Quesabirria Tacos

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Last Updated on January 3, 2024

Are you a fan of Mexican cuisine? If so, you’ve probably heard of the latest taco craze: quesabirria tacos. These delicious tacos are made with birria, a traditional Mexican stew typically made with beef or goat meat. What sets quesabirria tacos apart is the addition of melted cheese and a crispy tortilla shell.

The process of making quesabirria tacos is simple, but the results are mouth-watering. First, the beef birria is slow-cooked until it’s tender and flavorful. Then, the meat is shredded and placed on a corn tortilla that has been dipped in the birria broth. The tortilla is then filled with Oaxaca cheese and fried until crispy. The result is a delicious, savory taco that is sure to satisfy your cravings.

If you’re wondering what the difference is between birria tacos and quesabirria tacos, it’s all in the cheese. Birria tacos are typically served with a side of broth for dipping, while quesabirria tacos have the addition of melted cheese inside the taco. The cheese adds a delicious creaminess to the taco and helps to balance out the spiciness of the birria. So, if you’re in the mood for tacos and want to try something new and delicious, give quesabirria tacos a try!

Quesabirra tacos on a plate with the sauce on the side

What Are Quesabirria Tacos And How They Are Different From Regular Tacos Or Birria Tacos

If you are a fan of Mexican cuisine, you might have heard of Birria Tacos and Quesabirria Tacos. While both of these mexican recipes are delicious, they have some differences that set them apart.

Birria Tacos are made with slow-cooked meat that is marinated in a flavorful adobo sauce, then cooked in a broth until tender and stuffed in a corn tortilla with lime and cilantro. On the other hand, Quesabirria Tacos are a cheesy version of Birria Tacos that originated in Tijuana and are also called Quesotacos. Quesabirria Tacos are large tortillas filled with birria-style cooked beef and melted cheese, then cooked on the stove until crispy and served with a side of broth for dipping.

One of the main differences between Quesabirria Tacos and regular tacos is the addition of crispy, melted cheese. The cheese adds an extra layer of flavor and texture to the dish, making it a bit more indulgent than traditional tacos.

When it comes to Birria Tacos, they are usually made with goat, beef, or mutton meat, while Quesabirria Tacos are typically made with beef. However, some restaurants may offer variations of these dishes with different types of meat.

Another difference between Birria Tacos and Quesabirria Tacos is the tortilla used. Birria Tacos are usually made with corn tortillas, while Quesabirria Tacos are made with large flour tortillas.

In summary, Quesabirria Tacos are a delicious and indulgent twist on traditional Birria Tacos. They are distinguished by the addition of crispy, melted cheese and large flour tortillas. Whether you prefer Birria Tacos or Quesabirria Tacos, both dishes are sure to satisfy your cravings for Mexican cuisine.

A quesabirria taco being dipped in sauce

The Origin And History Of Quesabirria Tacos

If you’re a fan of tacos, you might have heard of the latest taco craze: quesabirria tacos. But where did they come from, and how did they become so popular?

Quesabirria Tacos are a relatively new phenomenon that emerged in the last decade in Tijuana, Mexico. They are a fusion of two traditional dishes: birria, which is a spicy stew made with goat, lamb or beef meat that dates back to the 16th century in Jalisco, Mexico; and quesadillas, which are tortillas filled with cheese and other ingredients that originated in colonial Mexico.

The birthplace of quesabirria tacos is widely believed to be Tijuana, where street vendors and food trucks started experimenting with the combination of birria and cheese. The result was a crispy, cheesy, and meaty taco that quickly became a sensation.

Quesabirria tacos soon spread to other parts of Mexico and the United States, especially California, where they became a hit among foodies and taco lovers. Today, you can find quesabirria tacos in many Mexican restaurants and food trucks across the country.

The popularity of quesabirria tacos can be attributed to their unique combination of flavors and textures. The crispy tortilla, melted cheese, and spicy meat create a perfect balance of savory and spicy flavors that are hard to resist.

If you haven’t tried quesabirria tacos yet, you’re missing out on one of the most delicious and innovative taco creations in recent years. So next time you see them on the menu, don’t hesitate to give them a try!

How To Make Quesabirria Tacos At Home

Looking to make some delicious quesabirria tacos at home? You’re in luck! This authentic Mexican dish is easy to make and is sure to impress your friends and family. Here’s everything you need to know to make the best quesabirria tacos at home.

