Easy Navajo Tacos and Sopaipillas

History of Mama’s Navajo Tacos

My mama and daddy had dear friends who lived on the Florida (flow-REE-da) River out from Durango, CO. Mama and Daddy visited as often as they could as Daddy loved to fly fish catching breakfast, lunch, and dinner throughout their stay. Their friend, Bud Hyson, was full blood Navajo and a gifted silversmith. His lovely wife, Lesta, was an excellent cook and shared many of her Navajo recipes with my mama. One of our favorites was Lesta’s Navajo Tacos. In true Southwestern style, this dish is a stacked dish consisting of a piece of fry bread, beans, chili, cheese, lettuce, tomato, avocado or guacamole, sour cream, salsa, etc. It’s the fry bread that makes it Navajo.

An easier version

It was always quite an undertaking and event when Mama planned Navajo tacos for supper and they were usually planned for a crowd. I just loved them but never planned them for a family meal as they were a lot of trouble–until I found an alternative dough for the fry bread–canned Pillsbury Southern Homestyle Biscuits. I hate canned biscuits but promise these don’t taste like canned once you roll them out thin and fry them. If you just can’t do canned buy frozen, thaw, and then roll out. Or, you can take some extra time and make Lesta’s recipe that I’ve included below.

A great chili recipe to make ahead and freeze

I also keep my home-made chili frozen in pint and quart containers, so there’s no chili to have to cook. As the chili is heating, I get my family in the kitchen cutting up lettuce, tomatoes, and avocados while I roll out the Pillsbury biscuits on a floured cutting board. Also, I buy pre-shredded sharp cheddar cheese requiring no work there.

Bowl of chili with cheese and avocado toppings

A worthy salsa in a jar

I do love fresh made salsa but don’t always have time to make it and the fresh salsa from the deli doesn’t have as long of a shelf life as I sometimes need.  My store bought “go to” is Herdez Salsa Casera.  Honestly, it’s the only salsa in a jar worthy of my table.

Frying the taco and Sopaipillas

When everything is ready, it’s time to get the oil hot and fry the flattened biscuits. There are four of us so I fry 4 biscuits for each Navajo taco and the other 4 biscuits I roll out and fry for Sopaipillas after supper. The 4 fry breads for Sopaipillas I keep covered in a warm oven to stay hot during supper then serve them with honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar for our dessert.  Soooo good!!


Sopaipilla with cinnamon, sugar, and honey for dessert

A beverage to serve with your Navajo Tacos

If you are so inclined, you could always stir up a pitcher of margaritas to serve with your Navajo Tacos.  For a super easy and delicious recipe click here.


Or, if you prefer a virgin option, try this recipe.






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