Cheese Quesadilla Recipe [video]
Cheese Quesadilla is an easy and cheesy classic Mexican dish that takes about ten minutes in total to make. This is the best meal if you are in a hurry and craving a Tex Mex dish.
With its gooey and cheesy insides combined with the crispiness of the outside, it will take you back to your childhood. Serve this dish with Homemade Guacamole, Homemade Salsa, or Pico De Guillo, and you will have the perfect lunch meal.
The Best Cheese Quesadillas
A cheese quesadilla is a meal every parent and college student goes to when they are crunched for time. I like to spice it up a little bit by putting in Monterey Jack, mozzarella, and cheddar cheese. The secret to having the best homemade quesadillas is in the kinds of cheese you put in. By combining these types it will leave you wanting more every time.
It is also extremely important to get tortillas that are uncooked. Therefore, ensure to get uncooked tortillas at your local grocery store. This way, you can quickly prepare them freshly at home. Be sure to spread a little bit of unsalted butter on the outer side of the tortilla so that it can cook to a nice golden brown color.
Take this classic Mexican dish and introduce it to your weekly diet. It is affordable, easy to make, and is a great option for meal plans, or as a quick snack. Also, by eating it with guacamole, Pico de Guillo, and sour cream, it will really feel like you are enjoying authentic Mexican cuisine.
What is a quesadilla?
It is a traditional Mexican dish made with corn tortilla and filled with cheese (queso means cheese in Spanish) and various other fillings such as meat, and vegetables. Then, it is quickly warmed on a griddle the cheese melts.
In North America, this recipe was adapted and is often made with flour tortillas, and can be cooked in various other ways. Such as on a nonstick skillet, oven, or even microwave.
It is served cut into wedges or folded over and topped with sour cream, salsa, or guacamole.
What kind of cheese do Mexican restaurants use in quesadillas?
Mexican restaurants use a cheese called “Asadero.” This is creamy and smooth and melts really well in quesadillas and other Mexican-inspired dishes.
However, this does not mean you cannot use other types.
The best cheeses to use here would be freshly grated cheese. Here is the list of the best ones to use, which also melt easily and have a nice stretch once melted:
- Monterey Jack cheese
- Mexican Cheese
- Chihuahua cheese
Corn tortilla or flour tortilla?
The traditional Mexican quesadillas call for corn tortillas. However, feel free to use whatever you like and have on hand. Both corn or flour tortillas are great options.
In addition, you can use medium flour tortillas (known as soft-taco size), or large flour tortilla (know as buritto-size).
How to make cheese quesadillas on the griddle?
Making them on the griddle is one of our favorite way to make them. You end up with a nice melted cheese, and crunchy tortilla!
- First, coat the griddle with cooking spray and turn the griddle to medium heat.
- Next, take a tortilla and add cheese inside. Then, fold it in half.
- Leave it on the griddle for about one minute or until it is golden and flip it.
- When using a griddle it is best to cook it for half the cooking time that the recipe calls for.
- Also, if you want the classic grill marks then turn the griddle to 90 degrees to finish cooking.
- In a large skillet over medium high heat add 1 tablespoon of butter or a bit of olive oil. Next, add the first tortilla to the bottom of the pan.
- Then, place your cheese of choice on top of it, and then place the second tortilla with a little bit of butter spread on top.
- Set the stove to medium heat and flip the quesadilla after a few minutes.
- I find it easier to flip the quesadilla if you use two spatulas because that way the quesadillas will not have all the cheese spew out of them.
- In addition, it is better if you use metal spatulas because the plastic ones tend to melt.
- To reduce calories, use non-fat products.
Oven-baked cheese quesadillas:
This is one simple yet delicious dish to make in no time. All it takes is basically to combine three or more kinds of cheeses of your choice and place them inside the quesadilla. Then, set heat them up until golden brown.
To make them in the oven, follow the steps below:
- Make sure the oven is pre-heated to 450 degrees F.
- Then, take two tortillas and coat the outside of them with cooking spray.
- Fill the tortillas in between with cheese inside of them and place them on a baking sheet, and then in the oven for approximately ten minutes.
A tip to remember when backing them in the oven is to ensure to not put too much olive oil on the tortillas. This is because it can make them extremely greasy and unpleasant to eat.
For the best quesadilla experience, I would suggest serving it with a variety of dips or toppings. Here are some of my favorites:
- Pico de gallo
- Sour cream or Mexican crema
- Chipotle sauce
- Tzatziki sauce
- Enchilada sauce
How many calories are in cheese quesadillas?
There are about 500 total calories in them. To cut down the calories it is best to use reduced-fat dairy products and put less than you would usually think to put in.
Also, if you take out the sour cream it makes it so there are fewer calories. Sour cream alone has about 46 calories.
More tex-mex recipes to try:
Cooking tips and notes:
- To make a chicken quesadilla, simply add some leftover shredded chicken.
- Also, for the best flavors, try buying a block of cheese and grating it yourself. While pre-grated cheese is a quick alternative, it usually contains additives to reduce clumping and won’t melt as well.
- Feel free to make a cheesy quesadilla by using only one large tortilla. Simply fill half of each tortilla with cheese, and then fold the tortilla and place it on a griddle.
- Alternatively, to avoid folding, use two taco size tortillas. Place the first one at the bottom of the griddle then add cheese, followed by the second tortilla on top.
- To store leftovers, wrap quesadillas individually in plastic wrap, and refrigerate them for up to 3 days.
Three Cheese Quesadilla
- 6 large flour tortillas
- 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 1 cup Mozzarella grated
- 1 cup cheddar cheese grated
- 1 cup white cheese grated
- 1 jalapeno or chili cut into rounds
- 2 tablespoons parsley chopped
- 6 tablespoons butter for frying
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- Sizzle 1/2 tablespoon of butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat.
- Spread cream cheese over one side of the flour tortillas, and lay a flour tortilla in the skillet, cream cheese side up.
- Build the quesadillas by laying a combo of three types of grated cheese on the bottom tortilla, and then sprinkle parsley and jalapeno rounds. Top with a second tortilla, cream cheese side down.
- When the tortilla is golden on the first side, carefully flip the quesadilla to the other side, adding another 1/2 tablespoon butter to the skillet at the same time. Continue cooking until the second side is golden. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and fillings.
- Cut each quesadilla into wedges and serve with Pico de Gallo, sour cream, and black beans on the side.