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This birria tacos recipe (a.k.a. birria quesatacos) is made with tender and flavorful birria beef, which is loaded into broth-dipped corn tortillas with cheese, fried until crispy, then dunked in birria broth for a delicious finish.
Alright friends! After learning how to make beef birria (stew) earlier this week, it’s time to move onto the broth-dipped, crispy-fried, ooey-gooey-cheesy birria tacos that everyone can’t stop talking about lately…
…birria quesatacos. ♡
These irresistible cheesy tacos de birria, which fall somewhere between a quesadilla and a taco, are really easy and fun to make once you have a batch of birria meat all ready to go. Simply dip a corn tortilla in the richly-flavored birria broth, place it on a hot skillet and fill it with birria beef and your favorite Mexican cheese, fold and fry until the cheese has melted and the birria taco shell is nice and crispy, then serve the quesatacos up nice and warm with an extra bowl of the warm birria broth for dipping. And enjoy every last, glorious, delicious bite.
If you have yet to give birria quesatacos a try, just trust me, they are ridiculously good and extra-fun when you get to dip them in that flavorful birria broth. These tacos are also naturally gluten-free and the birria beef is easy to make in either the Instant Pot, Crock-Pot or on the stovetop. And have that boomerang filter ready, because the epic gooey cheese pulls and broth dunks are too fun not to share!
Let’s make some birria tacos!
Birria Tacos Ingredients:
Before we get to the full birria tacos recipe below, let’s chat about the ingredients that you will need to make this recipe:
- Birria: I’ve dedicated a separate post for how to make birria beef (birria de res), either in the Instant Pot, Crock-Pot or on the stovetop. You will need the beef as well as its cooking broth to make these birria quesatacos.
- Tortillas: Tacos birria are typically made with small corn tortillas (either homemade or store-bought), which I highly recommend for flavor and texture. But that said, feel free to use whatever type of tortillas you love best.
- Cheese: I also really recommend purchasing some type of soft Mexican melting cheese for these quesatacos, such as Oaxaca, Chihuahua, asadero, or quesadilla cheese. These cheeses can often be found in the Latin American cheese section of grocery stores. (You may need to shred or thinly slice them by hand if they are sold in a round.) That said, if Mexican melting cheeses are unavailable, feel free to use any other shredded cheese that you love best, such as a Mexican blend, Monterrey Jack or Pepperjack.
- Toppings: Finally, it’s essential to add on some toppings to balance out the cheesy birria tacos with some crisp, fresh flavors! I always serve my quesatacos with some fresh lime wedges, as well as some combination of chopped fresh cilantro, chopped red or white onions (or pickled red onions), sliced avocado and/or sliced jalapeños sprinkled on top.
Tips for Making Birria Tacos:
Full instructions for how to make birria tacos are included below, but here are a few tips that you might find helpful:
- Use a cast iron or non-stick skillet: This will help the broth-dipped tortillas not to stick to the pan. Or alternately, if you do not own a cast iron or non-stick skillet (or comal), you can just add some extra oil to your skillet to help prevent the tortillas from sticking.
- Don’t forget to season the birria broth: It’s important to make sure your birria broth broth is well-seasoned since it will be doing triple duty helping to flavor the beef, the tortillas, and serve as a dipping sauce. So give it a taste before you assemble the tacos and be sure it has been well-seasoned with salt and pepper.
- Prep all of your ingredients before frying: The frying process goes pretty quickly, so I recommend prepping all of your taco ingredients (tortillas, beef, cheese and toppings) before frying so that you can quickly and easily access what you need.
- Don’t overfill the tacos: Especially when it comes to the cheese, which will ooze out of the tacos while they are frying if you add in too much. Feel free to use the photos above as an example for how to fill the tacos, but you’ll also get the hang of it after practicing on one or two. 😉
- Dip the tortillas in the very top layer of the broth: In order to make your tortillas extra crispy, it helps to shallowly dip them in very top layer of the broth, since the oil/fat usually floats to the top.
