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Learn how to make the best cheese quesadillas! These are quick to make, customizable, and loved by both kids and adults. Enjoy as a quick lunch or kid-friendly dinner!

Learn how to make the best cheese quesadillas! These are quick to make, customizable, and loved by both kids and adults. Enjoy as a quick lunch or kid-friendly dinner!
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The BEST Cheese Quesadilla

Let’s talk about this ultimate lifesaver for feeding hungry kids and families!

Cheese quesadillas are so ridiculously easy to make. Just grab some tortillas, sprinkle on a good melting cheese, and voila! A delicious, kid-approved meal ready in minutes.

But here’s the best part, I think. Just like with these mini pizzas, quesadillas are an easy way to stretch any random bits of food that you have on hand. Have some frozen broccoli, leftover carrots, or chicken? Add them in!

Quesadillas are also an awesome way to encourage your child to try foods that are a big “NO!”

They offer familiar and comforting flavors from the cheese and tortilla that provide a sense of security for your little one. For instance, broccoli is always hit or miss with my son, but he LOVES these pizza quesadillas.

All this to say, don’t feel pressured to always reinvent the wheel. Try sprinkling foods your child is learning to like into their favorites foods and see what happens!

What is a Quesadilla?

The word “quesadilla” is derived from the Spanish word “queso” which means cheese.

It is traditional Mexican dish consisting of a tortilla (typically corn tortilla) filled with cheese and other optional ingredients. The fillings can vary greatly depending on the region and personal preference.

Quick cheese quesadilla is cooked on a griddle or skillet until the cheese inside melts and the tortilla becomes golden brown and crispy.

Ingredients

tortilla, cheese, and butter.

All you need are 3 ingredients, unless you want to bulk up your simple cheese quesadilla with additional add-ins as suggested below.

Butter

This is such an essential ingredient! It not only adds rich and buttery flavor to the tortilla, it helps achieve that classic crispy and golden-brown exterior on the quesadilla.

You can also use vegan butter or oil if looking for plant-based options.

Tortilla

Flour tortilla is my personal favorite as they have a mild flavor and are soft and pliable, making it easier to work.

Corn tortillas have a distinct flavor and a slightly denser texture compared to flour tortillas. They are a great choice if you prefer a more authentic taste. Just be sure to look for soft tortillas for best results.

You can also use almond flour or quinoa flour if needing a gluten-free option.

Shredded Cheese

Any good melting cheese will work!

The Best Cheeses for Quesadilla

This topic deserves its own section! The best cheese depends on your personal preference so feel free to experiment. You can use one or a combination of these cheeses.

  • Monterey Jack cheese – has a smooth texture and a slightly tangy flavor
  • Mild or Sharp Cheddar cheese – adds a rich and sharp taste
  • Oaxaca cheese – this is a traditional Mexican cheese that is commonly used in quesadillas. It has a mild flavor and a stringy, stretchy texture when melted. If you’re wanting to achieve that iconic cheese pull in your quesadilla, this is an excellent choice
  • Queso Blanco – this is a soft, crumbly white cheese with a mild, slightly tangy flavor
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Colby Jack
  • Gouda cheese

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here are two ways to make quesadillas depending on your preference and how large your tortillas are. For large or burrito-sized tortillas, the folded method is easier to flip.

Stacked

A four image collage of how to make quesadilla.
  1. Add butter to a skillet or griddle over medium to medium-high heat. Be careful not to let your butter burn. Once melted, place a tortilla in the skillet.
  2. Sprinkle all over with cheese and filling (if adding). Add the second tortilla.
  3. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the bottom starts to brown and crisp up. Using a spatula, flip over the quesadilla and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, until both sides are golden crisp and cheese melts. Add more butter if desired.
  4. Using a pizza cutter, slice into wedges or slices.

Folded

A two image collage of how to make folded quesadilla with cheese and zucchini.
  1. Add butter to a skillet or griddle over medium to medium-high heat. Be careful not to let your butter burn. Once melted, place 1 tortilla in the skillet.
  2. Sprinkle cheese (and filling if adding) on just one half of each tortilla. Fold the tortilla over on itself, creating a half-moon shape. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook until both sides are golden brown and crispy.

Top Tips for Making the BEST Cheesy Quesadilla

  • Don’t add too much butter or oil! Otherwise you will end up with soggy and greasy instead of crispy quesadillas. Just 1/2-1 teaspoon to coat the bottom of the pan is enough.
  • Shred your own cheese if possible – will melt more smoothly than pre-shredded cheese
  • Opt for a high-quality tortilla that won’t easily tear when folding or flipping.
  • Don’t overload! Otherwise, you will end up with unevenly cooked and mushy texture.
  • Use medium heat when cooking your quesadilla to prevent burning the tortilla while still allowing the cheese to melt thoroughly. Too high of a heat setting can lead to a burnt exterior.

Variations (Filling Ideas)

A close up shot of cheese quesadilla with a bite taken out.

Sometimes, or maybe a lot of times, you just want to enjoy the simplicity of a cheese-only quesadilla. However, if you want to invite more variety and boost nutrition, here are some of our favorite fillings.

This is also a wonderful opportunity to get your child involved in making their own quesadillas and exposing them to foods they don’t like (yet!).

  • Favorite vegetables – such as sauteed bell peppers, mushrooms, spinach, any leafy greens like kale and swiss chard, corn, or zucchini
  • Rotisserie chicken or any leftover chicken (here are all the ways to cook chicken)
  • Shredded beef or ground beef
  • Beans (e.g. black beans, chickpeas, refried beans)
  • Mashed avocado
  • Mashed sweet potatoes
  • Fresh herbs – sprinkle some chopped fresh cilantro, parsley, or green onion to add a burst of freshness
  • Spices and seasonings – like cumin, chili powder, paprika, or oregano, no salt taco seasoning

Serving Suggestions

Quesadillas are perfect for dipping! I’ve included both traditional and non-traditional but delicious options!

