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Quesadillas are a go-to comfort food that has seen us through all the twists and turns this world has thrown at us. The origami of cuisine is always there for you, be it a hearty breakfast, gourmet dinner, snacks for game day, dessert, or munching around the BBQ.
Plus, the versatile dish can be adapted for anyone, including vegans, chocoholics, and pescatarians. Thus, there is a quesadilla recipe that’ll take you to tastebud heaven, regardless if you’re using store-bought tortillas or rolling up your sleeves to make masa dough.
1. Chicken Cordon Bleu Quesadillas
The famous 1940s dish has been given a quesadilla twist. The creamy recipe brings heart comfort with plenty of flavors and a tiny kick. It’s the perfect ranch dressing alternative for snack platters when preparing to watch the big game.
The Dijon mustard sauce is the star of this take on chicken cordon bleu. It has the right amount of zing to keep your tastebuds’ attention without leaving you in tears. Bonus, there is almost always some leftover sauce, perfect for brightening up a sandwich or using it as a dressing for a healthy salad.
2. Sheet Pan Breakfast Quesadillas
These quesadillas are the essential breakfast hack. Mornings are hectic, especially when you have a large family. No parent has time to stand over the stove at that time of day. But sometimes, you want your kids to eat something other than cereal or a large gulp of juice.
The recipe packs in plenty of protein, vegetables, and energy-producing carbs. It will awaken your children, get their brain gears turning, and keep them full until that lunch bell rings. Nor is running late an excuse for your kids to miss breakfast, as these are easy to eat on the go.
3. Eduardo Garcia’s Elk Quesadilla With Guacamole
Eduardo Garcia has long been a proponent of making meals from food forged, grown, and hunted. His passion is to eat as self-sufficient as possible while creating flavorful and intriguing dishes. Thus, it’s no surprise that his quesadillas differ slightly from the standard fair.
Garcia’s recipe is designed for hunters and the people they supply. It is created to work with various types of venison, not just elk. The ingredients complement the natural flavors of the lean, grass-fed protein rather than covering it up. Altogether, it’s a feast of deliciousness.
4. Quesadillas Fritas: The Real Mexican Street Food
The United States has a long-standing tradition of taking foods from other countries and reimaging them into something unrecognizable. The debates about this practice can be saved for another day. Nonetheless, even those celebrating creativity and inventiveness sometimes want something closer to the original dish.
This recipe takes tastebuds back to Mexican street food, where quesadillas began. Another delight is the instructions on how to make masa dough for an authentic touch. It is made from nixtamalized corn flour, which differs from what’s used in American cornbread. Making these from scratch is like throwing a party for your mouth. However, you can make these with corn tortillas if time is scarce.
5. Lobster Quesadilla With Mango Salsa
Lobster quesadillas inject tropical vibes into a Maine seaside vacation without relying on global warming. It’s a win for everyone, especially your belly. Lobster is satisfying but doesn’t sit like a brick in your gut like many other protein fillings. Yet there is a richness to it that won’t leave you feeling like you’ve snacked on nothing for celery.
The key to this meal is the mango salsa. Yes, lobster is divine. But so many heavy sauces bury its flavor. The mango salsa works with lobster’s natural sweetness while adding a tangy zing. It’s the perfect alternative to lobster rolls we didn’t know we needed.
6. Ultimate Vegan Quesadillas
Finding delicious vegan alternatives to Tex-Mex staples that don’t heavily rely on faux cheese can be difficult. Sure, vegan cheese can be helpful. But it’s also lovely to have creamy alternatives that don’t need to be engineered. That’s what makes this plant-based quesadilla such a treat. Despite tossing the cheese alternative aside, it’s still rich, creamy, and satisfying.
The secret is the enchilada sauce, which is tossed into a blender with fresh lime, chickpeas, roasted cashews, salsa, and spices to give it that don’t-need-cheese depth and deliciousness. You’ll love them as a meal or as party food.
7. Gabriela Cámara’s Quesadillas Doradas
The propensity of truffle oil has left many rolling their eyes. But huitlacoche, the Mexican truffle, is on its own level and worth every bite. The soft and nutritious fungus is vegan-friendly, but meat lovers adore it too.
