it’s easy to see why. The fry bread is simple to make: Just cut lard into flour — for flavor and tenderness — then mix in water to form a dough. The dough needs a little time to rest so its shaping will be a cinch. (Use that time to cook the meat.) Since you can only fry one piece of dough at a time, keep the fried shells warm in a preheated oven.


8 tacos

Total Time

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For the fry bread, heat about 1½-inches peanut oil in a large skillet over medium to 365–375°. Preheat oven to 200°. Line a baking sheet with a rack and place in oven.

Whisk together 2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt; cut in lard until mixture resembles fine meal. Stir in water until dough comes together. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead two to three times until smooth; cover and let rest while making chili.

For the chili, sweat onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, and oregano in canola oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat until onion softens, about 5 minutes.

Add sirloin, chipotle, and tomato paste. Cook sirloin until no longer pink, breaking it up with a potato masher, about 5 minutes. Add beans and liquid in the can; simmer about 5 minutes, then season with salt and black pepper.

Cut dough into eight pieces; press each into a 6-inch round on a floured surface. Keep dough covered with plastic wrap.

Fry dough rounds, one at a time, in hot oil until golden on both sides, about 3 minutes. Drain fry bread on paper towels, season with salt, and keep warm in oven.

Serve fry bread topped with chili, Cheddar, lettuce, tomato, jalapeños, and avocado.


Cutting lard into the flour mixture helps prevent the fry bread from getting tough and adds flavor.


Keep fry bread warm in the oven on a rack-lined baking sheet while frying remaining dough.

Nutritional Facts

Nutritional Facts

Per taco

Calories: 399

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 21g 32%

Saturated Fat 5g 25%

Cholesterol 36mg 12%

Sodium 521mg 21%

Carbs 35g 11%

Fiber 4g 16%

Protein 17g

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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