15 Ways to Dress Up a Quesadilla

15 Ways to Dress Up a Quesadilla

Easy doesn’t have to be boring. Try these winning quesadilla combos for dinner tonight.

By: Leah Maxwell

I’ve never met a kid who didn’t like quesadillas or a parent who didn’t rejoice in the ability to make dinner so quickly and easily without wrecking the entire kitchen in the process. But let’s be real: Plain, old, boring quesadillas can be a little, well, plain and boring. Here are 15 ways to jazz them up without adding a lot of time, energy, or mess, and also without transforming them into something your kids wouldn’t touch with someone else’s mouth.

A lot of the individual ingredients can be mixed and matched to your tastes, but here are some winning combos to get you started:

1. Sharp cheddar and diced apple make a melty, juicy quesadilla that’s perfect for fall.

2. An open-faced quesadilla made with mozzarella cheese and pepperoni slices will be a favorite of kids who love pizza. You can even serve warm pizza sauce on the side.

3. Oaxaca cheese is mild and stringy and also goes by the name “queso quesadilla,” which you really can’t argue with. This goes great with some easy guac: a mashed avocado mixed with a squeeze of lime to give it a little zing (and to keep it from turning brown).

4. Speaking of zing, a quesadilla made with understated Chihuahua cheese gets a kick when served with sriracha mayo for dipping. (Make your own dip so you can control the amount of spice your kids will tolerate.)

5. When I’m in the mood for comfort food, one of my favorite taste combinations is shredded roast beef, Swiss, and ketchup.

6. Black beans (mash them up a little so they don’t roll around) go well with ricotta, and for kids (or adults) who need a bit more oomph, spread some jalapeno jelly on the underside of the top tortilla.

7. Try this twist on a classic kid-friendly sandwich: ham and Gruyère with mayo and mustard swirled together on the side.

8. If you have leftover chicken in the fridge, shred it and add it to a fontina quesadilla served with warm marinara sauce. This would be amazing on spinach tortillas.

9. Have leftover steak instead? Pair it with pepper jack cheese, and … wait for it … BBQ sauce. Mm-hmm.


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10. Shrimp cooks super fast and tastes great melted with a blend of shredded cheeses (look for them in bags at the grocery store) and pesto spread inside the top tortilla.

More from P&G everyday: 5 Awesome ‘Brain Foods’ and How to Get Your Kids to Eat Them

Feeling fancy? Pair your favorite cheese-plate picks with delicious snacky bits to make these decadent quesadillas:

11. Brie and dried cranberries!

12. Herbed goat cheese and toasted walnuts!

13. Jarlsberg and sautéed onions!

14. And how about raclette and pickles (sweet or dill)? It sounds weird, but don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.

15. And finally, this is going to sound crazy, but trust me on this one: Parmesan and dark chocolate. Gourmet chefs have been combining these flavors for years, but I’ve never seen anyone sandwich them between tortillas.

There’s something here for everyone, and the possibilities truly are endless.

What’s your favorite way to serve quesadillas?

Leah Maxwell is a book editor, freelance writer, cereal addict, wife, and mom to two young boys. She has been blogging at A Girl and a Boy since 2003.

Image ©iStock.com/avresa

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