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Fry Bread is a beloved tradition in the United States. Serve it up savory as Navajo Tacos or go the sweet side and serve it up with a little honey butter and powdered sugar. 

Indian fry bread stacked

This recipe comes from an Aunt who lived among a local Native American tribe for many, many years. There are so many fond memories of visiting as a child and enjoying the culture. She learned to make Fry Bread from friends in the tribe and passed the recipe down several years ago. Fry bread goes by many names around these parts, including Indian Fry Bread, Navajo Fry Bread, Navajo Tacos, and Scones. Yes, we realize that the word “scone” means something completely different everywhere else in the world, but around here, scones are fry bread. There’s even a whole chain restaurant devoted to it called Sconecutter.

The dough for this is quite simple, requiring very few ingredients. Don’t underestimate how delicious it is based on the simplicity. This fry bread is so delicious! It is most frequently served as either Navajo Tacos, with all your favorite taco ingredients, or as a dessert. Our favorite way to enjoy it as a dessert is to lather on some honey butter and dust it with powdered sugar. Yum! It’s crunch on the outside, and soft and fluffy on the inside.

  • What Toppings go on Navajo Tacos?

    You can add beans, meat, chopped lettuce, tomatoes, olives, shredded cheese, and sour cream. A lot of people use ground beef cooked up with a little taco seasoning. My favorite way to serve it up is with some shredded beef or shredded pork. It’s always awesome to add on some diced avocado.

  • Can Fry Bread be made ahead of time?

    Fry Bread is best served hot and out of the fryer. We do not recommend frying these up ahead of time. However, you can make your dough the night before, cover your bowl with plastic wrap, and let it rest in the fridge overnight rather than on the counter for 2 hours. In the morning, take out your bowl and leave it on the counter to get to room temperature. Then proceed with recipe. 

  • Storage Instructions:

    Indian Fry Bread can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. 

a loaded navajo taco on indian fry bread

If you like this recipe, you may be interested in these other delicious bread recipes:

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

a loaded navajo taco on indian fry bread
Fry Bread is a beloved tradition in the United States. Serve it up savory as Navajo Tacos or go the sweet side and serve it up with a little honey butter and powdered sugar.
Cook Time 2 hours
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 ½ tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ or more cups hot water
  • 2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 quart vegetable oil for frying
  • In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Gradually add in the water, mixing with a spoon or your hands until combined. It will be sticky.
  • Drizzle 2-3 tablespoons of oil over the dough to keep it from drying out. Cover and let rest 2 hours. This is not a risen dough so the dough will not rise, but it does need to rest.
  • Pull off golf ball sized pieces of dough and stretch or roll out until very thin, without ripping it. The thinner the better.
  • Pour enough vegetable oil into a pot to cover it with 2 inches of oil. Heat to 350 degrees F.
  • Working one at a time, fry the dough in the hot oil until golden brown, flipping halfway through. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
Fried bread can be kept warm in the oven until there is enough to serve.


Calories: 183kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 196mg | Potassium: 196mg | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 2.1mg
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Fry Bread
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September 16, 2018 11:50 am

I grew up on Navajo Reservation an I have Navajo Foster sisters. I recommend using Blue Bird flour.

Sharlyn Harrall
August 8, 2020 9:27 pm
Reply to  ViAnn

Where do you buy blue bird flour? I have heard mention but can’t find it.

Susan S
March 6, 2020 8:54 am

I was given a simalar recipe from a Kickapoo family. But the two tips that I was taught was to make a small hole in the middle and place a quarter of a raw potato in the oil. The potato will attract the loose flour to stop the burning smell.

Eric Gillespie
March 2, 2020 8:04 pm

I grew up in Ramah, NM very close to many Navajo Indians. I loved their fry bread and missed it so much since moving away from there 40 years ago. A couple of years ago I found this recipe and have used it repeatedly. As far as I’m concerned, it is a perfect Navajo Fry Bread recipe. My family gets very excited when I say I’m going to make fry bread. We often have it with Chile and make Navajo Tacos, but sometimes we just have as bread with whatever else we are having. It is especially good with butter… Read more »

Karra Harman
May 6, 2020 5:04 pm
Reply to  Eric Gillespie

We have a cabin up there! Im excited to make this recipe now knowing it will taste like the fry bread I love.

