Crispy, Cheese-Crusted Mushrooms and Greens Quesadilla

updated Jun 22, 2020
Crispy Mushroom and Greens Quesadilla

This is the quesadilla grown-ups have been waiting for. Packed with hearty vegetables surrounded by a crispy cheese crust, this quesadilla is filling enough to serve as an entire meal.

Serves2 to 4

Prep10 minutes

Cook12 minutes to 18 minutes

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The mushroom and spinach quesadilla is stacked on a wooden board.
Credit: Kristin Teig; Food Styling: Catrine Kelty

I’m about to admit something I never thought I’d say: Cheese quesadillas simply don’t do it for me anymore. While my kids are perfectly content with mild cheese sandwiched inside a soft tortilla, my grown-up palate is hankering for more. I want crunch. I want flavor. I want some sparkle and excitement. Which is exactly why I’ve created the ultimate adult quesadilla.

Packed with hearty vegetables like dark leafy greens and earthy sautéed mushrooms, this quesadilla is filling enough to serve as an entire meal. Where things really get exciting is the placement of the cheese: You’ll add the finest melting cheese you can find to both the inside and outside of the tortilla. The result is gooey melted cheese holding tight to tender veggies, all wrapped up in a crispy, cheesy crust — a far cry from a kids’ menu quesadilla.

Credit: Kristin Teig; Food Styling: Catrine Kelty

How to Make a Quesadilla Every Grown-Up Has Been Waiting For

  1. Use flour tortillas. Flour tortillas turn golden and crisp in a hot skillet and fold without cracking or breaking. The size you use depends on your appetite, and frankly whatever size you have on hand is the size to use. Burrito-size tortillas (generally 9 to 10 inches in diameter) fit perfectly inside a standard nonstick pan.
  2. Brush the pan with oil. Brushing the bottom of the skillet with a thin layer of oil or butter makes the tortilla crispy without drying it out, and prevents the cheese from sticking.
  3. Mix the cheese and vegetables. If you layer the sautéed vegetables on top of the cheese, they’ll inevitably tumble out. Instead, toss them with the cheese before filling the tortilla. This pre-mixed filling will act as glue to hold the two sides of the tortilla together.
  4. Reserve some cheese for the outside of the tortilla. Any cheese sprinkled on the outside of the tortilla will melt, sizzle and fry, giving the quesadilla a crispy, lacy texture.
  5. Sandwich the quesadilla. This is a hot tip I learned from our Deputy Food Director, Grace Elkus, who prefers to fold a single tortilla around the filling instead of sandwiching it between two tortillas. When assembled this way, the quesadilla is easier to flip and prevents all of the fillings from falling out.
Credit: Kristin Teig; Food Styling: Catrine Kelty

Crispy Mushroom and Greens Quesadilla

This is the quesadilla grown-ups have been waiting for. Packed with hearty vegetables surrounded by a crispy cheese crust, this quesadilla is filling enough to serve as an entire meal.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 12 minutes to 18 minutes

Serves 2 to 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces

    cremini mushrooms

  • 1

    medium shallot

  • 2 ounces

    leafy greens (2 big handfuls), such as spinach, kale, baby kale, or mustard greens, stripped from tough stems if needed

  • 8 ounces

    melting cheese, such as cheddar, Monterey Jack, Colby-Jack, or fontina, shredded (about 2 cups)

  • 1 tablespoon

    canola or vegetable oil, plus more for the pan

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 2

    (8- to 10-inch) burrito-size flour tortillas

Instructions

  1. Thinly slice 8 ounces cremini mushrooms. Finely chop 1 medium shallot. Coarsely chop 2 ounces leafy greens. Shred 8 ounces cheese (about 2 cups). 

  2. Heat 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the mushrooms and shallot and cook until they release their moisture and are golden-brown, 9 to 11 minutes. Stir in the greens, season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and toss until the greens are wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a medium bowl and let cool slightly, about 1 minute. Add 1 1/2 cups of the cheese and toss to combine.

  3. Place 2 flour tortillas on a work surface. Divide the vegetable mixture between the tortillas and arrange over half of each tortilla, leaving a 1/2-inch border from the edge. Fold each tortilla in half over the filling.

  4. Wipe out the pan and brush with a thin layer of oil. Return to medium-high heat and sprinkle 1/4 cup of the cheese into the pan. Add the quesadillas to the pan and cook until the cheese in the filling is partially melted and the cheese outside of the tortilla is golden-brown, 1 to 2 minutes.

  5. Transfer the quesadillas back to the cutting board. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup cheese into the pan, then return the quesadillas to the pan, toasted-side-up. Cook until the cheese on the second side is golden-brown, 1 to 2 minutes.

  6. Transfer the quesadillas to the cutting board and cut each 4 wedges.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The vegetables can be cooked and cheese shredded up to 2 days in advance. Heat the vegetables in the pan before assembling the quesadillas. Store separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator.

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.