(serves 6-8)

Courtesy of Tayyabah Jones

Can’t decide what to make for lunch? Well then, let’s save your afternoon with this versatile, mouth-watering recipe (that can also be made suitable for vegetarians!) Once you try Quesadillas, it will always hold a special place in your heart, but beware, you may crave it endlessly.

Quesadillas FAQ

What is a quesadilla?

A dish that consists of a tortilla that is filled with cheese and a filling that is usually vegetables, chicken or beef and spices. Fun fact: it is a regional favourite in the south west of the United States!

Should you eat quesadillas the day you cook it or can you cook them ahead of time?

In my opinion, I think Quesadillas taste 10x better when you eat them fresh, therefore, I recommend not to cook them ahead of time as they just won’t be the same. Some people would recommend putting them in the oven and warming them up (since the cheese will harden and the quesadilla will become soggy overtime). 

Can you accompany quesadillas with a sauce?

Yes, usually people do actually have Quesadillas with a sauce. People tend to have their Quesadillas with sour cream as it compliments the Quesadillas really well.

Ingredients

  • 6-8 flour Tortillas
  • 2 cups (200g) cheese of your choice
  • ¾ cup of roughly chopped coriander
  • A filling of your choice (beef, chicken or vegetables)
  • 1 tsp of onion powder, dried oregano and salt
  • 2 tsp of cumin powder and paprika
  • ¼ tsp of black pepper, cayenne pepper (this is optional but I strongly recommend them)
  • Butter (to taste)

FOR THE BEEF FILLING YOU WILL NEED:

  • ½  tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • ½ onion (finely chopped)
  • 500 g/ 1 lb of ground beef/mince
  • 1 small red bell pepper (diced)
  • 2 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 65 ml of water

Heat oil in a pan on a high heat. 

Add garlic and onions and cook for 2 minutes.

Add beef and cook it, break it up as you go along.

Once it goes pink to brown, add the red bell pepper and cook for a minute.

Add tomato paste, water and seasoning. Cook for 2 minutes and put it in a bowl to cool.

FOR VEGETABLE FILLING YOU WILL NEED:

  • 2 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1 can of black beans (400g)
  • 1 bell pepper (colour of your choice and diced)
  • 1 cup corn (canned corn or frozen thawed)
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 65 ml of water

Heat oil in a pan over high heat.

Add onion, garlic (cook for 2 minutes) and the red bell pepper (cook for a minute)

Add beans, corn, tomato paste, water and the seasonings (mentioned above).

Cook for 2 minutes and separate into a bowl. 

FOR THE CHICKEN FILLING YOU WILL NEED:

  • 2 ½ tbsp of olive oil
  • 500 g of chicken thighs (skinless and boneless)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced
  • 1 small onion (quartered and sliced)
  • 1 small red pepper (diced)

Chop your chicken into cubes

Season your chicken with the seasonings I mentioned earlier (add other seasonings such as chicken seasoning, all purpose seasoning, chilli flakes etc, if you want)

Marinate your chicken for about 30 minutes to an hour (depending on how much time you have on your hands).

Add oil to a pan and cook chicken on a medium heat.

Move your chicken around with a spatula until it’s browned. 

Let it cook on a low-medium heat for 20-25 minutes (don’t let it burn)

After the chicken has been cooking, there will be some water; to make it disappear put it on a high heat until water has disappeared (be careful, as the chicken may burn)

Put the chicken in a bowl and put it on one side, and cook your vegetables (I add some seasoning of my choice to mine).

Put vegetables in a pan and add a drizzle of oil and cook until it becomes an orange-like colour.

I then put the vegetables in the same bowl as the chicken.

INSTRUCTIONS

Place your tortilla on your work surface and add butter to one side of your tortilla.

Get a pan and put it on LOW heat so the tortilla does not burn.

Place your tortilla on the pan so the side that isn’t buttered is facing you and on one half of the tortilla, add cheese, then your filling option then top it off with more cheese.  

Since you have only added your filling to one side of the tortilla, fold the empty side over making it cover the side with the filling on. 

After 3-4 minutes, flip the quesadilla and let it cook for another 3-4 minutes.

Then, you may serve it. I recommend serving it with fries and using sour cream as a sauce.

Happy eating!

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