These vegan birria tacos are an easy to make version of the original authentic recipe. Same great flavor with more accessible ingredients!
I have always loved Birria tacos, but making them at home was overwhelming with all the specialized ingredients. My family is also not as spice obsessed as me, so the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce was a no go. But I created a version to solve both of these problems!
I was also able to capture more of the familiar texture of meat with the use of jackfruit. I was never a big fan of the stuff, but after figuring out how to prepare it perfectly it’s becoming a new go-to!
This is not your grandma’s authentic recipe. Just being honest. But what this is, is a recipe that was carefully researched and tested to give an amazing flavor with easy to find ingredients!
- Dried ancho peppers (or sub with paprika!)
- Veggie broth
- Tomato sauce
- Maple syrup
- Apple cider vinegar
- Jackfruit (or see the notes in the recipe to sub with mushrooms)
Instead of the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, I decided to create my own adobo like sauce with a variety of common ingredients.
The caramelized like flavor of the onions mixed with the tomato, dried peppers, and other ingredients gives this amazing sweet, touch of smokey, hint of tang like sauce that’s to die for!
Because dried guajillo peppers aren’t as easy to find, I subbed them with dried ancho peppers (which is actually just the dried version of a poblano pepper) because they are more common and readily available in many grocery stores. Plus they are not spicy like the guajillo.
If you still can’t find them though you can sub paprika for some added flavor.
How To Make Vegan Birria Tacos
- Sauté onion, garlic, and salt.
- Soak ancho peppers in water then cut off the tops and scrape the seeds out.
- Blend the onion mixture, peppers, tomato sauce, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, broth, and seasonings.
- Sauté the remaining onion, garlic, then add the jackfruit.
- Add some birra sauce and cook until thickened.
- Dip tortillas in birria sauce, fill with jackfruit mixture and fold over.
- Brown stuffed tacos in the pan.
Once you have the tacos made, serve with a variety of topping options so everyone can make their own custom creations! Our favorites are:
To make this a complete meal, serve with any of these tasty side dishes:
Tips and tricks
Check out these helpful suggestions to make the best vegan birria tacos:
- Keep the sauce warm after blending in a pot on low on the stove.
- Make sure to brown the jackfruit to a crisp before adding the sauce, otherwise it will be mushy.
- To prevent your tortillas from tearing when folding, make sure they’re soft and pliable. You can do this by covering them with a damp paper towel and heating in the microwave.
- Coating the tortillas with the sauce can get messy. Use a pastry brush to keep things a bit cleaner.
- Prepare the tacos ahead of time by making the jackfruit filling and sauce. When ready to serve, coat the tortillas, fill, and brown the tacos.
Birria tacos are traditionally made with braised lamb or goat meat. Beef or pork are also frequently used. One the tacos are filled they are fried in the fat left in the pan. These vegan birria tacos use jackfruit instead.
Pretty much any Mexican dish can be made vegan with some alterations. Rice and beans are vegan when made without lard or chicken broth. Tacos, burritos, and fajitas can be made with a variety of vegan fillings like veggies, lentils, or potatoes. Also, popular Mexican soups like pozole or tortilla soup are easily made vegan.
Barbacoa traditionally refers to a cooking method where meat (generally lamb) is wrapped in leaves and cooked by steaming slowly in a pit in the ground. Nowadays this is usually done in a pot on the stove. Birria uses the tender meat along with a consommé to create a flavorful dish.
More Vegan Taco Recipes
Whether it’s Taco Tuesday, or Taco Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, etc., you need an arsenal of plant based taco recipes on hand! These tasty creations will have you eating tacos all the time, and that is perfectly acceptable.
- Black Bean Sweet Potato Tacos
- Crispy Potato Tacos
- Lentil Walnut Tacos
- Buffalo Cauliflower Tacos
- Mushroom Carnitas Tacos
Vegan Birria Tacos with Jackfruit
- 3 dried ancho peppers , see note for sub
- 2 ½ cups chopped sweet or yellow onion , divided (see instructions)
- 4 cloves garlic , chopped (divided)
- 1-1 ½ teaspoon sea salt , divided (see instructions, see note)
- Drizzle of oil or broth to sauté if oil-free
- ¾ cup tomato sauce
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 cups veggie broth , low sodium if needed
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon , optional for more authentic flavor
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves , optional for more authentic flavor
- 2 cans jackfruit (rinsed and shredded) , 20 ounce cans, see note (use whatever size you find to equal close to 40 ounces)
- 16 corn tortillas
To serve (optional):
- Chopped onion
- Cotija or feta , dairy-free to keep vegan
- Place the dried peppers in a bowl of warm water to soften.
- Sauté the 1 cup chopped onion, 2 cloves chopped garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and oil or broth until the onions are soft, sticky and browning. About 5 minutes.
- Remove the peppers from the water, cut off the tops and scrape the seeds out.
- Add the onion mixture, cleaned peppers, tomato sauce, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, smoked paprika, broth, oregano, cumin and cinnamon/cloves (if using) into a blender and blend on high until smooth. Pour into a bowl, or if you want it warm pour it into a pot and put over low heat.
- Sauté the other 1 cup chopped onion, 2 cloves chopped garlic, ½ teaspoon salt and oil or broth until the onions are soft and browning. About 5 minutes.
- Add the jackfruit and sauté over medium high heat until browned and crisp on the edges. This takes between 10-15 minutes depending on your stove. You want it crisp to get the right texture. If you stop early it will be soft and mushy.
- Add 1 cup of the birria sauce and cook until it thickens gets a bit sticky. Put the mixture into a bowl. Keep the pan on low medium heat so you can brown the tacos.
- Make sure your corn tortillas are soft and pliable. You can do this by covering them with a damp paper towel and heating in the microwave for 1-2 minutes. Take each tortillas and dip into the birria sauce. Wipe off the excess. This can get messy, so you can also use a pastry brush to coat each side.
- Add a heaping ¼ cup of the jackfruit to one side of the tortilla. Then fold it over and place on the hot pan. Do this for however many tacos you can fit on your pan. Cook about 2-3 minutes on each side, until browned.
- Serve with whatever toppings you prefer!
- If you can’t find ancho peppers, you can sub 1 tablespoon paprika.
- Adjust your salt depending on the salt in the broth and jackfruit.
- You can also sub mushrooms for the jackfruit. Use about 2 pounds portobello or king oyster mushrooms and shred with a fork.
- This makes 16 corn tortilla sized tacos. Serving size is 2 tacos.
Recipe by Veggies Don’t Bite, visit our site for more great plant-based recipes.