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7 Tips To Make Quesadillas With Anything in Your Fridge

7 Tips To Make Quesadillas With Anything in Your Fridge

Why didn't I try this earlier?

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Xueci Cheng

Xueci Cheng

Food Editor at Kitchen Stories

I only very recently made quesadillas for the first time. It was in the KS test kitchen and the recipe in question was Devan’s 5-ingredient mushroom quesadillas. It was nothing short of a revelation for me: They were so simple, so tasty, so why hadn’t I tried them earlier? I might blame the minimal Mexican food opportunities in Berlin. The crispy and cheesy-gooey snack reminded me of the TikTok trend that was everywhere in 2020; the tortilla wrap, a hack, supposedly, that made quesadillas even better, spawning many other creations, including one made with a nori sheet and rice.  

I took the rest of the store-bought tortillas home (if many of you wonder how we tackle food waste, there’s how) and they became the new home for my fridge leftovers: seared bell pepper, chicken breast, and even kimchi.  They are the perfect food for the "now" as highly-snack-able, between-Zoom-meeting snacks when working from home.

Here are 7 tips to level up your quesadilla game

If you are, like me, a novice to quesadilla making, or just want to know how to make them even better, here’s a humble guide.

1. Toast your tortillas

You can use corn or flour tortillas. I prefer the corn tortilla better, because they release a satisfying fragrance when toasted, but flour tortillas are indeed easier to fold, plus you can toast them to make them more pliable, especially if they’re a bit stale. Go for something that’s the size of your pan, or even make your own!

2. Mix cheeses

In theory, any stringy and melty cheese would work. For me the supermarket’s easiest solution is a mix of shredded cheddar and mozzarella for the most oozing, cheese-pull effect. You can even mix up the cheese with the filling ingredients to have everything combined evenly, as food writer J. Kenji López-Alt suggested.

3. Don’t forget your veg

Devan’s 5-ingredient quesadillas are solid proof that vegetarian quesadillas can be exciting: mixed fried mushrooms lend a great texture to bite into. But we shouldn’t forget pickled vegetables, like kimchi (if it works gloriously in a grilled cheese, so why not), or even sauerkraut.

4. Marinate your meat

For omnivores, remember to dry rub or marinate your meat of choice. It will increase the flavor enormously. I made some chicken quesadillas with the classic Mexican seasoning from this recipe, and they were gone in 2 minutes.

5. Fry with oil and butter

You can use either, but olive oil and butter yields the most golden, crispest results. While frying, a long offset spatula is your most helpful quesadilla-flipping tool. The thin tortillas can burn quickly so make sure to cook on medium-low heat.

6. Be creative with your fillings

If the tortilla wrap trend has taught us one thing, besides the long lasting popularity of wrapped food, it is: There are endless fillings to try out. I’m thinking sausage of any kind (like chorizo), eggs (see breakfast quesadillas), steak, pulled pork, pineapple… I can go on forever. So make your choice, but just don’t overfill.

7. Don’t forget toppings

Quesadillas are handy to make and handy to eat. However, sometimes you might like to have something more elaborate and make it a whole meal, or have a Mexican night with friends. From fried eggs to pickled red onions, here are a few things you can eat with your quesadillas.

Re-fried beans
This mango avocado salad

It’s time to make your own quesadillas

Chicken and cheddar quesadillas with salad

Chicken and cheddar quesadillas with salad

Bacon and egg quesadillas

Bacon and egg quesadillas

5-ingredient mushroom quesadillas with spicy sour cream

5-ingredient mushroom quesadillas with spicy sour cream

Want more Mexican food inspiration? Check out these Mexican recipes.

What’s your favorite filling of quesadillas? Let us know in the comments!

Published on February 19, 2022

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