Gabriela Cámara’s quesadillas celebrate the delicacy, making it the central ingredient. The masa dough is used to make perfect pockets for the gourmet filling. Think of them as Mexico’s answer to ravioli. Yet, for all this recipe’s sophisticated flair, it takes only 45 minutes to prepare.
8. Deep-Fried Plantain Quesadillas With Mole
Mole sauce is a culinary art form with breadth and variety. But outside of Mexico, it is often limited to a single version poured over roasted chicken. Thankfully, this quesadilla recipe breaks us out of this rigid mindset and celebrates mole’s versatility. Also, the recipe contains bacon.
Bacon and mole is the culinary wedding we all love to see. The salty, smoky chunks are set off with the bitter, sweet dark chocolate. The beans, mashed potatoes, plantain, and cheese make this meal an event. It’s the holiday meal alternative for when we’re tired of turkey and fed up with carving up hams.
9. The Oh-My-God Greatness of Flor de Jamaica Quesadillas
Lesley Téllez is setting up food lovers for a carb coma with this meal of quesadillas and pasta al ajillo. Yet, despite the high starch content, the combination is light in the belly and heaven in the mouth.
The Jamaica flowers are what make this recipe so special. When you boil them, the color pops, looking like pomegranates flirting with caramelized red onions. The sweet and spicy flavor blends into the cheese with sinful delight. It pairs beautifully with the simple pasta dish, containing plenty of garlic with the right amount of kick.
10. Mixed Mushroom and Cheese Quesadillas
Craft beers have caught America’s attention, but the wrong meal can spoil them. So chef Enrique Olvera has concocted the perfect quesadillas to pair with amber ales and malty beers. Whipping up a batch of these will have your home feel like an artisanal pub.
The filling centers around a mix of oyster and white mushrooms combined with Oaxaca or Monterey Jack cheese. There is just enough chili and garlic to hold your attention, but not so much that you’ll find yourself gulping your pricy beverages.
11. Martha Stewart’s Quesadillas With Chutney and Brie
Thanksgiving is the holiday of plenty and sandwiches dripping with stuffing and gravy. But if you want to give your leftovers a glow-up, Martha Stewart is here to help with her cranberry chutney and brie quesadillas. These make adorable appetizers or filling snacks to enjoy while watching the big game.
The trick is to make sure the brie slices are thick. If it is too thin, your cheese will run away before the rest has warmed up. If you serve these as pre-Christmas dinner or New Year’s bash, you can add extra toasty-style points by running the tortillas lightly over a flame before filling.
12. Spicy Zucchini Quesadillas
Sometimes you need a light summer meal that isn’t chicken salad. These spicy zucchini quesadillas are just that. Also, shredding the zucchini makes slipping the vegetable passed picky eaters easier, as the cheese serves as an excellent disguise.
One thing this recipe forgets to do is warn you to drain your shredded veg. Zucchini holds an abundance of water, which can make the mixture runnier and messier than you might wish. So be sure to plop them into a clean dish towel and give them a light squeeze before tossing them in.
13. Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas
Chipotle has evolved to drowning food in heavy, premade sauce. But these quesadillas scale it back to using six chipotle peppers preserved in adobo sauce. The result is creating a flavor that works with the rest of the ingredients rather than smothering them. Hurrah!
Another handy thing about this quesadilla recipe is that you can make the chicken filling two days in advance. Thus, you could whip it up on a Sunday, saving yourself a lot of work come Taco Tuesday. Got to love a recipe that understands people’s hectic lives.
14. Tofu Quesadilla
Tofu’s greatest strength is its ability to absorb flavor. Thus, it works well in a quesadilla, where you want a fusion of ingredients. Just make sure you’ve drained the tofu thoroughly to avoid ending up with a soggy meal.
Using turmeric and paprika adds a unique flavor and lots of color. Also, if you want to avoid using vegan cheese, try adding a layer of refried beans to hold it all together. Of course, you could always use dairy cheese if you’re only a vegetarian or use this as a Meatless Monday meal.
15. The Best Shrimp Quesadillas
Shrimp has a way of turning any meal into a feast. Yet it doesn’t require hours to make. This recipe takes 15 minutes. The seafood absorbs the spices and flavors while still retaining its own unique meatiness. Thus, they are an excellent alternative to the standard filling of beef or chicken. Some might even say they taste better. Well, as long as you’re not allergic to shellfish.
