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This recipe was originally published in May 2010.

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

Navajo Tacos


Navajo Tacos with Sourdough Frybread

The Frybread is the “taco shell.” It is a wonderfully puffy little pastry that is placed on the the plate (either whole or torn into pieces), 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.

Yum! These are so delicious and is a fairly simple meal to make.

As a bonus, any leftover frybread makes a sweet treat when drizzled with or dipped in honey. They reheat very well 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.

Navajo Tacos with Sourdough Frybread

Navajo Tacos with Sourdough Frybread


Sourdough Frybread

  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

The Chili

  • 1/4 to 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 to 3 cups cooked pinto beans (with juice)
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1/2 to 1 cup beef broth (or water)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Coconut oil (if needed)


Sourdough Frybread

  • Start early morning or the night before.
  • Mix all ingredients until combined. Cover with a cloth and let sit for 7 to 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 overwork 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 from sticking to your hands (take a look at this tutorial to see what they should look like).
  • When your oil is hot enough that a small piece of dough sizzles, carefully put the patties in the oil to cook.
  • Cook until the bottom is brown, about 2 minutes.
  • Gently flip, and cook until the second side is brown.
  • Place on a cloth or paper towel to drain off excess oil.

The Chili

  • In a cast iron skillet, cook the ground beef and 1/2 of the onion (reserve the other half for taco topping). Add coconut oil if needed.
  • When beef is browned, add the garlic, beans, tomato paste, and 1/2 cup broth.
  • Let this mixture simmer for 30 minutes or so while you cook the frybread, adding additional broth as needed. You'll want the chili to be on the saucy side.

To Serve

  • Put the fry bread on your plate, either whole or torn into pieces.
  • 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.
  • Enjoy!

More Sourdough Recipes


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Have you made Navajo Tacos before? What are your favorite toppings?

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