Chorizo Quesadillas With Radish and Fennel Salsa Recipe

Matthew and Emily Clifton

Why It Works

  • Cured chorizo is fully cooked, so all it needs is a quick sear in a hot pan.
  • The cool, crisp salsa balances the spicy sausage and gooey cheese.
  • Radishes and fennel make an unusual but sophisticated salsa.

Crispy tortillas filled with spicy chorizo and gooey cheese, these quesadillas are balanced by the fresh, unusual flavor of a radish and fennel salsa. It's a sophisticated pairing that elevates a familiar comfort food.

Recipe Facts

Active: 20 mins
Total: 20 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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  • For the Salsa:
  • 5 radishes, diced
  • 1/2 fennel bulb, diced (plus some fronds, if you have them)
  • 2 scallions, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup (20g) cilantro leaves and tender stems, chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed if desired, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) fresh juice from 1 lime
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the Quesadillas:
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more as needed
  • 8 ounces (225g) Spanish-style chorizo sausage (cured, not fresh), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
  • 2 cups mixed grated cheddar and pepper Jack cheeses (8 ounces; 225g), divided (see note)
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced


  1. For the Salsa: In a medium bowl, toss together radishes, fennel (plus fronds, if using), scallions, cilantro, jalapeño, and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  2. For the Quesadillas: In a large cast iron skillet or on the flat side of a cast iron griddle, heat 1/2 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat until lightly smoking. Add chorizo and cook until browned, turning once, about 3 minutes. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel–lined plate.

  3. Set out 4 tortillas on a work surface and sprinkle approximately 1 ounce (28g) cheese over half of each tortilla. Scatter chorizo and scallions on top of cheese, then top with remaining cheese. Fold tortillas in half over filling to form a half-moon shape.

  4. Add remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil to skillet or griddle and heat over medium-high heat until lightly smoking.

  5. Add quesadillas to skillet or griddle in a single layer, working in batches if necessary. Cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Flip quesadillas and cook until second side is crisp and cheese is fully melted, about 3 minutes. Add more oil as needed if working in batches. While cooking any remaining batches, keep finished quesadillas warm by arranging them on a baking sheet in a single layer and holding them in a 250°F oven.

  6. Cut quesadillas into wedges and serve with radish and fennel salsa.


To save time, you can use pre-shredded cheese.

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