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Best Chicken Birria Grilled Cheese Sandwich

June 25, 2024
Shanika | Orchids + Sweet Tea

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This Chicken Birria Grilled Cheese combines tender birria chicken, melty cheese, and crispy garlic herb-buttered bread. Perfect for any meal, it's a deliciously messy treat you won't resist.

Best Chicken Birria Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Get ready for the ultimate comfort food fusion! The Best Chicken Birria Grilled Cheese Sandwich combines the rich, flavorful goodness of shredded birria chicken with the melty, crispy perfection of grilled cheese. Made with buttery, herby toasted bread, this sandwich is perfect for a hearty lunch or a satisfying dinner. It’s guaranteed to hit the spot every time! Gluten-free + Dairy-free Option.

Up close shot of stacked grilled cheese on a wooden tray with cheese, a drink, and sauce.

I've been obsessed with birria lately, especially after trying my fave birria tacos and meatless jackfruit birria taco recipes. Now, I've found a way to combine two of my current obsessions: Grilled cheese sandwich + birria tacos. Move over grilled cheese + tomato Soup—there's a new competitor in town ---- Birria Grilled Cheese!

Y'all ---- Let me tell you, this sandwich is OUT OF THIS WORLD! The shredded chicken is incredible (Plus it makes for great leftovers), and I opted for enchilada sauce for the 'birria consommé' because it's quick. Because let's be honest, one of the best parts of grilled cheese is that they're simple + easy to make. It’s a messy sandwich, but that's part of what makes it so delicious.

Imagine juicy chicken nestled between layers of gooey melted cheese, hugged by garlic herb buttery, toasted bread with a perfectly crispy exterior. If you love grilled cheese (who doesn't?), you've got to try my Oxtail Grilled Cheese, Hot Honey Apple Cheddar Bacon Grilled Cheese, and Everything Chicken Tomato Grilled Cheese!

Jump to:

What Is Birria?

Birria is a traditional Mexican dish known for its savory stew made from marinated meat, typically beef or goat (And in this case, I've used chicken), slow-cooked until tender + bursting with flavor. It’s commonly enjoyed in tacos, served with a flavorful broth/consume.

Ingredients on a yellow table.

Why You Will LOVE This Chicken Birria Grilled Cheese Sandwich

  • Textural bliss--- Ultra crispy garlic butter outer with shredded tender chicken layered with a gooey cheesy inner.
  • Versatile snack, appetizer, or main option!
  • A messy yet delicious sandwich that’s comforting + satisfying.
  • Enchilada sauce adds a burst of flavor with minimal effort.
  • crowd-pleasing combination that will have everyone coming back for seconds.
Pack of sourdough bread being held with hands.

How To Make The Best Chicken Birria Grilled Cheese Sandwich

There are THREE main parts to these birria grilled cheese sandwiches: shredded chicken mixed with enchilada sauce, herb butter, and, of course, cheese!

Begin by prepping your ingredients: shred your cooked chicken breasts and mix them with enchilada sauce. Next, prepare the softened herb butter in a bowl using a fork or spoon. Then, assemble and cook each sandwich to perfection! Voila!

Ingredients

SHREDDED CHICKEN:

  • Shredded chicken. See my easy shredded chicken recipe HERE!
  • Extra virgin olive oil. Feel free to use your favorite high-quality EVOO. My fave tried and trusted brand is California Olive Ranch.
  • Enchilada sauce. I recommend using organic for the best flavor + quality!
  • White onion. Diced.
  • Organic chicken stock. Adds moisture and helps create the base for the sauce.
  • Bay leaves. Adds a subtle, herbal flavor.
Chopped herbs on a cutting board with a knife.

GRILLED CHEESE:

  • Bread. I love using brioche bread or other rustic bread like sourdough, etc.
  • Garlic herb butter. Make sure it's softened. See below on how to make!
  • Oaxaca cheese. You can substitute with your fave meltable cheese like Quesadilla, Mozzarella, etc.
  • Fresh cilantro. Chopped.
Shredded chicken in birria sauce in a skillet over the stovetop.

