The Secrets to the BEST Quesadilla

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The Secrets to the BEST Quesadilla

a photo of a golden cooked quarter of a cheese quesadilla with cheese oozing out the sides

The secrets to the best quesadilla recipe are quite simple and possibly crazy to post about but totally necessary as they are so good!

How silly is this post? The secrets to the BEST quesadilla? Does anyone really have to make a post on a food blog about a tortilla and cheese? Why yes, this girl does and I’ll tell you why — because you’ve been doing it ALL wrong.

Making restaurant-style quesadillas is a fine art, and although this is a super easy quesadilla recipe there are a few things you must always do when making homemade cheese quesadillas. Follow the recipe below exactly as written, and you’ll be making the world’s best cheese quesadillas in no time! 

I’m going to also include a couple of our favorite variations on the classic cheese quesadilla that are to die for! Keep scrolling for how to make an Oteo’s copycat quesadilla (uses a corn tortilla!) and a fabulous ground beef quesadilla.

Cheese Quesadillas Ingredients

First up, to make the best homemade cheese quesadillas EVER, you’ll need three simple ingredients:

  • fresh homemade tortillas or Vista brand flour tortillas (they are BEST!!)
  • shredded cheese: must be chihuahua cheese or quesadilla cheese
  • butter (if you’re dairy free, use olive oil!)

No really, that’s all you need! 

What makes this quesadilla recipe so good are the tortillas. I highly recommend homemade flour tortillas (link above) or Vista flour tortillas. If you don’t have time to make homemade tortillas or can’t find Vista brand, you need to look for fresh, uncooked quesadillas at your grocery store. Tortilla Land makes fantastic uncooked tortillas as well! 

What’s the Best Cheese for Quesadillas? 

When making homemade cheese quesadillas, you need to buy flavorful cheeses that melt well. You may want to consider blending different cheeses to amp up the flavor. Chihuahua cheese or quesadilla cheese is our go-to! A Mexican cheese blend (a combination of monterey jack cheese, cheddar, queso quesadilla cheese and asadero cheese) would also work great in these quesadillas, as would a sharp cheddar, or oaxaca cheese. Avoid using mozzarella cheese, as it’s too mild in flavor to be the star of your quesadilla. 

How to Make Quesadillas 

Homemade quesadillas couldn’t be any easier to make! The basic steps for making this cheese quesadilla recipe are as follows: 

  1. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat and cook the fresh tortillas.
  2. Remove tortilla from pan and sprinkle cheese heavily to one side of it. 
  3. Add a little butter to your pan (be careful not to add too much!) and plop the tortilla with cheese back into the buttery pan. 
  4. Cook the quesadilla for a few minutes until golden and then flip to the other side and cook until golden and the center is gooey.

Tips for Making the Best Quesadillas

It’s so important that you preheat your large skillet before cooking the quesadilla. I say this because I know not everyone will be able to find fresh tortillas, so you may not have to cook your tortillas before adding the cheese. If this is the case, make sure your skillet is hot. Your tortilla will soak up the butter in the pan and might not crisp up correctly if your skillet is not hot. 

If you decide to add extra fillings to your cheese quesadilla, be careful not to overfill it. I know it’s tempting to really load up your quesadilla, but if you have too much filling the quesadilla won’t get heated through all the way, won’t hold together and it’ll be difficult to remove from the pan. 

Lastly, homemade quesadillas are best enjoyed immediately after they’re made. I always go for those crispy cheese bits along the edges first where the cheese melts on the pan a little…the best! Quesadillas don’t reheat very well, so eat them while they’re fresh! 

Quesadilla Fillings We Love

Once you’ve mastered making plain cheese quesadillas, you’re ready to move onto filled quesadillas. Pretty much everything pairs well with cheese and tortillas, so you can throw whatever you want into a quesadilla! A few of our favorite quesadilla fillings include: 

  • Beans (any kind)
  • Sliced onions and peppers
  • Shredded meat (check out our teriyaki chicken quesadilla!)
  • Sliced olives
  • Shrimp
  • Cooked rice or quinoa 
  • Grilled corn
  • BBQ sauce 
  • Sausage 
  • Thinly sliced apples 
  • Leafy greens, like spinach or fresh cilantro
  • Ground beef (full section below for our ground beef quesadilla!)

You can put literally anything you want into your cheese quesadillas! They’re a great clean out the fridge meal, and you can also transform your quesadilla into an open-faced sandwich of sorts if desired (although then it won’t be a true quesadilla, but who cares?). 

