Navajo Fry Bread - Traditional

Total Time
Prep 45 mins
Cook 4 mins

This recipe for Navajo Fry bread is from the Rough Rock Demonstration School in Rough Rock AZ. The Navajo people developed this to use the commodities they received from the government. In some recipes you will find that dry milk is also used. Lard was the original fat used to fry the bread.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Gradually stir in the water and work it in, adding more water a little at a time, if needed.
  2. Knead by hand until soft but not sticky. Form the dough into a round ball, cover and let stand for about 30 minutes. Shape into 2" balls.
  3. Heat shortening or cooking oil in a 1 1/2 " deep frying pan until hot.
  4. Flatten each ball of dough by patting and stretching into a pizza shape. Carefully place the dough into the hot oil.
  5. Fry until edges of the bread are golden and turn to cook the other side. Makes 4-5 pieces.
  6. Layer the beans, chilis, onion, tomato,lettuce, cheese and if desired sour cream dollops on top of each piece of fry bread to make Navajo (or Indian) Tacos
  7. Fry bread may be served with stews or drizzled with honey or powdered sugar for dessert. Many Navajo cooks prefer to use "Bluebird" a high-gluten flour, in this recipe. Variations: The Navajo Nation in Window Rock serves a taco topped with chicken, chili beans without the beef and the remaining ingredients.
Most Helpful

The only reason I have this 2 states is because the flavor was OK. Other than that my bread came out hard & dense. My search for fluffy fry bread continues...sigh

Quileute Girl 52 October 10, 2015

I would give this no stars if I could. the flour was way too much and I ended up trashing the whole thing and starting over with 1/2 the flour requested in this recipe.

sdee5 April 27, 2015

I got a wild hair and felt like having Navajo Tacos--it's been a good 20yrs since having them in a school cafeteria. I chose this recipe of three I was eyeballing from here because it did not contain milk (I cannot have dairy products currently) and it comes from the region of the Navajo People. These were very tasty and I'm tempted to make up a batch at least once a week!! I only have standard all-purpose flour so I used 3c. flour, 1/8c gluten, and 7/8c red wheat flour. I think I should have put in a wee-bit more water than I did, but it turned out fine in the end. I fried in olive oil--I need to find a reputable source for lard (local). We found the frying experience to be more manageable by fork piercing prior to frying, otherwise we had great candidates for pitas. Thank you for sharing Colorado Lauralee!!

O-mama April 01, 2012