16. Skinny Buffalo Burger Quesadillas
Buffalo is an overlooked beef alternative. But this lean meat tastes pretty close to its fattier bovine cousins and doesn’t come with additives such as hormones and antibiotics. The other win is that it cooks faster, saving you time.
Thus, this recipe is a healthier way to enjoy red meat quesadillas. It’s tasty, but we’d add some guacamole to the meal. Sure, it adds calories, but it’s delicious and keeps the dish from being too dry. Another trick is to add a touch of beef stock while cooking it up to add juiciness. Of course, there’s nothing preventing you from adding both.
17. Crispy Mushroom Quesadillas
The fennel seeds in this dish give it a unique twist from your typical mushroom quesadillas. Meanwhile, the smoky paprika provides the quesadillas with a winter-burning log fire ambiance. But the recipe steers clear of spicy chilies. Instead, the sophisticated savory flavors work well as a compliment to a soup. Altogether you’ll have a comforting and complete winter meal.
18. Gordon Ramsay’s Mexican Beef and Jalapeno Quesadillas
Gordon Ramsay’s never been shy about his love of meat. He enjoys it juicy and rich to create a hearty meal. Nor does he use it sparingly. These beef quesadillas are like a cross between Tex-Mex lasagna and Sloppy Joe’s. You’ll want plenty of paper towels and a fork to help you devour this dish.
The only complaint is the lack of guacamole. But that’s easy enough to whip up and serve on the side.
19. Sweet Potato & Chorizo Quesadillas
Brighten up a cold day with a hearty and flavorful meal. This quesadilla recipe is deceptively simple. The chorizo offers up an aroma that will get your mouth watering well before you take that spicy bite. Nor does the prep for the meal have to be done all at once. The sweet potatoes can be mashed in the morning and wait in the fridge until it’s time to make dinner.
20. Cheese Quesadilla
Look, it can be fun to be fancy, and we all love a decadent meal, but sometimes life is hard, and the feelings are high, and all we want is some good, old fashion, no-fuss comfort food. These cheese quesadillas are here for you. They also go nicely with a margarita or few.
21. Spicy S’mores Quesadilla
Quesadillas are giving a campfire favorite a twist. But unlike many s’more reboots, this one doesn’t have to be made in a kitchen. However, you do need slightly more sophisticated equipment than an old stick. You’ll want to arm yourself with a frying pan and a wire rack to set above the flames.
Nor does this version do away with Graham crackers (whew). But you will need a few extras not found in your typical campfire snack: cayenne pepper, butter, and cinnamon sugar. But if you love s’mores, these are worth the weight of packing the frying pan.
22. Quick and Easy Lentil Quesadillas
Spice up Meatless Mondays with this take on quesadillas. The lentils are filling, full of fiber, and provide a healthy dose of protein, vitamin B, iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. But best of all, they absorb the flavors of the sauces.
This dish is all about the sauces. First, there is a rich and spicy tomato sauce that provides the lentils with their flavor. It also mixes beautifully with the Pepper Jack cheese. Then there is the zesty “magic green sauce,” combining avocados, pistachios, cilantro, jalapeno, and more into an addictively good dip. Make extra, as you’ll want it for other dishes long after the quesadillas are gone.
23. Lump Crab Quesadillas
The humble crab is overlooked during campaigns to get people to eat more oily fish. But this white meat is packed with omega-3s, B12, and selenium. Besides, it’s rich and full of flavor. So give your standard fish tacos a break and try these lump crab quesadillas instead.
The lime juice makes the flavors pop and blends beautifully with the crab and cheese. If the main recipe is too mild for your liking, use the booster option and add some jalapeno and cayenne pepper. Also, feel free to swap out the lump crab for slightly cheaper grades. Your tastebuds won’t complain.
24. Traditional Fried Mexican Quesadillas
Authentic quesadillas have a fried-calzone quality about them. In short, they’re sinfully delectable. Sure, it might not be a food you want to dish up every week. But sometimes, a good dunk in pork lard is what you need to discover joy.
Since this isn’t an everyday meal, do take the time to make the corn masa. This is one recipe where the store-bought tortillas just won’t cut it. Instead, the golden delight comes from the fried dough. A meal you won’t easily forget.
