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You know those times that you want Mexican, but you want/need something fairly mild? Maybe you just have a little bit of several things and you need a quick and easy supper. For me, these quick and easy quesadillas are the answer to that question! They take relatively few ingredients and they are incredibly adaptable. You can change the ingredients around to suit what your family likes and you can jazz them up with things like salsa, cheese dip, and sour cream, or you can leave them plain.
We have also frozen them to eat later. They are a favorite around my house for supper, lunches, and snacks. They are incredibly packable and versatile. I did use a griddle in order to do several at a time, but if you don’t have one, then just use a skillet. After you cook them, just put them in a casserole dish in a warm oven to keep them warm while the others are cooking.
If you are looking for a cast iron pan with grill marks, this is the one that I have. I have had it for about 2 years and I love it! It’s so nice to be able to grill on my stove top when the weather is cold outside. An electric griddle will make this a super fast supper because you can prepare more than one at a time and it also has a nice warming tray underneath for keeping the cooked one warm, which saves the electricity or gas needed to heat the whole oven.
I had a couple of chicken breasts laying around, which was not enough for the whole family to have a meal out of, so I decided to use those for my quesadillas. You could easily substitute steak for chicken, and possibly shrimp, although I have never tried with shrimp. I defrosted and pounded my chicken breasts out flat, for more even cooking. Then I spread a little bit of olive oil over them and rubbed the chicken breasts with steak rub. It gives it a very bold flavor. Then I gathered about half an onion, a tomato, shredded Colby jack cheese, tortillas and some butter. I seared the chicken breast in a cast iron grill skillet. I made sure that both sides were nicely browned and it was cooked on the inside. It only took a couple of minutes per side since I had pounded them flat. I have also baked the chicken with good results.
While the chicken cooked, I diced the tomato and onion and put them in separate small bowls. After the chicken cooked, I diced it up as well and put it in a separate small bowl. Now comes the fun part; putting together the quesadillas! I buttered one whole side of the tortilla and laid it flat on the griddle. Then I added enough cheese to cover half the tortilla in a thin layer, and spooned a tablespoon of diced chicken, on top, and a heaping teaspoon of tomatoes and onions, followed by another thin layer of cheese. My favorite type of cheese to use is Colby/jack because it melts nicely, but other cheeses would work as well.
I used a spatula to flip the bottom half of the tortilla up and I cooked it until both sides were nice and brown, flipping once. To keep the cooked tortillas warm, I put it in a casserole dish in a warm oven, or the warming tray on my griddle. The griddle really speeds up preparation because the food cooks faster on the ceramic surface and you can prepare more than one quesadilla at a time. I like to serve mine with salsa, cheese dip, and sour cream. You can serve it with the quesadilla whole or you can cut it up into little triangles. Feel free to adjust the inside fillings to fit your family’s tastes.
Quick and Easy Quesadillas
2 Cups meat of your choice (chicken, steak, shrimp), diced.
2 Cups shredded Colby/jack cheese
1 Tomato, diced
1 to ½ an onion, diced (can be raw or sautéed)
8-10 fajita sized tortillas
Seasonings of your choice for the meat. I use Grill Mates Steak Rub
Olive oil for cooking the meat.
Optional for serving: Cheese dip, sour cream, salsa, or other condiments of your choice.
Directions: Cook and season the meat using your preferred method and seasonings. (See above description for what I did with the chicken). Dice the vegetables. Put the cheese, the diced meat, the diced tomato, and the diced onion in separate small bowls. Butter one side of a tortilla and lay on a hot skillet or griddle. Add enough cheese to cover half the tortilla in a thin layer, and spoon a tablespoon of diced chicken, on top, and a heaping teaspoon of tomatoes and a teaspoon of onions, followed by another thin layer of cheese. Using a spatula, flip the other half of the tortilla up to cover your toppings and cook until both sides are browned, flipping once. Place the cooked quesadilla in a casserole dish in a warm oven to keep them warm while the others cook.
For serving, use your choice of condiments and you can either leave them whole, or you can cut them into little triangles.
They will freeze ok, but if you microwave them from frozen, they will be a bit soft.