The Washington Post

Quesotacos With Peppers and Onions

Quesotacos With Peppers and Onions 2.000

Rey Lopez for The Washington Post; styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Eat Voraciously Newsletter Jul 7, 2022

Quesotacos, sometimes called costras de queso are thin patties of crispy griddled cheese. A popular taqueria preparation, it’s also easily made at home. The griddled cheese can either go into a tortilla, be attached to a tortilla, as it is here, or even replace the tortilla (see VARIATION). It can also turn into a quesadilla — simply fill the interior of each tortilla with more cheese and fold it over on itself. Here, the crispy cheese, attached to corn tortillas, is filled with sauteed spring onions and poblano peppers. Dressed with salsa, beans or stewed meat, they make a fine meal with lots of flavor and texture.

Total time: 30 mins

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When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 2 servings; makes 4 tacos

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for greasing
  • 6 spring onions or scallions, halved lengthwise and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 poblano peppers, seeded and sliced (may substitute green bell peppers)
  • 4 (5-inch) corn tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups (4 ounces) shredded Oaxaca, Monterey Jack, manchego or other firm meltable cheese
  • Hot sauce, for serving (optional)
  • Salsa roja, for serving (optional)
  • Beans, birria or carne guisada, for serving (optional)
  • Lime wedges and fresh cilantro sprigs, for serving (optional)

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In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until it shimmers. Add the spring onions or scallions and poblanos, and saute, stirring occasionally, until they soften and just start to brown, about 7 minutes. Cover, and reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting to keep warm.

Place a large, well-seasoned cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly grease it with oil, then add the tortillas — depending on the size of your skillet, you may need to do this in batches — toasting them until very lightly browned, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate. If working in batches, repeat with the remaining tortillas.

Lightly grease the same skillet and then make two piles of about 1/3 cup of cheese each. Spread each pile into a thin, even, approximately 5- or 6-inch-wide layer with about an inch of space between them. Once the surface of each pile looks melted, top it with a toasted tortilla, pressing it down so it adheres to the cheese. Cook until the edges of the cheese look browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Slide a thin spatula under the cheese to loosen it from the skillet, and transfer to a plate, cheese side up. Repeat with remaining cheese and tortillas.

To serve, place two quesotacos on each plate and fill each with the onions and peppers. Dress each taco with hot sauce and salsa, if using. Add beans or stewed meat and/or cilantro sprigs, if desired, before serving, with optional lime wedges.

VARIATION: To make costras de queso (without corn tortillas attached): Fry the cheese in thin piles, then, using a thin spatula, flip each pile — taking care not to squish it together — so it fries on the opposite side. Remove the costras from the pan and use the flexible fried cheese patties as your tortillas.

Recipe Source

From staff writer G. Daniela Galarza.

Tested by Kara Elder.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (2 tacos): 402

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 24g 37%

Saturated Fat: 8g 40%

Cholesterol: 36mg 12%

Sodium: 400mg 17%

Total Carbohydrates: 31g 10%

Dietary Fiber: 5g 20%

Sugar: 4g

Protein: 18g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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