Quesadilla Pie

In our house, quesadillas are the ultimate quick comfort food. If you aren’t familiar with quesadillas, think Mexican version of a grilled cheese sandwich—toasted flour tortillas with melty cheese filling. I am the quesadilla queen (at least in my own mind), having held that title since college where I regularly cooked up massive quesadillas on burrito sized tortillas with tons of add-ins for myself and friends. So when a friend recently mentioned the idea of a quesadilla pie, I didn’t even wait for the recipe, I knew what to do. The two basic ingredients of a quesadilla are cheese (queso is cheese in Spanish) and tortillas, either flour or corn, though usually in the U.S. quesadillas are made with flour tortillas. My version of a quesadilla pie is a casserole made in a pie dish with stacked flour tortillas and layers of cheesy filling, baked until browned and crispy. The beauty of quesadilla pie is that it’s a great way to use up leftovers and odds and ends. The essentials are the tortillas and the cheese; after that it’s up to you as to the variety and type of filling you want. Black beans are good, as are onions, chicken, tomatoes, mushrooms, or summer squash. All can be layered in with the cheese. Add as much chile as you want for heat and flavor.

Quesadilla Pie Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4.

Brush butter on the bottom of the pan to keep the tortillas from sticking, and to the top of the last tortilla for flavor and to help it brown. Hint: do not skip the butter.

Ingredients

Basic ingredients:

  • 4 large flour tortillas (9-10 inches diameter)
  • Butter
  • 1/2 pound grated cheese, either mild or sharp cheddar, or Monterey Jack

Potential filling ingredients:

  • Beans, cooked (black beans, pinto beans)
  • Tomatoes, chopped
  • Summer squash, chopped
  • Onions (green onions, red onions, onion greens)
  • Mushrooms (if using a lot, sauté first, to remove moisture)
  • Cooked shredded chicken, pork, or beef
  • Chiles, either from cooked green chiles, chopped pickled jalapenos, or salsa
  • Cumin and/or chili powder for extra heat

Garnishes:

  • Chopped avocado
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Thinly sliced iceberg lettuce dressed with vinegar and salt
  • Sour cream
  • Salsa

Method

1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter the bottoms and sides of a pie dish, approximately the same size as your tortillas (I used a 10-inch pyrex pie dish for 10-inch wide tortillas).

quesadilla-pie-1.jpg quesadilla-pie-2.jpg
quesadilla-pie-3.jpg quesadilla-pie-4.jpg

2 Place one tortilla on the bottom of the pie dish. Sprinkle some shredded cheese over the tortilla. At this point, you will begin to add your chosen filling ingredients, and layering the tortillas. Just make sure each layer has a generous sprinkling of cheese. In the pictured example, I used cheese, black beans, and onion greens on the first layer. Then I added another tortilla on top of that and put chopped zucchini, chopped tomato, chopped pickled jalapenos, and more shredded cheese. I also sprinkled a little cumin and chili powder on this layer. I added another tortilla and put more shredded cheese, more black beans, tomatoes and onions. Top off your layers with one last flour tortilla. Spread a little butter over the surface of this tortilla.

3 Cover the dish with aluminum foil. Put in oven for 30 minutes on 350°F. Then remove the foil and increase the heat to 400°F. Cook for another 15-20 minutes, until the top is lightly browned and cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Cut into quarters.

Serve with chopped avocados, shredded lettuce, cilantro, salsa, and/or sour cream.

61 Comments

  1. Annie

    I sometimes make similar dish using left overs. I call mine “taco-sagna.” My husband doesn’t even know that it’s left overs in disguise and he loves it.

  2. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    I’ve been making something just like this recently, but calling it tortilla pie. I love the name “quesadilla pie” because it’s really all about the fillings. I keep a container of leftover grated cheeses, all different types, mixed together in my freezer — perfect for dishes like this.

  3. Jane

    What a great idea!

    Here’s a question, though…if using chopped zucchini, should it be cooked a bit first so that it doesn’t make the pie soggy?

    I’m going to try this with lots of green chiles and spinach…mmmm!

    I used one fresh, chopped zucchini from my garden and it was no problem. The fresh tomato I squeezed to get some of the moisture out first. You could probably use fresh mushrooms too, as long as you didn’t use too many of them. ~Elise

  4. TexasDeb

    If you are the Quesadilla Queen (and who would doubt you?) then I just might be the Quesadilla Lady in Waiting.

