Who doesn’t go mad over crispy tortillas stuffed with molten, juicy goodness??? Choose from THREE Quesadilla fillings – vegetable, beef or chicken. Make a big batch for standby freezer meals!
You’d have to be made of stone if that image doesn’t make you weak in the knees.
That golden brown crispy tortilla.
That juicy filling. Beef, chicken, pork, turkey, veal or vegetarian.
That molten cheese.
Quesadillas are a universal language that brings everyone together – vegetarians and meat lovers alike. And in the spirit of that, today I’ve got not one, but THREE Quesadilla filling options to choose from!
QUESADILLA FILLING OPTIONS
Today’s recipe is all about versatility based on one master Mexican Spice Mix that works fabulously with both meat and vegetables.
1. Beef – Made using ground beef (mince), I love how the spice really gets right in there all throughout the beef. A bit of tomato paste binds it all together and makes it nice and juicy. Use this recipe for any ground meat, including beef, pork, veal, chicken or turkey.
2. Chicken – Seared seasoned chicken thigh fillets (or breast) then diced and mixed through with sautéed onion and capsicum/bell peppers. Use this recipe for any protein in steak form, including beef, pork, veal, chicken or turkey.
3. Vegetable – A mix of onion, capsicum/bell peppers, black beans and corn, made juicy with tomato paste and the Spice Mix. Use this Filling recipe for any vegetables you want!
I can’t even tell whether it’s chicken or vegetable Filling used in the photo above.
I just know I want to eat it.
Preferably with some kind of dipping sauce. Even if it’s just sour cream, but if you want to go all out, try it with a quick Avocado Sauce. Made with avocado, sour cream, lime or lemon juice, garlic, and plenty of coriander/cilantro, this stays green for days and days!
AND IT’S FREEZER FRIENDLY!!
You might already freeze burritos but have you tried freezing quesadillas? It works perfectly. Assemble and freeze before cooking. Thaw, then pan fry or you can even bake from frozen.
So make a big batch. Have some now and save some for later! – Nagi x
PS Baking option to make loads at the same time – see this Baked Quesadillas recipe. A touch less crispy, but it’s a small sacrifice for the convenience!
Quesadilla (Beef, Vegetable or Chicken)
Choose ONE Filling! The spice mix adds terrific flavour – great with vegetable, chicken, beef, pork and turkey. Freezer friendly! Recipe video below.
- 6 – 8 flour tortillas ((20cm/8″))
- 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese ((or other of choice) (Note 1))
- 3/4 cup roughly chopped coriander/cilantro
- 1 cup corn kernels ((frozen thawed or can drained))
- ONE Filling of Choice, below ((beef, chicken or vegetable))
Quesadilla Spice Mix:
- 1 tsp each onion powder, dried oregano, salt
- 2 tsp each cumin powder, paprika
- 1/4 tsp each black pepper, cayenne pepper (optional)
CHOOSE ONE FILLING
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves (, minced)
- 1/2 onion (, finely chopped)
- 500g / 1 lb ground beef / mince
- 1 small red capsicum/bell peppers (, diced)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/4 cup / 65 ml water
- 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 500 g/1 lb chicken thighs (, skinless boneless (Note 2))
- 2 garlic cloves (, minced)
- 1 small onion (, quartered and sliced)
- 1 small red capsicum/bell pepper (, diced)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 onion (, diced)
- 2 cloves garlic (, minced)
- 1 can of black beans, drained ((400g/14oz))
- 1 capsicum/bell pepper (, diced (any colour))
- 1 cup corn ((canned drained or frozen thawed))
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1/4 cup / 65 ml water
Place tortilla on work surface. Sprinkle one side with a bit of cheese, top with Filling of Choice. Sprinkle with corn*, coriander and top with cheese. Fold in half.
- Preheat skillet over low heat (no oil). Place quesadilla in skillet, press down lightly, cover with lid. Cook for 4 minutes until underside is super golden brown and crispy.
- Carefully flip over the folded edge, press down lightly. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes until crispy.
- Transfer to cutting board, cut in half. Serve immediately!
Mix ingredients in a small bowl. Use for one of the Fillings Options below.
- Heat oil in a skillet over high heat. Add onion and garlic, cook for 2 minutes.
- Add beef and cook, breaking it up as you go. Once it changes from pink to brown, add capsicum. Cook for 1 minute.
- Add tomato paste, water and Spice Mix. Cook for 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl, cool.
- Drizzle chicken with 1 tbsp oil, toss to coat. Sprinkle over Spice Mix, toss well to coat.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add onion and garlic, cook for 2 minutes. Add capsicum and cook for 1 minute. Transfer to bowl, cool.
- Return pan to stove, reduce to medium heat. Add remaining 1/2 tbsp oil. Add chicken and cook for 3 minutes until deep golden. Turn and cook for 3 minutes until cooked through.
Transfer chicken to cutting board, rest for 2 minutes then dice and cool. Combine with capsicum mixture.
Heat oil in a skillet over high heat. Add onion and garlic, cook for 2 minutes. Add capsicum, cook for 1 minute.
Add beans, corn, tomato paste, water and Spice Mix. Cook for 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl, cool.
* Skip corn for vegetable quesadillas, it’s already in the filling.
1. Cheese options: Monterey Jack was my favourite but it’s now hard to find in Australia so I use Cheddar, Tasty or Colby. Any melting cheese of choice is fine here.
2. Other Proteins: Use the Beef Filling recipe for ground/mince pork, turkey, veal or chicken. Use the Chicken Filling recipe for thin steaks or pork, beef, turkey or veal. The juicier the cut, the better.
3. General notes:
* Makes 6 generously stuffed or 8 normal quesadillas
* Cool Fillings before assembling tortillas = crispier
* Freezer option: Assemble quesadillas then freeze before cooking. Wrap in cling wrap then place in ziplock bags or airtight containers. Thaw then cook per recipe. Can microwave 40 seconds or so to thaw.
* Bake option (can make loads in one go): Follow directions in this Chicken Baked Quesadillas recipe.
* Can also make flattish burritos, wrap in foil then bake until crispy (about 30 minutes at 180C/350F). These can also be frozen, thaw before cooking.
4. Nutrition per chicken quesadilla, assuming 8 servings. Lean beef quesadillas are 469 calories each, and vegetable is 357 calories.
WATCH HOW TO MAKE IT
LIFE OF DOZER
Selfie attempt. POUT Dozer, pout!!!