What Ingredients And Equipment Are Needed

To make the birria meat, you will need:

  • 4 pounds of beef chuck roast
  • 6 dried ancho chiles
  • 6 dried guajillo chiles
  • 2 dried pasilla chiles
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 4 cups of water or beef broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cloves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the quesabirria tacos, you will need:

  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese or Oaxaca cheese
  • 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
  • Oil for frying


To make quesabirria tacos, you will need:

  • A large skillet
  • A blender or food processor
  • A large Dutch oven or large pot with a lid
  • A strainer or colander
  • A cutting board and a knife
  • A measuring cup and spoons
  • Two forks for shredding the beef


  1. Begin by making the birria meat. Preheat your oven to 325°F. Remove the stems and seeds from the dried chiles and place them in a large bowl. Cover the chiles with hot water and let them soak for 20 minutes until they are soft.
  2. While the chiles are soaking, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Cut the onion into quarters and place it in the skillet along with the garlic cloves. Cook until the onion is charred and the garlic is browned.
  3. Once the chiles are soft, drain them and add them to a blender or food processor along with the charred onion and garlic, apple cider vinegar, water, bay leaves, oregano, cumin, cloves, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth.
  4. Cut the beef chuck roast into large chunks and place them in a large Dutch oven or pot with a lid. Pour the chile mixture over the beef and stir to coat. Cover the pot with a lid and place it in the oven. Cook for 4-5 hours, or until the beef is tender and falls apart easily.
  5. Once the beef is done, remove it from the pot and it’s easy to shred it with two forks. Strain the remaining liquid through a colander and reserve it for dipping the tacos -it’s the birria sauce.
  6. To assemble the quesabirria tacos, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add oil for frying. Dip one side of each corn tortilla into the reserved liquid and place it in the skillet, with the coated side down. Add shredded beef and shredded cheese to one side of the tortilla. Fold the tortilla in half and cook until crispy on both sides.
  7. Garnish the tacos with chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice. Serve hot and enjoy!
Seasoning chuck beef in a bowl for quesabirria taco

Easy to Follow Tips And Tricks 

  • For the best flavor, use a combination of dried chiles in the birria meat. Ancho, guajillo, and pasilla chiles are all great options.
  • If you don’t have a Dutch oven or pot with a lid, you can use a slow cooker instead. Cook the beef on low for 8-10 hours, or until it is tender.
  • Don’t skip the step of dipping the tortillas in the reserved liquid before frying. This step adds a ton of flavor to the tacos.
  • Serve the tacos with additional lime wedges and your favorite hot sauce for extra flavor.

Prepare The Birria Meat

To make delicious quesabirria tacos, you need to start with flavorful and tender birria meat. Here’s how to prepare it:

  1. Gather the ingredients for the birria meat. You will need beef chuck roast, dried ancho chiles, dried guajillo chiles, dried pasilla chiles, garlic cloves, onion, apple cider vinegar, water, bay leaves, oregano, cumin, cloves, salt, and pepper.
  2. Cut the beef into large chunks and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Toast the dried chiles in a skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant and pliable, then remove the stems and seeds.
  4. Blend the chiles with garlic, onion, vinegar, and water until smooth.
  5. Transfer the chile mixture to a large Dutch oven or pot and bring to a boil.
  6. Add the beef chunks, bay leaves, oregano, cumin, and cloves and reduce the heat to low.
  7. Cover the pot and simmer for 3 to 4 hours or until the beef is very tender and shreds easily with a fork.
  8. Strain the broth and reserve it for later use.
  9. Shred the beef with two forks and set it aside.

The result will be flavorful and tender birria meat that will be perfect for your quesabirria tacos. You can also use leftover birria meat to make other dishes like birria stew or birria ramen fusion.

Now that you have your birria meat ready, it’s time to move on to the next step of making your delicious quesabirria tacos.

Ingredients to make quesabirria tacos

Make The Quesabirria Tacos

Are you ready to make some mouth-watering quesabirria tacos? Let’s get started! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Corn tortillas
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese or Oaxaca cheese
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Lime wedges
  • Leftover birria meat (or make birria using chuck roast, short ribs, or goat meat)
  • Broth (made from the birria meat or chicken/beef broth)
  • Bay leaf
  • Ancho and guajillo chile peppers
  • Cumin
  • Lime juice
  • Salt and pepper

First, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add some oil. Dip a tortilla in the reserved broth and place it on the skillet. Sprinkle some cheese on half of the tortilla and top with some shredded beef. Fold the tortilla over to form a taco and press lightly to seal. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until golden and crispy.

Repeat with the remaining tortillas, cheese, and beef. Serve the quesabirria tacos with chopped cilantro, lime wedges, and more broth for dipping.

