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Quesabirria Tacos 

Quesabirria Tacos—crispy-fried, sauce-drenched tortillas filled with perfectly slow-cooked beef and melted cheese—will seduce your taste buds. You’ll be enticed by the first perfect spicy, meaty, cheesy bite, and it will only leave you wanting more.

Quesabirria tacos stacked on a wooden cutting board with lime wedges.

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It’s a glorious mashup of a quesadilla and a taco, with the added joyfulness of a rich, chile-based sauce.

From the lively streets of Puerto Vallarta to the sizzling taco truck kitchens of Los Angeles, Birria Tacos have earned their rightful place in the pantheon of beloved street food. Their roots are steeped in the culinary traditions of Mexico, marrying succulent, slow-cooked beef birria, a stew from Jalisco, with the iconic handheld comfort of a taco. This Quesabirria Tacos recipe will do more than fill your belly.

Quesabirria tacos on a wooden cutting board with lime wedges.

Why you’ll love this birria tacos recipe

Quesabirria Tacos are no ordinary tacos. They offer a feast for the senses—a pleasing crunch as teeth break through the crispy tortilla, the immediate rush of flavorful, tender meat, the smooth and rich molten cheese, and the slow burn of chilies that dances on the tongue. They’re moreish, they’re messy, and they’re worth every single bite.

The dish also bears the imprint of history and culture, carrying the warmth of generations of Mexican households. Making them isn’t just about the act of cooking; it’s about stepping into a rich tradition that extends beyond borders and generations.

Quesabirria Tacos connect us with the vibrant spirit of Mexican street food. So next time you savor the crunch of a Quesabirria Taco, remember the love, tradition, and culture folded into each bite. Every crunch is a nod to a rich heritage that knows the true magic of food: its power to tell stories, bring people together, and transport us to new worlds of flavor. 

Overhead shot of the ingredients needed to make quesabirria tacos.

Ingredients you need to make quesabirria tacos

While the recipe is straightforward, it’s the ingredients that inject the soul into Quesabirria Tacos. Here’s what you need:

  • Corn tortillas: The vessel for the fillings. Seek out high-quality, fresh tortillas, or you can even make your own corn tortillas. You could substitute flour tortillas in a pinch, but the corn variety is more authentic.
  • Birria: Slow-cooked, succulent meat (usually beef or goat) steeped in aromatic spices, birria is the heart of the dish. Whether you make Birria just to make Quesabirria Tacos, use leftover birria meat, find pre-made birria at local Hispanic markets, or grab some to-go from your favorite neighborhood taqueria or taco truck.
  • Birria sauce: This liquid gold imparts the taco with a deep, robust flavor. As mentioned above, it can be store-bought or homemade.
  • Shredded cheese: While traditional Mexican cheeses like queso fresco, queso de bola, or Oaxaca cheese work well, I like to use a sharp cheddar cheese because its creamy tanginess complements the rich birria.
  • Chopped cilantro and onion: Fresh herbs and aromatics provide a refreshing counterpoint to the hearty beef and cheese, lending freshness with every bite.
  • Oil: A neutral oil like safflower, sunflower seed, vegetable, or canola oil works best for frying tacos.

How to make it

Making Quesabirria Tacos is a labor of love, an exercise in patience and anticipation. Here’s the basic rundown:

  1. Bathe each tortilla in the birria sauce.
  2. Next, hit the tortillas with some heat in a skillet. or on a griddle.
  3. Add the shredded beef and cheese and cook until the cheese begins to melt.
  4. Sprinkle some cilantro and onion over the meat and cheese.
  5. Flip the cheesy side of the tortilla over on top of the beef side, and cook to an irresistible crunch. 
  6. The finishing touch, an extra sprinkle of cilantro and onion, sets these tacos apart.
Overhead shot of 2 quesabirria tacos with cilantro and lime wedges.

What to serve with them

Quesabirria Tacos are spectacular on their own, but why not elevate the experience? A squeeze of lime juice adds a bright burst of acid. I like to serve these tacos with extra birria sauce for dipping and dollops of bright salsa, like Mango Habanero Salsa or Salsa Verde, and Guacamole make fine companions. If you like spicy food, add a dash of your favorite hot sauce for an extra kick.

To make them even more special, top them with Pickled Onions and Pickled Jalapeños.

For sides, try Elote or Mexican Corn SaladInstant Pot Refried Beans or Instant Pot Black Beans

If you want to try more street taco variations, check out this recipe for Buffalo Wild Wings Street Tacos.

Overhead shot of 2 quesabirria tacos with cilantro and lime wedges.

Quesabirria Tacos

Robin Donovan
Quesabirria Tacos are an immersive journey to the heart of Mexican street food. Slow-cooked birria beef and melted cheese are bundled into a crispy, sauce-drenched corn tortilla, delivering a symphony of flavors. It’s messy, it’s bold, and it’s worth every single bite.
4.50 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 9 minutes
Course Main Dish Recipes
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4 servings
Calories 422 kcal


  • 4 corn tortillas
  • 2 cups birria beef
  • 1 cup birria sauce
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons oil


  • Brush both sides of the corn tortilla with birria sauce.
  • Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and lay the sauced tortilla in the pan. Add some extra sauce if you like. Place a scant ½ cup of birria on one half of the tortilla. Place about ¼ cup of cheese on the other half of the tortilla.
  • Sprinkle the chopped cilantro and onion over the top.
  • Cook until the cheese starts to get melty, and then flip the cheese side over the beef side and fry for another minute or two until the cheese melts and the tortilla is crisp.
  • Flip over and cook for another minute to crisp up the other side of the tortilla.
  • Serve immediately, topped with more onion and cilantro and extra sauce for dipping.


Serving: 1 tacoCalories: 422kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 33gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0.04gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 259mgPotassium: 454mgFiber: 2gSugar: 0.3gVitamin A: 284IUCalcium: 242mgIron: 3mg
Keyword birria, tacos
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By on July 7th, 2023


Hi, I’m Robin! I am a full-time food blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. I spend my days cooking, writing about, and photographing food.

I’m the author of more than 50 cookbooks, including Ramen for Beginners5 Ingredient Cooking for TwoSushi at HomeThe Baking Cookbook for Teens, and the bestselling Campfire Cuisine.

My food writing has also been featured in major print and online pubications including Cooking Light, Fitness, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, and others. → More about Robin

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