Quick Chicken Birria Tacos Recipe

4.34 from 3 votes
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Chicken birria tacos are my hacked weeknight spin on the classic 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.

Quick Chicken Birria Tacos Recipe

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. The classic dish is delicious, but time-consuming nonetheless.

If you’re looking for other quick and easy Mexican-inspired dishes, check out my ground turkey stuffed peppers and my baked chicken chimichangas! If you love enchiladas, you must try my easy chicken enchiladas.

Simplified Birria Sauce

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 and tortillas, and as a dipping sauce. The sauce can also be made in advance and reheated when it’s time to fry your tacos!

Quick Chicken Birria Tacos Recipe

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 and it pairs nicely with my cilantro lime rice recipe!

Quick Chicken Birria Tacos Recipe

More Taco Recipes You’ll Love

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4.34 from 3 votes

Quick Chicken Birria Tacos Recipe

Servings: 4
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
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

Adobo sauce

  • 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
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  • 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: 2tacosCalories: 561kcalCarbohydrates: 35.5gProtein: 43.2gFat: 27.9gSaturated Fat: 10.5gCholesterol: 131mgSodium: 848mgFiber: 4.2gSugar: 5.6g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
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About Shawn Williams

My name is Shawn, author behind Kitchen Swagger. I'm a food & drink enthusiast bringing you my own simple and delicious restaurant-inspired recipes.

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Recipe Rating


  1. This is a great quick chicken birria tacos recipe! I love the flavor combination of the chicken and the spices.

  2. 4 stars
    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.