August 8, 2020 7:30 am
Reply to  Karra Harman

Would you be able to send me the recipe?

Felicia Little
March 4, 2020 2:12 pm

This is a true Indian fry bread recipe. Other “fry bread” recipes contain yeast. Native Americans did not have yeast, and sometimes not even baking powder, it was made with flour, water and lard or fat. This is the way my mom and granny made it and it is how I make it.

March 28, 2020 4:41 pm
Reply to  Felicia Little

I agree Felicia with your ingredients. Mom said her Grandma wouldn’t stretch the dough, but pat it between the flat side of your fists until flat. Then poke a hole in middle. She would use Lard and fry . It would be a good batch if air bubbles were coming up. Yumm is it good! And, of course if your really off the diet, fried potatoes and beans. Mom always laughs at us because we put butter on it after it was fried. My kids like it with powdered sugar.

August 11, 2019 7:40 pm

We use to eat them with ham and pinto beans.

June 8, 2019 6:56 pm

5 stars
Here in New Mexico we traditionally poke a hole in the center so that when you pop them down into the oil it flows through and cooks more evenly (also keeps them from turning into bowls. (Though bowls could come in handy…but they won’t brown quite as evenly)

April 17, 2020 6:55 pm

5 stars
My parents grandparents made these often. We are some Cherokee ..
I rate it 5 stars.
My favorite is to dip in syrup and preserves…

April 6, 2020 4:34 pm

5 stars
Made this for the first time. It was absolutely delicious. I didn’t realize the dough needed to rest for 2 hours, so ended up sticking it in the fridge overnight and frying it the next night. It was perfectly fine. So good and reminded me of our trips out west. Thanks for sharing!

October 17, 2020 12:45 pm
Reply to  JB

JB I didn’t realize that the dough was supposed to rest for two hours either. I made some Saturday afternoon, I made two with sour cream, salad , cheese, and craisins. The other two I spread grape jelly on them while it was still hot. They were delicious!!!

Kathleen Berretta
June 13, 2018 11:33 pm

I didn’t realize until reading alot of the comments that this is something my Mom made when I was a little girl. She used to make her own bread and would take pieces off and deep fry them like in this recipe. Of course hers was actual bread dough, but the same idea. I used to put butter on it and eat it like that. And to top it off she made Rye Bread (without the seeds). OH does this bring back memories. I am definitely going to try this. And I am not American Indian. But I do love… Read more »

August 15, 2020 9:44 pm

My granddaughter loves tacos. We have taco Tuesday every week I am going to try this recipe. We will have a new twist on taco Tuesday. I think I will make chicken fry bread tacos. We always save the grease from making bacon. That grease makes great refried beans with a bit of cumin.

January 14, 2019 3:18 pm

3 stars
Im Navajo. This recipe is good except once the dough sets we all NEVER pour oil directly on the dough!!! You have to tear off a good piece off the dough,so you could shape it better and it makes flattening out easier. Then you place it in the heated oil.

November 28, 2018 9:41 am

I used Gold Medal Bread flour they turned out amazing!

November 4, 2018 8:48 am

5 stars
If you want it to remain flat instead of bowl shaped tear a small slit it the center when you are forming the dough before frying. Make sure your oil is very hot. If the temp is too low the bread will be tough.

Leni Vetsch
February 22, 2019 3:24 pm
Reply to  Jen

If you tear the dough with your fingers, the hole will grow back together when frying. You should cut slits with a knife to prevent this and keep them flat.

May 29, 2020 11:43 am

This sounds so simple, easy and good. i was wondering if you could use this for a pizza crust? I know someone who makes her own pizza crust with only flour salt and water. No baking powder or yeast but lets it rest a couple hours. Turns out crispy and good.

Tina Dixon
September 15, 2018 12:01 am

The first time I taste get breakfast. I knew I would take a liken to it. I was 13 yrs old and my mom had sent me to a girls school and that was the first thing I made in homemak .We would make it in the morning and eat it at night watching our T.V. shows. Thanks for the memory’s.

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