Quesabirria Tacos: A Taste of Tijuana


What exactly are Quesabirria Tacos?

Originating from Tijuana, Quesabirria is a Mexican delicacy. Quesabirria Tacos are large tortillas stuffed with birria beef and cheese, then pan-fried until the cheese is perfectly melted.

Author: Becky Hardin Preparation: 30 minutes Cooking: 3 hours 30 minutes Total Time: 4 hours


  • For the Birria:
  • 4 dried Guajillo chiles (stems and seeds removed)
  • 3 dried Ancho chiles (stems and seeds removed)
  • 2-3 dried chiles de arbol (stems and seeds removed)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (divided)
  • 1 white onion (roughly chopped)
  • 1 pound tomatoes (roughly chopped)
  • 5 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 pounds chuck roast (cut into 3-inch pieces)
  • 3 cups low-sodium beef stock
  • For the Tacos:
  • Vegetable oil
  • 16 corn tortillas
  • 1 pound Oaxaca cheese or Monterey jack
  • 1 white onion (finely chopped)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 limes (cut into wedges)


  1. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chilis and toast, stirring often, until fragrant. Place in a bowl and cover with 3 cups of boiling water. Set aside for 20 minutes to rehydrate.
  2. To the same skillet, add 1 tablespoon oil. Once hot, add the onion and tomatoes. Cook until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 60 seconds.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a blender. Add the chilis and their soaking liquid, oregano, salt, cumin, pepper, cinnamon, and apple cider vinegar. Blend until smooth.
  4. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add in the remaining oil. Once hot, brown the beef in batches.
  5. Pour in the sauce and beef stock and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer, cover, and cook for 3 hours or until the beef is tender.
  6. Place the meat in a bowl and use two forks to shred it into bite-sized pieces. Reserve the consommé, or sauce, from the beef.
  7. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add enough oil to just coat the bottom of the pan. Dip both sides of a corn tortilla in the consommé and place it in the pan.
  8. Add cheese and birria meat. Once the cheese starts to melt, fold the tortilla in half. Continue to cook until the tortilla is golden and crisp on both sides. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Serve with onion, cilantro, and the remaining consommé for dipping.
  9. Enjoy your Quesabirria Tacos, a taste of Tijuana in your home! This recipe is sure to become a family favorite.

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