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Authentic Indian Fry Bread is a beloved tradition in the Western 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. 

Several pieces of authentic Indian fry bread in a stack with a tomato in the background

This recipe comes from my Aunt who lived among a local Indian tribe for many, many years. I have fond memories of visiting as a child and enjoying the culture. My Aunt learned to make Indian Fry Bread from friends in the tribe and passed the recipe to me several years ago. Fry bread goes by many names around these parts, including Indian Fry Bread, Navajo Fry Bread, Navajo Tacos, and Scones. Yes, I 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 delicious! It is most frequently served as either Navajo Tacos (Indian Tacos), with all your favorite taco ingredients, or as a dessert. My 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.

Authentic Indian fry bread topped with pulled pork, greens, diced tomatoes, cheese, olives, and sour cream

When it comes to Navajo Tacos, traditional toppings include 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.

Watch the video below where I walk you through every step of the recipe, just like a cooking show! While you are at it, you should go subscribe to my YouTube Channel where I have a collection of hundreds of videos just like this. Binge watch central!

a loaded navajo taco on indian fry bread
Authentic Indian Fry Bread is a beloved tradition in the Western 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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I grew up on Navajo Reservation an I have Navajo Foster sisters. I recommend using Blue Bird flour.

Eric Gillespie

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

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

Susan S

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.

Felicia Little

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.


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.


We use to eat them with ham and pinto beans.

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…


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!


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)

Robin Kilburn

is this the same as bever tails we have in Canada, usually they are deep fried, I thought it was a yeast dough


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.


I used Gold Medal Bread flour they turned out amazing!


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

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.


Can I used canola oil instead?

Kathleen Berretta

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 »


I don’t know what I did wrong but my Navajo taco bread turned out hard and not edible at all. Next time I’ll use scone dough.


You over kneaded your dough, and or didn’t let it rest long enough.

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