How To Make A Quesadilla On The Stove

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This article is a collection of my favourite stovetop quesadilla recipes – here, you’ll learn how to make all sorts of quesadillas on the stove! I’ll be walking you through on how to make a chicken, cheese, and steak quesadillas. I love these because they give me a convenient chance to use up my leftovers – they’re my go-to for getting rid of spare tortillas before they go stale! The best thing about these recipes is that they can be as simple or as complicated as you’d like.

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I’ve added some tips and tricks that work with all of the recipes at the end of this article, as well as some ideas for extra fillings and sauces!

So, with that said, lets get started.


How To Make A Chicken Quesadilla On The Stove

Serves: 2

Prep time: Cooking time:
15 minutes18-20 minutes
Total time (beans included): 50 minutes

Ingredients

Fillings:

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • Mexican cheese or Monterey Jack to taste
  • 1 packet of flour tortillas
  • Sauces, creams, extra fillings, and condiments of your choice

Seasoning:

  • Frying oil of your choice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, or 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ onion, or 1 ½ tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
  • ½ tsp coriander (optional)
  • 1 cube of chicken stock
  • ½ tbsp lemon juice (optional)
  • 1 small packet of Mexican seasoning

Method

  1. Prepare all of your extra fillings, and chop any fresh onion and garlic.
  2. After this, prepare the chicken breast by washing and butterflying it. If you are using pre-cooked leftover chicken, you can skip this step and just shred the leftovers.
  3. If you’re using dry chicken stock, dissolve it in some boiled water.
  4. Drizzle some oil onto your pan and put the stove on medium heat. Once the oil has started to warm up, throw in half of the prepared onion and garlic. Alternatively, if you’re using onion/garlic powder, add these in after your chicken is in the pan.
  5. Once lightly browned, add in the chicken and lemon juice. Throw in your chicken stock (for cooking like this, stockpots are GREAT) the rest of the seasoning.
  6. If you’re using leftovers, skip to step 8. To those cooking with fresh chicken, add a tiny bit of water into the pan and cover with a lid. After six minutes, flip the chicken around and leave it cooking with the lid on for six more minutes.
  7. Once your chicken is fully cooked, turn the heat off and let it cool for a few minutes before shredding with a fork. Don’t wash the pan because once your chicken is shredded, you’re going to put it right back in.
  8. Make sure that the chicken is kept moist enough to allow the ground and powdered spices to dissolve. If it starts looking dry, add a tiny bit of water or a little more lemon juice or a tiny bit of water.
  9. Mix the shredded chicken so that all of the seasonings are evenly distributed, then let it cook in the pan for a few minutes. Let it sear a little bit (making sure not to burn) and keep occasionally mixing it. Once you’re happy with how your chicken filling is looking, take it off the heat.
  10. Follow the recipe for refried beans (listed below the cheese quesadilla recipe).
  11. Build your quesadilla how you’d like and fold the tortilla in half. Add to the skillet and sear gently on both sides while covering with a lid to melt the cheese. Make sure there’s enough oil on the bottom of the pan so that the tortilla doesn’t stick, add more oil as needed. Repeat with the rest of the quesadillas.

How To Make A Steak Quesadilla On The Stove

Serves: 2

Prep time:Cooking time:Marinade time:
15 minutes22-25 minutes1 hour
Total time (beans included): 1 hour 50 minutes

Ingredients

Fillings:

  • ¾ of a pound of outside-cut skirt steak
  • Mexican cheese or Monterey Jack to taste
  • 1 pack of flour tortillas
  • Sauces, creams, extra fillings, and condiments of your choice

Marinade:

  • 1 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1 cube beef stock
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ tbsp lime juice (essential)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, or 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp coriander (optional)
  • ½ onion, or 1 ½ tsp onion powder
  • 1 jalapeño 
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 small packet of Mexican seasoning

Method

  1. Prepare all of your extra fillings and chop any fresh onion and garlic.
  2. Dissolve the beef stock in boiling water, then prepare the marinade by adding all of the ingredients into a food processor and pulsing until smooth.
  3. If you are unsure whether your skirt cut is the outside cut, tenderise both sides with a mallet.
  4. Place the skirt steak into either a resealable plastic bag or a bowl – make sure the steak is completely covered/submerged in the marinade before covering with cling film and refrigerating for exactly one hour.
  5. After the hour has passed, drizzle some oil onto your skillet (preferably grill-lined) and put the stove on medium heat.
  6. Brush some of the marinade onto the skillet and place the steak into the pan. Push the steak firmly against the pan with some tongs a few times and sear the first side until browned, then flip and repeat.
  7. Once cooked to taste, take the pan off the heat and transfer the meat onto a cutting board. Let it rest for a few minutes before slicing into strips. Make sure to cut against the grain.
  8. Follow the recipe for refried beans (listed below the cheese quesadilla recipe).
  9. Build your quesadilla how you’d like and fold the tortilla in half. Add to the skillet and sear gently on both sides while covering with a lid to melt the cheese. Make sure there’s enough oil on the bottom of the pan so that the tortilla doesn’t stick, add more oil as needed. Repeat with the rest of the quesadillas.

