Quesadillas are basically Mexican grilled cheese sandwiches, and they make a tasty bite any time of day. On top of that, they're super quick to prepare (all of these recipes take less than 15 minutes, and many take less than 10 minutes), and you can vary them lots of different ways.
But what I like best about quesadillas for family cooks is that it's so darned easy to customize them to suit different family member's tastes without any extra work.
If you like spicy food, for example, just add some canned sliced jalapeno peppers to your quesadillas, while you make the ones for the kids without.
How to Make Quesadillas - The Basic Recipe
The good news is you don't need any special equipment to make quesadillas. You can make them in a non-stick skillet, a cast iron skillet, a griddle or even an indoor contact grill (quesadillas are a cinch to make in a George Foreman grill.
Just put a little butter or cooking spray on the cooking surface, and place a flour tortilla on top. Quickly layer the ingredients for your quesadillas, then top with a second flour tortilla. Cook, turning halfway through (unless you're using a contact grill, in which case, you don't need to turn at all), until the tortillas are crispy, lightly browned and the cheese is melted.
Quesadilla Recipes the Kids Will Love
Here are some quesadilla recipes to play with:
- Chicken Quesadillas - These quesadillas have just four ingredients and couldn't be simpler. This is a great recipe to make when you have just a little leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken breast. Feel free to experiment with different cheeses.
- Beef Quesadillas - Deli roast beef makes these quesadillas a cinch to prepare. But if you happen to have leftover flank steak, pot roast or beef stew on hand, that would be great in this recipe, too. I sometimes add a few slices of jarred jalapeno peppers to wake up this recipe, but kids may not like them. They are spicy.
- Turkey Quesadillas Recipe - You can make these quesadillas with deli turkey breast or leftover cooked turkey (they make an excellent after-Thanksgiving meal). Don't leave out the Dijon mustard. It really adds a punch to these quesadillas, which is necessary, given how bland turkey can be.
- Bean and Cheese Quesadillas - This quesadilla recipe has authentic Mexican flavors, and they're filled with fiber, protein, calcium and vitamins, thanks to the black beans. Make these quesadillas with whole wheat tortillas for an even bigger nutritional boost.
- Mexican Quesadillas - Two kinds of cheese and chopped green chiles give these quesadillas great flavor. If the kids don't like spicy food, just leave the chiles out.
- Quesadillas with Vegetables and Cheese - Trying to introduce the kids to new vegetables? This quesadilla recipe is the perfect vehicle for the job. Chop the vegetables finely to make the flavors less assertive. And be sure to use a good amount of cheese for the kids.
- Ground Beef Quesadillas - If you like tacos, you will love these quesadillas. They're quick to make and have many of the same flavors as tacos (minus the lettuce). Kids love the simple combination of ground beef and cheese, and the chili con queso really adds a zippy flavor to this recipe.
- BBQ Chicken Quesadillas - If you have a favorite homemade or store-bought barbecue sauce, this is the recipe to use it in. Because these quesadillas have just five ingredients, you want to make each one count.
- Chocolate Banana Quesadilla Recipe - Think quesadillas are only savory? Think again. These chocolate banana quesadillas will satisfy any sweet tooth, and they're so simple to make, you can have them on the table in less than 10 minutes!