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Easy & Quick Birria Sauce Recipe for Tacos & More!

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This quick birria sauce recipe is so easy to make with simple ingredients from the grocery store! Cook up with your favorite roast to make your own delicious quesabirria tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, nachos, and more! This recipe includes both Instant Pot and slow cooker instructions.

shredded beef birria in sauce in a bowl.

Birria is a delicious, flavorful Mexican beef stew that has become very popular in recent years, especially when turned into tacos. For good reason–it’s amazing!

However, birria tacos are a little more work than your typical weeknight taco recipe. They’re worth it, but sometimes you just don’t have the time to source several different kinds of peppers, char them, and stew everything for several hours. Birria is a labor of love, that’s for sure.

Traditional birria is made from an array of dried chiles such as ancho chiles and guajillo peppers, along with garlic, onion, spices, and goat meat.

A Simplified Birria Recipe

I’m someone who loves a simple recipe, and I try to avoid recipes that require me to shop at several stores to find what I need.

I have attempted to make authentic birria many times, and an issue I’ve always run into was finding the correct dried chiles at the grocery store. I’ve ended up doing tons of research for substitutes to make a version with ingredients I’m actually able to find.

I want to share that recipe here for anyone else looking for a simple, quick birria sauce recipe that uses easy ingredients. 

My version of birria consome attempts to stay true to the unique flavors with authentic ingredients, however, I have made some swaps so this sauce is easy to make with items from a regular large grocery store. I also use beef or bison roasts for my birria instead of goat.

I have kept the spice level on this sauce mild to make it kid-friendly. However, if you want a kick, you should use the birria sauce recipe I have in my Birria Enchiladas recipe. That sauce is very similar to what I’m posting here other than the proportions of different peppers to change the spice level.

Next, I simplified the cooking methods–instead of stewing for several hours, I cooked everything in the Instant Pot, but this recipe also includes slow cooker instructions in the recipe card.

​Let’s get into what you need to make this simplified, easy birria sauce!

Quick birria sauce recipe with shredded beef in a bowl.

Ingredients (with Substitutions if Needed)

This sauce is made in a blender or food processor. I use my Ninja blender. To make the sauce, gather the following ingredients.

  • Chipotle Peppers in Adobo – It is super easy to find little cans of these chipotle peppers in adobo sauce at most grocery stores. They bring a delicious smoky spice to our sauce.
  • Onion – You can use a yellow or white onion, whatever you have on hand.
  • Garlic Cloves – Nothing better than fresh garlic! Since we are whipping this sauce together in the blender, no need to mince the cloves. But if minced garlic is all you have, you can use a heaping tablespoon of that.
  • Ancho Chili Powder – I found ancho chili powder at Target and my local grocery store. This was easier for me to find than the dried whole ancho chiles.
  • Guajillo Chili Powder – This was another one that I was able to find in place of the whole dried chiles at my local large grocery store (Hy-Vee).
  • Regular Chili Powder – We also use some standard chili powder in this recipe, too. Note that both ancho chili powder and guajillo chili powder are different from regular chili powder. Regular chili powder is made from a blend of many different kinds of chiles and may include some other spices. It is usually mild. If you can’t find one of the other kinds of chili powders, I recommend replacing that quantity with standard chili powder, but it does change the flavor profile.
  • Spices – Cumin, Mexican oregano, salt, black pepper, and a bit of cinnamon all beautifully meld together to round out the flavors of the sauce.
  • Lime Juice – This adds bright flavor and acidity, but you can substitute apple cider vinegar if you prefer.
  • Beef Broth for the liquid
  • Roast of Choice – I often throw in a lean bison roast or short ribs. This recipe also works well with beef, such as a beef chuck roast–use the same timings!
  • Arrowroot Powder – A little arrowroot powder is whisked in at the end to thicken the sauce. Cornstarch can also be used, but I think arrowroot powder works better.
Plates and bowls of ingredients for the quick Birria sauce recipe.

Easy Birria Consome Instructions

Follow the instructions below to whip together this easy & quick birria sauce recipe:

Blended quick birria sauce in blender.

1. Blend Sauce

Add all the ingredients except the roast and arrowroot powder to a blender. Blend for 8-10 seconds. This sauce does not need to be perfectly smooth–the onion and garlic will cook down.

Pouring the birria sauce out of the blender on top of roast in the Instant Pot.

2. Cook

Put your roast in the Instant Pot or slow cooker. Pour the blender birria sauce over the roast. Place the lid and cook. For Instant Pot, you will cook on high pressure for 20 minutes per pound of roast (ex: 60 minutes for a 3-lb roast) followed by a 10-minute natural release. For the slow cooker, cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-5 hours.

This is a ladle pouring sauce into a small bowl of arrowroot powder.

3. Thicken Sauce

Once the roast is cooked, scoop out a cup of the sauce into a small bowl and add 2 tbsp arrowroot powder. Whisk together until its smooth with no clumps, then add it back to the big pot and stir it together.

This is a ladle scooping shredded beef birria inside the Instant Pot.

4. Shred Roast

Remove the roast from the pot and shred. Add the meat back to the sauce. Your birria beef consome is ready to use!

Serving Suggestions

Chop up some white or yellow onions and some cilantro to top your birria with. 

