Navajo Tacos with Sourdough Fry Bread

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I love finding new ways to use my sourdough starter. When Joe mentioned that it had been awhile since we had Navajo Tacos, I decided that it was time to play with the Fry Bread recipe that is the basis of these tacos. Have you ever had a Navajo Taco?

The Fry Bread is the ‘taco shell’. It is a wonderfully puffy little pastry that is placed on the the plate (either whole or torn into pieces) and that is topped with a delicious chili like sauce and then piled high with your favorite toppings such as lettuce, shredded cheese, tomatoes salsa, sour cream, onions, etc. I started making these a couple of years ago after finding this tutorial. They were an instant hit. Navajo Tacos have been a great item to adapt to our real food diet.

The Chili

1/4 to 1 pound of ground beef (I use grass fed and usually 1/2 pound)
Coconut oil (if needed)
1 onion- diced
1 clove garlic-minced
2-3 cups of cooked pinto beans with juice
1 can tomato paste
1/2 to 1 cup beef broth (or water)
salt and pepper

In a cast iron skillet, cook the beef and 1/2 of the onion (reserve the other half for taco topping). Sometimes I need to add coconut oil to this get the onion to cook right. When beef is done add the garlic, beans, tomato paste and 1/2 cup broth. Let this mixture simmer for 30 minutes or so while you cook the fry bread adding additional broth as needed. You will want the chili to be on the saucy side. The fry bread will soak up the sauce and be amazingly delicious.

Or use any leftover chili, if not saucy enough, add broth or water.

Sourdough Fry Bread
Start early morning or the night before
1/2 cup sourdough starter
1 cup milk
2 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
Mix all ingredients until combined. Cover with a cloth and let sit for 7-24 hours.
When ready to fry, stir in 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. The dough will be fairly sticky and should stir easily. Don’t over work it just get the salt blended in.
To fry;
In a large skillet or pan (I use a deep cast iron) heat about an inch of coconut oil. While it is heating shape your dough into patties using flour as necessary to keep the dough sticking to your hands (take a look at this tutorial to see what they should look like). When your oil is hot enough (a small piece of dough will sizzle), carefully put the patties in the oil to cook. Gently flip them over when they are brown on the bottom side (it takes 2 minutes or so). Cook until brown on second side. I put them on a cloth to drain while I finish cooking up the batch.
This is a picture I found on the internet of fry bread (since I forgot to take one myself) Yours should look similar but if you use whole wheat flour it will be darker and I never make mine this big.
To Assemble
Put the fry bread on your plate. Add a ladle full (more or less) of the chili. Top with lettuce, onions, tomatoes, cheese, salsa, sour cream or anything else that you enjoy on your tacos.
Yum! These are so delicious and fairly simple meal to make. As a bonus, any leftover fry bread makes a sweet treat when drizzled with or dipped in honey. They reheat very good in the oven and fairly well in the skillet or a toaster. We’ve been known to have them for breakfast topped with butter and cinnamon sugar or apple butter. Fry bread is very versatile. Sourdough Fry Bread is amazing.
Millie Copper
Millie Copper is a Wyoming wife and mama. After reading Nourishing Traditions in early 2009, her family began transforming their diet to whole, unprocessed, nutrient dense foods—a little at a time while stretching their food dollars. Millie is passionate to share how, with a little creativity, anyone can transition to a real foods diet without overwhelming their food budget. Millie began blogging in late 2009 and has amassed a collection of frugal recipes and methods. Her specialties include cooking with wild game and creating “Stretchy Beans”. Discovering a love of writing, she has penned four books focusing on healthy eating on a budget and is trying her hand at fiction writing. Learn more at


  1. chanelle

    >wow, I'm going to have to try these! I've had navajo tacos at restaurants but have never made them myself. Thanks for the idea!

  2. Millie

    >Thanks everyone.

    These really are very good. Especially when the chili sauce gets soaked into the frybread a bit. YUM!

    1. Post

      Hi Amy,
      Yes, you can. The bread absorbs quite a bit and I usually don’t have too much left over. But what is left can be strained and reused. I hate to admit that I don’t usually strain. Just leave in the covered skillet and use to cook the next mornings eggs in.

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  5. Heather B

    I love the sourdough frybreads. They taste great and are an easy way to add sourdough to your diet. We often use these to accompany our meals as the kids love them and I haven’t mastered loaf bread yet.

  6. Joanne Recla

    I take starter make a usual and fry bread, top with maple flavor and powder sugar and kids get maple bars when they visit. This is the request from childhood to adult.

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  7. Yvette

    I have made these for years, but never as sour dough. I wanted to try them as sour dough, found your recipe, made it tonight, loved it!

  8. Susan W.

    These were delicious! I had a big pot of chicken chili and was looking for something different when I came across your recipe. The sourness of the fry bread wonderfully complimented my chili. I also topped it off with a scoop of sour cream and some cilantro! Success!

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