Crispy Baked Quesadillas Using Whatever You Can Find In Your Kitchen.
These baked quesadillas are about to change your dinner game.
I have been a loooonnnngtime quesadilla lover. If I told you how many quesadillas I ate as a child, you probably wouldn’t even believe me. And when I say quesadillas, what I really mean is a flour tortilla folded with grated cheddar cheese and melted in the microwave. Uh huh. And no, I’m not April fooling you.
Oh by the way, join me on instagram today to make these baked quesadillas! Because it’s fun.
I didn’t even have a legit restaurant-style chicken quesadilla until I was much older. Homemade microwaved cheese quesadillas were the lunches and snacks of my youth. They were everything!
And it wasn’t until I was older that I learned how good a quesadilla is when it’s actually crisped up in a skillet. The tortilla gets so crunchy and the texture adds so much, especially if you’re filling it with just cheese.
So anyway – now I make quesadillas often for Emilia. I use anything I can find – broccoli + cheddar is a common combo. Heck, I make a breakfast quesadilla. Whatever ingredients we have in the fridge or pantry, that’s what I use.
And the best news is that I also turned Eddie on to quesadillas. He prefers ones with meat (obvs) but it makes me so happy that he loves such a quick and easy dinner.
Now here’s the kicker:
In a pan, you can only make one quesadilla at a time. Duh! I have an electric griddle, which allows me to make two at a time. But now that my kids are of the age where they will eat a full quesadilla, I want to be able to make three or four at once – so we don’t have to eat in intervals!
This is the secret:
Bake them on a baking sheet. First, brush the entire sheet with olive oil. Next, fill the quesadillas. Then, brush the tortilla with more oil and bake for a few minutes. Finally, gently flip (this is easy, the cheese is melted and they are already stuck together) and bake for a few minutes more.
I freaking ADORE these.
The tortillas get super crunchy! Because that is obviously the best part.
The best part is that you can seriously add whatever you have on hand.
My embarrassingly easy quesadilla formula is:
tortilla + cheese sprinkle + fave ingredients + cheese sprinkle
You need to have cheese on both ends of the tortilla so it glues the ingredients together. Just like a stuffed grilled cheese! Not to mention, it’s quesadilla math.
The quesadilla I’m sharing below uses my turkey taco meat and I add beans, salsa, my quick pico and cheddar and monterey jack. It’s classic and delish. Do not be intimidated by the ingredient list! I’m simply sharing my exact recipe for turkey tacos here along with my pico recipe so you can easily find it. You don’t NEED to use these things, they are just options, and both are recipes you can prep ahead or make a day or two before! Shredded rotisserie chicken works just as well too.
If you’re rolling your eyes because I just told you how to make a meal that a five year old can put together, wait. Let me give you a few of my favorite quesadilla ingredients.
Here are just a few of my favorite pantry ingredients for baked quesadillas:
Beans (black, pinto, chickpeas, whatever you have!), roasted red peppers, diced green chiles, jarred salsa, sun dried tomatoes, artichokes, tapenades or bruschettas, even tomato sauce.
And when it comes to fillings, I like to use chicken, ground turkey or beef, pulled pork, shrimp or even salmon. I like sharp cheddar and monterey jack the best, but think outside the box depending on what ingredients you use! I often use swiss or fontina too. All veggies are up for grabs, bonus points if they are roasted. Fruit sometimes too. And don’t forget to let the seasons as well as other cuisines inspire you. I’m highly considering making a meatball quesadilla tomorrow. Totally serious.
P.S. here are a few of my favorite quesadilla combos here on the blog:
If you could put anything in a quesadilla, what would it be?!
Baked Quesadillas with Ground Turkey and Black Beans
- 3 8-inch flour tortillas
- 1 pound turkey taco meat (recipe below)
- 1 14-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup your favorite jarred salsa
- 1 cup quick pico (recipe below)
- 1 ½ cups grated cheddar cheese
- for topping: shredded lettuce sour cream/greek yogurt, pickled onions, cilantro, cotija cheese
turkey taco meat
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes quartered
- ½ sweet onion diced
- ¼ cup cilantro chopped
- ½ lime juiced
- pinch of salt and pepper
- As a note, keep in mind that the prep time will depend on what you like in your quesadilla. It could take less than 15 minutes to throw together or longer if you have to make turkey or chicken.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Brush a baking sheet with a drop of olive oil.
- To make the turkey, heat a skillet over medium heat and add in the ground turkey, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon. Season it with the cumin, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir well, continuing to break apart the meat into small crumbles. Cook until the turkey has browned. You can do this ahead of time. It also freezes great.
