Easy Naan Bread Recipe

You will be hard pressed to go back to eating store bought naan after making this easy Naan bread recipe.

With 4 basic ingredients and no special equipment, treat yourself to a delicious, versatile bread for dipping, scooping or filling.

one brown puckered naan with sprig of rosemary on cutting board.

Naan bread also makes a great contribution to potluck dinners or picnics when the host is serving a dip or two. I cook it just before I leave the house.

Bottom line: Crispy on one side, puckered on the other side and soft and chewy on the inside. Absolutely delish. Once you make this easy naan recipe once or twice, you’ll be a pro.

What to expect

Some recipes use eggs and yogurt. Some have longer rise times. And some use equipment to stir to dough like a stand mixer and dough hook.

This naan recipe sticks to the basics with excellent results – all purpose flour, yeast, salt, sugar, water – and no special equipment.

The naan can be pan fried or grilled. See comparison below. And check out a few shortcuts you can take.

The recipe makes 4 fairly large naan, serving 4-6 people. But you can double or triple the recipe if you like.

Naan, similar to most breads, is a great vehicle for dips and fillings as it does not have a ton of flavor.

Ingredients

yeast, salt, sugar, water, flour on cutting board.
flour salt, sugar, yeast, water

Yeast is the only special ingredient. Use active dry yeast – just make sure it is not expired. See the recipe notes if you want to use instant (or rapid rise) yeast. Do not be intimidated by the yeast. You put it in warm water for 10 minutes to do its magic. That’s it.

Flavor variations: Cook the naan, brush it with oil or butter, then add some flavor if you like. Some good options are: granulated garlic, sea salt, toasted sesame, everything bagel seasoning, seeds, fresh herbs or zaatar.

Step by step instructions

Here’s a summary of the basic steps.

  1. Activate the active dry yeast in warm water.
  2. Combine the yeasty water with flour and salt.
  3. Knead the dough for 3 minutes into a smooth ball.
  4. Place the dough in a bowl to let it rise.
  5. Cut the dough into 4 pieces and roll or stretch each piece into an oval.
  6. Pan fry or grill.

Below are step by step pictures and instructions if you like visuals. You will find detailed instructions in the recipe card (no pics).

yeast foaming in measuring cup.
Activate the yeast in warm water until foam forms (see shortcut if using instant yeast)
dough coming together in mixing bowl.
Combine yeast mixture with flour and salt.
ball of dough in glass bowl.
Knead for 3 minutes and place dough ball in greased bowl to rise.
dough doubled in size in bowl sitting on warm stove.
Allow dough to double in size (45-60 minutes) in a warm environment to a soft dough.
4 pieces of dough stretched out on cutting board in shape of naan.
Cut dough into 4 pieces and stretch or roll out into oval-ish shapes.
4 naan puckering on grill.
Spray naan with oil and place on hot grill until they bubble up, about 1 minute. Spray top side and flip over.
4 grilled naan on grill.
Grill on second side for another minute.
pile of 4 grilled naan on cutting board.
ripped naan showing inside.
Dig into your fresh pillowy soft naan bread!

Pan fry or grill?

Both methods work well to cook the naan. I prefer the grill method because I can make all the naan in one shot. The grilling literally takes one minute per side. You also get those nice grill marks.

The pan method (or dry fry method) is just as good, but you can generally only do 1 naan at a time in a pan. Use a cast iron pan or non stick skillet. I find you need closer to 2 minutes per side since the pan is not covered. So the pan method will take longer. The results are the same though.

Shortcuts

  1. Use instant yeast (also sometimes called rapid rise yeast) to save 10 minutes. There’s no need to let it sit it warm water. Just mix it in with the flour and salt. And pour the warm water over.
  2. Dough rise: You can shortcut the rise if you place your dough in a warm place. I put it at the edge of the stove top with the oven door open.
  3. Grill the naan: As noted above, it’s much faster to grill the naan instead of using the pan fry method. You will save about 20 minutes (or a lot more if you double the recipe).