25. Vegan Quesadillas With Smoky Black Beans
Vegan comfort food is what this recipe is all about. It’s filling and fast to throw together. Nor does it require many ingredients.
But don’t be tempted to swap out the homemade chili powder blend for regular cayenne powder or chili flakes. The unique mixture is what makes this recipe stand out from your typical bean and vegan cheese quesadilla fare. Whipping up a batch only takes 15 minutes. Nor do you have to do it every time, as it will keep for 6-12 months. You’ll want to use it for more than just this recipe.
26. Shredded Beef Quesadillas
Hectic lives mean a reliance on ground beef to create fast and satisfying meals. But when schedules allow, it is worth cooking with shank and marrow bones. Not only do these cuts produce amazing flavor but add nutrients. The marrow bones add B12, iron, riboflavin, collagen, and glucosamine.
But as this recipe points out, you can use an Instant Pot to make this delicious recipe less hectic. Then you can use the time saved to make the masa dough, which raises any quesadilla dish. In addition, there are links on how to make raw tomatillo and red restaurant salsas. But of course, you can grab your favorite jar of the stuff if you prefer.
27. Mole Pork and Green Olive Quesadillas
Mole isn’t reserved only for chicken. It works beautifully in pulled pork. However, ensure your chocolate is high-quality and semi-sweet, not creamy milk chocolate. Too often, people think because they’re cooking with it, they can get away with the cheaper stuff. But you lose the richness and depth, giving the entire dish a strange aftertaste.
Making pulled pork does take nearly half a day in the slow cooker. Thankfully, it can hang out in the fridge for up to 3 days, or you can whip up a large batch and store portions in the freezer for up to 3 months. The latter is recommended because once people take a bite of this, they’ll be begging for you to make it again. But it’ll be no problem, as it’s easy to cook if the pulled pork is already made.
28. Chicken Quesadillas
Playing around with inventive quesadillas is fun and keeps our tastebuds entertained. But sometimes, you just want a straightforward yet tasty chicken quesadilla recipe. That’s exactly what this is, and it doesn’t take ages to make, either.
Success in this recipe is found in the quality of the cheese. Sure, you can go budget if that’s what needs to be done. But if you can spring for quality, it will elevate these quesadillas to something better than your average restaurant fare.
29. Mussel Quesadilla
Mussels are often associated with Portuguese dishes. Admittedly, these shellfish are more abundant in cooler waters. But Mexico is no stranger to mussels. Besides, when it comes to making Tex-Mex, authenticity has already been left behind.
Mussels also have a habit of intimidating some cooks, but they’re pretty simple. Nor do they require much time to prepare. However, this recipe might do better using a different cheese than cheddar. Get something with a kick, like Pepper Jack or a chipotle gouda.
30. Tik Tok Famous Taco Quesadillas
The title of this recipe is precisely the joyful chaos the world expects from the internet. But the fun in this one isn’t so much the ingredients (fill it however you like) but the unique origami involved. The result is a four-layer quesadilla of perfectly proportioned deliciousness. Thankfully, unlike doing this with burgers, it does not require an unhinged jaw to take a satisfying bite. Whew.
31. Grilled Dessert Quesadillas
If you already have the grill set up for a BBQ, you might as well use it to the fullest. These grilled dessert quesadillas are a fun way to end any outdoor meal. This creamy dessert is achieved with butter, dulce de leche, and crumbled queso fresco. The bananas become positively gooey, heightening their sweetness. A delightful summer treat.
32. Huevos Rancheros Quesadilla
Sure, we can all scramble some eggs, toss them onto tortillas, throw some cheese on top, and call it breakfast. Nor should anyone be ashamed of it. That’s a filling meal that will keep you going until lunch. But sometimes, it’s nice to elevate our breakfast game.
This twist on huevos rancheros is a celebration of California dairy, with three kinds of cheese, sour cream, and butter. That alone is decadent, but there is more, including eggs, black beans, and tomatoes. One thing it doesn’t have is chili peppers, which for some, is unthinkable. But it isn’t challenging to sneak those in.
