Indian Fry Bread

Delicious Homemade Fry Bread—aka “Navajo Tacos” or “Indian Bread”—pillows of dough, fried until crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Make it a meal by adding sweet or savory toppings!

If you’ve had Fry bread, then you know just how amazing it is! This recipe is NO-FAIL and is perfect served with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, guacamole and salsa!

Indian Fry Bread close up pic

What is Indian Fry Bread/Navajo fry bread?

Have you ever had Indian Fry Bread before?

It’s also known as a “Navajo Taco,” but we typically just call it “Fry Bread.” We’ve also called them “Pop Overs” too – lots of names for lots of goodness, and especially popular here in Arizona and New Mexico.

If you haven’t had these before you know how amazing they are! The recipe I’m sharing today is one we’ve used since I was little, passed on from my grandma and great grandma.

Everyone in my family eats them a bit different. We usually serve them up with hamburger and beans and let everyone add their own toppings like tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream, salsa and guacamole.

Others in my family pour honey over them and a few also like to add powdered sugar and just eat it as is. No matter how you eat, no one can deny they’re DELICIOUS!

Fry Bread dough being rolled with a rolling pin

How to Make FrY Bread

This recipe for Indian fry bread only requires FOUR ingredients! And chances are you probably already have all of these on hand.

  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Baking Powder
  • Water (warm)

MAKING DOUGH BALLS: Sift flour, salt, baking powder together and place in a medium bowl. Add hot water. Mix with your hands until dough forms (dough should be a little sticky). Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

While dough is resting, add oil to a large sauce pan that is about 1-2 inches deep and heat on MED-HIGH heat (it should be about 350 degrees when ready to fry).

Break off the pieces of dough into golf-ball sized balls (about 1.5” wide).

ROLL OUT& FRY. Using a pastry roller, roll dough onto a lightly floured surface to about 6-7 inches in diameter (the dough should be thin).

Fry each piece in hot oil until dough is golden brown and poofs up (about 20 seconds), and then fry on the other side keeping it in the oil. Set on a paper towel lined plate to drain oil.

NOTE: As always, anything fried is best served fresh, so keep than in mind. 😉

Fry bread recipe heating in oil

ToppinGs + Tips

TOPPINGS. If you want to eat it like a Navajo Taco and pile ground beef, beans, and other toppings on, check out the recipe card below for instructions on making the toppings! Some of our favorite toppings include:

  • meat & beans
  • sour cream
  • salsa
  • guacamole (or sliced avocado)
  • cheese
  • lettuce, tomatoes + olives

And if you want to keep things simple, you can enjoy it like many of those in my family and, just add powdered sugar to it. 😉

  • To help your bread to remain flat, instead of curling up on the edges to form a bowl shape, tear a small slit in the center of each piece right before frying.
  • Make sure your oil stays at a consistent temperature. If the temp is too low the bread will be tough. If it’s too hot the outside will burn before the inside cooks through.
  • Keep the fried bread warm in the oven set at 200°F
Beans and meat for Fry bread recipe

MAKING ahead of time

Fry bread is one of those foods that are best freshly made, so we don’t recommend making them ahead of time. However, you can mix up the dough and store in the fridge or freezer until it’s time to fry.

Dough in the fridge: Cover bowl with plastic wrap or transfer dough to a ziplock bag. Store for 1-2 days. Some bakers even recommend chilling the dough for a few hours before frying.

Dough in the freezer: Fry bread dough freezes well. Once your dough has been mixed portion it into 3 inch balls and flash freeze. To flash freeze line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Place dough balls ½ inch apart. Freeze for 3-5 hours.

Once they’ve begun to freeze, place each ball into a separate plastic baggie, then place all the balls into an airtight freezer safe container. Label and store for up to 1 month.

When you’re ready to fry, remove the desired number of balls. Leave each ball in the baggie and thaw in the fridge overnight. About 30 minutes before fry time, remove the dough from the baggie and let the dough come to room temperature. Fry according to recipe directions.

Navajo fry bread with powdered sugar

RECIPE FAQ

Here are our top tips for storing fry bread:

  • Counter top at room temperature: Wrap the bread loosely in plastic wrap or an unsealed ziplock bag. Store for 1-2 days.
  • How to freeze? Freezer: Once the bread has cooled pat each piece with a paper towel to remove any excess oil or water. Wrap each piece with plastic and store in an airtight freezer safe container. Freeze for 3-4 months.
  • How to reheat? To reheat fry bread: heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Wrap each piece of fry bread in aluminum foil and bake until heated through, about 15 minutes. If you’re in a hurry you can throw it in the microwave.

Are elephant ears the same as fry bread? Though similar, there is a difference. Fry breads are thick, about 6-8 inches in diameter and topped with anything from powdered sugar to beef tacos. Whereas elephant ears are thin, bubbly, about 10-16 inches in diameter and traditionally only topped with cinnamon and sugar.

