When people think of Mexican food, most salivate at the thought of tacos, enchiladas, guacamole, and margaritas. But you can’t forget about quesadillas, because as long as you pack your tortillas right, quesadillas can steal the show at dinner. Quesadillas can easily be made vegetarian, and they’re delicious when packed with cheese, beans, veggies, and more cheese. Regardless of whether you’re vegetarian or not, here are 6 spins on the quesadilla that will show you how versatile and healthy the Mexican dish can be when you nix the meat.
1. Three-Cheese Quesadilla
We’re kicking things off with a vegetarian-friendly quesadilla that features three different kinds of cheese: cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and Monterey Jack cheese. These quesadillas from Taste of Home can be made in all of 20 minutes and couldn’t be easier. To make cheese quesadillas, all you need to do is butter your tortillas, sprinkle on your cheeses, onions, cilantro, and olives, and then cook them on a griddle for 1 to 2 minutes until your cheese is melted. This recipe serves 2.
- 4 flour tortillas
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
- 2 teaspoons chopped ripe olives
- ¼ cup salsa
- Sour cream, optional
Directions: Spread butter on one side of each tortilla. On the unbuttered side, spread cream cheese. Sprinkle with cheeses, onion, cilantro and olives. Top with remaining tortillas, buttered side up.
Over medium heat, cook on a griddle for 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until cheese is melted. Cut into wedges. If desired, serve with salsa and sour cream.
2. Black Bean Quesadillas
Next up is beans packed in tortillas. This recipe for black bean quesadillas from Epicurious will appeal to meat-lovers and abstainers, alike. One way to take these quesadillas over the top is by dousing them with hot sauce, but it’s up to you whether you want to shock yourself with a heavy pour or keep things mild.
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 bag mixed grated “taco cheese”
- 1¼ cups chopped cilantro, divided
- 1 cup chopped white onion, divided
- 8 flour tortillas
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
- 2 large tomatoes, quartered
- 1 to 2 teaspoons hot sauce
Directions: Over medium heat, warm dry grill pan until hot.
Mix together beans, cheese, ¾ cup cilantro, and ½ cup onion. Divide mixture evenly over half of each tortilla, then fold tortillas in half.
Brush ½ tablespoon oil on grill pan, then cook 4 quesadillas, turning over once, until golden and cheese is melted, about 4 minutes total. Repeat with remaining ½ tablespoon oil and 4 quesadillas.
Meanwhile, pulse tomatoes, hot sauce, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and remaining cup each onion and cilantro in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Serve salsa with quesadillas.
3. Roasted Corn Quesadillas
If you want to add a little more flavor to your quesadillas, throw in roasted corn. This recipe featured on Food Network for roasted corn quesadillas shows you how to do it. You’ll first roast your corn on a grill pan before combining it with sautéed black beans, onions, tomatoes, and peppers. That mixture then gets loaded into tortillas before it’s topped with a homemade sauce made from chipotle peppers, lime juice, and sour cream. Top your tortillas with cheese and cilantro before heating them in the oven, and then it’s time to serve your quesadillas hot and cheesy.
- ¼ cup chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
- ½ lime, juiced
- 1 cup sour cream
- 3 ears white corn on the cob
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
- ¼ red onion, diced
- ½ cup black beans
- 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
- 2 tablespoons diced roasted red bell peppers
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 6 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro leaves, divided
- 6 ounces Jack cheese, shredded
- 6 ounces Cheddar, shredded
- 8 medium flour tortillas
- 5 tablespoons, sliced scallions
Directions: Preheat grill to high, and preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix diced chipotle, lime juice and sour cream; refrigerate for 1 hour. Roast corn over medium flame or on a grill pan. Let cool and cut kernels off cob.
In a medium saute pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil, jalapenos, red onions, and black beans. Saute until the onions are translucent. Add the tomatoes, corn kernels, and roasted bell pepper. Stir and saute for 3 minutes and add salt, pepper, cumin and 3 tablespoons of cilantro. Remove the pan from heat and let rest.
