red tacos

queso frescomasatacos

Red Tacos with Queso Fresco and Piquín Salsa Verde

Red Tacos with Queso Fresco and Piquín Salsa Verde

Tacos Rojos de Queso Fresco con Salsa Verde con Piquín

Recipe Yield

16 tacos

Cooking time

1 hour 15 minutes

Rate this recipe

4.50 from 4 votes


For the filling:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ cup finely chopped white onion
  • 1 serrano chile stemmed and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove pressed or finely chopped
  • 2 ripe Roma tomatoes (½ pound) cored and finely chopped
  • 2 to 3 tomatillos (⅓ pound) cored and finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste
  • 2 cups crumbled queso fresco (8 ounces)

For assembling:

  • 1 batch Red Tortillas
  • Vegetable oil for greasing the comal
  • 1 batch Salsa Verde con Piquín to sauce the tacos
  • Mexican crema to drizzle over the tacos
  • Crushed dried chile piquín optional, garnish

To Prepare

To make the filling:

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the onion and serrano and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until wilted. Stir in the garlic, stir and cook for a minute, until fragrant but not burnt. Add the tomatoes, tomatillos, and salt and cook stirring often, until they have completely softened and released their juices and then begin to dry up turning into a moist but mushy paste, about 7 to 8 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add the queso fresco and combine well. Set aside.

To assemble and dress the tacos:

  • Set your comal, cast iron, or nonstick skillet over medium heat. If desired, add a tablespoon of oil and spread throughout (you can also make the tacos without oil). Place a couple tortillas and add a couple tablespoons of the queso filling in the center of each. Fold the tortillas to close, and let the tacos cook and begin to crisp for a couple minutes on each side. Repeat with all the tortillas.
  • Serve, completely sauced with the Salsa Verde con Piquín. You may drizzle on Mexican crema and sprinkle some crushed dried Piquín on top.

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22comments inRed Tacos with Queso Fresco and Piquín Salsa Verde

  1. Marie

    Jun 04

    Pati all your recipes are so so good love washing your show

    You are that BEST


    1. Pati Jinich

      Jun 05

      And you are very kind, thanks Marie!

  2. Amelia

    Jan 25

    How do you keep fried tacos crisp while you finish cooking them all

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 27

      I normally keep them on top of a paper towel wo it absorbs the excess oil and they do not become soggy; you can keep them in the oven in the lowest temperature possible as well Amelia 😉

  3. Rev. Roy G GOMEZ

    Sep 17

    Que rico

    Saludos des de Dallas Texas USA

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 20

      Saludos Roy!

  4. Karina Longoria

    Aug 01

    You should have n app full of your recipes.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 04

      I have them all here on the website Karina 😉

  5. Sylvia

    Jan 26

    Luv ur recipes!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 29

      Thank you!

  6. AnnMarie Goldberg

    Jan 26

    I had to comment my favorite birthday story. My husband decided to make me dinner for my 60th( he RARELY cooks) . He wasn’t sharing what he was making. I walked into the kitchen when he was making the filling, and I was definitely concerned. He said he was making tacos but not the tortillas since he didn’t think he had the skills or a tortilla press( which we do have) and “assured”me it was from a recipe. I am thinking to myself (worst birthday ever) when I ask “Is it Rick Bayless?” He responds, “No”.
    Feeling sorry for myself at this point, I say, “It better NOT be PATTI SMITH(made up name) and it better be PATI JINICH!!!”
    He never said a word until dinner when we had the delicious tacos—it was you recipe. One of my favorite food memories. The next week for his birthday, I gave him your cookbook. Thanks Pati—for knocking it outta the park with your delicious recipes

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 29

      Aw, this is such a cute story Annmarie, happy birthday to both of you! If you send me your mailing address and the name of your husband, I can send him a signed and dedicated bookplate for his gift 🙂 Send it to

  7. David

    Jan 26

    I love your channel and I love you! Thanks so much for sharing your love of cooking, your love of family and your recipes with us. Pleas keep posting! Your hard work is appreciated!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 29

      Thanks so much David!

  8. Melissa

    Jan 22

    Hi, Pati!

    My sister and I love watching your show! Based on your food exploration, you have revealed answers to so many questions about our family’s migration from Mexico to West Texas that we didn’t know we had!
    I saw this on PBS yesterday and quickly put together a shopping list. I confess I did not make the tortillas nor the salsa verde de pequin — no peppers left on my bush.
    I also used store bought red tortillas — I couldn’t locate my Mom’s press — dipped them in hot oil, stuffed them with this fantastic filling and toasted them on my grandma’s trusty comal. Even with the modification, these were fantastic and crave-worthy. The serrano (my favorite) added just the perfect amount of heat. I have enticed my sister to drive over and have dinner with me. Thank you, again! (I look forward to finding that press and making the tortillas!)

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 30

      Yay, thanks for sharing your recipe Melissa, yum!

  9. Barbara

    Nov 20

    I finally got around to making the entire recipe — the red tortillas are really tasty, and I think these are the best tortillas I’ve made. I appreciate the detailed instructions in the video and in writing, usually my tortillas are too thick but these were really good. Great tip about using the plastic produce bags from the grocery store. I didn’t get the tortillas to puff as much as Pati’s did on the show but they puffed a little.

    The tomatillo salsa is amazing — I’ll make this often to go with lots of things.

    The filling for the tacos was my least favorite part of the recipe. I’ve never used queso fresco before, and what I bought was very mild and didn’t have a lot of flavor. The filling was good, but the other components of the recipe were excellent.

    In case anyone is wondering, the salsa keeps really well but is best the day you make it. I made the “red” mixture for the tacos several days ahead and then just warmed it up the day I made the tortillas, that worked out really well.

    Thanks for this Pati, I wish I had time to make every one of your recipes! Your show is so interesting, I love learning about the different cuisines and cultures in different regions.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 01

      Barbara, thanks so much for sharing your experience, so glad your tortillas turn out well and you love the recipe over all. Un abrazo!

  10. RosaMaria from Washington State

    Oct 11

    Hola! That is the way my mother (born in Tamaulipas, Mexico) used to make enchiladas for us when we lived in southern Texas (she moved to Texas when she married my dad in the late 1940s). They were always fried crispy soft and filled with queso fresco. I don’t remember her using tomatillos. She would even make her own queso fresco. They were so good!! We also enjoyed frijoles (pinto) de la olla and arroz colorado (simmered in tomato sauce and chicken broth).

    I’m a big fan and have 2 of your cookbooks. I love watching your series; I learn so much about Mexico, it’s rich culture and the foods from its many regions. Thank you!!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 24

      Thanks for sharing your mama’s recipes Rosa Maria, un abrazo!

  11. Eugenia

    Sep 26

    Hola Pati, I love this recipe you posted here, because it is very similar to my favorite “Enchiladas Potosinas”, the main original dish that I tasted in the beautiful City of San Luis Potosí, in México….!!! So, thank you very much for placed it in here in your Website for me…

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 11

      You are right Eugenia, they are similar. And I also have a recipe for Enchiladas Mineras, very much like Potosinas, enjoy!

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