How to Make Quick Loaded Quesadillas Without a Recipe

Tortillas come in handy for so many quick recipes, so I always keep a bunch on hand. For days when I barely have any ingredients in the house and don’t have the time to fuss, I make a batch of quick quesadillas.

The tortillas are the base, and then I add whatever I have on hand + cheese. If I have an open jar of marinara sauce or salsa, I’ll include that. A handful of grape tomatoes that are getting soft, 1/2 a jalapeño, fresh herbs, jarred olives, and leftover roasted vegetables are all at home here.

My favorite kitchen appliance is the panini press – I use it to heat up bread, pizza, you name it, and also to make perfect grilled cheeses and of course, quesadillas. If you have one – great! Throw these quesadillas on and cook until heated and the cheese is melted. You can definitely make these the old fashioned way – just pull out any non-stick frying pan and you’ll be good to go – we’ll use that for the recipe here.

Base Ingredients

  • 8 inch flour tortillas
  • Marinara sauce, salsa, ketchup, or chimichurri, about 1 tablespoon per tortilla
  • Shredded cheese, about 1/4 cup per tortilla

Choose Your Toppings

  • Any type of tomatoes, sliced thin or diced
  • Olives, sliced
  • Leftover cooked vegetables, cut into thin strips
  • Canned black beans, drained and patted dry

Choose Your Spice(s) and Herbs

  • Garlic powder, 1 pinch per tortilla
  • Ground pepper, 1 pinch per tortilla
  • Jalapeño, finely chopped or sliced thin, 1/4 tsp per tortilla
  • Red pepper flakes, 1/8 tsp per tortilla
  • Fresh cilantro, 1/2 tsp per tortilla

Great Combo Ideas

  • Spicy: tomatoes + jalapeno + cheddar + cilantro
  • Mediterranean: feta + mozzarella + olives + tomatoes + red onion
  • Olive you: olives + ketchup + mozzarella + garlic + red pepper flakes
  • Mexican: salsa + black beans + cilantro + garlic + mozzarella
  • Classic: marinara + mozzarella + garlic + pepper

Creating and Cooking Your Quesadillas

Spread sauce (if using) over half of each tortilla, add cheese, toppings, and spices. Fold tortilla in half. Heat 1 teaspoon of butter or olive oil in a large nonstick skillet. Working in batches, add as many folded quesadillas as you can to the pan. Cook until slightly brown, 2-3 minutes, then flip, and cook until heated through and the cheese is completely melted, about another 2 minutes. Remove from pan, cut into halves or 4 triangles.

Note: to prepare for a crowd, make a batch, cut into pieces, then keep warm in the oven. Alternatively, place a batch in the oven on 400 degrees until the cheese is completely melted, about 5 minutes.

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