Trader Joe’s Beef Birria Review

I love Mexican Beef Birria so when I saw this new product in the freezer section of our local Trader Joe’s I was pretty excited. (I’m always excited about new products at Trader Joe’s). You don’t see Birria much in my area at the Mexican restaurants but often enough that I have tried it on several occasions. 

Birria is a stew or soup made traditionally from goat meat. But that ain’t gonna fly with the Trader Joe’s crowd so Trader Joe’s did the smart thing and made it out of beef. Pork is also sometimes used but from what I understand it is mostly goat. Mexican Birria is a traditional stew that originates from the Mexican state of Jalisco. It is made with goat or beef, chilies, spices, and seasonings. It is typically slow-cooked until tender and has a rich, flavorful broth. The dish is often served with corn tortillas and is a popular street food in Mexico. It is sometimes served as a filling for tacos and is sometimes used to make other dishes such as quesabirria. I’ve never had Quesabirria but look it up on Google, it sounds like it would be awesome!

Trader Joe's Birria
Trader Joe’s Birria

The traditional way to eat this is just as a stew and I noticed how similar it was to a regular American beef stew, except Trader Joe’s has more of a kick and deeper flavors with the chile peppers. If you look below at the ingredient list, it is quite short. It’s mainly beef, water, onions, tomatoes, and chile peppers. Of course, the devil is in the details. 

As mentioned above, this does make a stew on its own but I would repurpose this dish for a wide range of Mexican inspired items. Traditionally it was eaten as a stew with bread or just tortillas. I can easily see it in tacos. You could make quesadillas with it. You could use it to make nachos. I think there are a wide variety of options if you didn’t want to eat it as a stew.

Trader Joe's Beef Birria back
Trader Joe’s Beef Birria back

You can see the heating instructions below. I choose the microwave method. Really easy and quick. I didn’t make tacos or anything so I just poured it into a bowl and ate it. If I was going to repurpose it, I might do the stovetop method where you just empty the frozen brick of birria into a pot and gently heat it until it’s simmering. That way you could keep it hot until you need to use it for tacos or something.

How does Trader Joe’s Beef Birria taste?

I really liked Trader Joe’s Beef Birria. It was simple to make. It had a lot of flavors and the best thing about it is that it can be repurposed for so many uses. So a dish that might just feed a couple of people is not tacos for a whole family. The Birria was very tender and what you might call falling off the bone (even though there are no bones). The meat melted in your mouth when you ate it. It wasn’t too hot but definitely had some heat, but the depth of flavor from all the chile peppers was outstanding. 

Trader Joe's Beef Birria cooked
Trader Joe’s Beef Birria cooked

I really enjoyed Trader Joe’s Beef Birria for its complex flavors and simplicity and flexibility. I am going to award this dish 9 out of 10 Bells!



MICROWAVE (1200 watt): Microwave heat times may vary depending on oven wattage.

Heat from frozen. Remove the outer packaging and carefully puncture the film. Heat on high for 2 1/2 minutes. Carefully remove the film and stir. Heat for an additional 2 1/2 minutes or until the product reaches 165°F. Serve as a stew with chopped onions and cilantro, or make Birria tacos.

STOVETOP: Thaw product in the refrigerator overnight. Remove the outer packaging and film, and pour the contents of the tray into a medium sized pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat and serve as a stew or make Birria tacos.




  1. This was the most disgusting Trader Joe’s product I’ve ever tried. My package, at least, consisted of mostly fat and gristle, with just a touch of actual edible beef. Flavor was great (albeit very salty). But I had to spit out 90% of my bites. Ugh.

    • It’s. Mexican dish, will definitely help you recover from a good hangover with excess fat and salt, there’s many dishes that specialize in fatty products, such as menudo, pozole, etc and it’s all for flavor purposes

    • Same experience here. 90% of the container was liquid. The majority of the meat was truly giant globs of rubbery fat.

  2. This was just nasty! Nothing but extreme saltiness and grease. It was so salty that we couldn’t eat it. Don’t buy.

  3. I was very disappointed with this product. Although the flavor wasn’t bad, the packaging stated it was 16 ounces and I got barely 7 ounces of meat out of it. The rest was a sea of greasy gravy that I wouldn’t want to put on anything. I wouldn’t purchase this product again.

  4. Same here. The package was mostly greasy sauce with fat and gristle inedible chunks. Would be ok if it actually contained meat.

  5. I guess I’m in the minority because I actually liked it and would buy again! Other reviewers are correct that it’s not as much meat as advertised on the package but I did get two good sized tacos out of mines. It was very saucy. Had a lot of flavor. I didn’t find it particularly spicy (heat-wise) but it was seasoned well and meat was very tender. There was some fat which I didn’t mind but there was enough actual meat in my opinion. This is a solid 3 1/2 stars for me.

  6. Huge package, very little meat (I got 4 decent tacos out of it). The sauce was an oily mess. Not a return visit for me.

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