    That said – this idea is GENIUS and I am all Homer Simpson over here slapping my head and saying D’Oh! in awe.

    Between this idea and fried rice there is no excuse to get stuck with leftovers. Ever. Again.

    All Hail – Long Live the Queen!

  5. Lori @ RecipeGirl

    Oh my! Of course we do quesadillas a lot here in SOCal, and because they’re easy to make w/ a kiddo around, etc. But I’ve never seen a quesadilla pie! I’ll be trying this out for sure… maybe using fat free tortillas (so I can pack in more cheese!)

    Another great combo is black beans with mango, though I’m not sure how mango would fare being baked in the oven for so long. It might be better as a quick melt in the ‘typical’ quesadilla.

    Or serve chopped mango on the side. Yum. ~Elise

  6. Meghan

    Looks delicious! If I were to add green or red pepper… should I sautee first?

    If you want. They’ll cook in the oven for at least 40 minutes. ~Elise

  7. Kalyn

    I am making this for sure. (And believe it or not, I can even make this SB friendly by using whole wheat tortillas!) Sounds like the ultimate comfort food to me.

  8. jonathan

    Quoting Elise…”Hint: do not skip the butter.”

    I can take a hint just as well as the next guy.
    Especially if it involves butter. ;^)

  9. Soma

    What a cute idea to put these in the pie pan. I love quesadillas & have it often esp. when alone.. stuff everything in & it’s done. I would use some sun dried tomatoes or pepper tortillas with it. Thanks!

  10. Sofia

    This looks yummy!
    Elise, the Mexican version of your quesadilla pie is called “Pastel Azteca” or Aztec Cake, made with corn tortillas, shredded chicken, poblano peppers, sour cream and cheese. You should try it too!

    Oh, that sounds terrific, thanks for the idea! ~Elise

  11. CJ McD

    I’m having a deja vu moment. I made quesadilla stacks on the grill this weekend. The only difference was we placed a corn tostada shell in the middle of the stack for an additional crunch factor. Sooo good.

    We too are quesadilla fans too. Traditional and non-traditional types– we even make “pizza-dillas” with pizza fillings and sauce.
    Love the stack idea. Although I do love the crunchy, browned tortilla with those thin layers of toppings and cheese too.

    I say it’s a winner either way!!!
    Thanks Elise!

  12. Jan

    I was making quesadillas long before I knew they had a name. I tried something like this once because I thought it would be so great. It ended up with the tortillas being soggy and VERY chewy so I figured I’d use corn tortillas next time. Is that what not skipping the butter was all about?

    If they were soggy, it might be because of the filling. Mushrooms, for example, are mostly water. If you have too many of them, or don’t cook out the moisture first, they will turn anything soggy. Also you want to cook the pie uncovered for a while so that the excess moisture can evaporate in the oven. ~Elise

  13. Nita

    I made this for dinner tonight with leftover grilled zucchini, sauteed onions, black beans, very spicy pepper jack and cheddar. It was delicious! Thanks for the idea!

  14. Maria

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was seriously delicious. And so fast! I used summer squash, orange bell pepper, green onions and fire roasted tomatoes. The top layer was nice and crispy but the layers below were soggy. I think next time I’ll have to drain the tomatoes better.

    Thanks for another great recipe Elise!

    Yes, you want to drain away or squeeze away any excess moisture from tomatoes if using. ~Elise

  15. Julie

    Do you have any idea if this would work with corn tortillas? I am trying to make it gluten free. Thanks so much for all the great recipes.

    You might want to take a look at our Tex Mex lasagna, which uses corn tortillas. Corn tortillas, unless freshly homemade, must be softened before cooking, usually by heating with a little oil or butter in a frying pan. ~Elise

  16. Andrew

    I love making quesadillas for the kids-the summer squash is a nice idea. One other potential filling is chorizio (Mexican style, which is loose fresh sausage). Brown it up and add it in.

    Great idea. You could even brown the chorizo, mix in some beaten eggs and use that as a filler for a breakfast quesadilla pie. ~Elise

  17. DK

    This is amazing – esp since I just had some now for our dinner – I made mine vegetarian of course (since we are one) but otherwise the recipe is more or less the same..:)

  18. Beau

    Brilliant. with 2 little kids, I’ve become a regular quesadilla factory; dunno why I’ve never done this.