HOW TO MAKE HERB BUTTER

It's as easy as mixing all the ingredients together until you achieve a smooth and soft consistency. This is truly my secret weapon when it comes to being a self-proclaimed grilled cheese queen Haha!

  • Butter. Unsalted + softened. I use Organic Valley. 
  • Seasonings. Sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, dried parsley, dried oregano, dried basil + dried thyme.
Grilled cheese in a skillet over the stovetop.

SHOP MY FAVORITE TOOLS FOR BAKING, ESPECIALLY FOR THIS GRILLED CHEESE!

Here, I’ve curated a list of baking + cooking essentials that I use to achieve my favorite dishes, especially with The Best Chicken Birria Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Everything from my fave loaf pan, wooden spoons, parchment paper, and more. SEE THEM HERE!

Sliced grilled cheese on a baking sheet.

What Is The Best Cheese for Grilled Cheese?

Even though this Chicken Birria Grilled Cheese is based on using Mozzarella + Oaxaca cheese, you can also switch things up and add a new flare to its flavor profile by adding any of the following cheeses:

  • Havarti
  • Mild Cheddar Cheese
  • Gouda
  • American cheese
  • Goat cheese
  • Swiss
  • Provolone
  • Pepper Jack
  • Muenster

Should I Cook Grilled Cheese Fast or Slow?

So, when it comes to cooking grilled cheese much like things like pancakes, it's super important to cook things slowly. The main reason: it helps the cheese and other ingredients to warm through evenly without the outside of the bread getting burned because it's on high heat. Therefore, try keeping things on low or medium-low and allowing everything to cook slowly. Patience will be your best friend!

Stack of grilled cheese on a wooden platter with sauce.

How To Shred Chicken?

Shredding chicken is a breeze! After you've cooked the chicken to tender perfection, you can use one of the methods below to shred it!

FORKS:

  • For this method, you would need two forks. If using this method, place your cooked chicken breast onto a plate or cutting board and use both forks to separate the chicken meat and 'shred' as you separate. Continue doing this until all of your chicken is shredded.

STAND MIXER:

  • If you're looking to avoid using arm strength, then the method of a stand mixer might be just for you. This is by far the fastest and easiest way to shred chicken, and you simply place all of your cooked chicken breasts in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the paddle attachment and mix on low. In just 15-20 seconds, you’ll have shredded chicken. That easy!
Stack of Birria grilled cheese with a drink and sauce in the background.

Other Birria Grilled-Cheese Ingredient Ideas

If you’re looking for more grilled cheese ingredient inspiration or want to just make this Oxtail Grilled Cheese recipe even more delicious, here are some more ideas of what ingredients to add:

What Goes Well with This Chicken Birria Grilled Cheese

I like to enjoy my Birria Grilled Cheese on its own most days or at least with a very simple side, however, sometimes you can always spruce things up for a more hearty meal. Other food option ideas to enjoy this grilled cheese with----include:

Stack of grilled cheese with a yellow background.

Best Chicken Birria Grilled Cheese Sandwich Q + A's

How to store + reheat leftovers?

Leftovers can be tightly wrapped in foil paper or an air-tight container and refrigerated for 1-2 days. To reheat, add leftovers to a baking sheet with parchment paper and warm in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit until heated through.

Can I make this birria grilled cheese gluten-free?

Absolutely! To make these grilled cheese sandwiches entirely GF, simply ensure that the bread is GF-friendly.

Can I make this dairy-free?

To make these grilled cheese sandwiches entirely dairy-free, simply sub the butter with vegan butter as well as ensure that the bread is vegan and sub the cheese with high-quality dairy-free cheese shreds. 

Should you butter both sides of the bread for grilled cheese?

Yes! The general method for grilled cheese is to butter the outsides of the bread before placing it in the pan which creates more flavor and ensures that they are perfectly golden brown.

When should you flip a grilled cheese?

General rule of thumb: cook each grilled cheese butter-side-down letting it brown for 3 to 4 minutes before flipping to the other side. Then cook the other side for 3 to 4 minutes more, or until golden brown.

Why won't my cheese melt in my grilled cheese?

It's so important to use shredded or freshly grated cheeses for the "gooey" results in your grilled cheese. For even better results, I always recommend having your cheese at room temperature for an easier melt.

