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Amazing Birria Tacos Recipe

Tender, melt-in-your-mouth beef with a rich flavorful broth is the foundation for these drool-inducing birria tacos that are better than any restaurant in town!

We love tacos. Sure, most people do, but tacos make a regular appearance on our table. Birria has become one of our staples, though, and we use it to make everything from tacos and taquitos, to sandwiches and ramen. We even eat it with eggs for breakfast.

Birria Tacos Recipe

Birria is a dish that originated in Jalisco, Mexico and is traditionally a stew made with beef or goat and slow-cooked in a chile and spice infused broth. As it simmers, the beef breaks down and the flavors permeate the liquid, eventually thickening into a rich, flavorful broth with chunks of fall-apart meat throughout.

While birria tacos and ramen have become quite trendy in America, you might be surprised to learn that (some sources say) birria is traditionally eaten for breakfast. We’re not complaining. We eat soup for breakfast at our house on the regular. So this one is a perfect addition to our menu.

Why You’ll Love Birria Tacos

Comfort Food – A warm bowl of birria, or a tortilla stuffed with it, is definitely comfort food. Deep, rich flavors and hearty protein fill your belly and soothe your soul.

Plenty To Go Around – This recipe makes a big batch so your whole family is sure to get their fill of tacos!

Makes Meal Planning Easy – If you have a batch of leftover birria in the fridge, you already know what’s for dinner. Tacos on night one, taquitos or tostadas on night two, ramen on night three?

Healthy Meal – Birria is high in protein and simmered in a broth made from other whole foods, so it is rich in healthy fats, vitamins, and nutrients.

Easy To Make – While this recipe does take a few hours to make, most of that time is spent on the stove simmering. Every 30 minutes or so, I peek into the pot, take a whiff of the deliciousness, and give it a stir. Actual hands-on time is really only about 30 minutes (15 at the beginning, 5 in the middle, and 10 at the end).

Birria Tacos Ingredients Notes

  • Beef chuck roast: I’ve used both bone in and boneless, and I prefer boneless to eliminate the step of removing the bones. Plus I like to know how much meat it will yield. The bone-in roasts will help create a more deeply flavored broth though if that is your goal.
  • Chiles: The primary chile here is guajillo, creating a sweet, tangy, and slightly smoky foundation. Moritas and Chipotle mecos add the extra smoke and fruitiness.
  • Aromatics: To fully build the flavor profile of the consommé, we use onion, garlic, carrot, celery, bay leaves, cumin, chili powder, and oregano.
  • Beef Bouillon: This is preferred over just straight water as it helps round out the beefiness in the broth.
  • Tomato Puree: Some people use whole tomatoes, roast them with the onions and garlic, puree everything with the chiles, then strain it back into the stew. I like to eliminate this step and use a can of tomato puree. It ensures we don’t have any leftover tomato seeds or chunks of skin lingering.
  • Traditional Toppings: Birria tacos are usually served with chopped onion, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice. You can also add Oaxacan cheese if you like!
  • Tortillas: For tacos, we use the 5 or 6 inch tortillas. Corn and flour both work. It’s your preference here. We usually do corn, but flour tortillas are great and hold up well to the broth.

Find the complete birria taco ingredients list with measurements in the birria taco recipe card below.

Birria Tacos Ingredients

How To Make Birria Tacos

  1. Sear: Cut your beef into large chunks and sear them on all sides in your large soup pot with a splash of oil. You’ll need to do this in batches. Brown each side and leave the fond at the bottom. This will add an extra layer of beefy flavor to the consommé. Set the beef aside in a large bowl.
  2. Sauté: Add the chiles and aromatics to the same pot and sauté to toast everything and wake up the flavors.
  3. Build the Consommé: Add the spices and stir to toast them for a moment, then add the water, tomato puree, and bouillon. Return the meat and its juices to the pot, bring to a boil, then reduce heat slightly and allow it to simmer for about 30 minutes.
  4. Puree: Pull the chiles out of the broth and add them to a food processor or blender with a few splashes of broth. Blend well and pour it back into the pot.
  5. Simmer: Allow the stew to simmer for two and a half to three hours. I usually set a timer to stir it every 30 minutes during this time.
  6. Shred: Transfer the beef from the pot to a large bowl or baking dish and shred it. Remove the bay leaves. Add the shredded beef back into the pot and stir.
  7. Toast: Brown your tortillas on the stovetop, in the oven, or in the microwave to warm them.
  8. Taco Time: Build your tacos! Add the beef and top with cilantro, onion, and a squeeze of lime juice. If desired, you can serve them with a dish of the consommé on the side for dipping.