33. Pumpkin Quesadillas With Green Chile and Black Beans
It is rare to come across a pumpkin recipe without the ubiquitous pumpkin spice. But this recipe has done just that, although there is cinnamon in it. This aromatic dish doesn’t take long to prepare, uses only a handful of ingredients, and is healthy yet filling. A real winner for a Meatless Monday autumn meal.
34. The Ultimate Quesadilla
The name of this recipe makes it sound like the Tex-Mex equivalent of the everything bagel. Also, the flexibility encouraged in the instructions does allow you to toss it all in if that’s your culinary jam. But the core recipe is straightforward and won’t overload your tortilla. Nor does it take a long time to prepare.
It’s a great choice when you want to whip up a hot lunch or need a dinner that can be made for under 15 minutes for a single serving. Nor will expanding it to feed an entire family add much time. However, you may consider swapping apple cider vinegar out for freshly squeezed lemon or lime. But regardless of what you choose, enjoy.
35. Jamie Oliver’s Boxing Day Quesadillas
People in the United States don’t have Boxing Day, and that’s a shame. But many parts of the world follow this British tradition of giving their great citizens the day after Christmas off. The holiday began with the wealthy giving their servants the day off since the staff worked on Christmas. In addition, the haves would box up their leftovers and distribute them to the have-nots.
But in our modern world, Boxing Day is a time when the exhausted and shattered folks pass out after putting on a glorious Christmas for the family and guests. Thankfully, Jamie Oliver’s recipe comes together quickly and does not require amazing culinary skills. The key difference between his dish and Martha Stewart’s post-Thanksgiving version is the cheese. He uses camembert, which will provide a more robust taste. He suggests slicing it thin, but cheese enthusiasts should feel free to ignore that.
36. Vegan Quesadilla With Avocado and Refried Beans
Plant-based quesadilla recipes typically fall into two camps: using a manufactured vegan cheese or requiring a blender to achieve creaminess. Both types have their pros and can be delicious. But not everyone is a fan of vegan cheese, nor do people always have oodles of time to make special sauces.
That’s what makes these vegan quesadillas such a pleasure. They acquire their gooeyness from the refried beans and guacamole and provide the option of topping it off with vegan sour cream if you like. Otherwise, just throw salsa over it and enjoy.
37. Crispy Cheesy Beef Quesadillas
Add some variety to Taco Tuesday with these juicy and flavor-packed quesadillas. The recipe uses mozzarella, which is far from a traditional choice. However, the creator finds it makes the meal more playful as you achieve pizza-like cheese pulls.
However, the instructions provide alternatives should you want a more authentic touch. In addition, from taco spice to guacamole, the recipe gives the cook the choice of premade and fast or a link on how to make your own.
38. Catfish Quesadilla With Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream
Catfish is a Southern staple, right up there with Texas toast, grits, collard greens, sweet tea, and Tex-Mex. But there are more ways to serve it than deep-fried with a side of hush puppies. This catfish quesadilla is proof of that. Plus, it’s a lean protein full of essential omega-3s and B12.
But even if you are not a catfish fan, this recipe is worth a look. The cilantro-lime sour cream is divine. Then, of course, you’ll want to start whipping up batches for all kinds of Tex-Mex dishes. What a treat.
39. Best Pizza Quesadilla
Kids love pizza and adore it as a snack. But few people have time for that. But these pizza quesadillas are a cinch to put together. It’s also perfect for people living in cozy spaces that lack decent ovens. If your hungry crew is shy of heat, just leave out the jalapeno, there will still be plenty of flavor remaining. But, frankly, these are so tasty adults will want to eat them too.
40. Pioneer Woman’s Breakfast Quesadillas
You can depend on the Pioneer Woman to serve up a hearty meal. Also, she portions her recipes to feed a crew. But the true star of this dish is the bacon. The meat and the grease are used to maximize flavor. But fear not, there are plenty of vegetables included too, and the all-essential avocado. An excellent choice whenever you’re faced with rustling up a morning meal for a small crowd.
41. Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas
Buffalo chicken wings are about as American as you can get. They’re right up there with football, 4th of July fireworks, and slam dunks. But let’s be honest, they’re bony little suckers. Sometimes you just want to take a big ol’ bite and chew without worrying about the potential dental bill.
