Vegan Birria Tacos
This recipe for vegan birria tacos will help you make restaurant-style birria tacos at home, without the meat! King oyster mushrooms replace the beef, but you still get all that smoky flavour and irresistible sauce for dipping.
Birria tacos are everywhere lately, but plant-based versions of this food trend—well, they’re a little bit harder to find. Luckily you can make meaty, crispy, smoky-and-savory vegan birria tacos at home!
What Are Birria Tacos?
Birria tacos are a Mexican street food dish from the state of Jalisco. They’re made with slow-cooked meat that’s been shredded and then fried, creating a crispy exterior.
The meat is piled onto corn tortillas that have been dipped in the cooking liquid from the meat, then the tacos are fried in a skillet until crispy. The crispy tacos are served alongside the birria sauce for dipping.
For this vegan version of birria tacos, I’m using king oyster mushrooms as the base for the taco filling. When shredded, they have a meaty texture that’s perfect for replacing the beef in the original recipe.
Notes on Ingredients
Please note that this is important information on the ingredients and instructions and the FULL recipe with amounts and details can be found DOWN BELOW (scroll to it) in the recipe card.
- Dried guajillo peppers
- Olive oil
- Onion – Yellow or white onions are both fine.
- Dried oregano
- Smoked paprika
- Ground cumin
- Ground cinnamon
- Kosher salt – Kosher salt has larger crystals than table salt, so if you use table salt or another finer salt, you’ll need to use less.
- Crushed tomatoes
- Chipotle peppers – You’ll need peppers and some of the adobo sauce from the can.
- Apple cider vinegar – This adds some tangy flavour to these vegan birria tacos!
- Low-sodium vegetable broth – Or use homemade vegetable broth.
- Oil – Any kind of cooking oil you like or have on hand.
- King oyster mushrooms – Also known as king trumpet mushrooms. Both the tops and the stems of these mushrooms can be eaten.
- Corn tortillas
- Shredded vegan cheddar or mozzarella cheese
- Red onion
- Cilantro – Not a fan? You can omit it.
Are Dried Guajillo Peppers Spicy?
Guajillo peppers are on the milder side when it comes to heat, but still spicy—consider them on par with a jalapeño. In other words, if you can handle jalapeños, you can handle guajillo peppers too! They have a smoky flavour that’s perfect for these vegan birria tacos.
How to Make Vegan Birria Tacos
Here’s how to make your own meaty, smoky, umami-packed mushroom birria tacos.
Toast the guajillo pepper. In a large pot, heat the guajillo peppers for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until they’re fragrant. Remove them from the pan and set aside for later.
Cook the aromatics. Add the oil to the pot and warm it over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, or until it’s softened. Stir in the garlic, oregano, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, and salt and cook for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
Add the rest of the sauce ingredients. Stir in the tomatoes, chipotle peppers and adobo, vinegar, and vegetable broth, along with the guajillo peppers. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then cover and continue to simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.
Puree the sauce. Turn off the stove and remove the peppers from the pot. Use an immersion blender to puree the sauce, or puree it in a blender. Season to taste with salt and vinegar.
Crisp the mushrooms. Set a skillet over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon or two of oil to coat the bottom of the pan and once it’s shimmering, add the shredded mushrooms. Cook until they’re crispy, or for 5 to 10 minutes.
Simmer the mushrooms. Transfer the mushrooms to the sauce and return it to a simmer. Cover and cook the mushrooms for 5 to 10 minutes over low heat, or until they’re tender.
Cook the tacos. Set a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Working one at a time, dip a tortilla into the birria to lightly coat it, then place it in the skillet for about 1 minute. Flip the tortilla, then top one half of it with the mushroom filling, cheese, diced red onion, and cilantro. Fold it closed, then flip and cook until both sides are crispy.
Serve. Transfer the tacos to plates and serve with the remaining birria sauce on the side for dipping.
Tips for Success
These tips will help you make sure your vegan birria tacos turn out perfect:
- Dry the mushrooms well. If there’s still water clinging to them, they won’t get crispy when you fry them.
- Shred, don’t cut. You really want that shredded texture for these tacos, so resist the urge to simply cut the mushrooms into pieces. You can either shred them with two forks, or scrape them vertically with a fork to create grooves in the stems, then pull them apart along these grooves with your hands.
- Adjust the heat as needed. If you’re not a fan of spicy dishes, you can use fewer guajillo and chipotle peppers.
Serve these vegan birria tacos alongside:
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, place the vegan birria tacos on a baking sheet and heat in a 400ºF oven until hot and crispy. You can also reheat them in a toaster oven, air fryer, or on the stovetop. (The microwave works too, but they won’t be crispy.)
Can This Recipe Be Frozen?
No, I do not recommend freezing this recipe as the texture of the mushrooms will change and become mushy. For a freezer-friendly taco filling, try my Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos.
Enjoy friends! If you make this vegan birria taco recipe, please snap a photo and tag #jessicainthekitchen on Instagram! We’d also love it if you would leave a comment below, and give the recipe a rating! Thanks so much!
Vegan Birria Tacos
- 3 dried guajillo peppers
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 15.5- ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 3 canned chipotle peppers + 3 tbsp adobo sauce
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1¼ cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1-2 tablespoons oil
- 12 ounces king oyster mushrooms, shredded with a fork
- 8 corn tortillas
- 1 cup shredded vegan cheddar or mozzarella cheese
- Diced red onion for serving
- Cilantro for serving
- In a large pot, heat the guajillo peppers for 1 to 2 minutes per side, until fragrant. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add the oil to the empty pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, paprika, cumin, and cinnamon, and salt and cook for about 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and juice, chipotle peppers and sauce, vinegar, and vegetable broth. Return the guajillo peppers to the pot, and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes over low heat.
- Turn off the heat, remove the guajillo peppers, and puree with an immersion blender or transfer to a regular blender to puree smooth, then return to the pot. Season to taste with salt and/or a splash of more vinegar if necessary.
- In a different pan over medium high heat, add the 1-2 tablespoons of oil until hot. Add the shredded mushrooms and cook until crispy, about 5-10 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms to the pot of the sauce and return to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 5-10 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender.
- Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Working one at a time, dip a tortilla into the birria to lightly coat in sauce both sides (you don’t want to saturate the tortilla; it will get soggy), then place in the skillet for about 1 minute. Flip the tortilla, then top with mushroom filling on one side. Add cheese, diced red onion, and cilantro. Fold closed like a taco, then flip and cook until crisp on both sides. Serve with remaining birria sauce on the side for dipping.
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