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

The Secret Ingredient

Every month we highlight a different ingredient and share weekly recipes that showcase its uses.

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

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.

  • Yield:2


  • 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.