The ultimate Veggie Quesadillas filled with broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, red onion, and melty cheese. Serve with a dollop of Chipotle-Mango Sauce, and even meat eaters will love these vegetarian quesadillas.
Why You’ll Love these Veggie Quesadillas
In its most basic form, a quesadilla is simply a grilled tortilla with melted cheese inside. It’s the Mexican grilled cheese, if you will, and the perfect blank canvas for experimenting with fun fillings.
These vegetarian quesadillas are a healthy, fast, fiber-filled meal. Cheesy and crispy with a sweet and smoky filling, they’re perfect for dinner or as an easy appetizer.
The filling is super-hearty and satisfying, and endlessly versatile. If you don’t like any of the veggies listed, simply swap them out for your favorites. They also suit just about any diet (use “cheesy” plant-based shreds to make them vegan; use cassava or almond flour tortillas to make them gluten free), and only dirty a few dishes.
Plus, everyone LOVES them, and it’s a great opportunity for guests to load up on their own toppings like avocado, pickled onions, and jalapeño. Quesadilla bar, anyone??
Recipe Ingredients and Substitutions:
- Tortillas: Flour tortillas work best for quesadillas, however you can use almond or cassava flour varieties if making gluten free. For an extra nutritional boost, look for whole-grain flour tortillas.
- Cheese: Freshly grated cheese (as opposed to pre-shredded cheese) melts best. I like using pepper jack, Monterey Jack, sharp cheddar, or even smoked gouda.
- Veggies: This is where it gets fun! I love using a mix of broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, and red onion, however the options are endless. For example, sautéed spinach, bell peppers, and/or shredded Brussels sprouts are also great options.
- Refried Beans: I like to include cooked beans as a protein-rich filler that balances the cheesy-carby elements. It seems like a more well-balanced, satiating meal that way.
- Greek Yogurt: For the topping, you can either use plain whole-milk Greek yogurt or sour cream.
- Chipotle: You need the adobo sauce that’s found in a can of chipotle peppers. Adobo sauce is intensely smoky and spicy, and really brings the flavor of these ‘dillas to life.
- Mango Jam: This may seem like a wildcard ingredient here, however the sweetness of the jam tempers the smokiness of the adobo sauce. Alternatively, you can use honey or maple syrup.
How to Make Quesadillas:
Before preparing the veggie quesadillas, preheat oven to 200ºF and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. After making each quesadilla, transfer it to prepared pan and place in the oven to keep warm. This is optional, however it helps to ensure every veggie quesadilla is hot when ready to eat.
Step 1: Sauté Veggies
Heat 2 Tbsp. of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, and red onion; cook 10 minutes, stirring only occasionally, until crisp-tender. Stir in garlic powder, smoked paprika, cumin, and salt; cook 1 more minute. Stir in lime juice and cilantro, and transfer veggies to a bowl.
Step 2: Add Fillings to Tortilla
Wipe pan clean, reduce heat to medium, and return pan to burner. Add 2 more tsp. of olive oil, and one tortilla. Use the back of a spoon to spread 1/4 cup refried beans on one half of the tortilla, followed by 3 Tbsp. cheese, 1 cup veggies, and another 3 Tbsp. cheese. Fold over the empty side of the tortilla to enclose the fillings.
*Note: I experience the best results using a cast iron pan. It’s intrinsically non-stick, which means you need very little oil, plus you get a beautifully crisp crust on the outside.
Step 3: Flip Quesadilla
Let the quesadilla cook until golden and crispy on the bottom, about 2 to 3 minutes, reducing the heat if necessary to prevent burning the tortilla. Carefully flip with a spatula, and continue cooking until the underside is golden brown.
Transfer the veggie quesadilla to prepared baking sheet, and place in the preheated oven to keep warm. Repeat cooking process with remaining ingredients.
Use a chef’s knife to slice each veggie quesadilla into thirds.
Step 4: Prepare Chipote-Mango Sauce
In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, adobo sauce, mango jam, and lime juice; stir to combine. Top each veggie quesadilla with a dollop of sauce.
- Vegan Quesadillas: Omit the cheese and spread ¼ cup hummus over the tortilla, or use your favorite plant-based cheesy shreds.
- Gluten Free Quesadillas: Use a certified gluten-free tortilla, such as one made with almond flour or cassava flour. (I like Siete brand of gluten free tortillas.)
- Meat Quesadillas: Add shredded rotisserie chicken, ground beef, carne asada, or shrimp in the quesadilla in place of (or in addition to) the veggies.
Is a Quesadilla Healthy?
Choose the right fillings and quesadillas can absolutely be a healthy, well-rounded meal. For example, seasonal vegetables, refried beans, hummus, and/or just a sprinkle of cheese. If you’re not making vegetarian quesadillas, add a lean protein like shredded chicken to the filling.
You can increase the nutrient value of a quesadilla by using a whole-wheat flour tortilla.
Quesadilla Serving Suggestions:
Quesadillas are a quick meal on their own right. However I also love serving them with fresh corn salads, creamy soups, and quinoa. Here are some ideas:
- Creamy Tomato Basil Soup: Perfect for dunking the ‘dilla into!
- Fiesta Avocado Corn Salad: This salad can easily double as a topping and side dish.
- Quinoa Southwest Salad: Flavor-wise, this salad complements the fillings perfectly.
If you give these vegetarian quesadillas a try, snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth so I can see your beautiful creations. I also really appreciate readers taking the time to leave a rating and review! Lastly, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates.
Veggie Quesadillas with Chipotle-Mango Sauce
- Large skillet
- 2 Tbsp. plus 4 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 oz. baby bella (cremini) mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cups small broccoli florets
- 1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 3/4 tsp. smoked paprika
- 3/4 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 3 to 4 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 1 cup canned refried black beans (I use Amy's brand)
- 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Monterey Jack, pepper jack, or sharp cheddar cheese
- 4 flour tortillas (regular or whole-wheat) (about 8″ diameter)
- Optional toppings: avocado, cilantro, minced red onion
- 1/2 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
- 2 Tbsp. mango jam or chutney
- 1 to 2 Tbsp. adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo) 1 for medium heat, 2 for hot
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
- *OPTIONAL: Before preparing the quesadillas, preheat oven to 200ºF and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. After making each quesadilla, transfer it to baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm. This ensures each quesadilla is hot when ready to eat.
- Heat 2 Tbsp. of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini, and red onion; cook 10 minutes, stirring only occasionally, until crisp-tender. Stir in garlic powder, smoked paprika, cumin, and salt; cook 1 more minute. Stir in cilantro and lime juice, and transfer veggies to a bowl.
- Wipe pan clean, reduce heat to medium, and return pan to burner.Add 2 more tsp. of olive oil, and one tortilla. Use the back of a spoon to spread 1/4 cup refried beans on one half of the tortilla, followed by 3 Tbsp. cheese, 1 cup veggies, and another 3 Tbsp. cheese. Fold over the empty side of the tortilla to enclose the fillings.
- Let the quesadilla cook until golden and crispy on the bottom. Carefully flip with a spatula, and continue cooking until the underside is golden brown.Transfer the quesadilla to prepared baking sheet, and place in the preheated oven to keep warm (optional). Repeat assembly and cooking process with remaining ingredients, adding the remaining 2 tsp. olive oil halfway through.Use a chef’s knife to slice each veggie quesadilla into thirds.
- In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, mango jam, adobo sauce, and lime juice; stir to combine. Top each veggie quesadilla with a dollop of sauce, and additional toppings of choice.