    I started using olive oil for quesadilla-browning goodness & find it easier to control than butter. Also, a schmear of plain yogurt sitting next to any grated cheese really ties the whole thing together.

    I’m just gonna type quesadilla a few more times ‘cuz i keep thinking I’m misspelling it. quesadilla. quesadilla. quesadilla.

  19. Dorothy

    What kind of tortillas did you use?

    10-inch flour tortillas from Trader Joe’s. Here in Sacramento they carry good quality tortillas. (Don’t think they are consistent all over the country though.) ~Elise

  20. doodles

    You are correct about TJ’s they are not the same else where.

    This dish is a terrific and very clever DUH!!! a pie pan.

    thanks

  21. Lulu Barbarian

    Hi again! I did make this last night and it was great. What an easy way to make a pretty substantial quantity of quesadillas! I used corn tortillas, and they worked perfectly, although I have to admit I used the soft “handmade style” ones such as Abuelita’s.

  22. Courtney

    I read: “Quesadilla Pie”, and instantly thought ‘dessert’?
    Why not use brie, and or any fruit friendly cheese (cream cheese) and some dried berries, or other dried fruits. Maybe reconstitute the dried fruit in a wine or brandy first?
    Drizzle freshly grated cinnamon and nutmeg, fresh chopped mint into the quesadilla. After it’s heated drizzle with a brandy sauce, simple icing, or caramel?

    Thats where my mind went! ha

  23. Deborah Cantrell

    Just finished this for dinner. My husband and daughter loved it. Served it with some tomatilla salsa on the side. I usually have to follow a recipe exactly, not much of an ad lib chef, but I think I could do this again without the computer in front of me! Thanks.

  24. Loula

    Made this tonight and the husband loved it. Made it with red bell pepper, leeks, refried beans, one chicken breast. It was delicious and will be one of favs to make again and again. Forgot to cover it with foil and it was nice and crispy throughtout.

  25. JillBurgh

    Thanks a billion for this yummy why-didn’t-I-think-of-that recipe…
    We had your Quesadilla Pie for supper last night:

    layer 1 – cheese & black beans
    layer 2 – cheese, corn, tomatoes & scallions
    layer 3 – cheese, chicken, serranos, cumin, cayenne & chili powder

    Served with a fresh avocado. Cheers!

  26. Marya

    I often use uncooked tortillas that I buy at Costco when baking quiches to replace a heavy crust. Do you think I could use those in place of pre-cooked tortillas here?

    Sounds great!

    No idea, but if you try it, please let us know how it turns out. ~Elise

  27. Conitchewa

    I made this last night. I simplified it by making the layers the same. BlackBeans, corn, onion, red pepper, jalapeno, chicken & then tossed it all with chili pwd and cumin. Did my layers, filling, then cheese. It all came out of the pan perfect. Hubby loved it. Served with the usual mexican condiments at our table, sour cream, salsa and guac…One more time saver, buy preshredded cheeses. This is a quick, simple, Budget friendly & Healthy dinner. We really enjoyed it.

  28. Katie

    This is an AWESOME recipe! My whole family loved it, husband, teenagers and todlers… I made two. One with chicken and zuchini and another with chorizo and jalapenos. Both were awesome.

  29. Anna G

    None of my quesadilla made it into a “pie” but we did enjoy 2 days of cheesy goodness, with lots of weird fillings. This got me thinking about burritos and how I wish you would do a burrito article. For example what combinations are good, how to roll the burrito, does one fry the burrito, etc. I have mastered cheesy quesadilla goodness now I need burrito assistance.

    Yes, that will be coming at some point. Thanks for the reminder. ~Elise

  30. Bubblybunny

    Great recipe!! I tried tonight and we loved it. The top layer was so crispy!! Definitely will make this again. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  31. Lauren

    I made this for my fiance last night and HE LOVED IT!! It was easy and fun to make and was a HIT :) He took the leftovers to work. This will always be a favorite!

  32. katelynn giasson

    Just wanted to point out that on the last layer before you top off the pie with the final tortilla, make sure to put the shredded cheese on TOP of the filling, or else the final tortilla wont stick to the rest of the pie. This recipe is fabulous, the only difficult part is forcing yourself not to consume the entire pie in one sitting! thanks elise!

