Stealthy, Healthy Quesadillas (Kid-friendly & grownup versions)

On the quest to save time, making quesadillas has become a popular weeknight solution in our home. I usually make them once a week. Sometimes more. My children think they’re delicious and I can get dinner ‘done’ within 20 minutes. Yes… I said ‘within’ as in, less than 20 minutes from when I get home!

Kids & Grownup Versions

Sometimes I make the kids quesadillas as their ‘carb’ to accompany chicken or some other protein and vegetables, while we (grownups) eat the same protein/vegetable combination on top of salad. Other times, I make quesadillas for everyone and my husband and I get a ‘grownup’ version with more interesting fillings.

Yes… It Even Works Cooking For a Crowd

If you’re looking for a fun, casual meal that works well feeding a crowd, whether entertaining impromptu visitors or a large family, make the quesadillas in the oven to get them all done at the same time. It’s super easy that way.

About Serving Sizes

My children are young and I give my little one (newly 4) about 1/3 of one whole quesadilla and my son gets the remaining 2/3. I serve the quesadilla slices with veggies (i.e. broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, and/or peas) and a small serving (1/4 or 1/2 cup) of a protein (i.e., chicken, pork, turkey burger) on the side.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Stealthy-Healthy Kids Quesadilla – Serves 2 Children

  • 2 whole wheat (8 inch) tortillas (to create the top and bottom layers)
  • 1 teaspoon of hummus or avocado (yes, vegetables are the stealthily healthy part)
  • ¼ to 1/3 cup of shredded cheese (i.e. Cheddar, Mozzarella, Colby, Monterey Jack or a combination of these.)

Grownup Quesadilla – Serves 1 Adult

  • 2 whole wheat (or plain flour) 8 inch tortillas
  • 2 different vegetables:
    • ¼ cup of veggie #1 (i.e. diced cooked sweet potato, cut cauliflower florets, chopped mushrooms, sliced caramelized onions)
    • ¼ cup of veggie #2 (i.e. fresh baby spinach, chopped sun dried tomatoes)
  • ¼ cup of protein (i.e. diced cooked chicken, cubed hard-boiled egg, cooked pork, cubed cooked tofu, black or pinto beans)
  • 1/8 to ¼ cup of shredded cheese Cheddar, Mozzarella, Colby, Monterey Jack or a combination of these.)
  • Optional – ½ to 1 tsp. of hot sauce (or to taste)

Steps to Put This on Your Table

Stove top method: works best when making just 1 quesadilla for the kids. Although there are several steps, don’t worry…they happen very quickly and the whole thing is done in less than 10 minutes.

  1. Warm one tortilla on low heat in the pan for about 30 seconds, using tongs or a spatula flip over to warm the other side, another 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  2. Remove tortilla #1 from pan and place on a cutting board.
  3. While tortilla #1 is cooling, place the second tortilla in the pan and repeat step #1.
  4. Spread a very thin, even layer of hummus (or avocado) onto tortilla #1.
  5. Remove tortilla #2 from the pan and place on cutting board.
  6. Return tortilla #1 (hummus/avocado side facing up) to the pan, spread the cheese evenly over the tortilla, then increase the heat slightly to medium-low or medium.
  7. Top with tortilla #2, place the hummus/avocado side down (onto the cheese)
  8. Using a spatula, after about 1 or 2 minutes, when the cheese is softened flip over to the other side and let it warm another 1 – 2 minutes. The outside of the tortilla should be slightly crisp.
  9. Using a spatula, carefully transfer from the pan back to the cutting board, and allow it to cool for a couple of minutes. Slice (using a long knife) into triangles or other shapes. (My kids are particularly fond of circles, diamonds, squares, rectangles… and occasionally I break-out a quesadilla-Octagon.)

Oven method: is great for the grownup quesadillas which have more ‘stuff’ inside of them to heat through and for crowd-cooking where you can make the whole family’s quesadillas at the same time.

Cooking Quesadillas for a Crowd Oven Method picture
Cooking Quesadillas (chicken, butternut squash, onions & spinach) for a Crowd Oven Method.
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Put your base tortillas onto a baking pan (can be slightly oiled or use a silpat mat) or shallow roasting pan (use 2 pans if you’re cooking more than 3 quesadillas or if you’re using larger sized tortillas – i.e. 10 inch.)
  3. Spread hummus/avocado on the base tortilla (if using)
  4. Assemble with your desired fillings
  5. Spread hummus/avocado on tortilla #2 (if using)
  6. Place tortilla #2 on top of the fillings, press down slightly to create a ‘flat’ even surface if your toppings have created a ‘dome’ affect in the center.
  7. Warm in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes, until the cheese has fully melted.
  8. Remove from the pan and cool for 3 or 4 minutes on a cutting board then cut into shapes as desired (classic triangles or a kid-amusing variation, see my note above.)

Total Time:

For the ‘kid-version’ of the Quesadillas, it takes me less than 10 – 15 minutes to prepare. That includes cutting the vegetables to serve on the side while assembling salads for my husband and I.

 

The grown-up Quesadillas involve more fillings and take a bit longer to heat through fully and then cool before cutting. However, they’re still ready within 25 minutes.

If you have questions or give this a try, leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

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