In addition to staples like bread and peanut butter, I try to always keep a bag of tortillas and grated cheese in my kitchen. My daughter is basically a quesadillatarian (if that’s a thing), so I’ve perfected the art of the cheese quesadilla over the last few years. But when I add a few extra carefully selected ingredients, quesadillas become a tasty, quick weeknight dinner option for the whole family.
These awesome quesadilla recipes transform my kid’s favorite into a dinner that I’ll love, too. And don’t worry if some seem like more than your kids will like since the best thing about quesadillas is that you can make them to order, making it possible for everyone to get just what they want inside theirs. And a dinner that nobody complains about is a dinner I’m happy to make any night of the week. (Especially when there’s cheese involved.)
The most basic, kid-friendly quesadilla option out there is your basic chicken and cheese variety. We’re loving the more sophisticated flavors that Teighan at Half Baked Harvest adds to her Fiesta Chicken Quesadillas (above) by whipping up a bowl of Chipotle Relish or Mango Salsa to go with them. Plain for those who want, not plain for the rest of us.
There are quite a few ingredients in the barbacoa recipe at Closet Cooking, but it’s worth the effort, especially since you can serve it over rice and beans one night, then whip the leftovers into these amazing Barbacoa Quesadillas on night two. Plus, now that the weather’s starting to warm up, I love that this is a great way to use my slow cooker without feeling like I’m eating a heavy, wintery meal. Also, we can hang outside longer since the slow cooker does most of the cooking.
My kids always go straight for the pineapple salsa when we eat at our favorite burrito spot in town, so I’m thinking that this Jamaican Shrimp Quesadillas with Mango Salsa at Sweet Peas and Saffron will be a big hit with them, too. It has just enough sweet to cut the spicy jerk rub. Of course, if shrimp is pricey at your market, you can substitute grilled chicken, but we’re looking forward to eating these on the back porch with a margarita and pretending we’re at the beach.
My kids resist vegetables hard, and I’ve found that I win more battles when I give them options. While I highly doubt they’d fill their quesadillas with this many veggies, I’d still prep everything for the Roasted Veggie Quesadillas at Taste and Tell and then let them pick and choose what they want me to add to theirs. Of course, they could also just ask for a cheese quesadilla and eat some roasted veggies on the side. That works, too.
If you read Stacie’s post on cooking sweet potatoes in your slow cooker (game changer, right?) and now you’re hooked, use some of those leftovers to make these yummy Black Bean and Sweet Potato Quesadillas at Kitschen Cat. They’re filled with protein and vitamins, and make a quick and easy dinner for your Meatless Mondays.
I love a good Cuban sandwich, but the loads of guilt from all that bread haunt me immediately after I’m done eating. These Cuban Quesadillas at Mommy’s Home Cooking are a smart alternative that cut a lot of carbs. You’ll need to plan ahead, since the pork cooks all day in your crock pot, but make extra because you can use it for tacos, salads, or even sandwiches for school lunches later in the week.
Breakfast burritos are all the rage, so why not breakfast quesadillas? I’m thinking this Steak and Egg Quesadilla at Food Fash can be a quick-ish morning meal if we grill the night before and save some leftover steak and onions. Talk about loads of protein to get your morning started right. Or qe can save the leftover and throw these together for dinner to make expensive steak stretch into night two.
Don’t be scared by the fancy ingredients here: This Caramelized Onion, Prosciutto, and Fig Jam Quesadilla at What Should I Make For… is actually pretty simple. All you have to do is caramelize the onions, then layer the other ingredients on your tortilla before melting the cheese. That said, I’d probably leave out the arugula for my kids because it can get kind of peppery and, let’s be honestI’d just call these “ham and cheese” instead of “prosciutto and gruyere” and skip the fear-of-the-unknown argument that always seems to come with new foods.