When Hubby was driving me into the city for pulmonary rehab earlier in the summer, we got in the habit of going through Taco Bell’s drive-through for breakfast quesadillas to eat on the way. We had tried a few other fast food restaurant breakfast options, but it seemed the quesadillas were the least messy option. It finally dawned on me that I could make them at home and we had recently bought a large countertop griddle that would make it super easy! Even if we hadn’t had the griddle, I would be making these at home in a skillet, because it’s that easy.
Now that have I perfected the technique, I’ll make several quesadillas at one time. They not only reheat well from the fridge, they are also freezer-friendly. Especially nice since there are some mornings that neither one of us wants to cook breakfast.
These are also great for school lunches, camping or to take along on road trips.
Before we get started on the FIne Art of Making Quesadillas, here’s a couple of tips: I keep low carb flour tortillas in the freezer. When we come home from grocery shopping, unless I plan on making a bunch of quesadillas at one time, I’ll separate the tortillas into groups of 2 or 3 with parchment paper between each group, so I only have to thaw what we need.
This isn’t so much a recipe as a cooking technique, with lots of flavor options! It can even be used in making leftover magic! I had a small serving of my Salsa Verde Chicken leftover from dinner one evening, and the next day turned it into 2 quesadillas for lunch. They were just as delicious as the meal the night before. I listed a few other suggestions using leftovers at the end of the post.
I found this cool quesadilla maker on Amazon, if you’d like to check it out.
Printable directions with all quesadilla ideas at bottom of page.
How to Make Breakfast Quesadillas
- I use 2 large eggs to make 2 or 3 quesadillas
- about 1/2 cup of your favorite cheese per quesadilla (I use shredded, but slices will work, too)
- I generally have a bag of cooked ground sausage in the freezer, and on occasion, some leftover bacon in the fridge. If I include meat, I use whatever I have available.
- If you want to add things like onions, peppers, mushrooms, etc, they will need to be sautéed first before adding the eggs to cook.
First, for simple quesadillas, I’ll lightly butter or spray with a cooking spray a small skillet, then scramble a couple of eggs with some leftover crumbled cooked bacon or thawed cooked ground sausage (plus the sautéed vegetables, if desired) When the eggs are done, move the pan off the burner, but keep warm. Note: I’ve also cooked the eggs right on the griddle.
Next, lightly oil the griddle surface, or the bottom of a large skillet, and bring the heat up to med-high. Lay tortilla(s) on the hot surface, then spread about 1/2 cup of cheese over the entire tortilla. The cheese is the glue that holds it all together.
Spread about a 1/2 cup of filling over only half of the tortilla. No need to measure. My filling tends to be between 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick.
When the cheese starts melting, look for browning on the underside of the tortilla. Lift the non-filled half of the tortilla and carefully fold it over the filled half. Press it down lightly with the spatula to ensure it holds together.
Note: If making these for a meal for more than one person, and if using a skillet, once the filling is cooked, making the quesadillas only take a few minutes each. Keep them warm in a warm oven until ready to serve.
Move the quesadillas to a cutting board, and then cut into wedges. A pizza cutter works beautifully! Serve with a dipping sauce, if desired. We like ours with salsa and Salsa Verde.
Extra quesadillas can be refrigerated for a few days in a ziplock bag or plastic container. I usually add a napkin or folded paper towel under the quesadillas. To freeze, once they are chilled well, I’ll put them in a freezer bag (removing as much air as possible), then store in the freezer for 2 -3 months. I usually thaw them overnight in the fridge, but a 1/2 hour or so on the counter works too.
To reheat, we lightly butter them to keep the tortilla soft, and then put them in the NuWave Oven for a few minutes. To microwave, place the quesadilla on a paper plate or napkin. Microwave on high for thirty seconds, check the heat and if needed, heat again for another thirty seconds, repeating as necessary until heated through. Allow the quesadilla to stand for a minute or two before serving. Since we no longer have a microwave (and I can’t remember reheating times) use your best judgment on reheating.
Leftover Magic Quesadillas
These quesadillas are prepared pretty much the same way as the breakfast quesadillas.
Whatever leftovers you decide to use, I found it’s best to have the meat and/or vegetables chopped or sliced thin, so they don’t require much heating first. If needed, the leftovers could be heated in a microwave. Choose a complimentary cheese to add to the filling ingredients. I included some suggestions for dipping sauces to serve with the quesadillas.
- Bacon Cheeseburger with American cheese, plus Burger Sauce (see next section)
- Barbecue Chicken with Smoked Gouda or Cheddar cheese, plus Barbecue Sauce
- Black Bean Salsa (black beans, corn, diced tomatoes) with Cheddar cheese, plus Salsa
- Broccoli with Cheddar cheese, plus Cheese Sauce
- Buffalo Chicken with cream cheese, plus Blue Cheese dressing
- Grilled Chicken with Asiago cheese
- Italian (pepperoni, salami, and ham) with Provolone cheese, plus Marinara Sauce
- Jalapeno Popper with Cream Cheese, plus Ranch Dressing
- Mushroom with Gouda cheese
- Mushroom, Spinach with Mozzarella cheese
- Pizza with Mozzarella cheese, plus Marinara Sauce
- Pulled Pork with Monterey Jack cheese, plus Barbecue Sauce
- Reuben (Corned Beef, Cabbage or sauerkraut) with Swiss cheese, plus Thousand Island Dressing
- Salsa Verde Chicken with cream cheese, plus Salsa Verde
- Turkey with Monterey Jack cheese, plus Cranberry Sauce
- Turkey, Sweet Potatoes, Cranberry Sauce with cream cheese, plus Cranberry Sauce
Make Your Own Flavored Mayonnaise
I’ve recently learned to mix up my own little flavored mayonnaises and dipping sauces to serve with sandwiches and quesadillas.
Start with a half cup of mayo, and then add a little bit of each ingredient to taste, plus maybe a tiny bit of water to thin the finished sauce for dipping:
- Burger Sauce – ketchup, pickle relish
- Garlic Lemon – minced garlic, lemon juice
- Garlic – garlic (fresh or powdered)
- Spicy – pick one: cayenne, chili sauce, chipotle hot sauce or sriracha (start with a tiny bit)
- Smokey – smoked paprika, maybe a tiny bit of cumin
- Lemon Dill – few drops of lemon juice, fresh or dried dill
- Fresh Herb – chopped parsley, basil, etc, garlic powder
- Rosemary – minced or powdered garlic, dried or finely chopped fresh rosemary
Dessert Quesadillas & Cheesecakeadillas
To make the cheesecakeadillas, mix in a teaspoon or two of sugar to the cream cheese before spreading on the tortilla. I’m guessing as kind of a stabilizer for the cream cheese.
Lightly brown and warm the tortillas. Spread the “creamy” ingredient on the warm tortilla, add the filling ingredients. Fold over each tortilla, spray the outside of the quesadilla lightly with nonstick cooking spray, then sprinkle with a little sugar. You want the filling a little warm, but if too warm, the creamy ingredient will ooze out too much.
- Peanut Butter, Strawberry & Banana Cheescakeadilla – peanut butter, sliced strawberries, sliced bananas
- Raspberry-Nutella Cheesecakeadilla – cream cheese & Nutella mix, serve with raspberry sauce
- Caramel Apple Cheesecakeadillas – cream cheese, apple slices, cinnamon
- S’mores Quesadilla – chocolate spread or mini chocolate chips, marshmallow fluff, lightly crushed graham crackers