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
- 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.
BRB going to go dive into this plate!