Looking for a delicious way to use your leftover birria? Make super cheesy birria pizza! Using my classic chewy pizza crust recipe brushed with melted garlic butter, it's topped with juicy beef birria, super flavorful consommé, and tons of oaxaca cheese. This is a family friday movie night favorite at our house!
I originally made birria pizza for my TikTok last summer, but now it's time it comes to the blog!
Every Friday is family movie night at our house, and we always have a snack board, pizza, and sweet tea while we chill in the theater room with whatever series we're on at the time. Right now we are introducing the Avengers to Greyson, which he is absolutely gaga over.
He loves superheros, and while he has seen bits and pieces like Spiderman, Black Panther, Thor, Superman, and The Hulk, we felt like he was too young to get into the more intense movies until now.
So back to pizza, this recipe came about when I had extra birria de res while making BBQ chicken pizza for our very first movie night in our new home early last summer. My pizza dough recipe makes enough for two pizzas, so my husband said, "Let's put the birria on it."
And an Italian-American-Mexican dish for the heavens was born. Let me tell you, if you thought mozzarella was super stretchy, that oaxaca cheese on pizza is just crazy!
If you're always wondering what else you can make with leftover birria meat besides more birria tacos, this is definitely a recipe to make. It's easy and delicious, definitely get the family involved in this one!
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What is Birria?
Coming from the Mexican state of Jalisco, birria is a savory stew traditionally made with goat, but is also made from beef and chicken nowadays. The juicy meat is slow cooked with bay leaves, chilis, spices, and tomatoes until fall apart tender.
The meat is often used for birria tacos which is super popular in the United States, and the liquid it was braised in, called consommé, is used as a dipping sauce. If you haven't tried it, let me just say that it lives up to the hype!
Pizza Dough. You can use store bought pizza dough or make your own, I have a recipe for a really easy pizza crust. It makes two, which you'll definitely want because the kids will devour a whole pizza on their own.
Birria. I have the full recipe for making birria de res in the recipe card, but I consider this a dish to use up all that leftover birria when you make it for tacos.
Birria Consommé. That soup/sauce the meat braises in is the secret sauce here, literally. Instead of tomato sauce, we're using the consommé.
Oaxaca cheese. It's like mozzarella's Mexican cousin. Stringy, stretchy, creamy semi-soft cheese with a buttery flavor, it melts so beautifully. It's a perfect cheese for pizza.
Mozzarella cheese. This is the classic pizza cheese. I used pre-shredded part-skim mozzarella, but you could go full-Oaxaca cheese if you wanted to!
Garlic Powder, unsalted butter, dried oregano, and salt. Melt the butter with all these spices to make a tasty garlic butter to brush on the crust after the birria pizza comes out of the oven.
First preheat your oven to as hot as it can go, usually around 500 to 550 degrees F. Place a pizza stone at the bottom of it if you have one, it'll retain the heat in the oven and keep it even.
Don't forget to place the pizza pan in there to heat up, too. You'll shimmy your unbaked birria-topped pizza onto it while its really hot, so your pizza crust gets that professionally-cooked crispness.
Make your pizza crust. If you're making it from scratch, do it ahead of time since the dough will need to rise. But if you're using store bought just follow the directions to get it to room temperature and stretch out, making a rim around it so you'll get that classic puffy crust.
Do this on top of a scattered layer of corn meal (NOT cornstarch!) so your pizza crust doesn't stick to your pans.
Smooth on the consommé and top generously with shredded cheese and birria meat.
Shimmy the pizza onto the pan in your hot oven and bake for 7-10 minutes.
Carefully pull the pizza out of the oven and let it cool somewhere heat-safe, like the top of your stove, that pan is hot.
Brush on that melted garlic butter. All you needed to do is nuke the ingredients in the microwave until the butter is melted, simple!
Slice up that pizza and serve nice and hot for a great cheese pull.
If you want this deep-dish style, I have a deep-dish cast iron pan pizza recipe that would work perfectly here.
Want to make a quick and easy 'pizza'? Make an open-faced birria quesadilla with corn or flour tortillas on your stove top or in the oven!
No pizza pan? Use the BOTTOM of your large baking sheets as the pizza peel and pizza pan to prep and bake it!
Your birria consommé is too soupy? Reduce it in a saucepan over medium heat, simmering until it's a thicker, saucy consistency.
Here are my top tips for the best homemade pizza:
1. Make sure your oven is HOT. And I mean as hot as you can get it.
2. Don't use cold pizza dough. Warm dough is relaxed dough; it'll stretch easily into shape and cook more evenly. Cold = tense protein and gluten is a protein!