Melty cheese is the best part! Pick up a block of Oaxaca cheese (Mexican mozzarella) for some ooey gooey goodness on your tacos, burritos, or enchiladas. Regular mozzarella also works if you can’t find Oaxaca.

Use this quick birria sauce recipe with bison or beef birria meat for a fun twist on any of your favorite Mexican dishes.

Quick birria sauce recipe with shredded beef in a bowl.

How to Make Birria Tacos

To turn this into a birria taco recipe, carefully dip corn tortillas into the sauce and place on a griddle set to medium heat. You can also use small flour tortillas if you prefer.

Use tongs to grab the shredded meat and place it on top of the tortilla concentrated to one side.

Sprinkle with shredded Oaxaca mozzarella and some chopped onion and cilantro. Use a spatula to flip the other side of the tortilla up on top of the meat and cheese. I like to flip the taco over after a minute or two to make sure the cheese melts.

Scoop out some of the birria broth to use as a dipping sauce.

Other Birria Recipes

Try my macro-friendly birria enchiladas recipe! The sauce is similar to what is written here, but with slight modifications to be a little more spicy.

If you prefer a mild sauce, you can use this sauce recipe in its place and follow the enchilada assembly instructions.

The leftover meat goes great with this veggie-packed birria nachos recipe.

close up of of birria enchiladas with toppings and lime wedges
overhead angled view of birria nachos and toppings

Nutritional Information

This recipe makes anywhere from 8-10 servings depending on the size of your roast and how lean your roast is. For a 2 1/2 lb lean roast, such as bottom round roast, the nutritional information for 8 servings of meat & sauce is approximately:

  • Calories: 270
  • Protein: 41 grams
  • Fat: 8 grams
  • Carbs: 6 grams

Recipe Notes

Store leftover birria sauce and meat in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

FAQ

How do you thicken birria sauce?

In this recipe, I use arrowroot powder to thicken the birria sauce. Cornstarch can also be used. If you find that your sauce is still too thin, then you can remove the roast from the sauce, pour the sauce into a sauce pan, and bring it to a low boil on the stove top, stirring frequently and cooking until it is reduced to your liking. This should not be necessary with 2 tbsp of arrowroot powder, however.

Can you freeze birria sauce?

Yes, this recipe can be frozen and would make a great freezer meal! Cook it before freezing, then place it in a freezer-safe container or gallon Ziploc bag. All you need to do to serve it is thaw and heat in a skillet over medium heat until warmed through.

What cut of meat is best for birria?

Traditionally, birria is made with goat or lamb. However, beef has become more popular in American households in recent years. I like to use lean beef or bison roasts. You can really use any roast you want. Chuck roast is easy to find and affordable. You can also use sirloin tip roast, rump roast, or arm roast. Since this recipe is made in a pressure cooker or slow cooker over a long period, even tough roasts will turn tender with this recipe, so use what you have on hand or can find on sale!

Chicken birria tacos are also an option, but you will need to reduce the cooking time.

Make Some Delicious Birria Tacos Today!

If you’ve been looking for an easy homemade birria consome, I think you’ll LOVE this recipe. Let me know how it goes– please leave a comment and review! It means the world!

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shredded beef birria in sauce in a bowl.
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Quick Birria Sauce Recipe

This quick & easy birria sauce recipe makes meals with birria meat so fast to make with ingredients easy to find at the grocery store. This sauce recipe can be used with your favorite type of roast.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: comfort food, easy birria sauce, healthy birria recipes, instant pot birria, quick birria sauce
Servings: 8
Calories: 266kcal
Author: Holly Lee
Cost: $15

Equipment

  • Pressure Cooker ie: Instant Pot — Can also use slow cooker, see recipe notes for instructions
  • Blender or food processor

Ingredients

  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo see notes if you don't like spice
  • 1 small white or yellow onion or half a large onion
  • 4-5 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp guajillo chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder (regular)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2-3 lb Roast of Choice such as chuck, sirloin, arm, rump, or bottom round
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot powder

Instructions

  • Add all of your ingredients except for the roast and the arrowroot powder to a blender or food processor. Blend for 8-10 seconds to combine.
  • Add your roast to the Instant Pot and pour the birria sauce over the meat. (See notes for slow cooker instructions). Put the lid on the Instant Pot and close the sealing valve. Press "Pressure Cook" button and make sure it is set to high pressure. Set the timer for 20 minutes per pound of roast (40-60 min for 2 to 3 lbs). When the timer goes off, allow the meat to natural release for 10-15 minutes before releasing the rest of the pressure and removing the lid.
  • After the meat is done with the 10-15 min natural release, release the pressure and remove the lid from the pot. Use a ladle to scoop about one cup of the sauce from the Instant Pot into the bowl. Add 2 tbsp arrowroot powder, then whisk to combine. Pour the mixture back into the pot and stir.
  • Remove the roast from the pot and shred. Place the shredded meat back into the sauce.
  • Your birria meat is ready to use for whatever taco, nacho, enchilada, burrito, or quesadilla meal you'd like!

Video

Notes

This sauce is relatively mild. If you want a spicier birria sauce, use the sauce recipe in my Birria Enchiladas recipe.
To make this dish in the slow cooker instead, simply place the meat and sauce in your crock pot in the morning and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours.

Nutrition

Calories: 266kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 88mg | Sodium: 754mg | Potassium: 571mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 275IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 4mg

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