How to make a Cheese Quesadilla – A taste through Time

I’ve been craving Quesadillas lately. I’m not entirely sure what spawned this craving, but I’m going to blame the nachos I had last week. (I personally blame Nacho Mama for posting all of her mouthwatering nacho finds around the Boston area.)

This craving could also be contributed to the fact that I made an impromptu quesadilla while in St. Thomas, complete with pinto beans in the cheesy inside and topped with freshly chopped lettuce and salsa. Man, did that hit the spot. Instead, I give you Black Bean Spinach Quesadilla with a crunchy outsides (thanks, skillet) and a gooey inside full of refried black beans, spinach and cheese. They’re lightened up with plain Greek yogurt for sour cream and corn tortillas for flour. Happy Meatless Monday!

What is Quesadilla Cheese?

Quesadilla Cheese is a type of soft, white cheese that melts well, often made from cow’s milk. It’s a popular choice for making quesadillas due to its creamy texture and mild flavor. While traditional Mexican quesadillas often use Oaxaca or Chihuahua cheese, other melting cheeses like mozzarella or Monterey Jack are also commonly used, especially outside of Mexico.

whats the best cheese for quesadillas

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • 1 large 9″ corn tortilla or tortilla of choice
  • 1/3 c cheddar cheese or cheese of choice
  • 1/4 c refried black beans *
  • 2 T red bell peppers, chopped
  • 8-10 baby spinach leaves, thinly chopped
  • 1/4 an avocado, sliced
  • 1-2 T plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 c medium salsa

* NOTE: feel free to swap in chicken, turkey, lean beef or pork for a carnivore version. I made this for Meatless Monday. I would add the same spices you use to make chili to add more flavor when cooking the meat.


How to make Cheese Quesadilla

  1. In a large greased pan or skillet, heat until hot over medium heat.
  2. Once hot, place tortilla and evenly distribute with cheese. On one half, evenly spread refried beans, peppers and spinach. Garnish with fresh lime juice.
  3. When cheese melts, fold the cheese half onto the half with the beans and veggies. Then, press down with a spatula for a few seconds to ensure melting.
  4. After a few minutes, remove quesadilla from heat when beginning to brown and cut into pieces.
  5. Plate with Greek yogurt, salsa of choice and avocado slices.
  6. Enjoy!

Cheese Quesadilla

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Where do quesadillas come from?

Quesadillas originate from Mexico. They are a traditional Mexican dish that has been enjoyed for centuries. Over time, they have spread to other cultures and have been adapted into various culinary traditions. Their simplicity and versatility have contributed to their global popularity, making them a staple in many international cuisines.

When was the quesadilla invented?

The quesadilla was likely invented sometime in the 16th century. The precise date of its invention is hard to pinpoint, but it’s believed that the merging of Spanish and indigenous Mexican cuisines during the colonial period led to the creation of this beloved dish. The quesadilla has since evolved, with different regions adopting their unique variations.

What to put in quesadillas?

The primary ingredient in a quesadilla is cheese, which is sandwiched between two tortillas and cooked until melty. However, quesadillas are incredibly versatile and can be filled with a variety of ingredients including meats, vegetables, beans, and spices. The choice of fillings can significantly alter the flavor and nutritional profile of the quesadilla.

What is a quesadilla made of?

A quesadilla is made of two main components: tortillas and cheese. The tortillas are usually made of corn or wheat flour, while the cheese should be a type that melts well, like quesadilla, Oaxaca, or Chihuahua cheese. Other ingredients can also be included to enhance the flavor and texture of the quesadilla, such as cooked meats, vegetables, or spices, allowing for a wide range of variations on the basic concept.

Can you make quesadillas with corn tortillas?

Yes, you can make quesadillas with corn tortillas. In fact, corn tortillas are traditional in many parts of Mexico. They provide a different texture and flavor compared to flour tortillas. However, they may be a bit more fragile, so handling them gently and perhaps using less filling can help ensure they hold together well during cooking.

What sauce goes with quesadillas?

Salsa is a classic accompaniment to quesadillas. Other popular sauces include guacamole, sour cream, and pico de gallo. The choice of sauce can depend on personal taste and the specific ingredients used in the quesadillas. A variety of other dips or sauces, such as ranch dressing or barbecue sauce, could also work well depending on your flavor preferences.

Can you microwave tortillas?

Yes, you can microwave tortillas to warm them up. It’s a quick and convenient method. When microwaving tortillas, it’s advisable to place them between two damp paper towels to prevent them from drying out. This method helps retain moisture and makes the tortillas pliable and ready for use in dishes like quesadillas, tacos, or burritos.

How long to microwave tortillas?

It usually takes about 30 seconds to warm tortillas in the microwave. However, the exact time may vary depending on the power of your microwave and the number of tortillas you are warming. It’s advisable to start with 15-20 seconds, check the tortillas, and then continue heating in short increments if necessary to achieve the desired warmth and pliability.

How to keep quesadillas warm?

To keep quesadillas warm, place them in an oven set to a low temperature, like 200°F (about 95°C), until you are ready to serve them. You can also use a warming drawer if your kitchen is equipped with one. Placing a sheet of aluminum foil over the quesadillas can help retain heat and keep them moist until they are served.

How long to bake quesadillas at 350°F?

Baking quesadillas at 350°F (about 175°C) typically takes around 15 to 20 minutes. However, the exact time may vary depending on the thickness of the quesadillas and the specific ingredients used. It’s advisable to check the quesadillas after about 10 minutes to ensure they are cooking to your desired level of crispiness and that the cheese is melting nicely.

How to eat a quesadilla?

Quesadillas are typically eaten by hand. They are usually cut into wedges, making them easy to pick up and enjoy without the need for utensils. Dipping sauces like salsa, guacamole, or sour cream can enhance the flavor and add to the experience. They are a casual and versatile dish, making them suitable for many dining occasions.

How long do quesadillas last in the fridge?

Quesadillas are best enjoyed fresh, but if needed, they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Ensure they are cooled to room temperature before placing them in an airtight container to maintain freshness. It’s advisable to reheat them in an oven or on a stovetop to crisp up the tortillas and melt the cheese again, rather than using a microwave which might make them soggy.

When was the quesadilla invented?

The quesadilla likely dates back to the 16th century, around the time of the Spanish colonization of Mexico. The fusion of Spanish and indigenous Mexican cuisines contributed to the creation of the quesadilla. While the exact date of invention is hard to pinpoint, this dish has a rich history intertwined with the culinary traditions of Mexico.

What’s the best cheese for quesadillas?

The best cheese for quesadillas is one that melts well and has a creamy texture. Traditional Mexican cheeses like Oaxaca or Chihuahua are excellent choices. However, other cheeses like Monterey Jack, mozzarella, or cheddar can also work well, especially if they are combined with other flavorful ingredients.

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