The Secret Ingredient (Chorizo): Two-Cheese Chorizo Quesadillas with Watercress

Quesadillas may be the perfect food. I live for them. I usually make mine with cheddar cheese, black beans, and whole-leaf cilantro. For this version, I've decided to do a spicy update. I start with fresh, Mexican chorizo rendered until crisp; stack it with bitter-sharp watercress leaves; and finish it with salty queso cotija and cheddar cheeses. I crisp the quesadilla until the shell is hard and the cheese inside is soft and runny. It's a great take on an everyday staple. Pico de gallo is a fine simple accompaniment, but when I'm feeling more ambitious guacamole's even better.

You could do worse than to drink a cold beer with this.

The Secret Ingredient (Chorizo): Two-Cheese Chorizo Quesadillas with Watercress

About This Recipe



  • 1/4 pound fresh Mexican chorizo, casing removed
  • 1/2 cup packed watercress leaves
  • 3 ounces crumbled cotija or feta cheese (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3 ounces shredded sharp white cheddar cheese (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Two 8-1/2-inch flour tortillas
  • Kosher salt


  1. 1

    Add chorizo to heavy-bottomed 10-inch non-stick skillet and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until chorizo is crumbled and cooked through. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate to drain and reserve. Wipe out skillet with paper towel.

  2. 2

    Add chorizo, watercress, cotija, and cheddar cheese to medium bowl and toss to combine. Spread half of mixture over half of one tortilla, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge. Fold tortilla in half and press down firmly. Repeat with remaining tortilla.

  3. 3

    Add 1 tablespoon oil to now-empty skillet and return to medium-high heat and heat until shimmering, about 1 minute. Add both tortillas to skillet. Brush top of tortillas with remaining tablespoon oil and season with salt. Cook until first side is crisp and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using spatula, carefully flip tortillas. Season top side with salt. Cook until second side is crisp, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer to cutting board and allow to rest 1 minute. Cut into wedges and serve immediately with pico de gallo or guacamole.


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