  33. Kay

    I made this yesterday for Father’s Day. I used some grilled onions I had left over, a shredded chicken breast, roasted red peppers, black beans, chilies, diced tomatoes, etc. It was fabulous! Seldom does a recipe really exceed expectations. I can’t wait to have the leftovers for dinner tonight. I want to try it using shredded pork, black beans and sweet potatoes next time.

  34. Randi Lynne

    Out of laziness, I did a vegetarian option with red onion, black beans, tomatoes, garlic and green bell pepper. I didn’t cook the veggies before and they turned out perfect! It even held together like a pie (once it cooled). I didn’t use many seasonings (a bit of cumin, chili powder and salt as you suggested) and was amazed at how much flavor it had. The cheese layers really made this dish awesome! I am bookmarking this to make again in the future and to keep as an option if I am ever cooking for vegetarians.

  35. Iva

    I am going backpacking this weekend and this seems like the perfect thing to cook afterwards – rich and easy. This will be on my menu next Tuesday after 35 miles of hiking through Sequoia NP. I’m already looking forward to being back ;)

  36. Jenifer Morris

    I tried this recipe last night and it was SO good! I was a little leary because of the name, but the pictures looked so good, I had to give it a try. Thanks for the great recipes!!!

  37. Carol

    This was great! We just had the leftovers tonight and they were good. It is just my husband and me now – so we do have leftovers. I warmed this up in the oven instead of the microwave so that it wouldn’t become soggy. As for the tomatoes, I used Roma tomatoes – more meat in them and less juice – it wasn’t soggy at all.

  38. Michael

    Just tried this recipe today with a guinea pig- er, I mean friend using left over pork roast, diced, and a piece of leftover pepperoni sliced and diced. Much to my surprise, these contrasting ingredients still blended perfectly and it was superb. Thank you so much for this!

  39. m

    What makes this look uber delish are the tortillas– they look super thin [whereas the quesadilla pics look like pretty standard tortillas were used. where, might I ask, did you get the tortillas for this recipe's pic? [ie. what brand etc].

    The flour tortillas for this quesadilla pie came from the Trader Joe’s in Sacramento. From what I understand depending on what part of the country you are in, TJ’s carries different brands of varying quality. Like bread, tortillas are made relatively fresh. ~Elise

  40. archangelcat

    These are a keeper, thanks so much! I used the best Trader Joe’s handmade tortillas – not gummy like some, very fresh.

    Also made use of the previous evening’s leftover BBQ pulled pork that added a nice piquant twist, plus red peppers and homemade salsa, ripe olives, pepper jack cheese, etc. so easy – stellar idea..

  41. Ashley Kosher

    Thanks for this recipe! I tried it out last night! It turned out great and it will definitely be something I will add to my recipe book.

    BTW, I think its great that you live in the Sac area. I’m just up the hill in Grass Valley! :)

  42. Erica Thoits

    My boyfriend and I are quesadilla fanatics. It’s definitely one of our staple meals, but we were running out of ways to make them new and interesting. I believe we had the following conversation about five times while making/devouring this last night:

    Me: I can’t believe we never thought of this.
    Boyfriend: I know. It’s amazing.

    We don’t usually eat meat, and this was delicious as all veggie filled. We ended up using pinto beans, summer squash, zucchini, corn, pickled jalapenos, poblano peppers, onions and green onions. It’s the first recipe we’ve tried off the site, and it certainly won’t be the the last!

  43. Tigli

    Elise – I just started reading your blog last week (and I think it’s great, by the way), and this is the first recipe I decided to make, mostly because I already had all the ingredients at home! It was seriously delicious! My boyfriend really enjoyed it too, and it fed us for 3 meals! Gotta love easy, frugal, delicious meals! mmmmmmmmmmm

  44. Jennifer

    Hi Elise,
    I wanted to let you know that I made this last night and we really enjoyed it. I made it in a springform pan because it was the only pan that fit the tortillas just right. It made the dish really easy to cut and serve.

    Thanks for the great recipe.

  45. Jamie

    WOW! Trying this tonight for sure! My husband loves Mexican food and can eat it everyday…and if this turns out as easy and delicious as it looks, I could too!

    One question I had…Has anyone tried freezing this? Say making 2 pies at the same time and cooking one, but freezing the other? Any thoughts on how that would turn out?

    Or should I be the guinea pig and try it out? LOL

  46. Whitney

    Did this for dinner tonight and my kids and hubby loved it! This will definitely be one we do again. Thanks for the great recipes.

