These robust vegetarian birria tacos are served with fresh pico de gallo stuffed with spicy chipotle-seasoned mushrooms, soy chorizo, and melted cheese, making them incredibly delicious.
Vegetarian Birria Tacos
Get ready to make some delicious vegetarian tacos inspired by the popular dish Birria Tacos! When you try these, you won't be able to wait for Taco Tuesday. Indeed, we have enjoyed these so much. We made it more than once.
This plant-based version has so much flavor it's my number one taco recipe. In addition, this recipe is in the style of Quesabirria, which has cheese. If you want a vegan version, go to variations for suggestions.
The Secret to Its Richness
What makes this recipe vegetarian? Soy chorizo is mixed with mushrooms as a meat replacement for a robust flavor and a meaty texture, creating a rich, hearty sauce.
If you love mushrooms, you must try:
- Curried Chickpeas and Mushrooms with Spiced Brown Basmati Rice
- Italian Chicken Sausage Stuffed Portobello
- Fresh Hoisin Mushrooms Noodle Bowl with Spicy Peanut Sauce.
Or try this other Mexican-Inspired:
What is Birria?
Some may think birria is the taco, but it actually is a traditional goat meat stew that originated in the western part of Mexico in the state of Jalisco. However, you might find this Mexican dish stew made with beef, just like in the tacos.
The stew is prepared by cooking the marinated meat in a broth, aka consume. In addition, the meat is usually marinated with vinegar-based adobo, dried chiles, spices, herbs, and garlic. When plated, it's served with chopped raw onion, cilantro, and a side of lime wedges and tortillas.
The Traditional Way
Hence, traditional birria tacos are served with chopped fresh cilantro and onions, with the fresh corn tortillas dipped in the consume, then fried in a pan, filled with the stewed meat, and served with a side of the consume.
And Quesabirria has cheese, hence the word "quesa," the Spanish feminine of "queso," which means "cheese."
Make a taco seasoning spice and herb blend by combining Cajun seasoning, Italian herb seasoning, cumin, ground cinnamon, and chili powder, and set it aside. Then, you'll make the pico de gallo pre-prep by combining chopped onion, garlic, tomatoes, and cilantro and set it aside. It's called "pre-prep" because you will add the lime juice and zest later.
Then, make the mushroom taco filling by sauteing the mushrooms in olive oil in a large pan. Then add the rest of the pico de gallo, chipotle in adobo sauce, soy chorizo, vegetable broth, salt, pepper, and simmer.
Consomme and Tacos
Strain the mushroom filling to create a vegetarian, rich birria sauce that will taste like a slow-cooked consommé. Finally, you will assemble the tacos by dipping the corn tortillas in the birria broth. Fry the dipped corn tortillas in the oiled pan, add the shredded cheese blend, top with the filling, then fold and flip.
Finally, serve them with lime wedges and pico de gallo, finishing with lime juice and zest. And the "birria consommé" in a small bowl.
For quantities, please refer to the vegetarian birria tacos recipe card.
Mixed Mushrooms Idea
For this vegetarian birria tacos recipe, you can combine sliced or shredded mushrooms: cremini, white button, shitake, shimeji (aka white/brown beech mushrooms), and king oyster mushrooms. Not necessarily all, but you can use one or a combination of two.
If you can't find them, meaty oyster mushrooms will work for texture. Shred them with your hands before sauteeing them.
If using portobello mushrooms, I suggest slicing them thinly. They are already meaty and will take less surface space once cooked.
Chopping Chipotle in Adobo
Chop the chipotle in adobo on a plastic cutting board for easy cleanup. These Color Coded Flexible Plastic Cutting Board Mats also make it super convenient.
Chop finely to get as much from it for when it is being strained later.
Making the Mushroom Birria Filling
Small dice the pico de Gallo ingredients to evenly spread the taste of each ingredient.
Brown mushroom for 2-3 minutes.
