Cheese Quesadillas

Continuing with the dairy unit. Last week we got down with the Italian trinity (parm, mozz, ricotta) and today we met some Mexican/southwestern cheeses.

Quesadillas, like the classic grilled cheese, are devastatingly delicious AND lend themselves REALLY well to originality. With our time constraints, we went for the basic two cheese and scallion combo. You could literally put anything into a tortilla, cover it with cheese, and chomp away.

What’s different about OUR tortillas is that they are oven-baked. You may have made a quesadilla before on a skillet (stove top), a toaster-oven, or even a microwave (tsk), but inside the oven?

If you’re making quesadillas for a crowd, the oven becomes your best friend. On two cookie sheets you can make LOTS of these at once. Just oil the outside and fold in half with the goodies packed inside. No need to even flip these babies! Totally hands-off. The oven’s affect is fantastic as the tortillas puff up like crazy! They are crunchy, melty, and NEVER greasy.

Cheese Quesadillas

3 large tortillas

½ c. grated Monterey jack cheese

½ c. grated cheddar cheese

2 scallions (white, light and dark green parts), thinly sliced

Pepper and salt to taste

2 tbsp. vegetable oil for brushing on tortillas


1.      Brush oil lightly on one side of each tortilla

 2.      Grate cheeses. Divide into separate, equal groups, depending on how many tortillas you have.

 3.      Arrange the three tortillas on the cookie sheet and then top with cheese. Place cheese on one half of tortilla only (will fold over).

 4.      Spread scallions over cheese. Top with more cheese. The cheese is your glue. No matter how you cook a quesadilla, make sure there is cheese above and below your other fillings, that way the tortilla will stick closed.

 5.      Fold each tortilla in half.

 6.      Bake in a 425 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until browned.

These quesadillas are puff-tastic!!!

 7.      Cut quesadillas into wedges and serve with sour cream and salsa, if desired.

Some lighten-up options?

If you can find La Tortilla Factory tortillas (80 calories, 12 grams fiber, 8 grams protein) BUY them. Flat out also makes a great 90 cal. wrap (buy “lite” though). Corn tortillas are lower calorie as well, if you can’t find the above mentioned.

If you spread your quesadilla first with a Laughing cow light cheese wedge, you will get “creaminess” for only 30 calories! Top with some light or nonfat cheeses (won’t melt as well but the basic idea is the same), and LOAD with veggies and/or lean protein.

For toppings, skip the sour cream (or use just a tad of the non-fat stuff), go light on guacamole and shovel up the salsa. Embrace the salsa, it is your friend.

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