No-dish stoner cooking: "Taco Bell" quesadillas

September 26 | Guest post by Dootsie Bug

I've determined that Taco Bell's quesadilla is the universal food. I don't know anyone who doesn't admit to nomming the shit out of one of those beasties at three in the morning (except maybe someone who is allergic to the components… but even some of those people still do). They're simple, they're easy-to-handle, they're filling. They're also expensive, as fast food goes.

My boyfriend pointed out the Taco Bell Bold and Creamy Spicy Ranchero sauce at our local grocery, but I insisted it had to be different than the magically delicious stuff in the real thing. As he pointed out, "Why would they develop an entirely new sauce to bottle and sell?" (On tasting it, I'm not certain it's exactly the same, but the taste is close enough for approval.) We snagged it, some tortillas and some shredded Mexican cheese blend. As my boyfriend pointed out, we got the stuff for 8+ quesadillas at the price of two through the drive-thru.

He also proposed this "no-dish" cooking method, which uses ZERO DISHES in preparation. I was skeptical at first. But the prospect of not dirtying a single dish to make dinner intrigued me.

The customization options for this dish are very real. Adding a protein would likely encroach on the no-dish idea, but would be welcome. Just be sure they're warm when they go in to ensure the cheese melts. And speaking of, you can probably sub in gluten-free tortillas or non-dairy cheese. The sauce could be homemade or omitted entirely. YAY OPTIONS.

This method only works for people with electric stoves. Gas users, you'll have to crack out a skillet. Please exercise due caution when dealing with your hot stove, folks.

What you'll need:

Step 1: Lay a square of aluminum foil over your oven's big burner — no need to press down or anything. Turn the burner to medium.

Step 2: Lay out a whole tortilla. Sprinkle cheese over half, careful not to use too much or get to close to the edge, on account of meltage. Spread a bit of the sauce on the other half, then fold the tortilla to make a lovely half moon.

Step 3: Put it on the burner. Your cooking time will vary. Peek under (careful not to burn your fingers) to watch for the surface to get that lovely brown crispiness you'd expect from a Taco Bell quesadilla. Turn, admiring the lovely half-circle pattern your burner put on the tortilla.

Step 4: When the other side is crisped, remove from the burner and cut. Ta-da!

  1. That's brilliant. Personally, I love cooking but the cleaning up part afterwards irks me, lol.

    Technically, you could cook it in an oven as well. Just bake it while wrapped in tin foil until the cheese is melted. =)

    3 agree
    • Some tortillas just LOVE to stick to the tin foil, usually the more moist ones. And as soon as they stick to the foil, they start to burn, regardless of how long they've been in the heat. Know your tortilla before you commit to the oven method. :)

      3 agree
  2. MAGIC.

    We're just waiting for the day the Doritos taco shells become available in stores. Because that is the day I will become morbidly obese. I freaking love those things.

    4 agree
    • Am I about to ruin your life? MAYBE.
      Just make a taco salad on top of Doritos. Get a packet of Taco Bell seasoning and cook it with your ground beef and spread on top of Doritos. Top the lot with shredded lettuce, tomatoes and cheese. I fully recommend adding a little bit of sauce to it. Taco Bell packets work perfectly.
      This site has a recipe to MAKE YOUR OWN DORITO TACO SHELLS!!! (Needs more exclamation marks for how excited I am.) How close is it to authentic? Not sure, but it sounds awesome. Especially since you get to control the level of flavor.

      2 agree
    • There are two versions of a dorito taco thing I do, one is basically nachos with doritos….it's heaven on a plate. basically make your beef pile on top of doritos cover in a copious mound of cheese and i usually just nuke it in the microwave till the cheese melts and top it off with w/e nacho toppings suit my mood. (usually just lettuce tomato, soure cream and taco sauce, thought sometimes I add green pepper and olives) the other is a dorito taco salad which is the same thing but cool the meat and toss it with taco salad fixing crunched up doritos and coat with thousand island dressing. noooom. but i also cannot wait until the taco shells are available. I'd eat tacos at least twice a week…

      0 agree
  3. Oh man, I love quesadillas. Husband enjoys them as well. I cook up some chicken, cut into little pieces, then sautee some green bell pepper and mushrooms and load it down with cheddar cheese. Obviously my method creates a ton more dishes, but husband cleans up, so it's okay. :) I'm intrigued by this sauce though. I love spicy creamy things!

    0 agree
    • I'm pretty certain if I had to spend the rest of my life eating only tacos and quesadillas, I wouldn't even complain about it.
      My new favorite for quesadillas and fajitas is orange bell peppers. They're sweeter, but they make my mouth happy with hot sauce or mixed with hotter peppers.

      1 agrees
  4. aaaaand guess who's having taco bell for lunch today?….

