Cheese Tacos

Simple and easy cheese tacos recipe, made with corn tortillas, fried in a little butter, folded over grated cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese. Also known as quesadillas.

This method makes delicious, buttery, cheesey tacos. If you are avoiding butter, or frying oil (which you could also use), you could make these in a microwave. Soften the tortillas first in the microwave. We use 20 seconds on high per tortilla, with the tortillas sitting on a paper towel in the microwave to absorb moisture. Once they've been softened this way you can add cheese and fold them over and heat them a few seconds more, just until the cheese melts.

Ingredients

Special equipment needed

  • A large cast iron frying pan
  • A metal spatula

Ingredients

  • Corn tortillas (as many as tacos you want to make, packaged or homemade)
  • Butter
  • Cheddar or jack cheese
  • Salsa (homemade or prepared)

Optional ingredients

  • Avocado
  • Apple
  • Lettuce
  • Strips of cooked chicken, beef, or pork (a great use of leftovers)

Method

1 Heat up the cast iron frying pan on medium high heat. While the pan is heating, prepare your ingredients. Cut some slices of cheese. Get the salsa out of the fridge. Thinly slice as many slices of apple as you want tacos. (3 tacos, 3 apple slices). Cut, remove seed, slice, and remove from skin the avocado slices you want. Slice some lettuce and any leftover meat you want to add in.

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2 When the pan is hot (sprinkle a few drops of water on it, they should sizzle) lightly butter one side of one tortilla and place it in the pan, butter side down. Using a spatula, quickly flip the tortilla over to the other side, and back again, repeating until there is melted butter on both sides of the tortilla. Let the tortilla sit in hot pan until pockets of air start to form bubbles in the tortilla.

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3 Add slices of cheese to one side of the tortilla. Make sure to allow room for the cheese to melt and not spread all over the pan.

 

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4 Flip the side of tortilla without the cheese over the side with the cheese, as if you were making an omelette. Move the folded cheese taco to one side of the pan. Add a second tortilla, lightly buttered on one side, and repeat the process. You can tell when the taco is done by pressing down on it with a spoon or fork or edge of the spatula. If it gives easily, the cheese is melted and you can remove the taco from the pan.

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5 You are basically done with the cheese tacos. Now all you have left to do is assembly. Open up each taco and add the ingredients you want. A slice of avocado, a slice of apple, a piece of chicken, a little bit of lettuce. Don't over do it or you won't be able to hold the taco and get it in your mouth. :-)

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Comments

  1. MsOktober

    I agree, these look *very* yummy. It reminds me of when I lived at home with all my sisters. We buttered flour tortillas, sprinkled them with cheese, rolled them up, and baked them in the oven for about 10 minutes. Our version of a quesadilla! :)

  2. arti

    The cheese tacos were amazing! they will be a favorite at our house for sure. I love how the flavor of the corn tortillas is amplified by being toasted with the butter. We had some left over fish sticks that we put in the tacos along with shredded cabbage and salsa. Yum. I’m getting avocados at the store tonight and am making them again next week. LOL. I’m hooked.

  3. Elise

    Hi MsOktober – that’s one way to do it! It’s hard to go wrong with tortillas, butter, and cheese.

    Hi Arti – Excellent. I’m so glad you and your family liked them. It used to be that you could only get good tortillas, salsa, and avocados in the Southwest. Now that Mexican food has become more popular around the country you can usually find good ingredients everywhere. This is good news. Enjoy!

  4. Elise

    Hola sosa. I guess the idea here was just the cheese tacos and the idea that you could put anything in them, or with them. I LOVE chorizo. I eat it in scrambled eggs. And my mother and I have been arguing for months over the bean recipe. She uses a pressure cooker and doesn’t soak the beans. But when we grew up, she always soaked the beans. Diana Kennedy doesn’t soak her beans. So the bean recipe has been problematic as there are several different opinions. What is your opinion about the best way to cook beans? And how do you like to serve chorizo?

  5. liz

    We eat these almost everyday in our house! I prefer whole wheat tortillas, so they’re really more like quesadillas. I make them on my George Foreman grill (don’t laugh- it works really well and I only use it for quesadillas or grilled cheese sandwiches).

    Just today, I made cheddar and apple for my kids. I had mine with black bean dip from Trader Joes and cheddar. Yum! I cook all the ingredients (load up the tortilla, fold them in half). The kids love them and also a great way to sneak in some veggies, such as spinach.