Make ahead

  • Make the dough ahead. After the dough has risen, punch it down, place it in a bag sprayed with a bit of oil and refrigerate for up to two days. Or freeze it for up to 2 months.
  • Make the naan, then store it in a sealed bag or container for up to 2 days on the counter, 3-4 days in the fridge or in the freezer for a month.
  • How to reheat naan: Naan is best served warm if used for dipping. If making it earlier in the day or the day before, rewarm in 375-400F/204C oven for a couple of minutes or on grill for a minute.

What to serve with naan

The options are endless. Here are a few.

  • With dips: hummus, eggplant dip, guacamole, salsa, peach chutney, olive tepanade, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, herb dip, pesto .
  • As an open face sandwich: spread with yogurt or cream cheese and top with smoked salmon, dill, lemon zest or capers.
  • Use as a grilled pizza base: once the naan is cooked, top with sauce and cheese or other toppings, and grill on medium high for 5-7 minutes.
  • As a sandwich or wrap – with any filling you prefer such as egg salad or grilled chicken.
  • Brushed with butter and seasonings or herbs.
  • As a side for dipping: Try scooping up the delicious sauce in Indian-style chicken (sous vide or regular) or easy veg gnocchi Indian style.

Recipe FAQ

What is naan bread?

Naan is a flat bread eaten in Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and other surrounding countries. It is a common Indian food eaten in Indian restaurants around the world and available in most grocery stores now. The typical ingredients are flour, yeast, water, salt and sugar. Many add yogurt, eggs and olive oil. We don’t as we’re making a very easy naan bread recipe.

Is naan bread healthy?

Naan is high in carbs (more than many breads), but it does offer a relatively good amounts of protein and fiber and a decent amount of iron according to Healthline. The recommendation is to eat it in moderation. Pita bread is typically healthier than naan bread because it’s lower in calories and fat (although our recipe uses no oil, egg or yogurt so they are more comparable).

How do you cook naan?

Traditional naan bread requires a tandoor oven (clay oven), but we use a grill or cast iron skillet and its delicious!

pile of 4 grilled naan on cutting board.

Other bread recipes (easier than you think)

If you like this recipe, please leave a 5 star rating 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟with a comment in the recipe card below. Thanks so much!

one brown puckered naan with sprig of rosemary on cutting board.
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4.93 from 38 votes

Easy Naan Bread Recipe

You will be hard pressed to go back to eating store bought Naan bread after making this easy naan bread recipe. With 4 basic ingredients and no special equipment, treat yourself to a delicious, versatile soft chewy bread for dipping, scooping or filling.
Prep Time18 minutes
Cook Time2 minutes
Rise time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4 naan

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup warm water (105-110F if you want to measure. I don't)
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast Note 1
  • 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar (or honey)
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour plus up to an extra 1/4 cup/32 grams if dough is sticky (climate can affect it)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • ACTIVATE YEAST: Measure water is a small bowl or measuring cup. Stir in yeast and sugar. Let sit for 10 minutes until foamy or cloudy.
  • MIX DRY INGREDIENTS: Mix flour and salt in medium to large bowl. Make a well in center and set aside.
  • MAKE DOUGH: Add yeast mixture to dry ingredients. Stir with wooden spoon until soft dough begins to form. Turn out onto a floured surface (I cover surface with parchment for easy clean up). Knead dough for 3 minutes, adding just enough flour if it's too sticky. You may need up to 1/4 cup/32 grams extra flour. Do not add too much flour or bread will become tough/dense. Fold into a smooth ball of dough and place in a medium to large bowl sprayed with oil. Spray top of dough lightly with oil as well.
  • LET DOUGH RISE: Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for 40-60 minutes. Tip: To speed up the rise, I turn my oven to warm, open the oven door a few inches and place the bowl at the edge of the stove top to get warmth from oven. The dough should double in size.
  • FORM NAAN: Transfer dough to cutting board with a lightly floured surface. Punch it down. Cut into 4 equal portions. Stretch each piece out by hand or use a rolling pin to flatten and shape dough into approximate ovals (or the traditional teardrop shape) about 7-8" long/20 cm and 1/4 inch thick/63 mm.
  • GRILL NAAN: (Note 2 to pan fry). Clean and oil grill. Heat grill to high – about 475-500F/246-260C. Spray one side of naan with oil. When grill is hot, place the 4 naan, oil side down, directly onto grill. As you're transferring each naan to the grill, it will stretch out a bit more, but don't stretch it too thin. You want some fluffiness and chewiness in your naan. Spray the side facing up. Close lid. Cook first side for 1 minute until bubbles appear. Flip over and cook other side for 1 more minute. The finished naan will have golden bubbles or grill marks.
    If desired, brush with a little oil, melted butter or garlic butter and chopped (or dried) herbs and seasonings of your choice e.g. garlic powder, onions powder, cumin, coriander. Note 3 to reheat naan.

