Quesadilla Fritas (Fried Quesadillas) With Pickled Jalapeños, Cilantro, and Chipotle Crema Recipe


Rather than griddling or frying in a small amount of oil, these flour-tortilla quesadillas get shallow-fried in enough hot oil that their surfaces blister and bubble into a crisp, crackly, and altogether more flavorful golden-brown crunch. The filling can be as simple or as radical as you'd like, but at the very least, I like to add a couple of chopped up pickled jalapeños and some fresh cilantro to balance out the richness of the cheese.

Note: for a heartier quesadilla, add 1 to 2 ounces of shredded chicken, cooked mushrooms, cooked beans, or any other desired filling to the cheese mixture before stuffing them.

Recipe Facts

Active: 15 mins
Total: 15 mins
Serves: 2 to 4 servings

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  • 1 chipotle pepper canned in adobo, plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
  • 1/2 cup Mexican Crema, or 3 tablespoons sour cream mixed with 1 tablespoon milk
  • Two 8-inch flour tortillas
  • 4 ounces (1/4 pound) grated Jack, Cheddar, or Oaxacan string cheese
  • 2 to 3 ickled Jalapeños, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt


  1. Spread half of cheese over one half of one tortilla, leaving a small border around the edge. Fold tortilla firmly in half to enclose the cheese. Repeat with remaining tortilla.

  2. Heat oil in a 10-inch nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Carefully add both folded tortillas to skillet and cook, shaking pan gently until first side is golden brown and puffed, 1 to 2 minutes. Carefully fip tortillas with a flexible slotted spatula, sprinkle with salt, and cook on second side until golden brown and puffed, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and allow to rest 1 minutes. Cut each into four pieces, drizzle with chipotle crema, garnish with cilantro, and serve, passing extra crema tableside.