  6. Anonymous

    These are great!! just downed 3!! They remeind me of this mexican restaurant I used to go to wtih my mom when I was a child… haven’t had any as tastey till now… Thank you!

  7. Connie

    My pre-schoolers won’t eat hot dogs, and they won’t eat cheeseburgers – ask them what they want for dinner, and it is either ‘chickenriceandgreenbeans!’ or ‘TACOS!’. I’ll either go all out with spiced meat and beans, or just throw in some cheese and call it done. As you say, it’s hard to go wrong. (Leftover) rice, black beans, and cheese also make good taco filling. I don’t have a stack of corn tortillas in my fridge – but there are always flour tortillas, and I buy rice in HUGE bags.

  8. Court

    I love that, “(What? You don’t have a stack of tortillas in your fridge?)” and anything in a tortilla can be a taco, yep! I live in New Mexico, I’ve grown up in this state and tortillas are a major food staple in my home and growing up they were too!

    Awesome recipe!

  9. gwendomama

    Awesome – I remember seeing this recipe a while back and making it. The kids are hooked.

    And now, stumbling upon it again? I’m hungry.
    I have a ripe avocado screaming -begging- to be eaten.

  10. Joe Horn

    Hey Elise, These look really great. I wish I didn’t love eating so much, I wouldn’t have to work out as much. I made a version recently without frying the tacos and I used salsa and chicken along with bell peppers and onions.

    Joe

  11. Kyle Hyde

    Using fresh tortillas really take these to a whole other level. In California, Vallarta Supermarket locations sell corn and flour tortillas made on the premises throughout the day. When you buy them they’re still warm and steaming up the bag.

    I made up a batch with some Mission brand yellow corn tortillas the other day as a last resort and it just wasn’t the same.

  12. tacorecipes

    This looks really delicious.
    I am not a fan of apples mixed with salad and cheese myself, but I love tortillas with butter, cinnamon, sugar and slices of apples.

  13. Gina

    That’s funny thats what I had today because I couldn’t think of anything to eat. We grew up with this dish.

  14. Alexis

    Well, I DID have a stack of tortillas in the fridge. This is evil. Evil, I say. I will crave these every single day for the rest of my life now. LOL I had them with cheddar, salsa verde and shredded romaine and they were to die for. I can’t wait to experiment with them more!

  15. Shazam

    I just finished eating two of these for lunch – soooo good! They are a new favourite and I will definitely be making these on a regular basis. I haven’t used corn tortillas much and this was a great way to have them.

  16. Brenda

    Great job posting this one. This has been a family staple for 5 generations. Use vegetable oil if you are out of butter. Some family members will fry this in the pan the chorizo was made in for heat! Yummy!

  17. Purvis

    This was awesome–and so easy. We used “butter tortillas” that they sell in the bakery of our grocery store, and shredded sharp cheddar cheese. We then stuffed them with avocados, tomatoes, and lettuce (and my husband added salsa and onions to his), and a little salt. Mmmmm…

  18. Caitlin

    I used to make quesadillas everyday for an after school snack. Now I often make them for lunch or a quick dinner. My quesadillas would be your cheese tacos, as corn tortillas are what we keep on hand. And I was sure I was the only person in the world who added apples. Apples and cheddar are such a natural combo, but people don’t think of the match with tortillas. I am now glad to know that I am not alone!

  19. Linda

    This was absolutely delicious. I had this for a snack tonight, after tasting, have decided to make more to take for lunch at work tomorrow, and will be having the veggie tacos later in the week with zucchini from my garden for supper. My husband is going to love this. I love your site. Thanks for the post.

  20. Kristie

    This recipe was a great way to finally make my 5 year old realize that she does like tacos. She now asks for these all the time.

  21. annette

    This looks perfect for an easy comfort lunch, I had something like this on a toasted cheese sandwich once with apple, cheese, advocado and sprouts and the best part that gave it some greatness was mango chutny, give it a try on your taco next time, it will wow you I am sure.

  22. Kathleen

    Just made them… YUMMY!!!! My husband was traveling and I was a bit hungry. Read the recipe, thought “that’s what I want for dinner”, of course I had everything on hand and not more than 10 minutes later I was eating a delish, cheesy sensation. Now I’m going to crave them all the time :) Thanks.