Feb 7, 2024
Quesadillas are a quick, easy, and delicious meal! I fill mine with cheese and veggies, but feel free to customize this recipe with your favorite fillings.
Quesadillas! They’re delicious, satisfying, and—most importantly—EASY. They’re one of my favorite back-pocket meals, something I can whip up using basic ingredients when I need a simple dinner or work-from-home lunch. I’ve made a lot of them over the years, and I’ve learned some handy tips and tricks for making them along the way. I’m sharing them all in this quesadilla recipe!
What is a quesadilla?
A quesadilla is Mexican dish that consists of a heated, filled, and folded tortilla. Quesadillas originated in central and southern Mexico, and they were first made with corn tortillas and filled with Oaxaca cheese. (The name quesadilla is a combination of tortilla and queso, which means cheese in Spanish). Over the years, other fillings, such as cooked meats and vegetables, found their way into quesadillas. And in Northern Mexico and the US, flour tortillas become the quesadilla standard.
That evolution brought us here, to the style of quesadilla that’s now popular in the US and that this recipe yields. It features a flour tortilla, melty cheese, and flavorful fillings like veggies and beans. I love this simple meal or snack. I hope you do too!
Filling Ideas for Quesadillas
You don’t need to fill a quesadilla with anything more than cheese (see my favorite types below).
But if you want to add more fillings to the mix, I won’t blame you! They add texture and flavor and make a simple quesadilla a satisfying meal. Here’s what I like in mine:
- Black beans
- Diced red bell pepper
- Sliced scallions
- Corn kernels (fresh or frozen!)
- Sliced jalapeño peppers
Other tasty options are pickled red onions, fresh spinach, and sautéed mushrooms or zucchini. Feel free to customize your quesadilla with your favorite fillings!
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
What’s the best cheese for a quesadilla?
The best cheese for quesadillas is any cheese that melts well. Oaxaca cheese, Chihuahua cheese, cheddar, Monterey Jack, and mozzarella cheese are all great options. Avoid pre-shredded cheese for quesadillas. Freshly grated cheese will melt better and create a gooier filling!
In this recipe, I call for sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack. You could use just one or the other, but the combination gives the quesadillas delicious depth of flavor.
Love spicy food? Use pepper jack cheese instead of Monterey Jack!
How to Make a Quesadilla
This method for how to make a quesadilla is SO simple. You can make one in less than 10 minutes! Here’s how to do it:
First, fill the tortilla. Lay it flat on a clean work surface. Sprinkle half the cheese over one half of the tortilla, leaving the other half bare. Sprinkle the other fillings over the cheese, and then top with the remaining cheese. Layering the cheese like this helps hold the tortilla closed.
Fold the bare half of the tortilla over the quesadilla fillings to create a half-moon shape.
Next, cook the quesadilla. Heat a dry cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat (no butter or oil needed!). When hot, add the quesadilla and cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until the cheese melts and the tortilla turns golden brown. If the tortilla is browning faster than the cheese is melting, turn down the heat.
Slice into wedges, and serve!
What to Serve with Quesadillas
Serve quesadillas hot from the pan with all the fixings! Dress them up with
For a heartier meal, pair them with cilantro lime rice, Spanish rice, or refried beans. Enjoy!
More Favorite Mexican-Inspired Recipes
If you love these veggie quesadillas, try one of these Mexican-inspired dishes next:
This easy quesadilla recipe is a quick, delicious meal. Feel free to customize it with your favorite fillings! Find suggestions in the blog post above.
Prevent your screen from going dark
Lay the tortillas flat on a clean work surface.
In a medium bowl, place the cheddar and Jack cheeses and toss to combine.
Sprinkle half the cheese evenly over one half of each tortilla, leaving the other half bare. Evenly sprinkle the black beans, red peppers, scallions, corn, and jalapeños over the cheese. Top with the remaining cheese, then fold the bare half of each tortilla over the fillings to create a half-moon shape.
Heat a dry cast iron skillet over medium-low heat. When hot, add two of the quesadillas and cook until the cheese is melted and the quesadillas are browned on both sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side. If the tortillas are browning faster than the cheese is melting, reduce the heat. Repeat with the remaining quesadillas.
Slice and serve with salsa, pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream, and/or cilantro, as desired.