Fry bread tacos (or as we grew up calling them, Indian tacos), are a staple of summer fairs and amusement parks here in the Midwest. Fried dough, taco meat, and a pile of toppings definitely sounds like fair food, doesn't it?
To continue my series of taco recipes for 2019, I decided to tackle a gluten free and paleo version of fry bread tacos!
Every 4th of July, my hometown of Mandan, North Dakota has a big parade (so big, even families from the capital city across the river would come over to watch) and the annual arts and crafts fair that began at the park on Main Street but eventually spilled over into neighboring parking lots and buildings.
At that arts and crafts fair, among all the food trucks and fried delicacies, my family always found their way to the fry bread tacos. From the opening of the fair, you'd see others walking around with paper plates hidden beneath a behemoth of fry bread and a mountain of taco toppings, each one an unsuspecting billboard for the best food at the event.
But you're not here for me to wax poetic about my history with fry bread tacos. Not at all!
How to make gluten free fry bread
As you might expect, the gluten free fry bread posed quite the challenge in this recipe.
I knew I wanted to use Otto's Cassava Flour (not sponsored, just a big fan!) for this recipe — first to keep it as simple as possible, and second to keep it nut free.
It certainly wasn't easy, but I feel like I finally tweaked enough to make a winner!
To make gluten free fry bread, you'll mix the dry ingredients and then pour in boiling water. It won't fully come together until you add the nut milk, but the hot water is super important so don't skip it!
Then, let the dough rest while you preheat the oil. You need the oil to be between 340 and 365 degrees F - get a food thermometer for this!
A couple quick notes for epic fry bread:
- You'll want a thermometer on hand to keep the oil at a fairly consistent temperature for frying. Let it get too hot, and the outside will cook before the inside does, leaving you with a gooey center.
- Despite my best efforts, this fry bread doesn't keep longterm. Don't refrigerate it or it will turn gummy and tough. That's partially why this recipe makes a small batch — to prevent leftovers!
What to serve with fry bread tacos
Growing up, fry bread tacos were always served with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, and sour cream. You can definitely go that route if you'd like!
Now, pico de gallo and avocado are more my style.
But the fun doesn't stop there. I'm a big believer that toppings make a taco (and are the major way to customize a taco recipe), so here's an idea list for you:
- Shredded lettuce
- Diced tomato
- Diced onion
- Sliced black olives
- Dairy free sour cream
- Pico de gallo
- Sliced avocado
- Pickled red onions
- Sliced radish
- Hot sauce
Mix and match 2 or 3 of those topping options, and you've got yourself a damn fine fry bread taco.
More gluten free taco recipes
- Steak Tacos with Greek Salsa
- Pulled Pork Tacos with Pineapple Radish Salsa
- Buffalo Chicken Tacos with Pickled Onions & Ranch
- Steak & Egg Breakfast Tacos with Chimichurri
- BBQ Chicken Tacos with Coleslaw
Need even MORE tacos in your life? Sign up for my newsletter to get my free paleo taco e-book, Tacos Every Damn Day!
The paleo and gluten free version of the fairground classic! Feel free to customize the toppings with your favorite taco toppings.
For the fry bread:
2 cups cassava flour
6 tablespoons tapioca starch
3 teaspoons paleo baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons salt
⅔ cup warm nut milk (I used almond)
1 cup boiling water (+ more as needed)
For the tacos:
1 pound ground beef
1 heaping tablespoon taco seasoning (get my recipe in my free taco e-book)
2 avocados, sliced
1 large tomato, diced
Fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish
- In a large bowl, add cassava flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, and sea salt. Mix until fully incorporated. While stirring, pour in boiling water and shortening, continuing to stir until liquid has absorbed. Finally, add nut milk and stir until dough comes together and no longer sticks to the side of the bowl. Using clean hands, form the dough until a uniform ball. Cover and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
- While the dough rests, preheat the oil in a deep pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Insert a food thermometer to monitor heat — it should be between 340 and 365 degrees F.
- Preheat a tablespoon of oil in a separate cast iron skillet. Brown ground beef, then add taco seasoning and stir.
- Separate the dough into 4 equal balls. Press each ball to flatten slightly (it should be between a ball and flat). Add one portion into the oil and fry for 3-4 minutes. Flip with kitchen tongs, and fry for another 3-4 minutes. Remove to a wire rack or paper towel-lined plate.
- Serve by plating the fry bread and topping with sliced avocado, ground beef, diced tomato, and fresh cilantro.
Keywords: fry bread tacos