Cheesy Potato Quesadillas with Chipotle Mayo

published Sep 25, 2021
Cheesy Potato Quesadillas with Chipotle Mayo Recipe

These craveable quesadillas are stuffed with crispy potatoes, melty cheese, and a generous drizzle of spicy mayo.

Serves4

Prep10 minutes

Cook45 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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potato quesdailla on a plate
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

A couple of weeks ago, I had the most amazing breakfast tacos at Spoke, a cozy bicycle cafe in Los Angeles. The simple dish consisted of flour tortillas stuffed with crispy potato bits, eggs, cheese, and a spicy chipotle mayo sauce. I left that meal thinking to myself that we should all be eating more tortillas stuffed with potatoes (the best starch-on-starch combo), and that I needed more of that mayo ASAP.

Naturally, I set out to re-create the dish at home — although instead of tacos, I turned mine into mini quesadillas. I like this approach because it melts the cheese and crisps up the exterior of the tortilla, creating a yummy, cheap, vegetarian dinner that’s worth putting on repeat.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

Prepping the Potatoes

To ensure the potatoes are creamy and soft on the inside (there’s nothing worse than an al dente spud!) you’ll parboil them before cooking them in the skillet. When they’re tender and cooked through, you’ll drain them, crush them into 1/2-inch shards, then pan-fry them with some aromatics (scallions, onions, or whatever veggies you’re trying to use up in your fridge) to give them a golden-brown exterior and a boost of flavor. 

Assembling the Quesadillas

While the potatoes are boiling, it’s time to make the sauce: a simple combo of mayo, lime juice, chipotle in adobo sauce, and salt. It’s drizzled inside each quesadilla and served on the side for dipping, too, so don’t skip it! If you want to crank up the spiciness, add a little bit more of the adobo liquid, or chop up a chipotle chili or two and throw it in there as well.

With the sauce made and the potatoes crispy, it’s time to cook the quesadillas. Place two flour tortillas in the skillet; top with shredded cheese, potatoes, and sauce; fold the other half of the tortilla over the filling; and cook, flipping once, until golden-brown on both sides and the cheese is melted.

Can I Prep These Quesadillas in Advance?

Yes! You can make the sauce and boil the potatoes ahead of time for extra-quick potato quesadillas all week long. When it’s time to eat, all you need to do is sauté the veggies and potatoes, then assemble and cook the quesadillas. If you’re eating them for breakfast, you can make a nod to the Spoke tacos and add a scrambled egg. You can also add meat, like bacon or sausage, but I encourage you to try this veggie version first. It’s seriously satisfying.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

Cheesy Potato Quesadillas with Chipotle Mayo Recipe

These craveable quesadillas are stuffed with crispy potatoes, melty cheese, and a generous drizzle of spicy mayo.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 45 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces

    small red potatoes (5 to 7)

  • 1 tablespoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 1/2

    medium yellow onion

  • 4

    medium scallions

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil, divided

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 4

    (about 6-inch) flour tortillas (often labeled fajita-style), divided

  • 1 cup

    shredded Mexican cheese blend (about 4 ounces), divided

For the chipotle sauce:

  • 1/2

    medium lime

  • 1/2 cup

    mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoons

    canned chipotle in adobo sauce, plus more as needed

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Place 12 ounces small red potatoes and 1 tablespoon kosher salt in a medium saucepan and add enough cold water to cover the potatoes by about 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, thinly slice 1/2 medium yellow onion. Thinly slice the green and white parts of 4 medium scallions (about 3/4 cup).

  2. When the water is boiling, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are very tender, cooked through, and can be easily pierced with a sharp knife with no resistance, 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, make the sauce.

  3. Juice 1/2 medium lime into a medium bowl (about 1 tablespoon). Add 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons canned chipotle in adobo sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and stir to combine. Taste and stir in more chipotle in adobo sauce if desired.

  4. When the potatoes are ready, drain. When cool enough to handle, transfer to a medium bowl and crush with the back of a fork or a potato masher into rough 1/2-inch pieces.

  5. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large cast iron skillet or nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and scallions and cook, stirring occasionally, slightly charred, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring halfway through, until lightly golden-brown, about 6 minutes total. Taste and season with kosher salt and black pepper as needed. Return the potato mixture to the bowl. Wipe out the pan with paper towels.

  6. Place the pan over medium-low heat. Place 2 of the flour tortillas in the skillet in a single layer. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the Mexican cheese blend onto one half of each tortilla. Top each portion of cheese with 1/4 of the potato mixture, then drizzle each portion of potato with 2 tablespoons of the sauce. Fold the other half of the tortillas over the filling and gently press down.

  7. Increase the heat to medium high and cook, flipping once, until the quesadillas are golden-brown on both sides and the cheese is melted, 1 to 3 minutes per side.

  8. Transfer to a cutting board. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan. Repeat assembling and cooking the remaining 2 quesadillas. Cut each quesadilla in half and serve with the remaining sauce on the side or drizzled on top.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The sauce can be made and the potatoes can be boiled up to 5 days ahead. Refrigerate in separate airtight containers.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat the quesadillas in a low oven until warmed through.