Quesadillas are the perfect meal when you feel too lazy to make dinner. They are quick, easy, and can be made with almost anything in your pantry or fridge.
There is nothing better than a cheesy quesadilla when you are in need of a quick meal. The crispy browned tortillas, melty cheese, and choose-your-own fillings make it easy to prepare and deliciously satisfying.
Quesadillas are also a “blueprint” recipe that you can make with almost anything you find in your pantry, fridge, and freezer. If you have cheese and tortillas, you can make some kind of quesadilla. Fill it with any veggies, beans, or protein you have on hand and serve it with salsa, hummus, yogurt, or any other dip or sauce you like.
To get your creative juices flowing, today I am sharing ten of my favorite quesadilla recipes. These feature all different proteins, vegetables, and cheeses. They are easy to make, really delicious, and make a stress free dinner option you can have on the table in under fifteen minutes in most cases.
1. Healthy Chicken Quesadillas (313 calories, 9 Green, 7 Blue, 7 Purple) Grab some cooked chicken, canned chicken, or rotisserie chicken and add beans, corn, and diced canned tomatoes for a delicious quesadilla that is packed with protein, fiber, and veggies. Easy and quick to make and a favorite dinner in our house.
2. Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas – Freezer Friendly (350 calories, 11 Green, 6 Blue, 6 Purple) These are the best quesadillas to have in your freezer plus they are made with easy pantry ingredients. You can use any canned or cook beans you have on hand, canned or frozen corn, and then just grab your favorite salsa or taco seasoning.
3. Breakfast Quesadillas – Freeze Friendly (274 calories, 8 Green, 4 Purple, 4 Blue) If there was one quesadilla on this list I couldn’t live without, it would be these breakfast quesadillas packed with scrambled eggs, black beans, and cheese. We always have a batch in the freezer ready to go for a quick breakfast.
4. Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas (314 calories, 6 Green, 4 Blue, 4 Purple) Although the recipe calls for ground chicken, you can use any type of chicken you have on hand for these tasty buffalo quesadillas. Use leftover rotisserie chicken, any cooked chicken, or thinly slice some breast or thigh meat.
5. Rosemary White Bean and Kale Quesadillas (373 calories, 7 Green, 4 Blue, 4 Purple) For a tasty vegetarian quesadilla, this one packed with sauteed kale and white beans in rosemary and garlic is a winner. Make it with any greens or veggies, fresh herbs, and beans. Trust me, this is anything but traditional but so so delicious.
6. Chipotle Mushroom and Spinach Quesadillas (286 calories, 8 Green, 6 Blue, 6 Purple) These quesadillas rely ion one of my all-time favorite ingredients – canned chipotle peppers in adobo. They are spicy and smoky and add an amazing flavor to quesadillas. However, if you don’t have any at home, you could substitute any salsa, canned diced tomatoes, or seasoning. You can also use fresh or frozen veggies and mix up the flavors with different types of cheese.
7. BBQ Portobello Mushroom Quesadillas (320 calories, 7 Green, 7 Blue, 7 Purple) Think about this quesadilla as a vegetarian BBQ pizza stuffed into a quesadilla. The mushrooms are cooked with corn and zucchini and then stuffed in two flour tortillas with barbecue sauce and melted cheese. Use any mushrooms and veggies you have at home.
8. Spinach and Artichoke Quesadillas (254 calories, 6 Green, 5 Blue, 5 Purple) This is an easy twist on spinach artichoke dip but made in a tortilla with the most delicious combination of cream cheese and shredded cheese to make the filling.
9. Turkey Burger Quesadillas (379 calories, 9 Green, 7 Blue, 7 Purple) This is a mash-up of a delicious burger and a quesadilla. It is so good, a family favorite, and super easy to make. Believe me, you will be eating these all the time once you start.
10. Buffalo Chickpea Quesadillas (272 calories, 7 Green, 5 Blue, 5 Purple) These vegetarian buffalo quesadillas use chickpeas, celery, and carrots all cooked with buffalo sauce and then stuffed into a quesadilla. No one would blame you for dipping it in some homemade ranch.
Basics: The Best Way to Make a Quesadilla
Let’s start with the basics when it comes to making a perfect quesadilla. This will guarantee that the outside is toasted, the insides are warm, the cheese is goo-ey, all the things you want in a quesadilla.
- Tortillas: You can use any tortillas you like for your quesadilla, but the best quesadillas are made on thin tortillas since they get crisp on the outside and let everything cook on the inside. Using one tortilla and folding it over the filling is easier than making a big two tortilla quesadilla. Those can be tricky to flip and the filling often falls out.
- Build the quesadilla in the skillet: Place your tortilla right in the medium warm pan (we’ll get to that in a second) and build the quesadilla right in the pan. As the warm pan heats the tortilla, you can fold it over the filling without it breaking. This also ensures your filling won’t fall out when you transfer it to the pan.
- Medium heat: Many people make the mistake of cooking their quesadilla too quickly and too hot. This leads to a burnt tortilla and partially melted cheese. Cook it over moderate heat so everything has time to warm through without anything burning.
- Start and end with cheese: Always start building the quesadilla with a thin layer of cheese. Then add your filling. Then finish with cheese. This ensures that the quesadilla will stick together with the cheese melted and binding the two sides together. Although any cheese works, but the best quesadillas use a cheese that melts well. If you have time to freshly grate your cheese, it will come out even better.
- Fillings: You can fill your quesadilla with pretty much anything you like but make sure to chop the fillings into small pieces. This makes it easier to eat and helps the filling stay inside the quesadilla. Also, remember that nothing will “cook” in the quesadilla, you are just warming things up. That means you may want to precook some vegetable fillings that you don’t enjoy in their raw form.
How to Freeze Quesadillas
Most people don’t realize that most quesadillas can actually be meal prepped and stored in the freezer for 3-4 months. Always start by making your quesadillas and then letting the cool completely. Wrap them in plastic wrap or another freezer-safe material once they are cool. Label them and then place in the freezer.
For best results, slowly reheat in a skillet until they are warmed through. You can also reheat in the microwave. Wrap the quesadilla in a slightly moist paper towel and warm for 2-4 minutes depending on the size and thickness.