Personally, I like adding all the hearty ingredients like hamburger and beans and pile that baby up high with all the fixings. Top it off with some salsa, and it’s like heaven on a plate!

Indian Fry Bread Recipe on gray plate

For more recipes, check out:

Fry Bread Recipe

4.61 from 48 votes
Delicious Homemade Fry Bread – aka “Navajo Tacos” or “Indian Bread” – one of the best recipes you’ll ever try! Pillows of dough fried until it’s a little crispy on the outside, but soft on the inside. Make it sweet or savory!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 446 kcal
Author Lil’ Luna

Ingredients

Bread

Topping

  • 2 cups pinto beans soaked overnight
  • 1 lb hamburger
  • lettuce
  • sour cream
  • tomatoes

Instructions
 

Bread

  • Sift flour, salt, baking powder together and place in a medium bowl. Add hot water. Mix with your hands until dough forms (dough should be a little sticky). Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
  • While dough is resting, add oil to a large sauce pan that is about 1-2 inches deep and heat on MED-HIGH heat (it should be about 350 degrees when ready to fry).
  • Break off the dough into golf-ball sized balls (about 1.5” wide).
  • Using a pastry roller, roll dough onto a lightly floured surface to about 6-7 inches in diameter (the dough should be thin).
  • Fry each piece in hot oil until dough is golden and poofs up (about 20 seconds), and then fry on the other side keeping it in the oil. Set on a paper towel lined plate to drain oil.

Topping

  • Put soaked beans in crock pot, cover with water. Cook on low until tender (for 4-6 hours). 2 hours before beans are done, toss in 2-3 slices of chopped bacon. *You know beans are done when they start breaking up. You can also use beans from the can for an easier version.
  • In the meantime. Cook up 1 lb of hamburger. Once beans are done, toss in hamburger.
  • Spread beans over your fry bread and add desired toppings.

Video

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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    These are delicious! We love making Navajo tacos. They are easy and always a favorite. So good with powder sugar or honey on the fry bread too!

  2. I do my fibroid differently although I understand this basic but I used to make 400 to 600 pieces of fry bread every year for my ceremonials. These are the ingredients that I use you should try it.
    Ingredients:
    1) Self-rising flour (Shawnee’s best)
    2) 1 tbsp sugar
    3) one can evaporated milk
    4) water
    5) oil

    I eyeball the amount of flour into a bowl bye how many I plan to make then I put one tablespoon of sugar in the flour then I eyeball the evaporated milk and water together into the meat and try to keep it half and half as best I can need my dough then I cover it and let it sit for 30 minutes and I come back I’ll roll them up into a ball handles at a time round them up into a circle and put a small dot in the middle not a finger dot but just a small Dot with a small opening to keep oil from seeking in bread and then I put it on the fire and cook to both sides of golden brown they usually come out very tasty and crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Let’s just say I never had any complaints!

  3. 5 stars
    I like making Indian fried bread Your recipe is so simple my daughter who doesnt like cooking can make it. Having fun with kids recipe adding jelly to it.

    1. I haven’t tried making these in the air fryer, but I suppose it could! You’ll have to let us know how they turn out if you do make it in the air fryer.

  4. 5 stars
    I haven’t tried this yet, but I see breakfast possibilities. How about putting cinnamon a sugar on it and teaming it with your coffee or tea. I also see it with fresh fruit and whipped cream. Or top it with Reuben fixings for a Reuben Sandwich (open face). You’ll miss the Rye bread, but will be just as good.

  5. 1st. Indian Taco (that is what they called them in Ok.) I had was at the Oklahoma City State Fair about 30 years ago and they where fantastic.
    The recipe was listed in the local paper and I have been making them ever since. They are so easy to make
    I do make up a batch of homemade chili and use that to put on my Fry Bread Tacos along with all the other toppings. ( I do make my chili a bit thicker when putting on Indian Tacos)
    Dang, now I’m craving for one. I just may have to put this on my menu for next week.
    Enjoy your day and have a wonderful weekend.

  6. 5 stars
    DELICIOUS 😋 and EASY My kids gave our tacos 🌮 a 10/10⭐️ Reminds us of our local favorite restaurant in our town! ❤️

  7. Oh my gosh, i forgot to lay my bread dough out this morning. I found this recipe and thought “how can I mess that up” 🙃 Well, im not sure what I did wrong. My finished product was a light golden brown. They wernt puffing up and turned out so hard we couldn’t chew them. Im sure this was my mistake. Just thought I would share. 😁

  8. your recipe is the closest to what my grandma and mom used to make when I was growing up. I have already made this once and will continue to use your recipe. Thank you. If I had a way to post a picture I would..

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