how to make the best damn quesadilla

i take this very seriously

Again, if I have to describe my cooking style, it’s absolutely California meets Texas.

I talk a bit more about it here but basically? I like BIG BIG BIG. LOTS of flavor, hella spicy, savory to the max. Nothing this born & raised Houstonian misses more here in California than some Tex-Mex & BBQ.

I’m constantly cooking old favs here with a California twist…. aka adding kale, lemon – freshness, if you will – to everything.

There’s nothing I love more than a damn good quesadilla. However, as I was trying to get my Texas fix here in California… I found all my quesadillas were kind of lackluster. & like…. how hard can it be, right? It’s a quesadilla after all.

After some tweaks and playing around in the kitchen, I found some tips that really took my quesadilla game to the next level.

In fact, I make these CONSTANTLY. They are one of my fav lunches since they’re so satisfying, filling, & just delicious as kcuf if we’re being honest!

essellesse tips for making the best quesadilla

mix the ingredients with the cheese!

This is THE most important step and one that’s easy to skip. Rather than “building” a quesadilla, mix everything together. I’m very “Texas meets California” in my cooking style so this is where I like to add tons of chopped vegetables. I find the smaller the chop, the better!

The options are seriously ENDLESS. Literally any vegetable, meat, beans, etc you want. I even like to add sauces! There’s something so delicious to me about hot sauce & melted cheese lol but really, I can’t get enough of it. & even better when mixed with all the different textures.

What I personally like to mix in my quesadillas: white cheddar, spicy salsa, shredded kale, & maldon sea salt flakes... more on this in a bit!

mix up the textures

I am huuuugeeee on balanced textures. One of my fav things in the world is a good CRUNCH. My fav way to get it is with Maldon Sea Salt. The crystals are pretty large & the way they feel when you bite into it… omg I can’t get enough. I love adding some of this in the filling for crunch! You can also add crushed chips – any style! I personally love putting potato chips in both my sandwiches & quesadillas. I also like the texture of a creamy hot sauce. The one I am using here is the Salsa Verde from San Francisco based brand Tia Lupita. I got it from Epicurean Trader & it is SO GOOD!!!

cook with a kiss of fat

so I know this isn’t traditional, but I LOVE using olive oil on my quesadillas. Lightly add a drizzle to the pan. The smaller the better! As it heats, it will spread & you need just a kiss for this. A kiss of fat (oil / butter) will brown & crisp the tortilla. Again, texture!! If you pour too much, just wipe it down with a paper towel. See the photos above!

use a fish spatula to flip!

Honestly? Our fish spatula is one of my fav kitchen items. I love using it for cookies, thin burger patties, grilled cheese or any sandwich really, pancakes…. actually, I’m pretty sure it’s the only spatula I use these days. I appreciate how thin it is and how easy it is to flip “delicate” things.

Since the tortilla is filled, I actually consider quesadillas more delicate. This spatula makes it easy to flip without losing fillings…. not to mention, I’m obsessed with mine. This is the exact one we have!

after you flip your quesadilla, do a light sprinkle of maldon salt

I swear, I need to do a post on this salt but it’s seriously a kitchen staple here. I don’t have a sweet tooth but I have one hell of a salt tooth. ANYWAYS, this adds a nice bite on the tortilla. The best time to put it on is immediately after flipping! It kind of “seals” the salt & really is a flavor explosion!! You can also do cracked black pepper too if that’s more your jam.

let tortilla cool for a bit before you cut

after cooking, move tortilla to a cutting board & let it cool a bit. I generally give it ~5ish minutes? This allows the tortilla to crisp a bit more & keeps things from being tooooooo melted as you cut in! Again, texture 😉

don’t forget to top it! or have on the side to dip – your call 😉

When the quesadilla is chilling, I like to take a small avocado, dice it up, chop some kale & jalapenos, & put in a bowl. Mix with maldon sea salt and a squeeze of lemon with a fork & top the quesadilla!! Also delicious with chopped onions, greek yogurt, or spicy salsa. Casa Chicas Spicy Salsa is my all time FAV!!! In the photos here, I was out of avocados so I just did chopped jalapenos, a squeeze of lemon & sea salt to top. SO good!

Also, have fun with the fillings! If I’m ever “cleaning out the fridge” before our Imperfect Produce order, my fav thing to make is a quesadilla. Perfect for leftovers too. Just chop things up finely, mix with cheese, and there ya go! I do this with leftover grilled meats ALL the time! Here’s some I’ve made

+ proscuitto + white cheddar + parmesan + shredded kale + green hot sauce + jalapenos

+ ground beef + cheddar + jalapenos + iceberg + a kiss of greek yogurt

+ my fave “just cheese”: white cheddar + parmesan + garlic + onion + finely diced spinach & kale + hot sauce

+ any veggies you have + goat cheese + a kiss of honey + chile flake

+ onion + black beans + jalapeno + cheese

+ pinto beans + bacon + jalapeno + cheese + kale

+ breakfast quesadillas!! fluffy scrambled egg + bacon + green onion + cheese

+ spicy taco filling + all the fixin’s!!

As far as cooking, here’s what I do:

heat pan to medium {between a 6-7} and add the tortilla on the clean pan {no oil}. As the pan heats, mix the filling & keep a watchful eye on the tortilla as it warms, ~5ish mins from the cold pan for me but all stoves are diff. When warm enough, flip tortilla & heat for 30-60 seconds. Remove from pan & add a kiss of oil. Add filling to tortilla & add to pan. Cook, unmoved until the bottom looks golden brown. Flip, add a small sprinkle of sea salt. Cook otherside until bottom is golden brown. Add to plate & enjoy!!

Also…. if you really want your world rocked….. Cook until the tortillas are crispy, chop these into narrow strips, think 2″ max in height & throw them in a salad. boom! salads will never be the same again.

It’s the Texas in me!! ha- what’s your fav quesadilla filling?? Check out more super easy recipes here!

{ follow shannon on instagram: @ssschuchard }

+ We get all our groceries from Imperfect Foods & seriously can’t recc it enough. Check them out here & get $10 off your first order!

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3 Comments

  1. 3.25.20
    Nicole Calabro said:

    Ok well, now I’m making a quesadilla for lunch!!!! The goat cheese and honey one looks insane… I don’t have goat cheese but adding it to the grocery list