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This Quesadilla Has Cheese on the Inside—and Outside

Just when you thought quesadillas couldn’t get any cheesier.

Published Jan. 12, 2023.

To me, the best part of a grilled cheese sandwich or quesadilla . . . or savory crepe . . . is when some of the cheese oozes out during cooking and gets crispy on the surface of the pan.

Which gave me an idea: What if you could make a whole layer of crispy cheese that’s actually part of your quesadilla, instead of just a happy accident?

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Well, I did just that and put the recipe in Cooking with My Dad, the Chef—a brand-new gluten-free cookbook that I worked on with my daughter Verveine and America’s Test Kitchen Kids.

In the recipe, I sprinkle half the cheese right onto the hot skillet, where it can get nice and crispy—and it can stick to the tortilla. Then, I put the rest of the cheese inside the quesadilla, where it becomes melty and gooey.


Cooking with My Dad, the Chef

Get 70+ kid-tested, kid-approved (and gluten-free!) recipes for young chefs from James Beard Award–winning chef Ken Oringer and his daughter Verveine.

Tips for Making a Cheese-Crusted Quesadilla

  • Be sure to use a nonstick skillet for easy flipping.
  • Layer cheese (yes, sprinkle it right onto the skillet!), 1 warmed corn tortilla, more cheese, and finally, a second corn tortilla.
  • Cook until the cheese on the bottom is browned and crispy.
  • Flip and continue to cook until the cheese on the inside melts.
  • Serve your quesadillas with toppings such as salsa, guacamole, and/or sour cream—or enjoy all that cheesy goodness on its own.

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