To make the birria meat, bring the beef birria to a boil over high heat then cover, turn the heat down to medium-low, and simmer for 3 ½ -4 hours (3 hours minimum). Check the beef periodically starting at the 2-hour mark and add chili stewing liquid, hot water, or broth to keep the beef mostly covered with cooking liquid. Add bay leaf, ancho and guajillo chile peppers, cumin, lime juice, salt, and pepper for a flavorful and authentic taste.

Don’t have leftover birria meat? No problem! You can make birria using chuck roast, short ribs, or goat meat. Simply season the meat with salt, pepper, and cumin, and cook in a large Dutch oven with the same ingredients as the birria meat.

Now that you know how to make the perfect quesabirria tacos, it’s time to get cooking! Enjoy the crispy and savory flavor of these delicious tacos with your friends and family.

Corn tortilla in sauce in a pan.

How to Make Quesabirria Tacos

So, now that you know what goes into a quesabirria taco, let’s see how to make one from scratch, shall we?

A pot of beef cooking

Tips and tricks for Quesabirria Tacos Recipe

If you want to make the best quesabirria tacos, follow these tips and tricks that will help you achieve the perfect balance of flavors and textures.

Tips for the birria meat

  • Choose a cut of beef that has some fat and connective tissue, such as chuck roast, brisket or short ribs, for more flavor and tenderness.
  • Toast the dried chiles in a skillet before blending them to enhance their aroma and flavor.
  • Adjust the amount and type of chiles according to your preference and spice tolerance. You can also add some chipotle peppers in adobo sauce for a smoky touch.
  • If you don’t have a blender or food processor, you can use a mortar and pestle to grind the chiles, garlic and onion into a paste.
  • If you don’t have a Dutch oven or pot, you can use a slow cooker or an instant pot to cook the birria meat. For the slow cooker, cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours. For the instant pot, cook on high pressure for 45 minutes and let the pressure release naturally.

Tips for the quesabirria tacos

  • Use corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas for a more authentic texture and flavor.
  • Use shredded mozzarella cheese or Oaxaca cheese for a gooey and stretchy filling. You can also use other types of cheese, such as Monterey Jack, cheddar or queso fresco.
  • Dip the tortillas in the broth before frying them to make them more pliable and flavorful.
  • Don’t overstuff the tortillas with cheese and beef, as they might burst open or fall apart when frying.
  • Keep the quesabirria tacos warm in the oven at 200°F until ready to serve.

By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to make delicious and authentic quesabirria tacos that will impress your friends and family. Enjoy!

What to serve with Quesabirria Tacos

Quesabirria Tacos are a complete meal on their own, but adding some sides and drinks can make for an even more satisfying and enjoyable experience. Here are some dishes and drinks that go well with Quesabirria Tacos:

Dishes or sides

  • Mexican rice or cilantro lime rice: Rice is a great option to balance out the spiciness of the tacos. Mexican rice or cilantro lime rice adds a zesty and fresh flavor to the meal.
  • Refried beans or black beans: Beans are a classic Mexican side dish that add a creamy and protein-rich element to the meal. Refried beans or black beans are both great options to complement the tacos.
  • Pico de gallo, salsa verde or guacamole: These fresh and zesty toppings or dips add a burst of flavor to the tacos. Pico de gallo is a mix of diced tomatoes, onions, and cilantro. Salsa verde is a green sauce made with tomatillos, jalapeños, and onions. Guacamole is an avocado-based dip that is creamy and flavorful.
  • Mexican slaw, corn salad or cucumber salad: These crunchy and refreshing salads provide a nice contrast to the rich and savory tacos. Mexican slaw is a mix of shredded cabbage, carrots, and radishes dressed with lime juice and cilantro. Corn salad is a mix of sweet corn, tomatoes, and onions. Cucumber salad is a simple salad made with sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions.

Drinks or desserts

  • Horchata, agua de Jamaica or margaritas: These refreshing and thirst-quenching drinks are perfect to wash down the tacos. Horchata is a sweet and creamy rice-based drink. Agua de Jamaica is a hibiscus-based drink that is tart and refreshing. Margaritas are a classic Mexican cocktail made with tequila, lime juice, and triple sec.
  • Flan, churros or tres leches cake: These sweet and decadent desserts are a perfect way to end the meal on a high note. Flan is a creamy and caramel-flavored custard. Churros are fried dough pastries that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Tres leches cake is a sponge cake soaked in three types of milk (evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream).

With these dishes and drinks, you can elevate your Quesabirria Tacos to a whole new level. Enjoy!