- Keep prepared tacos warm in the oven until serving: Finally, I recommend storing your prepared tacos on a baking sheet in the oven while you continue frying up the rest of the batch, in order to keep them nice and warm and crispy.
Birria Quesatacos Variations:
There are endless variations on birria tacos out there, so feel free to experiment and have fun customizing your tacos however you’d like. For example, you could also…
- Skip the dipping/frying: To make street-style soft birria tacos, just load up some soft corn tortillas with birria meat and your favorite toppings and skip dipping and frying the tortillas. Another delicious (and healthier) option!
- Add guacamole (or sliced avocados): Feel free to add some guacamole or sliced avocados to your tacos, either in the taco filling or as a topping.
- Add refried beans: You could also add some refried beans (or cooked pinto or black beans) inside the taco filling.
- Add jalapeños: To add some extra heat, add fresh jalapeño or serrano chiles, either in the taco filling or as a topping.
- Add pickled red onions: I also love adding some quick pickled red onions to these tacos, either in the taco filling or as a topping.
- Strain the broth: If you would like a thinner dipping sauce, feel free to strain the birria broth through a fine-mesh strainer before serving.
More Favorite Taco Recipes:
Looking for more great taco recipes to try? Here are a few of my faves…
This birria tacos (a.k.a. birria quesatacos) recipe is made with my favorite birria beef, which is loaded into broth-dipped corn tortillas with cheese, fried until crispy, then dunked in extra birria broth for an extra-flavorful finish.
- 1 batch birria (Instant Pot, Crock-Pot or stovetop versions available)
- 18 to 24 small corn tortillas (homemade or store-bought)
- 1 pound shredded Mexican melting cheese (such as Oaxaca, Chihuahua, quesadillas or asadero cheese, see note below)
- toppings: chopped fresh cilantro, chopped red or white onions (or pickled red onions), sliced avocado, sliced jalapeños and/or fresh lime wedges
- Cook the birria. Prepare the birria according to recipe instructions, either in the Instant Pot (pressure cooker), Crock-Pot (slow cooker) or on the stovetop. Once the beef has been cooked, shred it into bite-sized pieces, then toss the beef in its broth until it is evenly coated.
- Dip the tortillas. Heat the oven to 250°F. Heat a large non-stick sauté pan or cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Briefly dip a few corn tortillas (as many will fit in the pan in a single layer) in the top layer* of the birria broth, so that the tortillas are coated with the broth on both sides, then lay the tortillas in a single layer the hot pan.
- Fill the tortillas. Immediately fill half of each tortilla with a small handful ofaqswerfe shredded cheese and a spoonful of shredded birria beef.
- Fry the tacos. Once the cheese begins to melt, carefully fold the tortillas over in half. Then continue to fry the tacos for 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until crispy. Once the tacos are ready to go, carefully transfer them to a baking sheet.
- Repeat. Repeat this process to continue making more tacos, meanwhile storing the baking sheet of prepared tacos in the oven (for up to 20 minutes) to keep them warm and crispy.
- Serve. Serve the tacos warm, garnished with lots of toppings, along with small individual bowls of the leftover birria broth for dipping.
Cheese: I recommend purchasing some type of soft Mexican melting cheese for these quesatacos, such as Oaxaca, Chihuahua, asadero, or quesadilla cheese, which can often be found in the Latin American cheese section of grocery stores. (You may need to shred or thinly slice them by hand if they are sold in a round.) That said, if those cheeses are unavailable, feel free to use any shredded cheese that you love best, such as a Mexican blend, Monterrey Jack or Pepperjack.
Dipping tortillas in the broth: For extra crispy taco shells, it helps to shallowly dip the tortillas in the very top layer of the broth, which is usually more oily/fatty.
Prep/cook time: The times listed above do not include the time required to make the beef birria, which can range depending on your cooking method.