Birria Grilled Cheese

published Apr 11, 2023
Birria Grilled Cheese Recipe

Inspired by birria tacos, these grilled cheese sandwiches have a crispy cheesy exterior, braised shredded beef, and gooey cheese within.

Serves2

Makes2 sandwiches

Prep5 minutes

Cook10 minutes

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Birria grilled cheese sandwich cut in half and stacked on top of each other.
Credit: Laura Rege

My family loves dippable sandwiches. There’s grilled cheese with creamy tomato soup, French dip with its warm bath of jus, and bánh mì with a cup of steamy pho broth for dunking. 

I’m always looking for ways to turn a sandwich into a dipping experience, so, one day when I found myself with some leftover beef birria, I saw immediate sandwich dipping potential. Right then, I decided to create a dippable birria grilled cheese sandwich.

Birria is a Mexican dish of stewed meat, usually goat, lamb, or beef. In recent years, birria tacos and especially quesabirria (aka quesataco, a cross between a taco and a quesadilla) have become extremely popular in the United States.

Credit: Laura Rege

How to Make Birria Grilled Cheese

I’ve sampled lots of birria, and I’ve even tried my hand at making my own — slowly braising the beef all day in a pepper-tinged broth. My go-to birria recipe drastically cuts the cooking time (thanks, Instant Pot!) without compromising the flavor or texture. After making a batch of birria and using some for tacos, I still have plenty left over for these sandwiches. (Alternatively, you can purchase birria from your favorite Mexican restaurant, which will make your sandwich-making process even shorter!)

To make birria grilled cheese, I fire up the griddle and butter slices of sourdough bread. While the bread is toasting, I layer on shredded sharp cheese and birria, sandwich it with the remaining slices of buttered bread, and give the whole thing a flip to toast the other side — just like a standard grilled cheese, but, well, beefed up. Serve the sandwiches with warmed birria consommé topped with chopped cilantro and onion, then let the dipping begin!

Birria Grilled Cheese Recipe

Inspired by birria tacos, these grilled cheese sandwiches have a crispy cheesy exterior, braised shredded beef, and gooey cheese within.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 10 minutes

Makes 2 sandwiches

Serves 2

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 6 ounces

    sharp cheddar cheese (about 1 1/2 cups shredded)

  • 4 slices

    sourdough sandwich bread

  • 1 cup

    birria (drained of consommé)

  • 1 1/2 cups

    birria consommé

  • Fresh cilantro leaves and diced white onion, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Let 2 tablespoons unsalted butter sit at room temperature until softened. Grate 6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese on the large holes of a box grater (about 1 1/2 cups).

  2. Heat a griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, butter one side of 4 slices sourdough sandwich bread (1/2 tablespoon each).

  3. Place 2 slices of the bread butter-side down in the skillet. Divide the cheese and 1 cup birria between the slices. Close the sandwiches with the remaining 2 bread slices butter-side up. Cook until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Reduce the heat as needed if the sandwiches are browning too quickly. Meanwhile, place 1 1/2 cups birria consommé in a small saucepan and bring to a low simmer over medium heat.

  4. Transfer the sandwiches to a cutting board and cut each of them in half. Divide the consommé into 2 small bowls and garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and diced white onion if desired. Serve the consommé with the sandwiches for dipping.