Evenly distribute mixture, the remaining cilantro, and cheeses among 4 tortillas. Top with remaining tortillas. Place tortillas on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Cook for about 10 minutes, until cheeses have melted and the quesadillas are warmed through. Cut each into 6 pieces.
Serve with chipotle sour cream garnished with scallions.
4. Vegetable Quesadillas
For another healthier spin on the quesadilla, there are these vegetable quesadillas from Cooking Light. Who says you can’t get your Mexican fix while getting in your vegetables for the day? Into the tortillas go corn, quinoa, spinach, cheese, black beans, and hot sauce, and they can be served with sour cream and/or lime.
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- 1 cup coarsely chopped poblano chile
- ½ cup frozen whole-kernel corn
- ¾ cup packaged precooked quinoa and brown rice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 5 ounces fresh spinach
- 3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 cup canned unsalted black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 teaspoons Mexican hot sauce
- 8 flour tortillas
- Cooking spray
- 6 tablespoons light sour cream
- 6 lime wedges
Directions: Place oven rack in middle of oven, preheat broiler to high, and place a baking sheet on rack in oven. Over medium-high heat, heat a large skillet. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add poblano and corn; cook 5 minutes, stirring once. Add quinoa, salt, and spinach; sauté 2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Remove from heat; stir in cheese.
Combine beans and hot sauce in a small bowl; mash with fork until smooth. Spread 2 ½ tablespoons bean mixture on each of 4 tortillas; top each with ½ cup spinach mixture and 1 tortilla. Lightly coat quesadillas with cooking spray. Arrange quesadillas on preheated pan in oven; broil 3 minutes or until lightly browned, turning once.
Cut each quesadilla into 6 wedges. Serve with sour cream and lime, if desired.
5. Vegan Quesadillas
Vegan quesadillas may seem like an impossibility, but this recipe from Vegetarian Times proves that it is possible to perfect the dish, and with the right ingredients, you may not even miss the cheese. Instead of the dairy stealing the show, these quesadillas’ star is the sweet potato, along with corn, jalapeno, cumin, and oregano. The recipe serves 4 and can be made in 30 minutes or fewer.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups grated sweet potatoes
- 1 small jalapeno chile, chopped
- 2 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
- 4 8-inch flour tortillas
Directions: Over medium heat, warm oil in large skillet. Add onion and garlic, and if desired, season with salt. Cover and cook for 8 minutes. Add sweet potatoes, jalapeño, cumin, and oregano; cover, and cook 10 minutes, stirring often. Add corn, and cook 1 minute, or until heated through. Continue stirring. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
Spread ½ cup filling on one-half of each tortilla, leaving ½-inch border around edges. Fold tortillas to enclose filling. Coat large skillet with cooking spray, and heat over medium heat. Cook quesadillas in skillet 2 to 3 minutes, turning once.
6. Greek Quesadillas
Last but not least, we bring back the cheese and highlight this recipe from A Couple Cooks for Greek quesadillas. These quesadillas are a fun spin on classic Mexican tortillas in that they’re packed with spinach, roasted red peppers, olives, the aforementioned cheeses, and oregano. The different ingredients and spices give these quesadillas a unique flavor, but the warm tortilla base still makes them acceptable for serving at Mexican-themed soirees.
- 8 whole wheat tortillas
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 1 red onion
- 1 jar roasted red peppers
- 1 can black olives
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup feta cheese crumbles
- 1½ tablespoons fresh chopped oregano (or 2 teaspoons dried)
- Red pepper flakes
Directions: Cut your vegetables and oregano. For each quesadilla, place a tortilla on a plate and evenly spread with ¼ of the spinach, red onion, roasted red peppers, black olives, mozzarella cheese, feta cheese, and oregano. Sprinkle with a few red pepper flakes.
Over medium heat, warm a large non-stick skillet for a few minutes. Place the loaded tortilla on the griddle and place another tortilla on top. Cook until browned on the bottom, then flip and cook until browned on the other side, a few minutes per side.
Remove the tortilla and cut into wedges with a pizza cutter. If making several quesadillas at once, keep them warm in a 300 degree Fahrenheit oven.