3. Have a hot pan waiting in the hot oven. This basically guarantees a crispy, fluffy, chewy crust!
More Easy Kid-Loved Dinner Recipes
- Birria Ramen
- Creamy Cherry Tomato Pasta alla Vodka
- Perfect Oven Braised Pot Roast
- French Dip Sandwiches
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Pizza Crust (makes 2)
- 2 ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast, 1 packet
- 1 ½ cups warm water, no more than 115 degrees F
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 ½ to 4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Birria de Res
- 2 tablespoon neutral, high smoke point oil (grapeseed, vegetable, canola, etc)
- 2 lbs boneless chuck roast, cut in half
- 1 lbs short ribs, English cut
- 6 cups beef broth or stock
- 1 large white onion, peeled and quartered
- 1 head garlic, peeled
- 4 dried guajillo peppers, deseeded and stems removed
- 4 dried ancho chile peppers, deseeded and stems removed
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo
- 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano, fresh or dried
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 1 (28 oz) can pureed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 cup shredded oaxaca cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Garlic Butter for Crust
- ½ stick (4 tbsp) unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
Make the Pizza Dough
- In a small bowl, mix together the yeast, warm water, and sugar. Let bloom for 10 minutes until foamy and smells very 'yeasty'. If this does not happen, get fresh yeast and try again.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment(or in a large bowl with a wooden spoon), add the cups of flour, the extra virgin olive oil, and salt to the bowl. Pour in the yeast mixture and mix on low until the dough just comes together.
- Remove the paddle attachment and attach the dough hook, then knead the dough for about 5-7 minutes, or until the dough is only slightly tacky and detaching from the sides of the bowl. At this point I like to hand knead it on a lightly floured work surface, kneading until the dough is barely tacky at all, springs up when touched, and is nice and smooth.
- Lightly coat a large mixing bowl with olive oil and shape dough into a ball. Place ball into the bowl and make sure to lightly cover all sides of the dough in oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm area.
- Let your dough rise until doubled in size, about 1 ½ to 2 hours.
- Punch the dough down, then divide the dough into two. Shape both halves into balls and let rest in separate bowls covered in plastic wrap for 25 minutes.
Make the Birria
- Bring the meat to room temperature for about 30 minutes and then sprinkle liberally on all sides with kosher salt.
- In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the high heat oil. When the oil is shimmering hot, add the chuck roast, making sure not to crowd the pan, and sear on all sides until browned. Repeat with all the pieces of chuck roast and the short ribs until every piece of meat is well browned. Set meat aside on a plate or in a large bowl for later.
- In a clean, medium sized pot, add the dried guajillo and ancho chiles, chipotle peppers and the adobo they come in, the large white onion quarters, garlic cloves, pureed tomatoes, all the spices, bay leaves and pour enough cold water in to cover everything.
- Place it over medium-high heat; once it comes to a simmer bring it to medium heat and simmer gently for about 15 minutes. Pour through a mesh strainer and discard the liquid, cinnamon stick, and bay leaves (they don't puree!), then transfer all the solids to a high powered blender. Blend until nice and smooth.
- Add the seared meat, the blended sauce, and cups of beef broth to the dutch oven and stir well. Let simmer over medium heat, covered, for about 3 to 3.5 hours, or until the meat is fork-tender, stirring to ensure the bottom doesn't burn every half an hour.
Make the Birria Pizza.
- Preheat oven to as hot as it goes with a rack on the lowest rung in the oven and a pizza pan or baking sheet on the rack.
- Turn out pizza dough onto a clean, lightly floured counter space or work surface or a sheet of parchment paper. Sprinkle with more flour if needed so you can stretch and flatten the dough into your desired size, making sure the dough is thin everywhere except on the edges. Patch up any holes by pressing dough back together.
- Place pizza on a pizza peel or the back of a baking sheet sprinkled with corn meal (to be easily transferred into the oven) and top with the birria consommé, smoothing desired amount evenly over the dough, leaving the edges plain. Top the sauced areas with cheese and shredded birria meat, generously.
- Once the oven is to temperature, carefully transfer the pizza to the hot pan. Bake for 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese is completely melted and bubbly and crust is golden and crisp. Remove from the oven.
- Mix together melted butter, garlic powder, oregano, and salt, then use a pastry brush to brush the garlic butter onto the crust.
- Slice the pizza and serve hot.
This recipe was originally created for using up leftover birria de res, but I have included instructions on how to make both the pizza crusts and the birria for those who want to make everything fresh.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 18 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 612Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 135mgSodium: 546mgCarbohydrates: 82gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 50g
All nutrition facts are estimations. Please see a physician for any health-related inquiries.
Eden Westbrook is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Sweet Tea and Thyme. A classically trained chef, Eden has inspired home cooks into the kitchen with cultural comfort foods, easy family-friendly eats and sweets, and glorious spreads for date night and entertaining since 2015.