Variations, Substitutions, & Cooking Tips

Covered vs. Uncovered – Either way works. It’s up to you. My pot is usually pretty full so I cover it to help keep the splashing over the side to a minimum, leaving it propped open on one side for ventilation.

Stir – I like to stir every 30 minutes while it cooks. This allows me to adjust the seasoning if necessary, and move the meat around so that each chunk gets settled into the broth.

Seasonings – We stick to a few basic seasonings, but there are different birria variations that include others. Some you may want to try include coriander, cloves, Mexican cinnamon sticks, thyme, marjoram, and ginger.

Chile variations – We use guajillo, Morita, and chipotle meco. Guajillos are essential, but the other two can vary and you can try ancho chiles and chiles de arbol.

Change up the meat – Other versions use another type or a mixture of meats including lamb, goat, oxtail, or short ribs.

Add some heat – This is a pretty mild recipe that is not spicy. If you’d like some heat, you can add some crushed red pepper or jalapenos to the stew.

Soak the tortillas – Add a few splashes of broth to a shallow frying pan and heat. Add the toasted tortillas and fry them in the broth, transfer to a plate, then add the meat and some Oaxacan cheese.

Leave the meat alone – If you want more of a soup or stew rather than tacos, let the meat fall apart into larger chunks on its own rather than shredding it, and serve the chunks with the consommé in soup bowls. Serve with warm corn tortillas for dipping, and top the stew with cilantro and onion.

Make Taquitos – Heat a pan with oil, about an inch and a half high for deep frying. Put birria along the tortilla in a line and roll tightly. Using tongs, carefully place the taquito into the hot oil with the seam down and fry until crispy, turning once to cook both sides evenly. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to cool then enjoy with guacamole or dip in the consommé.

Homemade Birria Tacos Recipe

Storage & Reheating

Store your leftover birria in an airtight container, allowing it to cool first. Store in the fridge for up to 7 days (it won’t last that long!), or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To reheat, add birria with broth to a pot on the stove and heat over medium until cooked through. You can also heat batches in the microwave, cooking in 30 to 60 second increments until heated through.

Birria Tacos Recipe

Amazing Birria Tacos Recipe

Yield: 20+ Tacos
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours

Tender, melt-in-your-mouth beef with a rich flavorful broth is the foundation for these drool-inducing birria tacos that are better than any restaurant in town!


  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil of choice
  • 6 pounds beef chuck roast, cut into 4-5 large pieces
  • Kosher Salt
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
  • 4 (1-inch) pieces of carrot
  • 2 (1-inch) pieces of celery
  • 6 garlic cloves, stem ends removed
  • 6 guajillo chiles, stems and seeds removed
  • 1 chipotle Morita, stems and seeds removed
  • 1 chipotle meco, stems and seeds removed
  • 5 tablespoons granulated beef bouillon
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 9 cups water
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
  • Corn or flour tortillas

Optional Toppings

  • Lime wedges
  • Chopped white or yellow onion
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Oaxacan Cheese


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat—season the meat with salt.
  2. Brown the meat on all sides, working in batches, then transfer to a bowl.
  3. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and chiles to the pot.
  4. Cook for 5 minutes; add the beef bouillon, chili powder, and cumin. Stir to toast for a minute.
  5. Return the meat and its juices to the pot. Add water, tomato puree, bay leaves, salt, and pepper.
  6. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove the chiles and transfer to a blender. Blend until smooth, adding broth as needed.
  8. Return the puree to the pot. Stir to combine.
  9. Cover the pot and simmer for 3-3 ½ hours or until the beef is fall-apart tender and easy to shred. Uncover the pot to stir every 30 minutes or so. Add the oregano during the last 30 minutes.
  10. Remove and discard the bay leaves.
  11. Remove the meat and shred. Also, discard any bones at this time if you used bone-in beef.
  12. Return beef to the pot and stir to combine with the broth.
  13. Serve and enjoy!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 376Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 114mgSodium: 614mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 35g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.

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Monique McArthur
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