Recipe courtesy of Gabriela Cámara

Deep-Fried Quesadillas

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
Fresh tortillas become a golden-crisp appetizer when stuffed and fried with your favorite fillings. Here, Chef Cámara uses Toma cheese, but once you get the method down, you can get creative. Just avoid overstuffing the pockets, so they don’t burst in the oil. Serve with fresh salsa verde and let the fiesta begin!



  1. Quesadilla: Cut freezer bag along both sides to create a large plastic sheet; prepare the tortilla press by covering the bottom plate with half the sheet. Place a tortilla ball in the center of the bottom plate and flatten slightly with your hand; then cover the ball with the other half of the plastic sheet. Lower the press firmly so that the dough is sandwiched between the two plates. Open the press, flip the circle of dough (still sandwiched in plastic), and press again: the tortilla should be about 5 inches in diameter and slightly thicker than a traditional tortilla.
  2. Peel the plastic layer from the top of the tortilla, but leave the other side in place. Place ¼ cup shredded cheese in the center of the tortilla. Lift the plastic liner and use it to fold the tortilla in half; pinch and seal the edges together. Set aside and continue with remaining tortillas and cheese. Add oil to a pot and set over medium heat; heat oil to 350 degrees F.
  3. Gently lower 2 quesadillas into the hot oil; do not crowd the pot, or they’ll stick together. Use your slotted spoon to gently move them apart, and turn them over once or twice to make sure both sides are browning. Fry until golden, 8–10 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and gently blot excess oil as necessary. Repeat with remaining quesadillas. Serve immediately, with fresh salsa verde on the side.

Cook’s Note

If assembling ahead of time, store in refrigerator covered with a damp cloth to prevent quesadillas from drying out.