- To make the quick pico, toss the tomatoes, onion, cilantro and lime juice together in a bowl. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper
- To make the quesadillas, place a tortilla on the baking sheet and fill one size with a sprinkling of cheese, the turkey, black beans, salsa, pico and another sprinkling of cheese. Fold over the tortilla and brush the top side with olive oil. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Bake for 8 minutes. Gently flip and bake for 8 minutes more.
- Serve immediately with your favorite toppings.
Did you make this recipe?
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I appreciate you so much!
BRB going to go dive into this plate!
36 Comments on “Crispy Baked Quesadillas Using Whatever You Can Find In Your Kitchen.”
This is BRILLIANT!! Game changer with quesadillas. I still secretly crave cheese and flour tortilla in the microwave. THE BEST go to snack. Thanks for the recipe. On dinner list next week already!
I never have made them in the microwave, always in a cast-iron skillet…..maybe that’s’ why they’re always a bit burnt! Ha , ha, ha!
Like you said, anything I have on hand, these are great for leftovers smothered in cheddar cheese.
I always have greek yogurt on hand and some cilantro to sprinkle on top.
I will try this method now, it looks mouthwatering!
I happened to make your turkey taco stuffed peppers last night and have extra filling! Now I know what we are having for lunch :)
The needed ingredients are already on my grocery list! These look fabulous and I love that they’re so versatile. I seem to be doing more cooking than usual so a good time to try new recipes. I used to have for a snack or lunch just cheese and salsa made into a burrito and nuked – so good.
So we are out of tortillas – whomp whomp. Do you ever make your own? Would love a recipe :)
Flour salt, melted lard, water. Mix well. Portion out. Roll and heat in cast iron pan for about 30 seconds per side. You can find many recipes online.
We’ve been making a lot of tortillas crisped up in the air fryer as a base for pizza. We started with pita bread but ran out which is fine because the flour tortillas are so much better! This is our air fryer recipe in video format since what else do we have to in this current lock down than make vids: https://youtu.be/OJ-WWmok52I
On my list once I get to the grocery store again! They look amazing.
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This is amazing! We love quesadillas, but I hate having to make multiple rounds of them on the stove. We often do veggie quesadillas with refried beans, cheese, roasted corn, peppers, and onions. The refried beans are delicious, and all of these things can be frozen. Somehow I was like 30 before I realized that tortillas, beans, shredded cheese, etc. all freeze well!
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This method is genius. They turned out just like restaurant quesadillas! I did sliced grilled chicken, sauteed onions and peppers, and a cheese blend. I’ve always done quesadillas in a pan… this is so much better!!
My favorite math is definitely quesadilla cheese math! Haha. Will def make my own soon!
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I was skeptical, but baking the quesadillas gave me the most delightfully crisp tortilla with melty filling. Thank you!! I always like to make extra quesadillas for leftovers, but standing over the pan the entire time made it feel like a chore. Tossed them in the oven, set a timer, and you’re set!
So easy and delicious! I’ve never made quesadillas at home because I didn’t want to pan fry them. Baking them is genius! I also added avocado to the quick pico instead of just on the side and it is excellent. Thanks!
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Oh my gosh! This is a total game changer! May never go back to cooking them in a pan ever again. Thank you!
These are FANTASTIC!!! I made them tonight, love the crunch!!!
I just found you – from this recipe – and I am a believer! My husband loved it and said that it was restaurant quality. Thank you! I can’t wait to explore the rest of your site.
I had planned to make enchiladas tonight, but when the homemade sauce didn’t go as planned, I frantically searched for a baked quesadilla recipe. All I have to say is that I’m glad the enchiladas didn’t work out! I admittedly had to use different add-ins since that’s what I had on hand, but wow, this method of cooking quesadillas is a game changer! They were beyond crispy and melty, and so easy! My husband said we could have them any day. Thanks for saving the day!
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Just made this recipe with pulled chicken I had in my fridge. It was delicious and a snap to make.
These were the biggest hit. Every single person (including the picky eater and the health nut) had multiple servings. That never happens. My only complaint is that I had little time to sit and relax with how many of these they vacuumed up! Next time I’ll make 3 rounds all at once so I can find peace. Thank you lots for making me the popular (but tired) bell of the ball.
PS. I enjoyed the article along with this recipe. Where would we be without those basic microwave quesadillas?
All the best to you!
I made soft shell shredded chicken tacos last night. Was looking for an oven baked quesadilla recipe and discovered this. Almost everything was in the leftover meat I used for the tacos. Worked out fantastic!
I cook for about 45 people a day at my cottages and I’m always looking for great easy recipes to please different kinds of people this is perfect thank you so much
Hi i did this tonight and its a gamechanger for me! Everyone loved this andbecause its so easy i doubled the recipe and we have leftovers for lunch.
May I get this article in a printable format without all the ads?
It is so good and informative. I would love to have a copy.