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Keys to Nutritious and Tasty Homemade Quesadillas




Quesadillas are one of my favorite foods in the world that I keep constantly in my dinner rotation.

For starters, it's an easy meal to cook that doesn’t necessarily require too many specific ingredients. It’s genuinely a great dump of whatever you have in your household meal.

Secondly, it’s an effortless way to add so much nutrition into one meal. Quesadillas have such a great balance of protein, fats, and carbs.

Lastly, it's a dip meal (we love dips like salsa and guacamole in my house) and you never have to repeat the same quesadilla twice! We love a good variety.

I could tell you I follow a specific recipe every time I make a quesadilla. But I genuinely do not. I switch it up so much because it truly depends on what stage I am in with life (aka budget friendly) or depends on what I have at-hand or even depends on the mood I happen to be in.

However, I do have some baseline recipes and quesadilla hacks with my favorite ingredients that I am happy to share with you.

FIND YOUR FAVORITE WRAPS

Wraps are obviously an essential aspect of a quesadilla. My go-to brand has been Tumaros wraps since I was like fourteen. They are a low-carb brand, but I genuinely enjoy the product. Plus, I believe all foods have a place. These wraps a pack in a ton of fiber and have a decent amount of protein. My favorite flavors of this brand for quesadillas are the multi-grain and whole wheat options. I think they hold together the best compared to a flavor like sourdough. Tumaros Wraps are in most grocery stores nowadays as well making them a convenient option. I buy them at Stop & Shop, Big Y, Target, Shoprite, Publix etc.





I recently attended a gluten free new England expo and came across the BEST corn tortillas on the market from Mi Tierra. I never used corn tortillas as a quesadilla base, but these were AMAZING. Certainly a 10/10 in my book.



When I was living in Florida, I found myself using Sprouts low-carb whole wheat wraps, which I will purchase if I ever find myself at Sprouts again (hopefully because I loved that store so much). Maria and Ricardo’s have a whole wheat option that I have used and so does Trader Joe’s. However, the wraps from these three brands are all on the smaller side which can make it more challenging to fit a bunch of goods into.

The Classic Cheese Quesadilla

Sometimes you just want to be basic and make a generic cheese quesadilla. If you want the tastiest cheese quesadilla there is, I recommend using fresh mozzarella. My favorite options are Belgioioso fresh mozzarella and Stew Leonard's fresh mozzarella (northeasterners know).

However, fresh mozzarella can be pricey and doesn’t always last as long. For a solo apartment living on a budget, I find myself using string cheese a lot. I typically rotate between Sargento light string cheese, Starbucks string cheese (partner discount benefits come in handy here), Trader Joe’s fresh mozzarella string cheese and Horizon Organic. I highly recommend using two pieces of string cheese or approx. 1-2 oz of fresh mozzarella cheese for the best results.

Some other cheese options I have done with a quesadilla before have been Trader Joe’s unexpected cheddar cheese, Sargento ultra-thin Swiss cheese, feta cheese and a Mexican blend. Mozzarella cheese just happens to be my favorite cheese on the planet.

In my opinion, I want more than just cheese and a wrap for a meal, so even if the main ingredient is cheese here, I load it with all the spinach and bell peppers.



Chicken Quesadilla

When you want something a bit more filling and something a bit higher in protein, I love adding grilled chicken into the quesadillas. I am obsessed with the Just White Meat Chicken Chunks from Trader Joe’s and love to incorporate the pieces into my quesadilla if possible. However, I also will do the refrigerated green package of grilled chicken strips from Trader Joe’s as well.

Additionally, I am a huge fan of Applegate products. They have fajita grilled chicken strips which are fire, especially in a quesadilla. They do have regular grilled chicken strips as well. Applegate’s grilled chicken is pricier and is unfortunately never on sale.

I have done deli turkey in my quesadillas as well, but I don’t love heated up deli meat on the stove. Therefore, I tend to stick to plain cheese or chicken.





If you want to make this dairy free, you can substitute cheese for avocado or extra virgin olive oil to hold the wraps together.

Veggie Burger Quesadilla

Over the summer I experimented using a Dr. Praeger’s Gluten Free California Veggie Burger in my quesadilla as a way to get some extra vegetables in my meal. Household produce was running low, and I was feeling creative. I tossed the veggie burger on the grill quickly, cut it up and put it in my quesadilla with string cheese. Since then, it has been a new favorite option of mine.

You can also make this option vegan or dairy free by adding avocado into the quesadilla as its binding ingredient.

