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These easy and delicious Navajo tacos are made with thick, soft fry bead then layered with tasty taco fixings. A delicious family-friendly meal that you can pile high with all of your favorite toppings!

This is a great recipe because it uses Pillsbury biscuits. So easy! For a more authentic Native American fry bread try this recipe. This meal is a fun twist on tacos just like my taco casserole or taco-stuffed avocados. You’ll have to try them both next!

Navajo taco on a black plate with beans, ground beef, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese and sour cream.

Navajo Taco Recipe

School is now in session and so easy and delicious dinners are a must! It gets pretty hectic after the kids get home from school. And I can’t believe how much homework they get now! My older boys spend at least an hour an a half, and my kindergartener even gets some too! These Navajo tacos have been a lifesaver. So simple to put together and the entire family loved them!

I loved using Pillsbury biscuits as the fry bread for these Navajo tacos. (Although if you’re up for the challenge, making homemade fry bread is always a winner!) They turned out perfectly, and were so simple to make. The best part about these Navajo tacos is that each family member can add their favorite toppings. My little one had two and begged me to make them every week. I am okay with that because of how tasty these turned out! You’ll want to make this family-favorite recipe again and again.

What is a Navajo Taco?

A Navajo taco is made up of deep fried bread discs topped with taco ingredients. Although named ‘Navajo,’ it’s a common dish in many Southwestern tribes. If you’re from Arizona or New Mexico, you’re probably familiar with it! Our family loves ground beef with beans and customized toppings to go on top. Check out my tips section below for more topping ideas!

Navajo Tacos Ingredients

Layer on your favorite toppings and be sure to pile them high for the BEST Navajo taco. Top it off with some salsa, guacamole and even Mexican Rice for a complete meal. Note: for each ingredient below, exact measurements can be found in the recipe card at the end of the post.

  • Ground Beef: I used lean ground beef here! If you want something leaner you can always go for ground turkey instead. Feel free to use your favorite protein here! Ground pork, shredded chicken, or even tofu crumbles will also work.
  • Taco Seasoning: Homemade taco seasoning or packaged seasoning works well with these tacos. Use your favorite or whatever you have on hand!
  • Water: Adds moisture to the beef mixture.
  • Chili with Beans: Mix the chili beans in with the beef creating a thick and hearty taco topping.
  • Pillsbury Grand Original Biscuits: This acts as the fry bread dough. Simply flatten and then create a taco out of it.
  • Cooking Oil: For frying the biscuits in.


  • Black Olives: Use a can of sliced olives and add them to the topping of the tacos.
  • Sour Cream: Add a dollop for a light and creamy taco taste.
  • Avocados: Cut up into long slices or chop into squares so your Navajo tacos have some (delicious) healthy fats.
  • Tomatoes: Dice them up or use Roma or cherry tomatoes! You could also use pico de gallo for a different twist.
  • Lettuce: So your tacos have some crunch.
  • Cheddar Cheese: Shredded and sprinkled on top of your Navajo tacos.

How to Make Navajo Tacos

It’s SO simple and the perfect weeknight recipe. Everyone in your family will be begging for more! The pillowy bread and savory toppings are just too good of a combination.

  1. Fry the Biscuits: Flatten each biscuit. Then fry each piece of dough in 1/4-inch hot oil over medium heat until golden brown, turning once. Drain biscuits on paper towels, then keep warm.
  2. Cook the Ground Beef: In a medium skillet, brown ground beef until no longer pink. Then add 1/4 cup water, taco seasoning mix, and can of chili beans. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and allow to simmer.
  3. Assemble the Navajo Tacos: Once ready to assemble, lay fried biscuit on a plate and put 1/2 cup of meat mixture on top. Then top with your favorite toppings.

Keep Your Bread Warm

Once the Pillsbury dough is fried, place on a sheet pan and keep warm in the oven at the lowest temperature setting while making the other fry breads. 

Pillsbury biscuits being flattened and fried in oil.

Tips and Variations

Easy-to-make and SO delicious, Navajo tacos are always a winner when it comes to weeknight meals. Here are a few extra things to keep in mind so your batch turns out just right!