Buffalo chicken quesadillas take everything you love about the original snack and turn it into a handy, dippable sandwich. It has crunch (without jaw-breaking fear), gooey cheese, and buffalo wing sauce. Lash it with sour cream and dig in.
42. Spicy Spinach Quesadillas
Eating your greens doesn’t have to be limited to salad and creamed vegetable dishes. For example, adding spinach to quesadillas raises the nutritional level while keeping everything tasty. Also, with only five ingredients, they’re fast to prepare. Perfect for when you want a hot lunch or need to whip up dinner in a hurry. Yum.
43. Easy Mexican Beef Quesadilla
Exhausted parents all over the world need an arsenal of crowd-pleasing recipes they can throw together while multitasking. Unfortunately, families cannot live off delivery alone. That’s what makes this quesadilla such a winner.
The beef and cheese will fill the bellies of growing kids while still keeping picky eaters happy. Also, this meal does not require laundry baskets’ worth of time to prepare. However, should you feel adventurous, there are instructions on how to make your own tortillas. But store-bought will still produce a winning meal if you are in a hurry.
44. Pati Jinich’s Chilorio Quesadillas
Pati Jinich’s quesadillas don’t fall into the fast, simple meal. But the braised pork is mouthwateringly fabulous, making the effort worth it. Nor do you need to be anywhere near a professional chef to recreate the dish. Jinich’s instructions are not complicated; it just takes time to cook the pork in its orange juice mixture to ensure the meat will be juicy and flavorful.
Patience is the secret to this meal. Once the meat and the other ingredients have been combined, let it simmer for another 20 minutes so the meat absorbs the sauce. Only then do you start assembling the quesadillas. In the end, you will have created a dinner worthy of applause.
45. Dessert Quesadilla With Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chips
Peanut butter is decadent fiber and protein. It’s how generations of children have been kept alive. But you don’t need to be a kid to enjoy these dessert quesadillas. Adults will appreciate how the cinnamon with a touch of honey makes the treat shine.
Also, they are so much simpler than decorating batches of cupcakes. Nor will you miss the frosting, promise. Just watch out for an army of children egged on by adults demanding more.
46. Fresh Fig Quesadilla
These fresh fig quesadillas are divine if you’re looking for a light and unique appetizer. The fruit pairs beautifully with the savory cheese, ensuring it isn’t dessert sweet. The basil provides an unexpected delight, while the touch of jalapeno adds subtle zing.
Your guests will love it.
47. Garden Squash Quesadillas
Anyone with green thumbs knows that growing zucchini is cultivating an edible virus. One moment you’re looking at some flowers, wondering if the poor plant can spare a few. Next, you’ve got vegetables bigger than the average newborn. Then all your neighbors lock their doors and pretend not to be home when you try to give them away.
There are never enough recipes to handle the zucchini wealth. But here is an appetizing and healthy way to devour some more. They are a perfect side to a BBQ.
48. Mexican Salmon Quesadillas With Avocado
Healthy doesn’t have to mean dull and tasteless. These salmon quesadillas provide a generous dose of omega-3s and plenty of protein while still being yummy. The dish makes an excellent lunch or a light dinner. Pair this recipe with a glass of rose, and you’ll feel like you’re on a summer vacation.
Bonus, this meal takes minimum prep. So you’re looking at 15-20 minutes of your day from start to finish. If only more healthy and scrumptious meals were this simple.
49. Roasted Poblano Quesadilla
Poblano peppers are tasty and raw when used in salads and salsas. However, they reach a whole different level of goodness when roasted. Yes, it adds 25-30 minutes to do. But once you taste them, you’ll be glad you spent the time. Combine them with cheese, and it feels sinfully decadent.
Nor is this recipe all that complex. Once you’ve roasted the peppers, the rest comes together in under 10 minutes. Altogether, it’s a simple meal that packs a mouthwatering punch.
50. Air Fryer Quesadillas
Air fryers have revolutionized countless dishes, and the traditionally oily quesadillas are no exception. Of course, you could experiment using your air fryer with many of the 49 recipes above. But it’s sometimes nice to start with one that’s been tried and tested.
The basic meal is quick to prepare, taking 10-15 minutes from start to completion. However, it also comes with a long list of alternative suggestions, so you can play around until you find your perfect culinary hit. Bonus, these can be frozen for up to 3 months.