Indian Tacos (with Navajo fry bread)

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indian fry bread taco
  • ServingsServings


For the fry bread:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup milk (and maybe a little more)
  • oil for frying (3/4" deep in a big skillet)

For the sauteed topping:

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 onion, fine dice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound yellow summer squash, bite-sized cubes (about 3 medium)
  • kernels from 2 ears of corn
  • 4 poblano peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, and cut into strips (rajas) (use rubber gloves to avoid burning skin)
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
  • salt

For Assembly

  • 3 cups tender cooked pinto beans (homemade or canned)
  • 1 cup grated cheddar
  • 1/2 cup minced white onion
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 1 1/2 cups killer guacamole or your favorite recipe
  • homemade hot sauce (but with morita and California dried peppers) or your favorite brand


For the Fry Bread

  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the milk and mix with a fork until you have a shaggy mass, adding a little more milk if needed. You want a dough that is just barely not-sticky-enough to roll out. With floured hands, knead for just a few seconds to make a ball. Oil and set aside until you are ready to fry.
  2. When ready to fry (just before serving, they are best fresh), bring a skillet filled with 3/4" of oil to 365 degrees F. Divide the dough into 4 balls and roll each one out to about 9" in diameter. Fry one at a time until medium golden brown (not as dark as the photograph), flipping to cook both sides. Be careful when flipping – they are big enough that if you just flop over with a spatula it can cause a dangerous splash. I used a spatula and a spoon to control them. Remove to paper towels to drain.

For the sauteed topping:

Heat the oil in a big skillet over a medium-high flame. Fry the the onion and garlic for 1 minute, then add the summer squash and 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Cook, tossing occasionally, until browned; add the corn and cook 2 minutes; add the poblanos and oregano and heat through. Taste and adjust seasoning.

For assembly:

Put a fry bread on each plate, and top with generous portions of beans, the squash saute cheese, onion, tomatoes, lettuce, guacamole and hot sauce. Serve immediately.