How To Make A Cheese Quesadilla On The Stove

Serves: 2

Prep and cooking time:
12-15 minutes
Total time (beans included): 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • Frying oil of your choice
  • Mexican cheese or Monterey Jack to taste
  • 1 pack of flour tortillas
  • Sauces, creams, extra fillings, and condiments of your choice

Method

  1. Prepare all of your extra fillings.
  2. After this, follow the recipe for refried beans (listed below this recipe).
  3. Brush a little bit of oil onto your pan and put the stove on medium heat.
  4. Build your quesadilla how you’d like and fold the tortilla in half. Add to the skillet and sear gently on both sides while covering with a lid to melt the cheese. Make sure there’s enough oil on the bottom of the pan so that the tortilla doesn’t stick, add more oil as needed. Repeat with the rest of the quesadillas.

Refried Beans Recipe

Serves: 2

Prep time:Cooking time:
5 minutes10 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 can of canned beans – kidney, black, pinto, or rosecoco beans all work
  • Frying oil of your choice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, or 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Table salt
  • Tomato paste or passata
  • Coriander (optional)
  • Chili flakes (optional)
  • Mexican seasoning

Method

  1. Drain your canned beans. If you’re using leftover beans, or beans that already come in a sauce, you can skip this step
  2. When the garlic and onion mix is lightly browned, add in your beans, tomato paste and the rest of your seasonings – save for of course the chicken stock and lemon juice. Add the tomato paste or passata and mix it in with the beans.
  3. Let your beans reduce over the course of ten minutes – make sure to check in on them frequently so they don’t dry out completely or get burnt. If they reduce well before the ten minutes is up, you can turn off the flame.
  4. Turn the stove burner off and use a potato masher to mash the beans. You want to get the beans into a paste-like consistency, or just before that. If the beans are still too wet, repeat step three and let the sauce reduce a little.
  5. Now for the best step – taste test and adjust to taste!

Quesadilla food

Tips And Tricks!

  • If you want to speed up the prep time, consider using a food processor on almost anything that needs to be finely chopped. Make sure it’s not too wet and don’t process them for too long, or you might just end up with mush.
  • You can check the temperature of the oil by tilting the pan and seeing if it is runnier. If it is less viscous, it’s good to go!
  • If you’re looking for some extra flavor, you can use the same pan you’re making the chicken in to heat and build your quesadilla later. Just make sure to choose a pan that is larger than the tortillas. If you plan to do this, I would also recommend ditching the grill skillet and trading it in for a regular skillet or frying pan instead because the tortilla will stick to the grill lines.
  • If you’re making a large amount of chicken, you can shred it by using a large bowl and a hand mixer on low speed.
  • Find that you don’t have Mexican seasoning? You can emulate it by mixing up some paprika, pepper flakes, chili powder, a touch of oregano and cumin, and just a pinch of ground cloves.
  • Use the cheese inside the quesadilla as a glue to stick your fillings to the tortilla!

Filling Ideas for Your Stovetop Quesadilla!

Extra fillingsSauces and creamsCondiments
Chopped jalapeñosSour creamMayonnaise
Pico de galloGuacamoleKetchup
Chopped tomatoesJalapeño tabascoMustard
SalsaCholula sauce
OlivesGarlic sauce
Avocado
Mushrooms
The sauces, creams and condiments can also be used as dips!

How to Make a Quesadilla on the Stove: Easier Than You’d Think!

Stovetop quesadillas are incredibly simple, making them a perfect staple for all the busy moms and college kids out there! The best thing about them is that just by adjusting the serving size a little and making a side or two, you can make a meal for the whole family – tías and all! All it takes is a little preparation and a big old pot, so get on out there and show off your quesadilla-making skills! I hope you have as much fun trying out this quick and easy recipe as I did.

By Anna

Hey, I’m Anna; writer, editor and amateur cook extraordinaire! Food has been my life and my passion for the most of my life – it’s crazy to think I didn’t pursue a career in cooking. I’m obsessed! However, keeping cooking as an obsessive hobby has worked for me – my passion grows as the years pass by – maybe I wouldn’t say the same if it was also my day job! I hope you find cooking inspiration, entertainment and “stop and think interesting tid-bits” throughout my writing – and I’d love to hear from you if you’ve got anything you want to share. Food feeds the soul – so get eating!

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