QUESADILLA 101

HISTORY OF THE QUESADILLA

Literally meaning “little cheesy thing,” quesadillas originated in northern and central Mexico in the 16th century.

Corn tortillas were already popular among the Aztec people. They often stuffed them with squash and pumpkin and baked them in clay ovens as a sweet dessert. In 1521, Spanish settlers brought sheep, lambs, and cows with them to New Spain, thus introducing indigenous people to cheese and other dairy products. The indigenous people continued stuffing their tortillas with pumpkin and squash, but also added cheese to the mix. Thus, the quesadilla was born.

The quesadilla quickly increased in popularity, and to this day has remained a favorite dish in Mexican cuisine.

HOW TO MAKE A QUESADILLA

Prepare the Filling

Prepare the filling: Pick a few of the suggested filling ingredients above, enough to make 2 to 3 cups of total filling. If combining leftovers, warm them briefly in the microwave or in a skillet over medium heat. If using raw ingredients, cook before making quesadillas. Transfer the filling to a bowl and cover to keep warm.

Prepare the Filling

Prepare the filling: Pick a few of the suggested filling ingredients above, enough to make 2 to 3 cups of total filling. If combining leftovers, warm them briefly in the microwave or in a skillet over medium heat. If using raw ingredients, cook before making quesadillas. Transfer the filling to a bowl and cover to keep warm.

Melt ½ teaspoon of butter or oil in the skillet

Melt ½ teaspoon of butter
or oil in the skillet

Ironically, the key to a crispy quesadilla is less fat in the pan, not more. Too much fat will make your quesadilla soggy instead of crispy. Use just enough to coat the bottom of your skillet—about 1/2 teaspoon of butter or oil. Warm it in the skillet over medium to medium-high heat.

Melt ½ teaspoon of butter or oil in the skillet

Melt ½ teaspoon of butter
or oil in the skillet

Ironically, the key to a crispy quesadilla is less fat in the pan, not more. Too much fat will make your quesadilla soggy instead of crispy. Use just enough to coat the bottom of your skillet—about 1/2 teaspoon of butter or oil. Warm it in the skillet over medium to medium-high heat.

Add the tortilla and top with cheese

Lay one tortilla in the skillet and sprinkle all over with 1/2 cup of cheese. Don’t feel obliged to use flour or corn. Expand your horizons to spinach or red pepper infused tortillas. If you have a little more time on your hands, make the tortillas yourself!

Tip: Double check that your tortilla is large enough to fit all of the filling into it. 9’’–10’’ tortillas are usually best.

Add the tortilla and top with cheese

Lay one tortilla in the skillet and sprinkle all over with 1/2 cup of cheese. Don’t feel obliged to use flour or corn. Expand your horizons to spinach or red pepper infused tortillas. If you have a little more time on your hands, make the tortillas yourself!

Tip: Double check that your tortilla is large enough to fit all of the filling into it. 9’’–10’’ tortillas are usually best.

Add the filling

Spread roughly 1/2 cup of filling in a single layer over just half of the tortilla. Don't use too much or the filling will fall out as you try to eat it. Spreading the filling over half makes the quesadilla easier to fold, and adding it as the cheese melts gives the filling time to warm if it has cooled.

Add the filling

Spread roughly 1/2 cup of filling in a single layer over just half of the tortilla. Don't use too much or the filling will fall out as you try to eat it. Spreading the filling over half makes the quesadilla easier to fold, and adding it as the cheese melts gives the filling time to warm if it has cooled.

Watch for the cheese to melt

Once the cheese starts to melt, begin lifting a corner of the tortilla and checking the underside. When the cheese has completely melted and you see golden-brown spots on the underside of the tortilla, the quesadilla is ready.

Tip: Be patient! The quesadilla will grill better and a more even melt on medium heat.

Watch for the cheese to melt

Once the cheese starts to melt, begin lifting a corner of the tortilla and checking the underside. When the cheese has completely melted and you see golden-brown spots on the underside of the tortilla, the quesadilla is ready.

Tip: Be patient! The quesadilla will grill better and a more even melt on medium heat.

Fold the quesadilla in half

Use the spatula to fold the quesadilla in half, sandwiching the filling.

Fold the quesadilla in half

Use the spatula to fold the quesadilla in half, sandwiching the filling.

Transfer to a cutting board and slice into wedges

Transfer to a cutting board
and slice into wedges

Slide the hot quesadilla onto a cutting board. If you are serving (or eating) the quesadilla immediately, slice into wedges. Using a pizza sliver always helps!

Tip: If you are not serving it immediately, slide the quesadilla onto a baking sheet and keep it in a 200 degree oven.

Tip: For optimal tastiness, only slice the quesadilla into wedges immediately before serving.

Transfer to a cutting board and slice into wedges

Transfer to a cutting board
and slice into wedges

Slide the hot quesadilla onto a cutting board. If you are serving (or eating) the quesadilla immediately, slice into wedges. Using a pizza sliver always helps!

Tip: If you are not serving it immediately, slide the quesadilla onto a baking sheet and keep it in a 200 degree oven.

Tip: For optimal tastiness, only slice the quesadilla into wedges immediately before serving.

Enjoy, Wipe the Pan Clean, and Repeat!

Enjoy, Wipe the Pan Clean,
and Repeat!

Tip: When cooking for a crowd, be sure to continually adding butter to the pan or skillet for each quesadilla you make.

Tip: If you are making quesadillas for a large crowd, use a pancake skillet. You’ll thank us—it will make things go a lot faster.

Enjoy, Wipe the Pan Clean, and Repeat!

Enjoy, Wipe the Pan Clean,
and Repeat!

Tip: When cooking for a crowd, be sure to continually adding butter to the pan or skillet for each quesadilla you make.

Tip: If you are making quesadillas for a large crowd, use a pancake skillet. You’ll thank us—it will make things go a lot faster.

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