Navajo Tacos
Food and Drink

Reprinted with permission from “The National Parks Cookbook” by Linda Ly, © 2022 Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc. Photography: Will Taylor

Navajo Tacos

"Something completely different for your next taco bar. The simple chili filling sits atop crispy, chewy rounds of Navajo Fry Bread."

Serves: 6


For the chili:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 yellow onion, diced

1 pound lean ground beef

2 tablespoons chili powder, use more as needed

1 tablespoon ground cumin, use more as needed

1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

½ teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more to taste

1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained

1 15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 ½ cups salsa (use your favorite brand)

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro


For the tacos:

12 Navajo Fry Breads

2 cups shredded lettuce

2 cups diced Roma tomatoes

1 cup diced red onion

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

sour cream, for serving

salsa, for serving

guacamole, for serving

To make the chili:

Place a large saucepan over medium-high heat and drizzle in the oil. Add the onion and cook for 2–3 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the ground beef, sprinkle it with the chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper and cook for 5–7 minutes until browned, stirring frequently to break apart the meat.

Stir in the tomatoes, kidney beans, and salsa and simmer for 30–40 minutes until the mixture is reduced to a chili-like consistency, reducing the heat, as needed, to maintain a simmer. If the chili is too thick, add a little water. Adjust the seasonings to your preference as it cooks. Once the chili is done, stir in the cilantro.

To make the tacos:

Arrange the fry bread on plates and top each with a few spoonfuls of chili, lettuce, tomato, red onion, Monterey Jack, and cheddar. (Save any leftover chili to eat later.) Serve with sour cream, salsa, and guacamole on the side.