The pico de gallo base (tomato, onion, cilantro) has all the necessary ingredients to create the base for the sauce.
Then, for more flavor, the chipotle adobo and soy chorizo are added.
Add the seasoning to bloom the spices to increase the taste.
Then, add the vegetable stock to finish creating the sauce.
Once complete, you will drain to create the Birria sauce.
Assembling and Cooking the Mushroom Birria Tacos
Use 5 - 6-inch corn tortillas.
Completely submerge the tortilla into the sauce.
As you can see, the whole tortilla should be covered in the sauce.
Then, spread the cheese evenly.
Fill one half of the tortilla.
Tuck any loose filling back into the taco when you close the tortilla.
Brown both sides.
Notably, the browning on the taco should look like this.
- Vegan Birria Taco Recipe Version, aka Vegan Quesabirria Tacos - To make this dish vegan, use vegan cheese. Check out The Spruce Eats: The 9 Best Vegan Cheese for suggestions. And make sure the corn tortillas are also vegan.
- Pepper Jack Shredded Cheese - Use Mexican blend cheese instead.
- Cajun Spice - Use taco seasoning or (½ teaspoon of the following: onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, smoked paprika chili powder)
Change Heat Level - Modify the recipe's heat level to your liking and learn more about the Scoville Scale and Chili Pairings. For example, remove the pith and seeds of the raw jalapeno for less heat.
- Large Cast Iron Skillet - I suggest using a large cast iron skillet, like the highly rated Lodge 13-¼ Inch Cast Iron Pre-Seasoned Skillet. You can make more tacos at a time, and the cast iron pan distributes heat and retains it longer.
- Medium-Sized Strainer - To strain the taco filling to make the dipping sauce.
Kitchen Must Haves - Find other tools I use here.
Ensure to completely submerge the tortilla into the liquid to gain the rich yellow-orange color that will toast up nicely after steaming.
- Refrigerator - To store in the fridge, you can place the vegetarian birria tacos in a shallow 2-inch container to cool down quickly. Then, store it in an airtight container. As a result, the meal will last up to two days.
- Freezer - Follow the refrigeration process mentioned above. Then, wrap each in parchment paper and place it in the freezer-sealing bag or a labeled airtight container.
Air Tight Food Containers - I use Glass Food Storage Containers with a plastic clipping lid to store food. For example, I always suggest glass storage containers since you can microwave them and hold food without staining the container, and the glass keeps them at a more stable temperature, which keeps the food fresher longer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cajun seasoning is a great way to add similar spices quickly. For instance, Cajun spice usually contains paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and white and black pepper.
Herbs are a great way to enhance a dish's depth. Italian herb seasoning has many herbs that can complement this dish's main ingredient, mushrooms. For example, Italian herbs seasoning usually is a blend of thyme, basil, oregano, marjoram, and rosemary.
Coarsely chop repetitively from left to right, then from top to bottom, with your knife on a plastic cutting board for easy cleaning.
Chipotles are the dried chilies version of the jalapeno pepper. In Mexican cuisine, the peppers have different names for the fresh and dried versions. For example, dried poblano peppers are called ancho chiles.
It is a pureed sauce made with chilies, tomato, and spices, with rehydrated chili peppers and dried chipotles, to be exact. In addition, the chipotles give the sauce a spicy, smoky flavor.
Keep them sealed until used to keep in the little moisture they have, and frying them helps keep their shape. For instance, these vegetarian birria tacos are fried in the pan while making the stuffing to ensure they do not crack.
Looking for other vegetarian recipes like this? Try these:
Looking for other Mexcian-inspired recipes like this? Try these:
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- Cook chicken to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C).
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat to prevent food-borne illness from contaminated uncooked meats.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat to prevent cross-contamination.
- Don't leave food at room temperature for extended periods; this can breed bacteria.
- Never leave cooking food unattended to prevent burns and fires.
- Use oils with a high smoke point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
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