Jackfruit birria tacos (or tacos de birria) are just what you need if you love the bold flavors of Mexican cuisine. Meaty jackfruit is stewed in a savoury broth made of chiles and spices before being packed into saucy corn tortillas.
Serve your tacos with fresh cilantro, onions, lime, and an extra bowl of broth for dipping. Are you hungry yet?!
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Today, we're making delicious birria tacos that are completely plant-based! If you're new to Mexican food or haven't heard of birria, it's a recipe you need to try at least once.
What is birria?
Birria is a stew made famous in the Mexican state of Jalisco. But, you can now find it being served all across the country.
Birria is most often sold in fonditas (small restaurants), by street vendors, or home kitchens for family gatherings.
Traditionally, birria is made with goat (birria de chivo). Nowadays, it is also made with chicken (birria de pollo) or beef (birria de res).
Of course, this recipe doesn't contain any of that. Instead, we replace the meat with shredded jackfruit (yaca), creating birria de yaca!
Once the jackfruit is ready, it's combined with a flavor-packed broth made of dried chiles, tomatoes, aromatic herbs, and spices. This broth is commonly referred to as consomé, which comes in handy for dipping.
What are birria tacos?
Although birria is commonly eaten with a spoon (like soup), it's equally as typical to be served with freshly made corn tortillas.
First, the tortilla is dipped in broth (consomé), then it's filled with meat (or jackfruit in our case) and garnished with cilantro, onions, and lime.
There is also another crispy and cheesy way to serve tacos de birria — quesabirria tacos. In this version, the tacos are stuffed with cheese and fried up on a skillet before being served.
Are tacos de birria vegan?
Traditionally, birria is not a vegan or vegetarian-friendly dish. This is the reason we decided to create a jackfruit tacos de birria recipe that would allow more people to enjoy the incredible flavors of Mexico!
All that's needed is to swap out the meat for jackfruit and add Better Than Bouillon "No-Beef" for extra savoury, umami flavors.
Although a vegan birria is not exactly the same as a traditional birria, it's equally tasty in our opinions!
As we mentioned earlier, Jalisco is the state credited for the creation of this world-renowned dish.
Birria originated during the colonial time period when goats were introduced to "New Spain" (now Mexico) by Spanish people.
Goats quickly reproduced, and they began to eat all of the crops grown by indigenous communities, leaving them hungry. With no other options, they started using the goats for food.
The only way to get rid of the "gamey" taste and unpleasant texture was to rub the meat with fragrant herbs and spices and soften it by slow-cooking it in a kiln.
Alas, birria was born.
Although birria can be served on any occasion, it is a popular choice for weddings, celebrations, and other holidays.
Once your jackfruit is softened, it's time to dip your tortilla in the consomé and fill it up with tender "meat."
One last suggestion we have for you is to supply extra napkins because these jackfruit tacos de birria are meant to be messy. That's the fun part!
For a complete ingredient list and step-by-step guide, scroll down to our recipe card.
- Dried chiles: We use guajillo, ancho, and morita chiles for these tacos de birria. If you can't find all of them, feel free to use one of the above or any other chiles you can find like pasilla and chipotles in adobo.
- Tomatoes: To add juicy, tangy, and fresh elements, use Roma tomatoes. Boil or roast them for extra flavors. Tomatoes are full of lycopene — an important antioxidant in protecting against a wide range of cancers.
- Onion, garlic: Because what would a birria recipe be without onion and garlic! Add as much or as little garlic as you'd like (we're garlic fiends).
- Spices: Tacos de birria contain a plethora of seasonings like cumin, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves, Mexican oregano, thyme, and ginger (sometimes).
- Apple cider vinegar: This adds tanginess to balance out the rich flavors.
- Better Than Bouillon: Use Better Than Bouillon "beef" broth to replace the savoury, umami flavors of meat. If you don't have access, just use vegetable broth.
- Jackfruit: We use dehydrated young jackfruit, but you can use canned green jackfruit or fresh jackfruit (as long as it isn't too ripe).