  47. Kathy

    This sounds wonderful – I’m making it for dinner tonight since I’m craving Mexican food! Have you ever made it with sauteed shrimp? Any thoughts on other ingredients to go with the shrimp? Thanks.

    You can take a look at our shrimp quesadilla recipe for some ideas. But here’s the thing. The quesadilla pie needs to bake for a while. If you cook the shrimp that long in it, it will get seriously overcooked and rubbery. ~Elise

  48. Kathy

    Thanks Elise! I thought about that after I wrote to you and I’m sure you’re right. I’ll stick to the quick quesadilla with shrimp.

  49. Astrid

    Elise, your site is amazing and I visit pretty much every day! I wanted to let you know that I am making a tortilla pie (again!). I love this idea. I just make mine in a skillet, because I actually do not have a pie pan! Right now it is cooking up and has scallions, tomatoes, ground beef, and cheddar cheese. I’m serving up some ripe plantains on the side, so it going to be a nice meal. Thank you thank you thank you for the idea. I can’t wait to surprise my boyfriend with it. He is currently upstairs and has no idea I am making it again (he loved it the first time).
    Please stay amazing.
    Astrid

    You’re welcome Astrid! I’m so glad you like it. ~Elise

  50. Sara

    Made this last night after having had it bookmarked for awhile — it was a big hit with the boyfriend and super delicious! My layers were:
    1: cheese, black beans, white & green onions
    2: cheese, spinach, garlicky mushrooms
    3: cheese, more beans & onions, finely chopped jalapenos, and tomato
    I was concerned about it ending up a big soggy mess but I cooked the mushrooms ahead of time with some garlic and I made sure to drain the spinach really well & it turned out perfectly! Thanks for a great recipe — I will definitely make this again!

  51. treyna

    I made this recipe last week. I knew quickly that it wasn’t going to be big enough for 4 people (2 teens) so I made it in a casserole dish and layered the tortillas like lasagna noodles after cutting them into thick strips. Throw away the rounded edges. I can see us making this over and over testing different ingredients. My next attempt will be w/ flank steak.

  52. Yoko

    wow, what a great idea – I’m on a gluten free diet so haven’t made/had lasagna in a while, but now I can (sort of) with corn tortillas!

    This also reminded me of a Japanese recipe where they take cooked rice (cooled to room temperature), divide it into 5 portions, mix your toppings of choice with each portion (separately, so you end up having different ‘colored’ rice) and then layer these into a saran wrap-lined bowl. Turn this over onto a serving plate and voila! sushi cake :) It’s great for the summer when its hot out and very appealing to the eye with all those colorful layers

  53. Annette

    I stumbled across this recipe, while looking for “something more” than quesadillas. After reading the multitude of complimentary reviews I had to try it. The butter is a must! I also used the springform pan (a wonderful idea – it made the transfer to a serving platter & clean-up a breeze) My layers were 1-cheese blackbeans, onions, & chopped green chilies 2-cheese, & canned like Rotel)next layer was the same as the first – I did add more cheese on top to make the lid stick. To quote my family – “this one is a winner”. “please make this again soon & “please make two next time so we might have leftovers”. Oh yes, this is comfort food. Thank you for a new family favorite!

  54. Joy

    We LOVE quesadillas at our house and cannot wait to try this recipe! Thanks for a wonderful website. Its fun, easy to navigate and the food looks scrumptious! I am a busy student and this looks like it would be quick and easy and tasty too. Can similar results be had with low-fat tortillas and ingredients? We are trying to “watch our waistlines” so I am searching for recipes that fit that bill. Thanks!

    We don’t do low fat anything here, so I wouldn’t know what to advise you. But why don’t you try it and see? ~Elise

  55. Elisha

    These quesadilla pies ROCK! I used some left over roasted Anaheim Chile’s into the filling (left over from Green Chile Enchiladas on your website) and it is perfect! My kids loved it too. This will be a new recipe added to my FAVORITES … I can’t believe I hadn’t thought of it before! Thanks.

  56. Jane

    I made this yesterday and it will now be a staple in my diet. I added a can of Mexican corn that I had in my pantry and it was fabulous!

  57. Reese

    It was a hit with the kids! I did one flavor-layer with rice, black beans and salsa; the second layer with thinly sliced apples and smoked gruyere. The flour tortillas from Trader Joes worked beautifully. I’m going to work up some bananas foster-y version of a dessert with this concept, hey, it’s just gotta be done.

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