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Arizona Recipes

The following recipes will introduce you to the foods of Arizona.

Indian Fry Bread (a.k.a. Navajo Taco)

If Arizona had a state food, this would probably be it!


4 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups water
1 handful of powdered milk
2 cups vegetable oil for frying


In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the water and powdered milk to the flour mixture. Mix together with your hands until it’s not sticky. (Add more water if it’s too dry, or add more flour if it’s too sticky.) With your hands or a rolling pin, mold the fry bread into flat circles, each about 6 inches across. Put a hole in the middle of the dough with your finger. Heat the oil (it should be about 1 inch deep) in a large frying pan on high heat. Cook the fry bread until it’s golden brown on both sides. (Caution: The oil is very hot! This should be done with an adult’s help.) Remove the fry bread from the oil with tongs and set on paper towels to absorb the oil. Serve hot covered with honey, powdered sugar, or cinnamon sugar; or top with grated cheese, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, refried beans, and cooked ground beef or chicken. Serves 4-6.

Arizona Apple Salsa

Believe it or not, the climate found in Arizona’s high desert locations is ideally suited for growing apples.


1 cup diced Arizona-grown Granny Smith apple*
1/4 cup diced peeled ripe avocado
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon minced jalapeno
1/2 teaspoon grated lime rind
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice
Dash of pepper
1 small clove garlic, minced.


Combine all ingredients in a bowl and allow flavors to blend about 1/2 hour. Serve with chicken, pork, beef or low fat tortilla chips. Serves 4.

*Pick your own Arizona apples! Click here to find out where and when:

Arizona Chili

A hearty beef and bean chili with traditional seasonings. Commercial cattle ranching began in Arizona during the late 1880s, and Arizona was the largest producer of beans at the turn of the 20th century.


1 lb. beef, cut into 1″ pieces
1 cup coarsely chopped onions
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 (15 ounce) can of beans, rinsed and drained
1 (16 ounce) can of diced tomatoes
2 tbs. chopped green chilies
1 tbs. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper


Sauté beef, onion and garlic until beef is brown. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for at least 30 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips.

Roasted Garlic

Roasted garlic drizzled with olive oil is a delicious accompaniment to rosemary bread! Garlic, olives, and rosemary all grow well here in Arizona.


1 whole bulb of garlic
2 tsp. olive oil (or canola oil or butter)
Optional: rosemary bread


1. Peel away the outermost layers of garlic bulb skin, leaving the garlic bulb whole.
2. Cut garlic bulb in half across the widest part of the middle, to expose all of the individual cloves.
3. Drizzle with a couple teaspoons of olive oil and spread it around with your fingers to make sure each clove is well coated.
4. Tightly wrap each garlic half in a square piece of aluminum foil large enough to envelop it.
5. Place the wrapped garlic on the upper rack of your grill so it’s not directly over the flame.
6. Close the lid and let the garlic roast for 30 minutes or until soft and mushy.
7. If you don’t have a grill, you can get the same results by placing the foil-wrapped garlic on a standard oven rack for about 40-50 minutes at 350°F.
8. You can multiply the recipe to make as much roasted garlic as you need. (A single garlic bulb usually contains about 10-15 cloves.)

How to Eat:

Allow the garlic to sit until it’s cool enough to handle without burning your fingers. Then squeeze each clove gently at the uncut end, and the roasted garlic should slide right out of its skin. Eat the roasted garlic cloves as is, spread over warm bread, put on a cracker, mix into a baked potato, mash into softened butter, use in mashed potatoes, add to pasta sauce or salsa. When cooked, many of the complex compounds that give garlic its pungency break down into flavors that are actually very mellow and sweet.

How to Store:

Any leftover roasted garlic cloves must be refrigerated in a tightly covered container and used within a couple of days, or freeze until needed for adding to recipes later.

Arizona Lemonade

Arizona is the second largest lemon producer in the U.S. after California. Many residents of the lower deserts have lemon trees growing in their yard.


1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
6 cups water


You can mix this lemonade in a half gallon (8 cup/ 64 fl. oz.) juice container. It’s nice and lemony; not too sweet – but you can add more sugar to taste if you prefer sweeter lemonade.

Prickly Pear Jelly

Prickly Pear fruits have been a staple food of Southwestern Indians for centuries.

Click here to download and print out a recipe for Prickly Pear Jelly. Or you can buy a jar of Prickly Pear Cactus Jelly here.

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