    0 agree
  5. We found that sauce at our local grocery store and I flipped out. I've used a whole bottle already – like Frank's RedHot Sauce style. I put that shit on Everything.
    (Frank's RedHot Sauce commercial here – for reference)
    It's good on sandwiches, it's good on salad, it's good on chicken or pork. If it would at some point be found in a Taco Bell food item, put the sauce on it. NOM.

    0 agree
  6. My husband loves this stuff! Now I need to make quesadillas with it. As my step-daughter would say, "This just made my life!"

    0 agree
    • Glad to make your life. :D
      If you're going to do a protein in your Qdilla, toss it in the sauce. FOR FLAVOR.
      My boyfriend used it in a marinade and it was pretty flyyyy.

      1 agrees
  7. Oh my days! You guys finally got the magical Dootsie to write something! Score. ;-)

    4 agree
    • I AM A WRITING UNICORN HOW DO MY HOOVES HIT THE KEYS I DONT EVEN.

      And THIS is my writing debut? C'mon, Dootsie. You can do better.
      I know, me. I know.

      14 agree
  8. I also love a taco bell quesadilla, but I tried that sauce and I didn't like it. I didn't think it was the same at all. However, I found a copycat recipe and that sauce matches almost exactly. The secret sauce? Taco Bell mild sauce, mayo, and chili powder.

    0 agree
    • LOVE that the copycat recipe is so simple.
      Someone suggested for Volcano sauce: mix nacho cheese and Taco Bell fire sauce.

      0 agree
  9. I do mine in the George Foreman – if you sandwich the tortilla edge between the edge of the plates, it's all delicious and crispy… BRB got to buy cheese.

    1 agrees
    • I SO MISS my George Foreman grill. I'm too impatient to wait on a sandwich to toast in a skillet most times, just because I know HOW FAST the GFG could do it. T_T

      0 agree
  10. " Gas users, you'll have to crack out a skillet"

    Are you sure? Because I routinely "toast" tortillas on my gas stove. Of course I have a casual disregard for my stove so… that might factor into it.

    Great to see you post, Dootsie!

    0 agree
    • Some gas stoves I've used wouldn't really support a floppy tortilla. Maybe fold some tinfoil over to make a support or something so you don't get cheese or tortilla falling into FLAMES. :)
      For those with gas stoves with lousy burners, my boyfriend suggests turning over a metal skillet (no Teflon) and cooking the Qdilla on the bottom. He says it heats up slower.

      0 agree
  11. Umm thank you!!! I live in Saskatchewan, we don't have any Taco Bell franchises for some reason. We used to, and then for some strange reason they all disappeared! They have them next door in both Manitoba and Alberta – but zero right here, so now I can start making my own Taco Bell foods, hooray! :D

    0 agree
  12. Goodness gracious! I walk away from my laptop for a few days and I almost miss out on THIS!?!? I'll never leave you again, my precious internet. Dootsie, as a lazy stoner, thank you for giving me the biggest mental taco boner EVER! And you'd better damn well believe that I'mma make me a Dorito salad.

    2 agree
    • FYEAH.
      PS I fully recommend my extra stonery chicken fajita nachos, but it involves way more dishes:
      Sautee 1 bell pepper and half an onion. Cook some sliced chicken breast. Mix together with a little salsa. Pour Doritos over a baking sheet, top with chicken + peppers + onion, cover with cheese. Melt in dat oven. If you can get Gordo's cheese, do it. Amazing.

      0 agree
  13. The sauces are, in fact, different. The sauce that goes on a quesadilla at Taco Bell is a Creamy Jalapeno sauce. The Chipotle sauce is something they carry in the restaurants at varying times, depending on promotional items.

    The idea of cooking it on the stove like that is completely genius! I think I know what my lunch is tomorrow!

    0 agree
    • I straight up have no idea why Taco Bell doesn't just sell me their secretsssss.
      It's the best lunch. So fast, so dish-less.

      0 agree
  14. I just tried a variation on this: I used tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, a shredded string cheese and a sprinkling of parmigiana cheese. Yum!

    0 agree
  15. As a former Taco Bell employee, we were instructed to squeeze the sauce in a zig-zag or Z shape, in order to get the sauce mixed in nice with the cheese. How it looks now is that the sauce would be stuck in the edge! I could be wrong though. If you want the "authentic" experience, use a Z shape. ;)

    1 agrees
    • BRILLIANT.
      I included in the instructions (but failed to include in the diagram) that I normally spread the sauce across the other side of the tortilla. With my fingers, because I'm an A-grade chef.

      0 agree
  16. So why in the HECK have I never thought of this?!?!?! OMG Need this sauce STAT!!!!

    1 agrees
  17. DUDE. Is the creamy jalapeno sauce the same thing as their "Lava Sauce" used in the Volcano Tacos??? (They don't make quesadillas at the Taco Bells around here, so I dunno…) I freaking dream about their Volcano Sauce at night and I'd be so happy if the creamy jalapeno was the same(ish).

    0 agree

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