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Instant Pot Birria Tacos

  • Author: shaemakes
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours + up to 24 hours to marinade
  • Yield: 8


The infamous Birria tacos that took 2020 by storm and became the trendiest food around. This homemade version is better than any other restaurant version I’ve tried. Loaded with flavor and a crowd favorite. Don’t let the long list of ingredients fool you, it’s actually pretty simple. Delicious things just take time!


  • 4-5 lbs boneless beef chuck roast
  • 1.5 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 6 dried guajillo peppers
  • 2 dried pasilla/ancho chilies
  • 5 roma tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 8 large cloves peeled garlic
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 1.5 tbsp salt (additional to the above salt)
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ of a cinnamon stick
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 bunch cilantro chopped
  • 1 medium white onion chopped (in addition to the onion above)
  • 1 pkg Oaxaca cheese
  • 1 pkg corn tortillas
  • Olive Oil
  • Limes


  1. Cut the beef into large chunks and season with 1.5 tbsp salt, 1 tbsp ground cumin and the pepper. Set in the instant pot and set aside.
  2. Cut the tops of the guajillo and pasilla/ancho chilies off with kitchen scissors and deseed them.
  3. Add 2 cups of water to a sauce pan and turn on high to boil. Meanwhile in a separate frying pan add about 2 tbsp oil and fry the dried chilies over medium heat, stirring constantly for 3 minutes.
  4. Add the fried chilies to the boiling water and let boil for 10 minutes.
  5. While the chilies are boiling add the roma tomatoes and onion to the same pan the chilies fried in and add more oil if needed. Saute for 5 minutes until starting to brown and soften.
  6. In a small bowl combine your remaining spices (excluding the cumin and ginger), your chipotle pepper and your peeled garlic cloves.
  7. To the tomato/onion pan add the spices, garlic, chipotle and the boiled peppers (including the water) and mix together. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes.
  8. After 10 minutes add the contents of the pan to a blender and then add cumin, ginger and apple cider vinegar. Blend on high until completely smooth.
  9. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the sauce into a bowl and discard all the gritty paste that’s left behind.
  10. Add 2 cups of water to the blender and blend until the sides are washed down and pour it through the strainer into the rest of your sauce.
  11. Stir the sauce until the water is mixed in and then pour over your beef chunks that are in your Instant Pot insert. Cover the meat and marinate it for 6-24 hours in the fridge.
  12. After your meat has marinated, take the Instant Pot insert with the meat and sauce in it and cover it with the Instant Pot lid and turn the valve to the sealed position. Turn on manual high pressure for 90 minutes.
  13. Once 90 minutes are up, manually release the pressure.
  14. Remove the beef with a slotted spoon and put into a medium sized bowl.
  15. Using two forks shred the beef.
  16. Remove the insert from the Instant Pot and set the broth next to your stove while you prepare everything to assemble the tacos.
  17. Dice the onion into small pieces, cut the cilantro up, shred the cheese and slices some lime wedges.
  18. Add enough olive oil to a skillet to barely cover the bottom (about 2-3 tbsp).
  19. Turn the heat to just below high but still above medium. You want the pan to be really really hot.
  20. Put on an apron (just trust me), and have a lid handy to be able to cover the tacos in case there is too much splashing going on.
  21. Grab a corn tortilla with some tongs and dip it into the broth from the Instant Pot. Gently lay it into the hot pan, being very careful to not get burned because the oil will splash. Repeat this step until you have 3 tortillas in the pan (or maybe only 2 if you have a smaller pan).
  22. Next add some shredded cheese on top of each tortilla, followed by some shredded beef and then top them with some chopped cilantro and onions.
  23. Put the lid on the pan and let the tacos crisp up for about 2 minutes.
  24. Remove the lid and using a spatula, fold the tacos in half. They should be slightly charred, the cheese should be melted and the tacos should be slightly crispy.
  25. Remove the tacos from the pan and serve with a side of broth to dip in and some lime wedges.
  26. Repeat steps 18-25 until you’ve reached the desired amount of tacos.

*See notes below for Slow Cooker instructions


*If you do not have an Instant Pot, you can follow all the same steps except for when it comes time to cook, cook the beef and marinade in a slow cooker for 8-10 hours until the meat is super tender and can shred easily.

  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: Birria, Birria Tacos, Tacos, Mexican Food, Mexican, Taco Tuesday