This easy Cheese Quesadilla recipe is the perfect base for making any type of quesadilla. The filling options are endless, so use this simple recipe as the starting point for making the quesadillas that you and your kids will love!
Consider this easy 2-ingredient cheese quesadilla recipe as the base for all the creative quesadillas that you'll ever make! Start with just soft tortilla shells and shredded melting cheeses, like cheddar and Monterey Jack, and you have the start to any other variation of traditional quesadillas that you'd like to make.
While my kids love a basic cheddar cheese and tomato quesadilla, add any ingredients that your little ones love, like beans and chicken. They are so simple and take only about 10 minutes to make. As a family meal, everyone can customize their own cheese quesadilla to their choosing. That's what makes this one of the best and easiest recipes for kids to help make and eat!
Cheese quesadillas are also a fantastic make-ahead meal. They are freezer friendly and can be thawed/reheated quickly. Because they also taste great at room temperature, they are perfect for picnics and lunch boxes. Quesadillas are life savers on really busy nights or school days.
Quesadilla Filling Ideas
Chicken: make a simple chicken quesadilla by adding shredded rotisserie chicken or diced taco-seasoned chicken to this basic recipe.
Beef: instead of chicken use taco-seasoned ground beef, cheese, black beans, sliced avocado, and diced tomatoes.
Vegetarian: make a garden quesadilla by stuffing with your favorite cheese and vegetables, such as sliced green peppers, mushroom, sliced onion, and diced tomato.
Southwestern: load with pepper jack cheese, black beans, sliced onion and peppers, diced tomatoes, fresh cilantro, and sweet corn.
Mediterranean: fill with shredded mozzarella, feta cheese crumbles, chopped spinach, olives, diced tomato and sliced red onion. This recipe is one of our favorites!
Seafood: use a one or a combination of small shrimp, diced lobster tails, and crab meat paired with adobo sauce, red onion, red bell pepper, fresh cilantro and cheddar or mozzarella cheese.
Caprese: fill your quesadilla with mozzarella cheese, sliced tomato, fresh basil leaves and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
*Always cook meat, poultry, and fish before adding them to the tortilla. Other ingredients, like vegetables and legumes can be cooked or not beforehand. It's really about your preference.
How To Make A Quesadilla
STEP 1: Spray a large pan or griddle with olive oil (or coat with about ½ tablespoon of oil or butter). Heat on medium-high for 2 minutes, then add the tortilla. Warm for 30 seconds, then add the cheese to one half of the tortilla. Fold over the other half and press down with a spatula.
*If adding other ingredients to the filling, make sure to add them here before folding the tortilla!
STEP 2: Cook for 4-5 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the tortilla becomes lightly browned. Use a spatula to press down on the tortilla as it cooks to help the ingredients stick.
STEP 3: Remove from the pan and let cool for a few minutes before slicing. Serve with your favorite salsa, guacamole, or sour cream.
Helpful Recipe Tips and Facts
Traditionally, quesadillas are made with flour tortillas. However, in the United States we typically use flour tortillas. Aside from this, flour tortillas are easier to fold without having them tear. Corn tortillas are a little more delicate and can tear easily if you aren't careful. Use whichever type of tortilla you prefer!
Shredded melting cheeses are the best to use in quesadillas. While Traditional Mexican cheese quesadillas are made with a queso called "oaxaca", here in the U.S. we often use mozzarella, cheddar, Monterey Jack, Colby Jack, and Mexican cheese blends like taco style cheese. These are delicious and flavorful melty cheeses that work well in not just quesadillas, but enchiladas and taquitos too.
Unfortunately, cheese quesadillas are not considered healthy, per say. While they are high in protein, they are also high in fat. You can make them healthier by using low carb tortillas and choosing any additional fillings from my suggestions above wisely. You can also use a little less cheese than the recipe calls for, or use a vegan cheese alternative.
Cheese quesadillas are not keto but can easily be made so by using a low carb tortilla and making sure the fillings added are low carb too.
Salsa, guacamole, and sour cream are great dippers for cheese quesadillas. Kick it up a notch by making pineapple mango salsa or mango pico de gallo.
How To Freeze and Reheat Quesadillas
Let the quesadillas cool completely before storing. You can wrap them in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
In the freezer, quesadillas will keep for up to 6 months. After they cool, slice them into 3 or 4 pieces. Wrap each slice individually in plastic wrap, then stack the wrapped slices on top of one another and wrap in foil. This lets you easily defrost and enjoy single slices at a time if you don't want an entire quesadilla.
Quesadillas should be defrosted in the refrigerator to maintain optimal quality. To reheat them, follow these guidelines:
Stove: Heat a griddle or frying pan on medium-high heat. Spray with cooking oil and add the quesadilla. Cook on each side for about 1 minute, until it's warmed through.
Oven: Place quesadillas on a baking sheet and cook at 350°F for about 8 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Microwave: Reheat quickly on high power in 30 second increments until the quesadilla is warmed all the way through.
Air fryer: This is my favorite option for reheated quesadillas because it gives you the crispiest outcome. If your air fryer has a reheat setting like mine does, it will take about 5 minutes at 350°F. Or use the air fry setting at the same temperature for 2-3 minutes.
- 4 flour tortillas, medium size
- 2 cups shredded cheese, see notes on type
- optional fillings, see notes for ideas
- Spray a large pan or griddle with olive oil (or coat with ½ tablespoon of oil or butter). Heat on medium-high for 2 minutes, then add the tortilla. Warm for 30 seconds, then add the cheese to one half of the tortilla. Fold over the other half and press down with a spatula. *If adding other ingredients to the filling, make sure to add them here before folding the tortilla!
- Cook for 4-5 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the tortilla becomes lightly browned. Use a spatula to press down on the tortilla as it cooks to help the ingredients stick.
- Remove from the pan and let cool for a few minutes before slicing. Serve with your favorite salsa, guacamole, or sour cream.