Italian Quesadilla

Because you can never go wrong with an Italian twist on any meal. Trader Joe’s sells a frozen grilled vegetable blend called Misto Alla Griglia. It’s a blend of bell peppers, eggplant, and zucchini (my personal favorite vegetables) with a bit of extra virgin olive oil mixed in (yay for healthy fats!) I love putting this blend with spinach and fresh mozzarella for Italian heaven. It’s a great summer meal that pairs extremely well with Trader Joe’s Pico de Gallo, Trader Joe’s Romesco dip or Trader Joe’s Chunky Guacamole with Greek Yogurt. You can also avoid the cheese here and use the Miso Alla Griglia blend as a wrap binding ingredient. I have done this with grilled chicken in the past.


Grilled Veggie Quesadilla

My family has our own vegetable garden in our backyard. We grow tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, eggplant, zucchini etc. Grilled vegetables are one of the best parts of summer. I find myself marinating the slices of grilled vegetables with Trader Joe’s Green Goddess Dressing before tossing them on the grill. Once the vegetables are cooked, I will throw them in a quesadilla with extra raw vegetables like spinach and protein options like cheese and chicken. This is truly a great refreshing colorful summer meal to add into your radar.




Breakfast Quesadilla


Who says you can't have a quesadilla for breakfast or have a breakfast quesadilla for dinner? My recent food obsession has been the the Good Food Made Simple Egg White Patties. I microwave the patties for one to two minutes before placing in a quesadilla. Once they are heated, I cut them up and toss them into the wraps with cheese, spinach and bell peppers. It's a perfect protein meatless veggie based meal that I consume frequently for Meatless Mondays or on Fridays during Lent season.



DON’T FORGET THE DIP

The best of a quesadilla is the dip if you ask me. If I had to settle on one dip for the rest of my life, I would definitely go for Trader Joe’s chunky guacamole with Greek yogurt as my pick. However, I will literally die for any version of a guacamole or avocado mash action. Some of my favorites are...


  • Trader Joe’s Chunky guacamole with Greek yogurt

  • Good Foods Chunky Guacamole

  • Good Foods Avocado Mash

  • Starbucks Avocado Mash

  • Wholly Guacamole

  • Wholly Guacamole Spicy

  • Trader Joe’s Guacamole to Go

I used to love using the Avocado Tzatziki from Trader Joe’s as well, but they unfortunately discounted it last summer. I’m hopeful it will make a return eventually.

Salsa/Pico De Gallo is another great option for quesadilla dipping that I enjoy using on a regular basis as well. Some of my favorites here are…


  • Good Foods Avocado Salsa

  • Trader Joe’s Mild Pico De Gallo

  • Trader Joe’s Mild Chunky Salsa





Another random fun quesadilla dip that I have used in the past and must buy again soon is the Romesco dip from Trader Joe’s. I highly recommend using this one in a chicken and cheese quesadilla version or the Italian quesadilla recipe I mentioned.





TO COOK A QUESADILLA


I mainly cook my quesadilla's on the stove-top. I use a non-stick pan and set it to medium heat. You can spray with cooking spray to prevent sticking if necessary. Then, I put my two wraps on the pan and fill the middle of both the wraps. Once the wraps are filled to the maximum, I fold over the quesadillas and use a press to press the wraps down. You can also use the bottom of a plate if you do not have a press pan.


It is important to note that you may not be able to fill all the ingredients in the quesadilla. I always put mine on the side of the plate or on-top of the quesadilla when it's finished cooking.


I recommend looking at the browning of the wraps to determine when to flip them over. I prefer mine on the crispier side and usually wait about 3 to 4 minutes before the initial flip. The second side will cook faster since the stovetop has been on for longer. Therefore, you do want to make sure you keep an eye on it. I flip them over with a spatula. Once they are flipped over, put the keep the press/plate on top once again. This helps the binding of the quesadilla and keeps the ingredients together. When its cooked you can use the spatula to put the quesadilla onto your plate. Pair with your favorite dips and enjoy a tasty and nutritious meals.



Quesadillas are a great incorporation to meal rotations with all the different options to choose from. In addition, this is a great meal to make at a family gathering. Instead of building your own tacos, I recommend building your own quesadillas. It is definitely a popular favorite amongst younger kids as well that even works for Kids parties.


It can also serve as a great cheap meal for those on a budget. A few simple ingredient swaps like string cheese for fresh mozzarella can help keep the cost down.

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I'm a communications professional, recipe crafter, content creator and 22 year old working her way to wellness. 

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