  • Toppings: Add all your favorite toppings that you love. Mix and match vegetables and meats to your liking. Add some chorizo or even buffalo chicken for a fun switch-up! You can also add a drizzle of your favorite sauce, like this cilantro lime sauce!
  • Frying Bread: Before frying your bread, lay flat then cut a line in the center of each biscuit. This will keep it from curling in the oil and will stay flat for your taco toppings. You’ve got to give it room to expand to puffy deliciousness!
  • Oil Temperature: It is best to keep your oil at a constant temperature. The best temperature is around 250-300 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature becomes too low the bread will be tough and not soft like a cloud. Opposite of that though it will become too hot and can easily burn on the outside while the inside does not cook.
  • Fry Bread for Dessert: If you have leftover fry bread, top it with sweet toppings for dessert! Cinnamon sugar or a dollop of honey butter are both great options.
Ground beef and beans cooked together then added on top of fry bread with sprinkled cheese.

Storing for Later

If you made too much fry bread or have leftover toppings, good news! You can store and enjoy them later.

  • Fry Bread: Store in an airtight bag at room temperature for up to 3 days.
  • Taco Meat: Store in a sealed airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Navajo tacos with ground beef, baked beans, lettuce, olives and tomatoes on top with a dollop of sour cream.

Other Fun Taco Recipes to Try

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Easy Navajo Tacos

5 from 3 votes
By: Alyssa Rivers
These easy and delicious Navajo tacos are made with thick, soft fry bead then layered with tasty taco fixings. A delicious family-friendly meal that you can pile high with all of your favorite toppings!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 1 lb Ground Beef Lean
  • 1 Homemade Taco Seasoning or Packaged
  • 1 15 ounce black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 ounce diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 ounce pinto beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 can Pillsbury Grand Original Biscuits 8 Biscuits
  • Oil for Frying I used vegetable oil

Topping options:

  • Olives
  • Sour Cream
  • Avocados
  • Tomatoes
  • Lettuce shredded
  • Cheddar Cheese shredded


  • Flatten each biscuit. Fry each biscuit in 1/4-in. hot oil over medium heat until golden brown, turning once. Drain biscuits on paper towels, keep warm.
  • In a medium skillet, brown ground beef until no longer pink. Add taco seasoning mix, black beans. diced tomatoes, and pinto beans. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low and allow to simmer.
  • Once ready to assemble, lay fried biscuit on a plate and put 1/2 cup of meat mixture on top. Top with your favorite toppings.


Updated on October 1, 2023
Originally posted on September 2, 2013


Calories: 355kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 13gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 593mgPotassium: 282mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 12IUCalcium: 39mgIron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: native american
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!

About Alyssa Rivers

Alyssa Rivers is the author of 'The Tried and True Cookbook', a professional food photographer and experienced recipe-developer. Having a passion for cooking, her tried and true recipes have been featured on Good Morning America, Today Food, Buzzfeed and more.

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  1. Navajo Tacos are sure one of the best kinds of tacos ever invented in the southwest that my late mom & other cooks she worked with at a truck stop back in the early 1970’s in a small town called Tuba City,Arizona.She told me there wasn’t any such kind of taco before they decided to come up with something new on the menu one day.No one to this day ever asks who came up with it.For the flour for the fry bread, it’s best to use the Bluebird Flour only found here on the Great Navajo Nation.It’s also sold in Flagstaff & Phoenix, Arizona at them Basha’s Grocery stores.Just thought I’d share a little history of when & where the Navajo Taco came from.

  2. Would this work with the pillsbury crescent roll if I rolled one up, flattened it, and then fried it? Or does it need to be the biscuit kind?

    1. The biscuit kind works the best but you can try it with the crescent roll it just will shape a little differently.

  3. Once you brown the ground beef, add the taco meat spices, and then add a bottle of beer to the pan and simmer the meat in it till the sauce is creamy.

  4. I was inspired by the biscuit shell idea, but went a totally different route to use ingredients on hand. I stuffed mine with a squirt of mayo, fresh spinach, thinly sliced red onion, thinly sliced ribeye, and blue cheese. So good! Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. That sounds great! I am so glad that you were able to make it with ingredients you already had! Way to go! Thanks for sharing! XOXO

  5. I have made these using thawed Rhodes rolls. That’s how my mother-in-law makes them too. I never even thought to use Pillsbury biscuits. Great idea!… I’m gonna have to try it! Thanks!

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