This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase a product I recommend.
Birria tacos are a delicious Mexican dish that typically consists of slow-cooked beef in a stew of spices, tomatoes, and hot peppers. Once the beef is fall-off-the-bone tender, it’s shredded and pan-fried in a corn tortilla. To really up the flavor, the tortilla is dipped in the spicy sauce from the stew (called consomme) before it’s pan-fried. It’s delicious, but time-consuming nonetheless.
Chicken birria tacos are my hacked weeknight spin on the trendy Mexican dish. Made with shredded rotisserie chicken and a super-simplified savory sauce, it’s an irresistible substitute that can be made in under 30 minutes.
Typically, consomme made in birria tacos takes 3-4 hours to make. My bare-bones sauce consists of water, tomato paste, adobo sauce, ground cumin, ground cinnamon, garlic, canola oil, and corn starch (thickening agent). This renders a spicy concoction with some incorporated inspiration from the real dish.
The corn starch is incredibly important as it helps to add extra texture to the sauce, without it, it will be too watery and thin. I use this sauce for the chicken, tortillas, and as a dipping sauce. The sauce can also be made in advance and reheated when it’s time to fry your tacos!
Pan Frying Birria Tacos
My birria tacos are best fried in a hot cast-iron skillet with canola oil. A non-stick pan will work as well. I typically fry 1-2 tacos at a time and eat them on demand!
I build and layer my tacos right in the skillet with cheese, shredded chicken, white onion, cilantro, and more cheese. Fold, sear, and press down with a spatula until golden and crispy on both sides. Flipping usually helps. This has quickly become one of our new favorite Mexican-inspired recipes so I’m really eager to finally share it with you!
More Taco Recipes
- Pork carnitas tacos
- Carne asada tacos
- Spicy shrimp tacos
- Sesame beef tacos
- Blackened salmon tacos
- blackened fish tacos
- Skillet fajitas
Quick Chicken Birria Tacos Recipe
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 15
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 3-4 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Cuisine: Mexican
Chicken birria tacos are made with shredded rotisserie chicken and a quick savory sauce. It’s a simplified fried taco recipe that can be made in under 30 minutes.
- 4–6 pound fully cooked rotisserie chicken, shredded
- Small corn tortillas
- 1 white onion, diced
- Fresh cilantro coarsely chopped
- 8-ounce bag of shredded Mexican blend cheese
- Optional lime wedges, for serving
- Optional jalapeno slices, for serving
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2–3 tablespoons adobo sauce (I buy chipotle peppers in adobo)
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- pinch of ground cinnamon
- pinch of cumin
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Prep chicken, onion, and cilantro and set aside. Be sure to keep chicken shreds manageable so they fit in the corn tortillas. Place chicken in a bowl and set aside.
- Combine all adobo sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Stir until thickened and smooth.
- drizzle 1/3-1/2 cup of sauce over the shredded chicken and toss to coat. Season all over with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Bring 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet to medium-high heat. Dip both sides of a corn tortilla in the adobo sauce and place flat in the skillet. top with a thin layer of cheese. On one half of the tortilla, layer chicken, onion, and cilantro, followed by a little more cheese. Fold over the other half and press down with a spatula. Sear for 1 minute per side or until golden and crisped. Add more oil to the skillet as needed!
- Serve tacos with extra adobo sauce for dipping or sour cream.
You can make this with flour tortillas if you prefer. Always look for the small 6-inch taco size.
- Serving Size: 2 tacos
- Calories: 561
- Sugar: 5.6g
- Sodium: 848mg
- Fat: 27.9g
- Saturated Fat: 10.5g
- Carbohydrates: 35.5g
- Fiber: 4.2g
- Protein: 43.2g
- Cholesterol: 131mg
Keywords: chicken birria tacos, simple birria tacos
This is a great quick chicken birria tacos recipe! I love the flavor combination of the chicken and the spices.
This was a good base recipe however, I changed the sauce a little by sauteing the garlic and cumin (about 1 tsp) first to add more flavour. After that, I simmered the tomato paste for a few minutes as well, then added the cinnamon (the tiniest pinch), chipotle and adobo sauce, followed by chicken stock instead of water. I also added some ancho powder because I had it, but it was fine without it. In the end, I added salt and pepper then thickened it with xantham gum and used the hand blender to get it all smooth. I used the sauce with both corn tortillas and low-carb wraps.