Quesabirria Tacos on a plate
Yield: 8

Quesabirria Tacos

The quesabirria taco is the crunchiest taco we have ever had. Dip it in the sauce for an extra added flavor that will satisfy your cravings.


  • 1 1⁄2 lbs beef chuck, cut into 2 inches pieces
  • 3 tsp salt to season the meat.
5 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
1⁄2 large peeled onion, cut into quarters
  • 3 medium beef tomatoes, cut into chucks
  • 8 cloves garlic, sliced

  • 2 cups water
2 1⁄2 cups beef stock
  • 3 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded

  • 4 dried New Mexico chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tsp cumin
1⁄2 tbsp coriander powder

  • 2 fresh bay leaves

  • 2 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped

  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 6 large corn tortillas

  • 4 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1 onion, finely diced
1⁄4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1⁄2 tbsp lime juice



1. Seasoned the meat with 3 tbsp salt 

2. Heat 2 tbsp oil in the heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat. Sear each side of the meat for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside. 

3. Add another 2 tbsp oil to the pot and add the onion. Sauté until just soft and then add the garlic; sauté until fragrance. 

4. And the chunked tomatoes, sauté for 2 minutes. 

5. Add water and all the chilies. Boil for 15 minutes. 

6. Pour them into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. 

7. When it’s already smooth, pour it back into the pot, and add the meat and beef stock. 8. Seasoned with salt, pepper, vinegar, cumin, coriander, bay leaves, oregano, and ginger. Let them boil. Cover with the lid, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and cook until the beef is very tender about 2-3 hours. Stir occasionally. 

9. Remove the meat and shred using a fork. Add 1 cup of the consommé. Mix well and set aside. 


1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in the iron cast skillet. Dip each tortilla in the consommé and cook for 1 minute on each side. 

2. Top with ⅙ of cheese. On one side, add ⅙ braised shredded meat, then fold it. You may also add some diced onion and chopped cilantro before folding it. 

3. Cook again for several minutes on each side. Until it is just crisp and the cheese is fully melted. 

4. Put some consommé in a ramekin. Add the finely diced onion, chopped cilantro, and lime juice. 

5. Now, the Quesa Birria Tacos is ready to serve


If you want the birria spicier, you may keep the chile’s seed.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 413Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 120mgSodium: 1179mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 40g

Did you make this recipe?

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Where Can I Find Dried Chiles? 

If you’re worried about finding the chiles needed for this birria taco recipe, don’t be. You can find all sorts of chiles in various Mexican markets and even regular grocery stores. And of course, if your neighborhood doesn’t offer much in the name of spices, you can always order your chiles online.

What Do I Serve With Birria Beef?

If you don’t particularly feel up to eating quesabirria tacos one day, you can pair your birria beef with a myriad of delicious side dishes like mac and cheese, potato salad, or just plain rice. For dessert you can enjoy fresh fruit with chamoy for an extra special treat.

Are Quesabirria Tacos Spicy?

Not really, though they do pack a slight kick. Honestly, the multiple chiles used in any quesabirria tacos recipe are mainly used to give the dish a spicy, sweet note that cuts through and balances the rich birria broth.

Is There a Difference Between Birria Tacos and Quesabirria Tacos?

Other than the cheese, birria and quesabirria tacos are pretty much the same. However, it’s worth noting that birria tacos can be made with hard or soft taco shells as opposed to the tortillas regularly used with quesatacos.

Can I Store Birria Beef?

Absolutely. Store any leftover birria beef in an airtight container for up to seven days. And if you want to spare yourself the three-hour cooking time next time you want tacos, make a large batch of birria meat and freeze it in your fridge for up to 3 months.


Congratulations! You have successfully learned about Quesabirria Tacos, how to make them at home, what ingredients and equipment are needed, what tips and tricks to follow, and what to serve with them.

Making Quesabirria Tacos at home is a great way to enjoy a delicious, easy, cheap, versatile, and fun meal. You can customize the recipe to your liking, experiment with different meats, cheeses, and toppings, and impress your family and friends with your cooking skills.

Remember to follow the recipe carefully, use fresh and high-quality ingredients, and take your time to prepare and cook the meat, tortillas, and consome. Don’t forget to serve the tacos with chopped cilantro, lime wedges, salsa, and extra consome for dipping.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article and found it useful and informative. Please feel free to share your feedback or questions in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you and help you improve your Quesabirria Tacos game.

Thank you for reading this article and visiting our website. Don’t forget to check out more recipes and cooking tips on our platform. Happy cooking!

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