Quesabirria tacos

Quesabirria Tacos – How to Make the Ultimate Recipe?

Quesabirria tacos! What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear this? Quesadillas? Which is nothing but a Mexican dish, tacos with cheese filling. Also, birria is a type of stew that originated in Mexico, made from lots of spices and meat. Now, you can relate to what quesabirria tacos are. So, this unique dish is mainly a taco with a cheesy and meaty filling.

Quesabirria tacos have become very popular everywhere, and that too for a good reason. The taste of this dish is heavenly. How can anybody say no to cheesy meat? It’s so damn yummy and tasty. You must have heard about the birria tacos with the soup or commonly called consommé. So why not combine the two dishes (quesadillas and birria) and make a fabulous meal. It can become one of your favorite taco dishes.

You can try making different variants of this dish. This is one of the dishes that you generally prepare for special occasions, like birthdays, parties, get-togethers, or even family weekend dinners. It can lift your mood with its fantastic taste and flavor. Honestly, this dish takes a generous amount of time to get it right. However, if you plan this dish a bit ahead, it can save you up a lot of time. So, let’s get started with the recipe.

Authentic quesabirria tacos recipe



  • Chuck roast: boneless, 3 pounds
  • beef ribs: 3 ½ pounds
  • Kosher salt

Pepper mix:

  • canola oil: 1 tbsp
  • Guajillo chilis – 6 de-seeded and stemmed
  • Pasilla chilis – 3 de-seeded and stemmed
  • Onions – 1 ½ large, chopped into 3 half halves
  • Árbol chile – 6 de-seeded and stemmed
  • Mexico chilis – 3 de-seeded and stemmed
  • Ancho chilis – 3 de-seeded and stemmed
  • Carrot: 1 cut into cut small pieces
  • Fresh ginger – 2 small, 2 inches inches
  • garlic – 1 whole
  • Kosher salt – 2 tbsp
  • Ground cinnamon – 1 tsp
  • Ground cloves – 6 cloves
  • Bay leaves – 4
  • Granulated Garlic – 1 tbsp
  • Black pepper – 2 tbsp
  • Mexican oregano – 1 tbsp
  • Dried thyme – 1tsp
  • Ground coriander – 1 tbsp
  • Granulated onion – ½ tbsp
  • Ground cumin – ½ tbsp
  • Cayenne pepper – ½ tbsp
  • Smoked paprika – ½ tbsp
  • Red chili flakes – 1 tsp
  • Brown sugar – 4 tbsp
  • Diced tomatoes roasted – 14.5oz
  • Chipotle peppers – 3
  • Apple cider – 1/4 cup
  • Adobo sauce – 2 tbsp
  • Distilled vinegar – 1/4 cup
  • Worcestershire sauce – 1 tbsp
  • Water
Quesabirria Tacos
Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

Cilantro garnish:

  • onion diced – ½ large
  • Cilantro – 1 cup
  • Lime – half lime’s juice
  • Sea salt – a pinch


  • Corn tortillas
  • Cheese – Monterey jack to be shredded by hands
  • Birria fat
  • Lime wedges
  • Canola oil
  • Jalapenos – sliced (optional to add)

By looking at the ingredients, we know it would have made you think to give it a second thought to the entire cooking process. However, it is not that difficult as it seems. It is easy, and the taste of the dish will not disappoint you. And you do not have to be the best in it. Just keep experimenting with the art of cooking.

Below is a brief version to tell you how simple it is:

  • Marinate the meat with salt. Keep it aside.
  • Sauté the peppers.
  • Now boil the onions, peppers, garlic, carrot, ginger.
  • Take a blender to add the onions, peppers, garlic, carrot, and ginger. Add all the other seasonings and blend it again.
  • Now pressure cooks everything, the meat, and the paste.
  • Cook it.
  • Add the cheese, and fry your way to quesabirria tacos, place it together.

And it’s done. Wasn’t that easy? Now let’s get into the recipe in detail.


To make this dish, the first thing you need is an electric cooker or an oven. There are various ways and methods that this dish can be made. In this recipe, we are using the pressure cooker.

Meat marination:

Take the chuck roast and ribs, and put it in a big glass bowl. Now you need to season the meat nicely to infuse it with pepper and salt. Let it rest.

Pepper mixture:

  • Take some oil, put it in a pan at low-medium heat. Now add chiles and pepper to it; only be sure to cover it nicely with spice. Do not burn it and keep stirring.
  • Now transfer the peppers into a smaller saucepan. Put in all the ingredients, like the chopped carrots, onion halves, ginger & garlic cloves pour in some water of around 1/2 cups.
  • Let the mixture boil until the carrot and pepper soften.
  • Drain the water out, & keep the onion and pepper mixture alone. Now transfer the entire mixture into a big high-power blender, and along with it, add the Worcestershire sauce, distilled vinegar, black pepper, kosher salt, whole cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon, Mexican oregano, ground coriander, dried thyme, granulated onion, granulated garlic, cumin, smoked paprika, crushed pepper flakes, brown sugar 3 tbs, cayenne pepper, the roasted tomatoes, adobo sauce chipotle peppers and lastly 2 ½ cups of water.
  • Now blend it all into a thick, smooth paste. In case you do not have a big blender, you probably have to remove the puree from any unblended chunks.

