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8 easy new quesadilla recipes: Buffalo chicken, 'pizza' and more great ideas

by Lauren Salkeld /  / Updated  / Source: TODAY

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Quesadillas are a two-ingredient wonder. Sprinkle some shredded cheese between a couple tortillas, pop that in the oven and within minutes you have a hot and satisfying meal or snack. But the cheese and tortilla combo is just one of the many directions you can take your quesadilla. Add chicken and you immediately have a heartier feast. Layer in some veggies and you’ve bumped up the flavor, not to mention the nutrition.

Quesadilla with barbecue sauce
Lauren Salkeld

These eight recipes range from the classic cheese quesadilla (with optional chicken) to more creative variations like a pizza-inspired version and one made with bacon and jalapeno. Each recipe makes four (1-serving) quesadillas, but you can scale the quantities up or down to suit your needs.

How to make quesadillas: The basics

The easiest way to cook quesadillas is in the oven, on a foil-lined baking sheet. At 400°F, a quesadilla will be golden and crispy in just five to seven minutes. For our recipes, we used 8- to 10-inch white flour tortillas but feel free to swap in whole wheat or flavors like spinach or tomato. Also: Don’t hesitate to try different fillings. These ideas are a great starting point, but quesadillas are ripe for experimentation. Play around with different meat, veggie and cheese combinations to create your ultimate version. And check the fridge for leftovers. Quesadillas are an excellent way to use up odds and ends —you may even discover a whole new recipe.

8 great quesadilla recipes

1. Classic cheese and chicken quesadilla: Preheat the oven to 400°F and line 2 large baking sheets with foil. Arrange 4 (8- to 10-inch) flour tortillas on the baking sheets and sprinkle each with 3/4 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese. Optional: Top each tortilla with 1/2 cup chopped cooked chicken. Arrange a second tortilla on top and press gently to seal the quesadilla. Bake until golden and crisp, 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, cut into 6-8 wedges and serve with salsa, sour cream and guacamole.

Black Bean and corn salsa quesadilla
Black Bean and corn salsa quesadillaLauren Salkeld

2. Black bean and corn salsa quesadilla: Make 2 batches of corn salsa (or use your favorite store-bought version). Rinse and drain 1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line 2 large baking sheets with foil. Arrange 4 (8- to 10-inch) flour tortillas on the baking sheets. Divide the beans among the tortillas. Reserve about 1/3 of the salsa for serving, and divide the rest among the tortillas. Sprinkle each tortilla with 3/4 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese. Arrange a second tortilla on top and press gently to seal the quesadilla. Bake until golden and crisp, 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, cut into 6-8 wedges and serve with the reserved corn salsa.

Barbecue chicken quesadilla
Barbecue chicken quesadillaLauren Salkeld

3. Barbecue chicken quesadilla: In a large bowl, toss 2 cups chopped cooked chicken with 3/4 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line 2 large baking sheets with foil. Arrange 4 (8- to 10-inch) flour tortillas on the baking sheets. Sprinkle each tortilla with 3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese. Divide the chicken among the tortillas. Arrange a second tortilla on top and press gently to seal the quesadilla. Bake until golden and crisp, 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, cut into 6-8 wedges and serve with additional barbecue sauce.

Pizza quesadilla
Pizza quesadillaLauren Salkeld

4. Pizzadilla: Thinly slice 4 small tomatoes, then set on paper towellined plates to absorb excess moisture. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line 2 large baking sheets with foil. Arrange 4 (8- to 10-inch) flour tortillas on the baking sheets. Sprinkle each tortilla with 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella. Divide the tomato slices among the tortillas, then sprinkle with thinly sliced fresh basil. Optional: Top each tortilla with several slices of thinly sliced prosciutto or pepperoni. Arrange a second tortilla on top and press gently to seal the quesadilla. Bake until golden and crisp, 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, cut into 6-8 wedges and serve.

5. Spinach and mushroom quesadilla: Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add 1 thinly sliced red onion and sauté until very soft and starting to brown, 5-7 minutes. Add 3 cups thinly sliced cremini or button mushrooms and sauté until soft and golden, 2-3 minutes. Add 4 large handfuls (5 ounces) baby spinach and sauté until wilted, 2-3 minutes. Line 2 large baking sheets with foil. Arrange 4 (8- to 10-inch) flour tortillas on the baking sheets. Divide the vegetables among the tortillas and sprinkle each with 3/4 cup crumbled Feta cheese. Arrange a second tortilla on top and press gently to seal the quesadilla. Bake until golden and crisp, 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, cut into 6-8 wedges and serve.

Sweet potato and kale quesadillas
Sweet potato and kale quesadillasLauren Salkeld

6. Sweet potato, kale and black bean quesadilla: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Using a fork, pierce 4 small sweet potatoes in several places. Rub the potatoes with a little olive oil, wrap in foil and roast until tender, 45-60 minutes (leave the oven on). Let the potatoes cool, then peel and mash them. Rinse and drain 1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans. In a large bowl, massage 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil into 4 large handfuls (5 ounces) baby kale. Line 2 large baking sheets with foil. Arrange 4 (8- to 10-inch) flour tortillas on the baking sheets. Divide the sweet potatoes, beans and kale among the tortillas. Sprinkle each tortilla with 3/4 cup crumbled goat cheese. Arrange a second tortilla on top and press gently to seal the quesadilla. Bake until golden and crisp, 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, cut into 6-8 wedges and serve with your favorite hot sauce.

7. Bacon, cheddar and jalapeno: Cook 8 strips of bacon until crispy; cool and crumble into small pieces. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line 2 large baking sheets with foil. Arrange 4 (8- to 10-inch) flour tortillas on the baking sheets. Top each tortilla with 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese. Divide the bacon among the tortillas. Finely chop 2 jalapenos (remove the seeds for less heat) and divide among the tortillas. Arrange a second tortilla on top and press gently to seal the quesadilla. Bake until golden and crisp, 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, cut into 6-8 wedges and serve.

Buffalo chicken quesadilla
Buffalo chicken quesadillaLauren Salkeld

8. Buffalo chicken quesadilla: In a small saucepan, melt 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter. Remove from the heat and whisk in 1/2 cup of your favorite hot sauce. In a large bowl, toss 2 cups chopped cooked chicken with 1/2 of the Buffalo sauce (reserve the rest for serving). Preheat the oven to 400°F and line 2 large baking sheets with foil. Arrange 4 (8- to 10-inch) flour tortillas on the baking sheets. Sprinkle each tortilla with ¾ cup shredded Monterey jack cheese. Divide the chicken among the tortillas. Thinly slice 4 scallions and divide among the tortillas. Arrange a second tortilla on top and press gently to seal the quesadilla. Bake until golden and crisp, 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, cut into 6-8 wedges and serve with additional buffalo sauce.

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