The Pizzadilla: This is What Happens When a Quesadilla and a Pizza Make Sweet Love

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A crispy cheese-stuffed quesadilla forms the base for a quick cast iron-baked pizza. [Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Last week I posted a quick and dirty recipe for making world-class bar-style pizza out of a flour tortilla and a cast iron skillet. And while I may have been a little hyperbolic about it, it's still a fan-freaking-tastic snack that is definitely gonna get a bit more late night circulation at my place.

But it wasn't until user rickjamison posted it over on Reddit that the following suggestion was made by user StrungoutScott:

My god, this looks incredible. For the extra lazy, couldn't i just fold this mother f*&ker in half, and have a crispy, pizza, mother-f*&king quesadilla??

Now that's a good idea if I ever saw one, and I figured it'd be even better if we took that idea and tweaked it just a bit to give birth to the pizzadilla (or is it a quesadizza?). This is what happens when a pizza and a quesadilla make sweet, sweet love: Cheesy, greasy, crisp-edged glory.

Ok, so maybe not quite sweet, sweet love. This is more like down and dirty, one-night-only, in-a-van-by-the-river, bashwing!*-style, take-no-prisoners getting it on.

*That's Daniel's patented randy love-making noise.

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Of course I quickly found out that this idea is far from new. There are literally hundreds of thousands of similar recipes out there on the web. That said, it's the cast iron skillet, the crisp-cheese edges, and the broiled top that separate this one from the pack.

It starts just like the tortilla pizza recipe, with a tortilla in the bottom of a hot, oiled cast iron skillet that barely fits it, topped with a thin layer of sauce (I used my New York-Style Pizza Sauce, but you can use any sauce you'd like), and a sprinkling of shredded mozzarella cheese. Instead of broiling it, we add a second tortilla to the top.

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I cook the tortilla in the skillet over low heat, swirling it occasionally until the bottom side is completely crisped up. Then I very carefully flip it over.

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This is the trickiest part of a really really easy recipe. Just do it fast and try not to let too much cheese drip out as you go.

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Next we top it. I used more sauce, more shredded low moisture mozzarella, a few little chunks of torn fresh mozzarella, some shredded Parmesan, some slices of a fancy-pants pepperoni that I found at Whole Foods, some torn up chunks of raw Italian sausage, and some torn basil leaves.

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Under the broiler it goes. You want to blast it with heat so that it browns quickly. As the cheese melts, it should collect around the edges of the quesadilla and crisp up into a substantial brown crust.

Once out of the oven, I use a little offset spatula to gently release the crisp cheese edges from the skillet until the pizzadilla can slide around freely. If you lift it with a spatula to peek underneath and find that it's still a little soft on the bottom, just throw it on top of a burner over medium heat until it crisps up to your liking.

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What slides out of the pan is the very opposite of an exercise in restraint. The bottom tortilla is crisp enough that you can pick up a slice and hold it out horizontally, but the upper tortilla softens up to the point where it's almost indistinguishable from the cheese, much like the upper crust in a stuffed crust Chicago-style pizza. It's really just there to allow you to fit more cheese on top without losing all structural integrity.

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While you're eating it, you should definitely have this song playing at maximum volume.

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I felt dirty while making it and when all was said and done, it was both gross and awesome at the same time, like all of the best flings.