I don’t mean to be hyperbolic, but I’m pretty sure that burnt, crispy cheese is the 8th wonder of the world. I mean, how lucky are we to live in a reality where cheese cooked for slightly too long is the most delicious thing that you could ask for?
I will take any opportunity to enjoy burnt cheese—cheesy fried eggs, Parmesan or cheddar crisps, Extra Toasty Cheez-Its, and of course, these burnt cheese tacos. Making these crispity, crunchity, ultra cheesy tacos is as easy as it gets. You need two simple ingredients: cheese and a tortilla.
Smart Tips for Perfectly Burnt Cheese Tacos
- You can use any shredded, melty cheese, such as cheddar, Monterrey jack, Pepper jack, or mozzarella. I like using a Mexican blend because you get a mix of everything. I opt for pre-shredded cheese because it’s one less step, but if you prefer to grate the cheese yourself, that works.
- Corn or flour tortillas will work just the same. Look for fajita-style flour tortillas, which are about the same size as a 6-inch corn tortilla meant for tacos.
- I’d recommend using a non-stick skillet; however, if your cast iron is well seasoned, you could make it in there.
- Remember, we’re going for a deep golden brown here, so make sure to let the cheese that’s in direct contact with the pan get extra toasty before you fold the taco over itself. If you notice that the cheese is turning super dark to the point where it is unpleasantly burnt, turn your flame down.
- When it’s time to fold the taco, use a rubber spatula to gently maneuver both sides together, sealing it with the melted cheese inside.
The Chipotle Dipping Sauce
I love to eat these cheese tacos with a bright, chipotle dipping sauce—the more canned chipotle in adobo sauce you add, the spicier it will be—but they’d be equally delicious with salsa, sour cream, and maybe a couple slices of fresh avocado. That said, these tacos can certainly be enjoyed without any condiment at all. They’re that tasty.
Stuff ‘Em Your Way
Get creative with what you stuff inside the tacos. Dress ‘em up, why don’t you? Refried beans, cooked chicken, crumbled chorizo, sautéed mushrooms, seared steak, scrambled eggs, black beans, or tater tots are all fair game. Make these for a cheesy weekend breakfast or a comforting late night snack—burnt cheese tacos never go out of season.
We Love Tacos
Make the dipping sauce:
In a small bowl, whisk together the mayo, chipotle, lime juice, and salt. Taste and season with more salt or stir in more chipotle in adobo sauce for extra heat. Set aside.
Make the tacos:
Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat and lightly coat with cooking spray. Once hot, sprinkle in 1/3 cup cheese in a 6-inch circle. It’s okay if there are gaps in the cheese, as long as the circle is large enough.
Lay the tortilla on top of the cheese circle. There should be some pieces of cheese still visible around the edges of the tortilla. Then, sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese on top of half of the tortilla. Cook until the cheese in contact with the skillet starts to turn golden brown around the edges, about 2 minutes.
Use a rubber spatula to gently lift the crispy cheese off the skillet and fold the bare half of the tortilla onto the cheesy half, and press to adhere.
Cook until the center is completely melted and the crispy cheese is a deep golden brown on both sides, 2 minutes. Make the remaining tacos following these steps.
Serve immediately with chipotle sauce for dipping.
The beauty of a burnt cheese taco is eating it while it’s still hot and crispy. If you make a few too many, refrigerate the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days, and reheat them on a hot skillet to re-crisp the exterior and get the insides melty.
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