Recipe Notes

  1. Yeast: Make sure your yeast has not expired. To use instant or rapid rise yeast instead of active dry yeast, just mix the yeast into the flour and salt, then add the warm water. No need to activate the yeast in the warm water for 10 minutes. 
  2. Dry Fry/Pan Fry Method: Heat large cast iron skillet or non stick pan to medium high heat. Spray one side of naan with oil. Place one naan, oil side down in pan. Spray side facing up with oil as well. Cook naan for about 2 minutes until bubbles (air pockets) appear. No need to cover pan. Flip over and cook another 2-3 minutes until golden brown spots appear. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining naan. 
  3. How to reheat naan: Naan is best served warm if used for dipping. If making it earlier in the day or the day before, rewarm in 375-400F/204C oven for a couple of minutes or on grill for a minute.
  4. Flavor variations: Cook the naan, brush it with oil or butter, then add some flavor if you like. Some good options are: granulated garlic, sea salt, toasted sesame seeds, everything bagel seasoning, fresh herbs or zaatar.
  5. Make Ahead:
    • Make the dough ahead. After the dough has risen, punch it down, place it in a bag sprayed with a bit of oil and refrigerate for up to two days. Or freeze it for up to 2 months.
    • Make the naan, then store it in a sealed bag or container for up to 2 days on the counter, 3-4 days in the fridge or in the freezer for a month. Warm in 350-375F oven for 4-5 minutes or on grill for 2 minutes. Watch that is doesn’t burn. 
 
Nutrition values are estimates based on 1/4 of the recipe – one large naan per serving. 

Nutrition

Calories: 186kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 295mg | Potassium: 79mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?We’d love you to rate it above under ‘rate this recipe’ or in the comment section below. Thanks!

This easy recipe was adapted from Mavis Butterfield’s.

4.93 from 38 votes (31 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




18 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    What can I say other than WOW!! Brought these to a dinner party as an appetizer paired with tzatziki and the whole thing was gone within minutes! My kids who eat nothing but mac n’ cheese were even digging in! Definitely saving this recipe!

  2. The dough was incredibly sticky. I ended up adding almost a half cup more flour to make it workable. Really liked the end result, though.

    1. Hi Becky, Sorry to hear your dough was so sticky. At least the naan still turned out well – happy to hear that! With baking and breads, it’s always best to weigh the flour. I find that climate affects the measurement as well (when I was in Florida, my dough was much stickier and I, too, had to add extra flour). May I suggest you give it another try and make a note of what amount of flour works best for you.

    2. 4 stars
      I’m addicted to naan bread. Make it every week and place it in deep freezer. When I need it I take it out. Jam and butter every nice. You can do so much with it.

  3. 5 stars
    The only cooking I do is to on the bbq and this recipe is perfect for the grill. Love it with zaatar sprinkled on.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.years ago i had a covonut na ssf n but have never sern it again. Now i just may try making my own recipe.

  5. 5 stars
    Made this right away. Two batches. First added some methi (fenugreek leaves dried) to flour cause i remember i loved that. Probably could add more. And cooked it on the iron grill on the stove top. Easy-peasy and great. Second batch (yet to cook) is regular. We’ll compare tonight. Sneaked a corner. Very good.

    1. Glad you found the recipe easy and, most importantly, very good! Lucky you to have an indoor iron grill.