Hannah’s Navajo Tacos

Hannah’s Navajo Tacos

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by Hannah McClure Granny always tells me that I resemble her mother, from the animals I keep, to how I bake and cook, and even my flowers and gardens. I never tire of hearing how I remind my Granny of her mother. However, my heritage goes well past my Granny’s side of our family. As I have grown, I am drawn to and eager to learn about other parts of my family tree.  

One part, particularly, is my Native American heritage which comes from my Papa’s side of our family. I find a simple joy and connection to those roots when I attend powwows: a Native American celebration with song, dance … and food.  

But I also find connection and joy in my kitchen. Not just in my Native American heritage but in many other cultures related and unrelated to my ancestry. This Navajo Taco recipe is one I developed with a love of Taco Tuesday, pizza, and the curiosity to learn if indigenous people also make tacos. To which the answer is yes, and indigenous peoples such as Mexica, Aztecs, and Navajo actually developed tacos. 

This recipe is a non-traditional Navajo Taco-style dish. It is one inspired by that part of my heritage, and I do hope you enjoy it as much as traditional tacos commonly found in North American indigenous homes and gatherings. 

What you will need: 

  •  6-8 pieces of fry bread  
  • 2 cups mozzarella  
  • 1 pound cooked ground beef, chicken, or venison, seasoned with 3 tablespoons taco seasoning 
  • 16 oz refried beans  
  • Crumbled feta, pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream, and lettuce for topping 

How To:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  
  2. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, arrange the fry bread in a single layer, being careful not to overlap.   
  3. Spread 3-4 tablespoons of refried beans on top of each fry bread.   
  4. Top with mozzarella cheese and cooked seasoned ground meat to the desired amount. I use a scant ¼ cup of mozzarella and about ¼ cup of meat per fry bread.  
  5. Place in a preheated oven and cook for six minutes. 
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for five minutes.  
  7. Cut into four equal slices and top with pico de gallo, lettuce, guacamole, feta crumbles, and sour cream.  

Serve alone or with a mixture of fresh fruits, and enjoy! 

Originally published in the September/October 2022 issue of Goat Journal and regularly vetted for accuracy.

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