Even really finicky kids seem to love quesadillas. It’s just hard not to like melted cheese between two carbs. There are a few ways to go about this, and they are all good.
The recipe is for two quesadillas but I am quite sure you will be making more than two. Multiply at will, and check out the many other quesadillas recipes on this website. Serve them with salsa, sour cream, guacamole, and/or cilantro, if desired.
Or if you’re getting frisky with the fillings, maybe you’ll investigate some other condiments, like horseradish sauce or hoisin sauce. If you have vegetarians at the table, quesadillas are a great option, and you can make some veggie, some meaty, everyone’s happy.
How to Make Quesadillas:
For two half moon quesadillas:
- 2 medium-size (8-inch) flour tortillas
You will want about 2/3 cup shredded or crumbled cheese, such as:
- Cheddar (mild or sharp), mozzarella, feta, blue cheese, provolone, Gouda, Fontina, Monterey Jack (regular or spicy), muenster, brie, anything you have laying around. Try some combos as well, and if you are using a strong flavored cheese you may want to blend in a little cream cheese or mozzarella or a milder cheese to temper the flavor.
Filling (unless you want just a plain cheese quesadilla):
This a perfect fork in the road dish because your kids can opt for the simplest of quesadillas while you go to town and create your own black bean/scallion/chopped fresh cilantro/ asparagus/hearts of palm/feta cheese work of art.
The list of options is but a start. You’ll want between 1⁄4 and 1⁄2 cup total of the filling ingredients per quesadilla; use one or any combination of the following:
- Chopped olives
- Chopped cooked broccoli or asparagus
- Thinly sliced zucchini or yellow squash
- Rinsed and drained canned beans, such as black beans or kidney beans, lightly mashed if desired
- Chopped tomatoes
- Chopped artichoke hearts
- Cooked chopped or sliced onions
- Sliced roasted or sautéed bell peppers
- Thinly sliced scallions
- Shredded cooked chicken or beef
- Crumbled bacon
- Thinly slivered ham
- Coarsely chopped cooked shrimp
How to Make Quesadillas on the Stove:
I have fallen in love with all over again with my cast iron pan—which I loved anyway—for it’s brilliance in making quesadillas. It’s intrinsically non-stick, which means very little oil is needed (maybe none if you’re that disciplined). You get a beautiful crust on the outside, especially if you use the sheerest glaze of oil in the pan. For this version you can just use one tortilla and fold it in half in the pan, or use two full tortillas and make a whole one. Grilling and broiling are also great methods, especially if you are making a whole batch of quesadillas.
Heat the a pan with a teaspoon of oil or butter if desired over medium high heat.
Assemble the quesadillas. (You can do this in the pan itself, or on a counter and then transfer the half moon tortillas into the hot pan.)
Layer some cheese over half the tortilla.
Add some filling.
Then a bit more cheese (this helps both sides of the tortilla stick to the inside).
Fold the baked half of the tortilla over the filling.
You can make two at once, fitting two half moons into the pan to essentially form a full circle, with their flat sides abutting each other.
Cook until golden brown on the bottom, then flip the quesadillas.
Continue cooking for another few minutes until golden brown on the new bottom (eg, the other side).
Cut into wedges.
Serve with salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.
How to Bake Quesadillas
Brush a tortilla with olive oil, place it oil side down on a cutting board. Distribute some cheese over half of the tortilla. Layer on some filling, then top with a bit more cheese. Flip the bare half of the tortilla over the filling, and place it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas and the rest of the filling.
Bake the quesadillas for 5 minutes, then carefully flip the tortillas with a large spatula and bake for another 8 to 10 minutes, until the top is browned and crispy. Remove the quesadillas, let them sit on a cutting board for 2 minutes, then cut each half moon quesadilla into three wedges.
How to Make Quesadillas in the Broiler
- Preheat the broiler.
- Place a tortilla under the broiler, right on the rack, and keep checking it until it turns golden brown on top, 2 to 3 minutes. A dark brown bubble here or there is fine. Remove the tortilla and place it uncooked side up on a work surface. Evenly sprinkle the cheese over the tortilla.
- You can either continue with Step 4 or top the cheese, if desired, with whatever filling you like, either alone or in combination.
- Place an uncooked tortilla on top of the filling. Carefully transfer the tortilla to a baking sheet and place it under the broiler. Broil the quesadilla until the cheese is melted and the top tortilla is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Let the quesadilla sit for a minute before you slice it into 6 wedges.
How to Make Quesadillas on the Grill
- Preheat the grill to medium.
- Brush one side of all of the tortillas very lightly with vegetable oil. Place half of the tortillas on the grill, right on the grill grate, and watch it carefully until it turns golden brown on the underside, 1 to 2 minutes. A dark brown bubble here or there is fine. Remove the tortillas and set them aside. Place the rest of the uncooked tortillas on a flat surface, oiled side down. Evenly sprinkle half of the cheese over the tortillas.
- You can either add the rest of the cheese, if you are making plain cheese quesadillas, or divide the filling amongst the tortillas, and then top with the rest of the cheese, distributing everything evenly.
- Place the cooked tortilla on top of the filling, browned side up. Carefully transfer the tortilla back to the grill and grill the quesadilla until the cheese is melted and the bottom tortilla is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Let the quesadilla sit for a minute before you slice each into 6 wedges.
These breakfast quesadillas are pretty spectacular.
Have fun with those fillings! No need to stay in the Mexican or Tex-Mex categories….Below, quesadillas made in a pan with mozzarella and sautéed shredded Brussels sprouts.
How to Make Quesadillas
- 4 teaspoons unsalted butter divided
- 8 8-inch flour tortillas
- 3 cups chopped or shredded filling see above for ideas!
- 3 cups (12 ounces) shredded or crumbled cheese such as cheddar, Monterey Jack, fontina, goat cheese, queso, or a Mexican blend
- Guacamole, sour cream and salsa (try salsa ranchera) to serve, if desired
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add a half teaspoon of butter. Place a tortilla in the pan.
- Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of the cheese mixture over half of the quesadilla, and distribute 1/8 of the chicken over the cheese. Top that with another 3 tablespoons of the shredded cheese. Flip the bare half of the tortilla over the filling, cover the pan, and sauté for about 2 minutes until the bottom is golden and the cheese has started to melt, then use a spatula to flip the half-moon quesadilla, and continue to cook, uncovered, until all of the cheese is melted and the underside is browned, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Remove the quesadilla to a cutting board and let the quesadilla sit for a minute before you slice into 2 or 3 wedges. Repeat until all of the quesadillas are cooked. Serve with guacamole, salsa, sour cream and lime wedges.
What the Kids Can DoIf you give each kid the first tortilla on a plate, with the fillings laid out for them to choose from, they can create their own quesadilla masterpiece, then you can finish it off under the broiler or on the grill. Remember, if you are grilling the quesadillas, you’ll give your kid an uncooked tortilla to top, since it will go directly on the grill. If you are using the broiler, give your kid an already broiled tortilla, cooked side down to top, since it will go under the boiler with an uncooked tortilla on top.
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