Ground Beef Quesadilla

To make a cheesy ground beef quesadilla, you’ll follow the same instructions as above, but we are going to make some flavorful ground beef first…

  1. In a pan over medium heat, add 1 pound hamburger and brown.
  2. Drain grease and sprinkle with Kinders Carne Asada Seasoning or taco seasoning.
  3. Add 1-2 chopped Roma tomatoes, stirring to combine.
  4. Carefully add 1/3 cup water, 1 heaping teaspoon cornstarch and 2 tablespoons tomato paste. Stir and cook, simmering until thickened.
  5. Prepare the tortilla like above, after you sprinkle some cheese on the tortilla, sprinkle some ground beef over the cheese and then continue with the quesadilla recipe, using a lid on the skillet to help melt it down if needed. The butter is key!!
  6. Serve with guacamole.

Can You Make Quesadillas with Corn Tortillas?

Yes! Corn tortillas make great quesadillas! And a corn tortilla a great alternative for our gluten free friends! In fact, a traditional Mexican quesadilla is made with corn tortillas. Yum!

Corn Tortilla Quesadilla

This is where our Oteo’s copycat quesadilla comes in that uses corn tortillas and is OUTRAGEOUS!! Oteo is a mega-delicious Mexican restaurant here in Utah that is one of our favorites! We used to live so much closer to Oteo before we moved, so we don’t get down there very often now. We miss you Oteo!!

First, you have to use high quality corn tortillas (we use Vista), and second, the secret is to use chihuahua cheese or quesadilla cheese.

  1. Cook the tortillas on each side to warm them, then add a little olive oil in the pan and place one tortilla down, then top with cheese and add the second tortilla on top.
  2. Cook on medium with a lid on the pan, flipping halfway through then a tiny touch more olive oil and flaked salt.

Can You Make Quesadillas in the Oven?

Yes, quesadillas can be made in the oven! If you use uncooked tortillas, they will need to be cooked first on the stove top. Once the quesadilla is assembled (with cooked tortillas), place it on a baking sheet and bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes or until the tortilla is golden brown. Spreading a little butter or spraying them with cooking spray will help the tortillas golden up nicely.

Are Quesadillas Tex-Mex?

Quesadillas can be made to be Tex-Mex. A Tex-Mex quesadilla has two flour tortillas on top of each and stuffed with cheese, some sort of meat, lettuce, tomatoes, etc.

Are Quesadillas Good Cold?

If you’re in to cold leftovers like cold pizza, then you’ll love a cold quesadilla. For me, it’s a no go! But I know some people love it! I just prefer them hot and gooey!

Can You Eat a Quesadilla that Has Been Left Out?

The general rule of thumb for leaving food out is to never eat anything that has been left out for more than 2 hours.  Food that has been cooked is unsafe to eat when it is between 40°F and 140°F which is the temperature range where bacteria grows rapidly.

How Do You Reheat a Quesadilla?

Quesadillas do not reheat well. They end up soggy or over done. Just eat it all while it’s fresh and hot! Let this be your excuse to pig out!

What to Serve with Quesadillas 

As much as I wish cheese quesadillas were considered a well-balanced meal, they’re not. If you’re looking to round out your meal with some filling, easy sides, here’s what I recommend making: 

Or keep things super simple with steamed veggies or fruit salad. The whole point of making quesadillas is that they’re so easy to make, so don’t stress about making a fancy side dish. 

And you all know I love all dips, so serving quesadillas with homemade guacamole, restaurant style salsa and sour cream gets two thumbs up from me!

Try these simple tricks for making the best quesadilla and show us your work! We would love to see your quesadillas!! Stuff them with tasty ground beef or use corn tortillas for delicious quesadilla variations. I can’t wait for you taste these quesadillas!

All our QUESADILLA and BURRITO RECIPES and more:

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The Secrets to the BEST Quesadilla

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Description

The secrets to the best quesadilla are quite simple and possibly crazy to post about but totally necessary as they are so good!
Course 300 + Back to School Recipes Every Kid Loves
Keyword mexican, quesadilla, tortilla, vegetarian
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 4 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 262kcal
Author Sweet Basil

Ingredients

  • 6 Tortillas homemade, Vista brand or fresh, uncooked
  • 2 Cups Chihuahua Cheese quesadilla cheese or Mexican cheese blend, shredded
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter

Instructions

  • Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat and cook each tortilla on each side until just cooked.
    6 Tortillas
  • Remove the tortillas from the pan, add cheese to one side of each tortilla and top with another tortilla.
    2 Cups Chihuahua Cheese
  • Add a little butter to the pan and fry the quesadilla on each side, repeating with each quesadilla.
    1 Tablespoon Butter

Notes

Quesadillas will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

Nutrition

Serving: 1quesadilla | Calories: 262kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 482mg | Potassium: 67mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 436IU | Calcium: 311mg | Iron: 1mg

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READ: The Secrets to the BEST Quesadilla

Spice-Rack-Maker

View posts by Spice-Rack-Maker
Dave the spice rack maker. Lived and worked in central MN for 50 years, Enjoy the lakes and woods surrounding the spice rack makers wood shop.
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