The Step Rachael Ray Never Skips When Making Quesadillas

Sometimes, the simplest recipes can be taken for granted. Understandably, we often rush through the dishes, not giving them enough time to develop their full flavor and texture. This can result in subpar meals that don't quite hit the spot. If you've ever had a grilled cheese sandwich where the cheese didn't entirely melt, or the bread wasn't crispy enough, you know what we are talking about. Similarly, the humble quesadilla deserves some attention in this regard.

Delicious quesadillas begin with only two ingredients: flour tortillas and cheese. However, their simplicity shouldn't be an excuse to overlook using quality ingredients and the proper technique. If you aren't lucky enough to live near a tortilleria or have the means to make tortillas from scratch, store-bought options don't always quite match the real thing. One major complaint with store-bought brands is that they taste like raw flour straight out of the package, but Rachael Ray has a brilliant tip that solves this problem.


Pro tip- Blister + flip your flour tortillas FULL RECIPE link in bio! RRatHOME fyp cookingtips cooking TikTokRecipetiptok

♬ original sound – Rachael Ray

When Ray makes quesadillas, she chars one side of the tortilla before adding any toppings. That blistered side becomes the building block for shredded cheese and other goodies, ensuring that no part of the quesadilla is left with a raw flour taste. This additional step adds more flavor to the dish by developing the Maillard reaction on all surfaces and helps the cheese melt better since the inside of the quesadilla is already hot.

Tips for preparing the perfect quesadillas

Whether you're building a classic quesadilla with a Mexican cheese like queso fresco, Oaxaca, or Chihuahua cheese, or experimenting with different flavors, the technique is always the same. Use a skillet large enough that everything can lay flat. Instead of using two tortillas to make one quesadilla, fold one tortilla in half to create a pocket to hold the fillings. This makes it easier to flip without losing the filling and enables you to prepare a couple of them simultaneously.

Assemble the cheese on one half of the blistered tortilla (following Rachael Ray's lead), leaving a small border along the perimeter. If you take it to the edge, the melted cheese will ooze into the pan (which is delicious but messy). While store-bought pre-shredded cheese is faster, it's actually less expensive and offers better quality if you spend the time shredding a block of cheese instead.

Cook the quesadilla over medium heat using a few tablespoons of neutral-tasting oil, such as vegetable, to help the dish brown and become crispy. Similar to making a good grilled cheese, press down lightly with a spatula and move the quesadilla around as it cooks to ensure all surfaces are in contact with the oil and hot pan. When it's all done, don't be afraid to season the outside with salt or a spice blend like Tajín for even more flavor. 

Beyond cheese, there are ways to get creative with quesadillas

Quesadillas are a versatile meal choice and a great way to use up small portions of leftovers, too. Just a few slices of steak or a 1/4-cup of roasted corn will add sweetness and a delightful texture to the recipe. When including veggies or protein, ensure they are pre-cooked and chopped into small pieces. Then, bring them to room temperature since the process is quick, and you don't want to bite into cold fillings. It's a good idea to combine the add-ins with the shredded cheese before you start cooking as well, rather than layering it on the tortilla. This ensures everything is sealed inside by the melted cheese.

To start the day, try this breakfast quesadilla hack courtesy of TikTok. It's inspired by Indian street vendors and uses eggs and tortillas. It can be customized with breakfast meat, veggies, or jarred salsa. For lunch or a casual dinner, skip a regular sandwich and make it in quesadilla form instead (cheesy smash burgers are ideal). You could also try a muffuletta quesadilla by layering vinegary olive salad with mortadella, baked ham, Genoa salami, and provolone cheese.  

Other celeb chefs like Rachael Ray also have their takes. Naturally, when Giada De Laurentiis prepares a quesadilla, she adds an Italian twist using fontina and Parmesan cheese, thinly-sliced prosciutto, caramelized onions, and roasted red peppers (right from the jar). The possibilities are truly endless!