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.
- 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.
- Remove tortilla #1 from pan and place on a cutting board.
- While tortilla #1 is cooling, place the second tortilla in the pan and repeat step #1.
- Spread a very thin, even layer of hummus (or avocado) onto tortilla #1.
- Remove tortilla #2 from the pan and place on cutting board.
- 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.
- Top with tortilla #2, place the hummus/avocado side down (onto the cheese)
- 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.
- 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.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- 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.)
- Spread hummus/avocado on the base tortilla (if using)
- Assemble with your desired fillings
- Spread hummus/avocado on tortilla #2 (if using)
- 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.
- Warm in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes, until the cheese has fully melted.
- 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.)
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.