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How to Make Volcanes

Volcanes are a flavorful and visually appealing dish in Mexican cuisine, often found in taquerias and restaurants. They are named “volcanoes” due to their shape resembling a volcano.

Texture-wise, Volcanes typically consist of a base of a crispy corn tortilla topped with a layer of melted cheese and another tortilla on top. The cheese acts as the “glue” that holds the two tortillas together, creating a sort of “sandwich.”

The filling for Volcanes varies but commonly includes grilled meats such as carne asada (grilled beef), al pastor (marinated pork), or chorizo (spiced sausage). The meat is cooked and placed on top of the upper tortilla layer.

Additionally, Volcanes may include garnishes such as guacamole, diced onions, cilantro, salsa, or slices of jalapeños. These toppings contribute to the dish’s overall texture by adding freshness, crunch, and a variety of flavors.

When served, Volcanes often resemble an open-faced sandwich or a layered tortilla dish. The contrast in textures between the crispy tortillas, the melted cheese that binds them together, and the flavorful grilled meat creates a satisfying eating experience.

Volcanes are commonly enjoyed as a flavorful and hearty appetizer or main course, offering a combination of savory, cheesy, and meaty flavors complemented by a variety of toppings, making them a popular and indulgent choice in Mexican cuisine.

Key Takeaways

  • Who this dish appeals to: Street food enthusiasts, those seeking a savory and satisfying meal, anyone craving a taste of the vibrant Mexican flavors.
  • Estimated duration: A quick and flavorful creation ready in approximately 30 minutes, perfect for a hearty and indulgent meal.
  • Nutrition facts: A protein-packed dish with a volcanic burst of flavors.

About this Recipe

Volcanes, meaning volcanoes, are a popular Mexican street food item known for their explosive taste. This recipe guides you through the process of creating these flavor-packed delights, featuring grilled meats, melted cheese, and vibrant salsas.

Equipment Required

  • Grill or stovetop grill pan
  • Mixing bowls
  • Tongs or spatula


Grilled Meats:

  • 1 pound beef sirloin, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound chorizo, casing removed
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Volcanes Assembly:

  • 6 small corn tortillas
  • 1 cup Oaxacan or melting cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup guacamole
  • 1/2 cup pico de gallo
  • 1/4 cup pickled jalapeños


  • Salsa verde
  • Salsa roja


Grilled Meats:

  1. Season and grill beef: Season thinly sliced beef sirloin with salt and pepper. Grill on high heat for 2-3 minutes per side or until cooked to your liking.
  2. Cook chorizo: In a separate pan, cook chorizo over medium heat, breaking it apart with a spatula. Cook until browned and cooked through.

Volcanes Assembly:

  1. Warm tortillas: Heat the corn tortillas on the grill or in a pan until they are pliable.
  2. Create volcano base: On each tortilla, place a portion of the cooked chorizo as the base.
  3. Add beef layer: Top the chorizo with slices of grilled beef.
  4. Melt cheese: Sprinkle shredded Oaxacan or melting cheese over the beef. Allow it to melt slightly on the warm ingredients.


  1. Prepare salsa verde: Blend tomatillos, green chilies, garlic, cilantro, and salt until smooth.
  2. Prepare salsa roja: Blend tomatoes, red chilies, onion, garlic, and salt until smooth.

Volcanes Toppings:

  1. Layer with guacamole: Add a generous dollop of guacamole on top of the melted cheese.
  2. Garnish with pico de gallo: Spoon pico de gallo over the guacamole layer.
  3. Top with pickled jalapeños: Finish by adding a few pickled jalapeños for an extra kick.

Serve and Enjoy:

  1. Fold and secure: Fold the tortillas around the fillings to create a volcano shape and secure with toothpicks.
  2. Drizzle with salsas: Drizzle salsa verde over one half of the volcano and salsa roja over the other half.
  3. Serve immediately: Present the Volcanes on a platter and serve immediately, allowing everyone to enjoy the eruption of flavors.

Side Suggestions

  • Mexican street corn (elote)
  • Sliced radishes with lime and salt
  • Fruit agua fresca for a refreshing beverage

Storage Options

Volcanes are best enjoyed fresh. If you have leftover grilled meats, store them separately in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat gently to retain their juiciness.

Ingredient Substitutes

  • Beef sirloin: Substitute with chicken or pork for variety.
  • Oaxacan cheese: Use any melting cheese like Monterey Jack or mozzarella.

Alternatives to this Dish

Transform your Volcanes into tacos by using small tortillas, allowing for a more handheld and portable experience with the same explosive flavors.


Volcanes bring the explosive flavors of Mexican street food to your table, offering a savory eruption in every bite. Whether shared with friends or enjoyed as a solo treat, this recipe promises a taste of bold and vibrant Mexican cuisine. ¡Buen provecho!