More Delicious Handheld Recipes to Try Next!

If you are a fan of the Best Chicken Birria Grilled Cheese Sandwich, you will also love these other delicious options!

MADE OUR RECIPE(S)?

If you tried the Best Chicken Birria Grilled Cheese Sandwich recipe or any other recipe on my website, please please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you go in the 📝 comments below. And don't forget to tag @orchidsnsweettea_ on Instagram  and hashtag it #orchidsandsweettea! I love hearing from you!

Stack of grilled cheese with a yellow background.

Best Chicken Birria Grilled Cheese Sandwich

June 25, 2024
No ratings yet
Get ready for the ultimate comfort food fusion! The Best Chicken Birria Grilled Cheese Sandwich combines the rich, flavorful goodness of shredded birria chicken with the melty, crispy perfection of grilled cheese. Made with buttery, herby toasted bread, this sandwich is perfect for a hearty lunch or a satisfying dinner. It’s guaranteed to hit the spot every time! Gluten-free + Dairy-free Option.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Serves: 4 sandwiches

Ingredients

SHREDDED CHICKEN:

  • 3 cups Easy Shredded Chicken
  • 1 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 (28 oz) jar organic enchilada sauce
  • ½ onion, diced (You can use red, yellow, or white if desired)
  • ½ cup organic chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves

GRILLED CHEESE:

  • 8 slices bread (I love using brioche bread or other rustic bread like sourdough, etc. )
  • 6 Tbsps garlic herb butter, softened
  • 3 cups grated Oaxaca (You can substitute with your fave meltable cheese like Quesadilla, Mozzarella, etc.)
  • 2 tsps chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

TO MAKE THE SHREDDED CHICKEN:

TO MAKE THE BIRRIA SHREDDED CHICKEN:

  • In a medium deep skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Once heated, add the chopped onions and let sauté until fragrant and translucent, about 1-2 minutes. Add the shredded chicken, enchilada sauce, chicken stock, and bay leaves, mixing everything together until combined and the chicken is fully submerged in sauce. Let everything simmer for 10-15 minutes or until chicken becomes tender and sauce thickens a bit. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat. NOTE: You want enough gravy to be present so that you can use it for the outsides of sandwiches during frying + as a dip, if desired.

ASSEMBLE + COOK:

  • On the outsides of each bread slice, spread a bit of the garlic herb butter so that they become nicely crisp and golden.
  • On one side of 2 slices of bread, add a spoonful or two of the shredded birria chicken filling and then top with shredded cheese followed by a bit of chopped cilantro. Place together the other slice of bread with the other slice that has the meat filling, pressing them gently together to make a sandwich. Repeat until all sandwiches are made.
  • In a large skillet (12-inch) over medium-low heat, add two sandwiches (one side down), spooning 1-2 Tbsps of birria sauce from the chicken mixture leftover, cooking until golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 4-5 minutes. Flip sandwich unto opposite side, spoon another 1-2 Tbsps of birria sauce, and cook for another 4-5 minutes. NOTE: I love using a burger or grill press tool to help flatten my grilled cheeses a bit, which also helps the cheese to melt.

BAKE IN THE OVEN [FOR EXTRA CRISP]:

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Add the grilled cheeses atop baking sheet and bake for 5-6 minutes or until the edges and tops are crispy. Remove from oven and let cool slightly until safe enough to handle.
  • Once done, cut in halves (if desired), plate the sandwiches with your favorite side or chips, and side of birria sauce as a dip and enjoy.
  • Bon Appetit!

Tips & Tricks

  • GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: To make these grilled cheese sandwiches entirely GF, simply ensure that the bread is GF-Friendly.
  • DAIRY-FREE OPTION: To make these grilled cheese sandwiches entirely dairy-free, simply sub the butter with vegan butter as well as ensure that the bread is vegan and sub the cheese with high-quality dairy-free cheese shreds. 
  • HOMEMADE BIRRIA SAUCE: You can make your own homemade version of the chili paste + consomme sauce by following steps in my Birria Taco recipe!

Nutrition

Calories: 195kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 308mg | Potassium: 111mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 5IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 2mg

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Xx, Shanika in script writing

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