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Chicken Birria Tacos Recipe

Chicken Birria Tacos Recipe

Lori Walker, MS, RD
Chicken birria tacos are a Mexican dish made with slow-cooked and shredded chicken that is served in warm corn tortillas. 
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
TACO ASSEMBLY 35 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 16 people
Calories 12 kcal


  • 1 Non-stick pan or cast iron skillet
  • 1 large dutch oven or pot
  • 1 Slotted spoon
  • 1 knife
  • 1 Cutting Board


  • 1 medium onion quartered
  • 2 roma tomatoes quartered
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 dried guajillo chiles
  • 2 dried chiles de arbol or more if you like spicy
  • 4 cloves garlic smashed
  • 2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon neutral high-heat cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 16 corn tortillas
  • ½ cup finely diced onion
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican melting cheese like Monterey jack
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro


  • Place a medium-sized pot over high heat and add the cooking oil. Once it’s hot, add onion, tomatoes, garlic, guajillo chiles, arbol chiles and bay leaves. Stir for a few minutes until everything starts to soften up.
  • Add the chicken and all of the spices to the pot. Stir everything together, then add enough chicken broth to cover up the chicken. Bring this mixture up to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover with a lid, and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Once the chicken is cooked through, use a fork to shred the chicken directly in the pot. Once it’s shredded up, add another cup of chicken broth if needed and bring it back to a simmer for about 10 minutes. This will help infuse all of those flavors into your tacos.
  • Warm up your corn tortillas on a hot skillet or comal to assemble the tacos. Place two tablespoons of chicken birria onto each tortilla and top with cheese, onion and cilantro. Serve immediately.



  • When shredding the chicken, make sure to scrape all the meat bits off the bone and discard the bones.
  • If using store-bought tacos shells, you don’t need to preheat them on a skillet or comal fill.
  • The filling can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. Just warm it up before assembling the tacos.
Keyword Chicken Birria Tacos, Chicken Birria Tacos Recipe