Sausage, Broccoli Rabe and Mozzarella Open-Face Quesadillas

How about putting a new spin on pizza night? The Sausage, Broccoli Rabe and Mozzarella Open-Face Quesadillas are more akin to thin crust pizza, which we favor. Just a quibble about the name. We all felt they looked more like a tostada than a quesadilla, but who really cares?

The crisp flour-tortilla base is what sets these hearty open-face quesadillas apart. With lots of melted cheese, vegetables, and meat, they are best eaten with a fork and knife. However, The Hubster and step-daughter both nixed the flatware and chowed down hands only.

One was more than plenty per person, maybe because I doubled the sausage and we served a simple side salad along with them. We all agreed they were a touch bland since we tend to gravitate toward bold flavors, so next time we’d probably substitute hot, spicy Italian sausage in place of the sweet. But all-in-all, we liked them.


Sausage, Broccoli Rabe, and Open-Faced Quesadillas

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 4 tsp. olive oil
  • 4 8-inch flour tortillas
  • 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe, thinly sliced 1/4 inch thick (about 4 cups)
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled, cut in half, and thinly sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Zest of 1 lemon (about 2 tsp.)
  • 8 oz. smoked mozzarella, coarsely shredded


  1. Heat 1 tsp. of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add one tortilla and cook, pressing lightly with a spatula, until lightly browned, about 30 seconds. Flip over and cook another 30 seconds the same way. Transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining oil and tortillas. All four will fit on a standard baking sheet if you fold up the edges a little bit. Set aside.
  2. Return the skillet to the heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring often, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside, leaving the drippings in the pan.
  3. Return the pan to the heat, and add the broccoli rabe, onion, 1/2 tsp. salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Stir well, then cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley, zest, and sausage, and mix well.
  4. Divide the sausage-onion mixture evenly among the tortillas. Divide the cheese evenly among the tortillas, piling it on the sausage-onion mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Position an oven rack about 6 inches from the broiler, and heat the broiler on high. Put the baking sheet under the broiler, and broil for until the cheese is nicely melted and starting to bubble and brown, about 4 minutes. Cut each quesadilla into quarters, and serve immediately.


Adapted from a recipe by Jessica Bard from Fine Cooking

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