- Salt, pepper: To enhance the other flavors of this stew.
- Toppings: Fresh diced onions, cilantro, and lime wedges are typical garnishes.
- Corn tortillas: Freshly made corn tortillas absolutely make this recipe. But, you can also use flour tortillas if you prefer the taste!
If you have questions about these birria tacos, don't forget to check out our FAQ section at the bottom of this post.
Step 1: Stem and seed the dried chiles, then toast them in a skillet over medium-low for a few seconds. Once toasted, add the chiles to a pot or bowl of hot water to rehydrate.
Step 2: In the meantime, simmer the tomatoes and onion for 12-15 minutes, or until softened. Alternatively, you can pan-roast the tomatoes and onion on a cast-iron skillet until blackened on all sides.
Optional: Dry toast the whole spices (peppercorns, cloves, and cinnamon) to open up the flavors as well.
Step 3: Add softened chiles, tomatoes, onions, garlic, all herbs and spices, vinegar, and a cup of “beef” broth to a blender. Mix on high until smooth, then set aside.
Step 4: Rehydrate the jackfruit for 15-20 minutes, or according to your individual package instructions, then drain it, making sure to squeeze out as much water as possible.
Step 5: Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium, then add in jackfruit. Cook for 5-6 minutes, or until browning. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Step 6: Strain the salsa into the pot of jackfruit and let it season for 3-4 minutes. Add in the rest of the “beef” broth and the bay leaves, then leave it to simmer for 35-40 minutes. Taste and adjust any seasonings to your preference.
Step 7: Strain some jackfruit from the pot. Dip a warmed corn tortilla in the pot of birria, then fill it with a handful of jackfruit to form tacos.
Step 8: At this point, you can pan-fry the tacos in a little oil to crisp them up. Or, you can serve them as-is with cilantro, onion, and lime wedges on top. Don't forget a small bowl of birria on the side for dipping. Happy eating!
We prefer our birria tacos hot and fresh, but they also make great leftovers. Plus, they're easy to warm up when you're ready for another serving!
It should go without saying, but store your birria separate from the tortillas or you'll end up with one big soggy mess.
Vegan birria will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days in an airtight container.
If you have too many leftovers, freeze your jackfruit birria for up to 4 months using freezer-safe bags or containers.
If frozen, thaw the desired amount of birria in your fridge overnight. Heat it in a saucepan over medium-low for 5-10 minutes until it's warmed all the way through.
Heat your tortillas on a comal or make them fresh. Then, dip them in the broth again before filling them with jackfruit and garnishes.
You can also turn your jackfruit tacos de birria into quesabirria tacos. Just follow our post for more detailed instructions.
💭 Tips & variations
We'd like to share some tips and variations we learned while experimenting with these jackfruit tacos de birria:
- Use a slow cooker. If you want a low-fuss meal, try adding everything to a slow cooker and leaving it for 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low.
- Use different chiles. With so many variations of tacos de birria, you can test out different chiles like chipotle, cascabel, or pasilla.
- Adjust the consistency. If you want a thinner broth, add more liquid while cooking until you reach your desired consistency.
- Make it ahead. Since birria stores so well in the fridge or freezer, you can easily prepare it ahead of time, especially if it's intended for a gathering.
- Make it spicy. This recipe isn't overly spicy. If you like your birria tacos with more oomph, try adding arbol or piquin chiles to the sauce.
🍴 Tasting notes
This is one of those comfort foods we love to make on special occasions or when we want to feel cozy. It's:
If you try this vegan birria taco recipe, please rate it and leave us a comment below! Want to stay up-to-date with new recipes? Subscribe to our newsletter or connect with Broke Bank Vegan on social media. Happy eating!
