Easy Birria Tacos – The traditional Mexican birria taco gets a shortcut to cut hours out of the cook time and have these tacos ready in 30 minutes!
Birria tacos have been taking over my Instagram feed this year. Have you noticed how they are extremely popular now? I had never heard of them before, but after seeing them on Instagram, I was super intrigued.
I decided to try some at a local spot and quickly fell in love. They were flavorful, cheesy, and slightly crispy. I had to learn to make them for myself.
Turns out, making birria tacos is a very labor intensive process. Beef is slow-cooked in a caldo for hours until tender. Also, many spices are used that may not be easy to find. So I gave up on trying to make these for myself.
Before we get into my paired-down recipe for these birria tacos, let’s look at more photos of these yummy tacos.
Taking a shortcut
The key to cutting out hours to the process of making birria tacos is using canned enchillada sauce. This serves as the base of the sauce. Chicken stock and spices are added to deepen the flavor and add some spice to the sauce.
To take the cook time down ever more, beef is swapped with chicken, which only takes about 18 minutes to cook versus hours.
The chicken is cooked in the sauce and then transferred to a stand mixer to shred it into small pieces. This is my favorite pro-tip. Say goodbye to using forks to shred chicken! The stand mixer does it in a fraction of the time.
Assembling the tacos
Once the chicken is cooked and shredded, it’s time to assemble the tacos. First, start by dipping the corn tortillas in the sauce and griddling on a oiled, hot griddle. Let it cook for about 2 minutes or until the bottom starts to blacken. Then, flip and add cheese to the cooked side.
Once the cheese starts to melt, add the chicken to one side and then form into a taco. Cook for another minute or until the tortilla gets crispy.
Serving the tacos
Once all the tacos are cooked, open them up and fill with raw white onion and cilantro and close them up again. Serve them with leftover sauce for dipping.
Tips & Tricks
- Corn tortillas are important. In order for the tortillas to firm up and get slightly crispy, it’s important that you use corn tortillas, not flour tortillas.
- Shred the chicken well. To help distribute the chicken evenly in the tacos, we want the chicken is small, shredded pieces. make sure it’s shredded well.
- Flipping the tortillas. The corn tortillas stick to the hot griddle like cement until they are cooked through. When they are done, they will come off the griddle easily. Therefore, make sure you don’t flip too soon or you’ll rip the tortillas trying to get it off the griddle.
Easy Birria Tacos
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves packed
- 1 cup chopped white onion
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons chilli powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ cup low-sodium chicken stock
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 10-ounce can red enchillada sauce
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 3-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 10 corn tortillas
- 1¼ cup Mexican shredded cheese
- Chop cilantro and toss with chopped onion in a small bowl. Set aside.
- In a deep skillet, add olive oil and turn heat to medium. Add garlic and spices. Cook together just until garlic starts to brown. Add stock and salt and whisk into spices until there are not lumps. Add in enchillada sauce. Bring to a boil and then add in chcken pieces. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for 18 minutes.
- Once chicked is cooked, remove chicken and place in stand mixer. Leave sauce in the pan on the stove. Using a paddle attachment, turn mixer on medium low so that the chicken shreds into small pieces. Add in ½ cup of reserved sauce and stir together to combine. Set aside.
- Heat griddle or clean skillet over medium heat. Add in canola oil. Once hot, dip one corn tortilla in reserved sauce, flip and coat the other side of the tortilla and place directly on the griddle or skillet. Repeat with as many tortillas that will fit on the griddle or pan.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes or until bottom starts to blacked. Flip tortillas and cover each with 2 tablespoons of cheese. Once melted, cover half of each tortilla with about 2 tablespoons of shredded chicken. Once bottom starts to blacken, fold tortilla over to form a taco and cook until taco starts to crisp up, about 30 more seconds. Remove from oven and stuff tacos with onion mixture from step 1. Repeat in batches to make the rest of the tacos. Serve immediately with any leftover sauce for dipping.