Cooking the meat:

  • Take the marinated meat and put it in the pressure cooker; pour the mixture that you just made. Mix it nicely. Now add water for about 8 cups. Cook the meat at high pressure for 50 minutes. And then let the pressure release naturally.
  • Now it’s time to work on the meat. Put it into a big bowl, and start shredding it as per your choice. Use a knife or a fork for doing it.
Quesabirria Taco
Image Credit: Eater SF

Consomme or the broth preparation:


  • Now transfer the broth carefully to a big pot. And put it on high-heat for about 25 minutes which will gradually reduce its quantity. This will make the broth thicker and makes the flavor more tempting. Once it reaches its consistency, try it! It is time for the apple cider, and to balance it, we need to add the remaining portion of brown sugar. And adjust the taste by adding the salt as per taste.
  • With the remaining consomme, we will see the use in the latter part.
  • Skim a small portion of the fat and put it in a bowl. You will have to use this for frying the tortillas just before you serve. It’s time for you to add the consomme or broth to your meat to make it moist and juicy.

Cilantro garnish:

  • Take the Cilantro and onions together, squeeze the lime juice from half of a lime, and add a pinch of salt. Toss it well, so it mixes nicely.
  • Take the consomme and start pouring it in small bowls, like the number of people eating it. And then add a bit of the cilantro and onion mixture to your consomme bowls.

It is time for the tacos now:

Take a large pan, a non-stick one is preferable, and keep it on medium heat. Add the fat that you have kept aside and 1 tsp of the canola oil. Place two corn tortillas on the pan, brush the fat on both sides. Now let it cook so that it becomes crispy. Now it’s time for the yummiest ingredient, that is cheese. Yes, cheese! Add a generous amount of it with your birria meat. Now, you need to control the heat; if it’s turning brown too fast, turn down the heat and adjust it accordingly. When the cheese starts melting, the best part comes to fold the tortilla gently to make a taco. You may need to press it for a while to seal it. Flip it so both the sides of the taco get crispier. Do it with all the tortillas, as many as you wish.


It is almost done; all you need to do is place it all together. Take a plate, place it in the tacos, and then open it gently to fill the cilantro and onion mixture.

You can also serve it with some lime slices and, of course, a bowl of the consomme for each of the tacos you are serving. It is time to enjoy and eat your heart out because you have made one of the best dishes of your life: Quesabirria tacos.

Quick hacks

  • Meat: Now, see, meat is a vital part of this recipe, however, you can add any part of it and not necessarily ribs, but you would need bones to make it flavorful and tasty.
  • Cheese: Well, this is the essential ingredient of your recipe. Make sure you have a good melting cheese for your tacos. You get these Quesadilla cheese which is readily available. Some of the favorite options that can be used are mozzarella, Oaxaca cheese, or Monterey Jack.
  • Skimming the consomme: Always remember to skim the foam off that starts appearing on the soup, since after the boiling of the bones for 30 mins, it will start to release its impurities.
  • Guajillo Peppers: These peppers are very mild; it depends on how spicy you want the consomme to be, and accordingly adjust the spice using other chiles as per your liking and taste. You can also add chili powder if required.
  • Taste Adjustments: once your meat is ready and it is almost the end, taste it so that you can adjust the consomme as per your liking. Tasting is an integral part of it.
Image Credit: Pinterest

As we have discussed, quesabirria tacos can be made in different ways and variants lets find out in the below explanation:

Quesabirria tacos – using chicken

The most common question that worries people who don’t like beef/goat or lamb is that if chicken can be incorporated in this recipe? Well, the answer to that question is yes, of course, you can. Instead of using beef, lamb, or goat, you can happily use chicken or any seafood that you like. Another surprise element to this recipe is that you can even make it vegan by using jackfruit or mushrooms, which you wish to add literally.

For example, if you are using chicken, add the entire raw portion of it with the bones, and pour the same pepper, spices, and water, just how you did it for the above recipe. Mix it all and pressure cook it. But for chicken, maybe it’ll cook in 35-40 minutes, and that should be perfect. Also, you can use any part of it; if you prefer the thighs, legs, leg quarters, or the entire chicken, it depends on you. However, the bones enhance the taste and flavor of the consume.

Once the chicken is tender and perfectly cooked, separate it from the bones and the skin, you do not need it.

And your chicken filling is ready to use for the tacos with the consume. You can do the same thing with mushrooms or any other filling. It all depends on the spices that we put in to get the authentic Mexican taste.

Let’s see the various methods on how can we cook the birria:

Method no.1 – an electric pressure cooker

This method is one of the most time-saving and used by all.

Put the marinated meat in the cooker, or you can add the meat and the spices together at the same time. You can skip the marination step in the pressure cooker method as it takes lesser time to cook the meat. s

Cook it for 40-50 mins, and it should be done. Just remember to release the pressure naturally. Once it cools down, you can remove the lid and start with shredding your meat.

Method no. 2 – stove

All you need is a large pot and add your marinated meat. Cook it at medium heat. Cover it and let it cook for like three hours. Just be sure that your meat is tender enough to separate it from the bone and easy to shred.

Method No. 3 – Oven

Take your oven-safe dish, put in your marinated meat, cover it with the help of an aluminum foil. Now cook at 350F for around two hours. It should be perfectly cooked so you can shred it.

Nutrition values of the quesabirria tacos: per serving

Calories – 857kcal

Protein – 77g

Carbohydrates – 24g

Saturated fat – 25g

Vitamin C – 2mg

Sodium – 857mg

Fat – 51g

Cholesterol – 269mg

Vitamin A – 2305iu

Fiber – 4g

Sugar – 2g

Calcium – 511mg

Iron – 8mg

Potassium – 1232mg

Now don’t be scared seeing the quesabirria tacos calories, it is ok to have a cheat day, right? Also, you can always make a healthier version of it by using chicken. It will cut down on the fat that is mentioned in the recipe. Also, you can be a little light on cheese as well. But you can always have this occasionally as it is and enjoy it without having any guilt.