Storage

Cheese quesadillas are best when enjoyed as soon as they are ready! The tortilla is crispy, the cheese is melty, and the flavors are incredible!

But if you need to make a head of time, cool completely and transfer to an airtight container or resealable bag. Store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Reheat in a skillet over medium heat or in the oven at a low temperature until the cheese is melted. You can microwave but monitor closely to prevent it from becoming overly soft or soggy.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of cheese is best for quesadillas?

Any good melting cheese! Some popular cheese options are Monterey Jack, cheddar, oaxaca, queso fresco, and mozzarella.

What to add to a cheese quesadilla?

Oh you can add anything in my opinion! Quesadillas are such a great way to repurpose leftovers. You can include leftover vegetables, cooked chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, tofu, beans, fresh herbs, etc.

Just remember that adding additional ingredients might require adjusting the cooking time and ensuring they are fully cooked and heated through. Other than that, feel free to mix and match! The possibilities are endless.

Can I make cheese quesadillas in the oven?

Yes! Preheat oven to 400°F. Place tortillas on a baking sheet, sprinkle shredded cheese evenly over the entire surface of the tortilla, add additional ingredients if desired, and place tortillas on top to cover the filling. Bake for about 8-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the tortillas become golden and slightly crispy.

It’s a convenient, hands-off method for making a large batch of quesadillas.

Can I freeze cheese quesadillas?

You can! First cook the quesadillas as you normally would and be sure to cool completely.

Now you can wrap individually with plastic wrap or place on a lined baking sheet and flash freeze until they’re frozen solid. The latter is my preferred method and I use it for freezing pancakes and muffins as well.

Either way, transfer to a freezer-safe bag or airtight container. When ready to enjoy, let the quesadilla(s) thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in a skillet or in the oven.

More Cheesy Recipes

Did you make this recipe? Leave a rating below and let me know how you liked the recipe! Your feedback means so much to me!

5 from 1 vote

Easy Cheese Quesadilla

Learn how to make the best cheese quesadillas! These are quick to make, customizable, and loved by both kids and adults. Enjoy as a quick lunch or kid-friendly dinner.
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes
Servings: 1
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Ingredients 

  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 2 tortillas
  • 1/2-2/3 cup shredded cheese

Instructions 

Stacked

  • Add butter to a skillet or griddle over medium to medium-high heat. Be careful not to let your butter burn. Once melted, place a tortilla in the skillet.
  • Sprinkle all over with cheese and filling (if adding). Add the second tortilla.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes until the bottom starts to brown and crisp up. Using a spatula, flip over the quesadilla and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, until both sides are golden crisp and cheese melts. Add more butter if desired.
  • Using a pizza cutter, slice into wedges or slices.

Folded

  • Add butter to a skillet or griddle over medium to medium-high heat. Be careful not to let your butter burn. Once melted, place 1 tortilla in the skillet.
  • Sprinkle cheese (and filling if adding) on just one half of each tortilla. Fold the tortilla over on itself, creating a half-moon shape. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook until both sides are golden brown and crispy.

Notes

  • Choose a good melting cheese, like Monterey Jack, cheddar, oaxaca, queso fresco, and mozzarella.
  • Quesadillas are such a great way to repurpose leftovers. You can include leftover vegetables, cooked chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, tofu, beans, fresh herbs, etc.
  • Shred your own cheese if possible – will melt more smoothly than pre-shredded cheese

Nutrition

Calories: 387kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 21g | Fiber: 2g | Calcium: 372mg | Iron: 2mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Min

Thank you so much for stopping by! I am Min, a Registered Dietitian, a Christ follower, a wife, and a mom to our two miracle babies! Currently, I’m having a ton of fun feeding their tummies and sharing our baby led weaning journey! Follow me on Instagram if interested in seeing daily menu as well as tips and tricks.

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11 Comments

  1. The.Boy and I haven’t been to the grocery store together in ages! Honestly, I think it’s for the best. He mostly just makes fun of all the crazy ingredients I buy and then balks at the prices. 😛

    What a fun way to use up your chard! Can’t go wrong with quesadillas.

  2. What a delicious looking quesadilla. Great idea to put swiss chard in, and my kids would eat anything that’s in quesadilla too (don’t even check and big bite!). Bacon is always a nice savory item to add. Very flavorful and sounds yummy!

  3. Holy Bacon, these look so amazing and creative and delicious! I love your story about being a grocery nazi. My husband doesn’t go to the store with me because I spend too much time agonizing over prices and nutrition labels. If I send him to the store with a short list, I give very specifics. If I don’t he panics and doesn’t know what to buy. Poor guy! Good thing I do most of the shopping 😉

  4. Oh my! Gosh I wish I lived near you to eat all of this wonderful food! (:

  5. i have not tried swiss chard that much but with cheese and bacon, i bet its delicious/

  6. Saw these on Twitter and had to pop over. They are amazing! Can’t wait to try this recipe soon!

  7. Oh I’m so loving this! The recipe, the images, and picturing you two in the grocery store! My husband often tries to help out by taking the list and heading to the store, but he is infamous for making multiple phone calls to ask questions about the list. Perhaps his insecurities reveal that I too am a bit particular about what goes in the cart? Haha! At least we admit it :0)

    1. Hehe I’ve encountered many many husbands on the phone asking millions of questions to the person on the line. Yes, at least we admit to it..if only the husbands could do the same ;).