Quesadilla

Quick and EasyMexican and Tex MexVegetarianQuesadilla

Classic Mexican and Tex Mex cheese quesadilla! Toasted flour tortilla with melted cheese inside.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Featured in 12 Easy Recipes for New Cooks

I grew up making quesadillas, the benefit of having a Hispanic mother who is a great cook. “Queso” is cheese in Spanish.

A quesadilla is a heated tortilla with melted cheese inside. But in addition to cheese, you can put practically anything in a quesadilla.

My favorites are mushrooms, olives, tomatoes, and onions. I don’t cook these ingredients first, but it really is a matter of taste. You could if you wanted to.

Traditionally in Mexico quesadillas are made with corn tortillas, not wheat flour tortillas, and a melty white cheese.

Here in the states though, because of how close we are to the Sonoran area of northern Mexico, quesadillas are more often made with flour tortillas. We like to get the flour tortillas lightly toasted because it improves the flavor.

Quesadilla Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • Large flour tortillas
  • Grated cheese - either mild or sharp cheddar, or Monterey Jack
  • Olive oil or butter

Optional:

  • Sliced mushrooms
  • Green onions
  • Black olives, sliced
  • Fresh tomatoes, diced
  • Chicken pieces
  • Avocado
  • Lettuce
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Salt

Method

1 Heat the tortillas until air pockets form: Heat a large skillet (cast iron works great) on medium high heat. Add a small amount of oil (about 1/2 teaspoon) and spread it around the bottom of the pan with a spatula (you could use butter as well).

Take one large flour tortilla and place it in the pan. Flip the tortilla over a few times, 10 seconds between flips. Air pockets should begin to form within the tortilla.

2 Add cheese and other ingredients: When pockets of air begin to form, take a handful of grated cheese, sprinkle over the top of the tortilla, making sure that the cheese does not land on the pan itself.

Add whatever additional ingredients you choose - green onion, sliced mushrooms, olives, tomatoes, etc. If you would like your quesadilla to be a chicken quesadilla, add some diced cooked chicken.

Take care not to layer on the ingredients to thickly - this is a quesadilla, not a quiche!

3 Lower heat and cover pan: Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. The pan should be hot enough by now to have plenty of residual heat to melt the cheese and brown the tortilla. If the quesadilla begins to smoke too much, remove from the heat.

After a minute, check to see if the cheese is melted. If not, return the cover and keep checking every minute until the cheese is melted.

4 Fold tortilla over: When the cheese is sufficiently melted, use a spatula to lift up one side of the quesadilla and flip over the other side, as if you were making an omelette.

The tortilla should by now be browned slightly. If it is not browned, turn the heat up to high and flip the quesadilla over every 10 seconds or so until it gets browned.

5 Remove quesadilla from pan and cut into wedges.

To make the lettuce to accompany the quesadilla, thinly slice some iceberg lettuce. Sprinkle some cider vinegar on it and some salt.

Serve with the lettuce, salsa, sour cream, and guacamole.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

94 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Brionna

    It was delicious

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. Julianne Cook

    Delicious!!! Thank you!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. Lilo

    One of my favorite recipes! You have so many options with this meal too.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. Amy

    I like to put the pan on medium heat while I grab the ingredients. I very lightly put some dabs of butter on one side of the tortilla and put it in the pan, using a pair of tongs to move it around so the butter coats evenly. Then I immediately put the cheese on and reduce heat only a little. The cheese is almost melted by the time the tortilla starts to bubble. 30 seconds later, the bottom is brown and cheese fully melted. I use the tongs to grab an edge and drag it onto my plate and quickly fold in half. Works great and I can get everything put away while the cheese melts. Takes only a little over 5 minutes for a yummy snack :D

  5. Lucy

    I found recipe to be delicious. I had no difficulty using butter to cover the pan. I would try to use a spatula next go around because my hands were a little tender from the heat. I wanted to add onions but could not find the cutting board. This is a very good recipe to know. Thanks so much.

    xxxxxyyyyy

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