Jackfruit Birria Tacos
- 1 Stockpot
- 1 Knife and cutting board
- 1 Mesh Strainer
- 1 Saucepan
- 3 guajillo chiles ($0.12)
- 2 ancho chiles ($0.10)
- 2 morita chiles ($0.04)
- 2 Roma tomatoes ($0.32)
- ½ medium white onion ($0.12)
- 6 cloves garlic ($0.24)
- 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns ($0.01)
- 2 whole cloves ($0.01)
- ¼ cinnamon stick ($0.02)
- 1 ½ teaspoons cumin ($0.01)
- ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger ($0.01)
- 1 ½ teaspoons Mexican oregano ($0.04)
- 1 teaspoon thyme ($0.02)
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar ($0.20)
- 4 cups Better Than Bouillon “beef” broth ($1.32)
- 2 bay leaves ($0.02)
- 3 ½ ounces dehydrated jackfruit ($2.24)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil ($0.22)
- Salt & pepper to taste ($0.02)
To Serve optional
- Corn tortillas
- Chopped cilantro
- Lime wedges
- Diced white onions
- Stem and seed the dried chiles. Toast them in a skillet over medium-low for 30-60 seconds, turning frequently so they don't burn.
- Once the chiles are toasted, add them to a pot or bowl of just-boiled water. Cover and rehydrate for 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, simmer the tomatoes and onion for 12-15 minutes, or until softened. Alternatively, pan-roast the tomatoes and onion on a cast-iron skillet until blackened on all sides.
- Optional: Dry toast the whole spices (peppercorns, cloves, and cinnamon) to open up the flavors as well.
- Add softened chiles, tomatoes, onions, garlic, all herbs and spices, vinegar, and 1 cup of broth to a blender. Mix on high until smooth, then set aside.
- Rehydrate the jackfruit for 15-20 minutes, or according to your individual package instructions, then drain it, making sure to squeeze out as much water as possible.
- Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium, then add in jackfruit. Cook for 5-6 minutes, or until browning. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Strain the salsa into the pot of jackfruit and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes. Add in the rest of the “beef” broth and the bay leaves.
- Give it a good stir, then cover the pot and bring it to a light boil. Lower the heat to simmer for 35-40 minutes. Taste and adjust any seasonings to your preference.
- Strain some jackfruit from the pot. Dip a warmed corn tortilla in the pot of birria, then fill it with a handful of jackfruit to form tacos.
- At this point, you can pan-fry the tacos in a little oil to crisp them up. Or, you can serve them as-is with cilantro, onion, and lime wedges on top. Don't forget a small bowl of birria on the side for dipping. Happy eating!
- The consistency of the consomé is completely customizable! If you prefer it thinner, add more broth. If you want it thicker for dipping, add in less broth.
- Optional ingredients are not reflected in the price or calories of our recipes.
- We calculate nutritional information for our recipes with Cronometer.
- Recipe cost calculations are based on ingredients local to us and may vary from recipe-to-recipe.
- All prices are in USD.
♻️ Similar recipes
For more tasty meat-free taco recipes, check out our:
- Tacos al pastor for another traditional Mexican taco recipe made meat-free without sacrificing bold flavors and textures.
- Baja tofu "fish" tacos for crispy beer-battered tofu that's served in a tender corn tortilla and topped with fresh salsa, smoky chipotle mayo, and cruchy cabbage.
- Jackfruit carnitas to try an ultra-meaty carnitas recipe with fresh jackfruit in place of the meat. Your mind will be blown!
- Quesabirria tacos for a spin on tacos de birria that's served with oyster mushrooms and melty vegan cheese on the inside of crispy corn tortillas.
Dried chiles are definitely going to yield the best tasting consomé, but you can use chipotle peppers in adobo, extra tomatoes, and American chili powder.
Birria tacos are meant to be messy. Just grab them with your hands and dig in! Make sure you have extra napkins.
Yes, canned jackfruit works well in this recipe too. Just make sure to drain all of the liquid and shred the jackfruit before adding it to the broth.
If you don't like jackfruit or don't have it available near you, replace it with oyster mushrooms, TVP, or any bean/legume.