A crunchy vegetarian spinach mushroom quesadilla filled with delicious umami flavors like caramelized onions, ricotta and sun-dried tomatoes. It's quick and easy to make, can work as an appetizer, lunch or even dinner with a side salad. These quesadillas can easily be made vegan by omitting the ricotta - still very much delicious!
Are quesadillas healthy?
Due to the tortillas, I wouldn't classify them as healthy, but still completely fine. You can use whole wheat flour tortillas for a healthier option. The fillings themselves can be healthy although often super cheesy. I think the filling in this spinach and mushroom quesadilla is pretty healthy.
Ricotta is one of the healthier cheeses, with less salt and fat. Ricotta is a great choice both in sweet (try this lemon ricotta cake or pancakes!) and savory dishes, like this one and I also love this rosemary sun-dried tomato pasta that also uses ricotta.
Do you have to use cheese in quesadillas?
Quesadilla do mean 'cheesy little thing' in Spanish, so you will usually find cheesy quesadilla recipes. However, you don't actually have to have cheese in them. I often make this spinach mushroom quesadilla without adding the ricotta.
In Mexico City, you actually have to ask for cheese on your quesadillas. There are a lot of regional differences in Mexico when it comes to quesadillas. When people in Mexico City says quesadilla, people in Veracruz would say empanada. I say, add cheese if you want, and not if you don't feel like it. It comes down to personal preference.
What's the best cheese to use in quesadillas?
Talking about cheese, you can use whatever cheese you like. But for that cheese pull effect, you would want to choose a good melty cheese. The best melty cheeses are Swiss, Jarlsberg, Monterey Jack, mozzarella, cheddar, a Mexican blend or gruyere. My favorite melty cheese will always be Jarlsberg, that's what I use in these beef enchiladas and scalloped potatoes too.
You don't necessarily need a melty cheese. In fact, this recipe uses ricotta. You get a more creamy filling, as opposed to fatty cheese. You can also use cream cheese in this mushroom quesadilla, in the same amount as ricotta. Even sour cream for a creamy effect!
Queso fresco could be used if you want it more Mexican. Keep in mind that this cheese doesn't melt well, but it is delicious.
Can I use frozen spinach?
Yes, you can. You can thaw the frozen spinach, and press out the excess moisture with your hands. Then use the spinach as in this recipe - easy peasy!
How to make this spinach mushroom quesadilla recipe
Scroll down to the recipe card to find a printable and more thorough version of the recipe, but here's the gist of it:
Cook onions and salt in some vegetable oil (or butter for more flavor) on medium. Until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add in mushroom and garlic, and cook 5 more minutes. Season with salt, pepper and thyme. Add in fresh spinach and cook until it wilts, 1 more minute.
Remove from heat and stir in chopped sun-dried tomatoes and ricotta cheese.
In a large skillet with a touch of butter or vegetable oil, fry one side of the tortilla until it's slightly crisp around the edges. Smear filling on half of the tortilla and fold the other half over. Cut and enjoy with sour cream or even guacamole!
Quesadillas are supposed to be easy peasy lemon squeezy. If you want other quesadilla filling ideas, I can recommend trying some of these: breakfast tortillas, extra cheesy buffalo chicken quesadillas or loaded chicken quesadillas.
Enjoy and don't forget a refreshing hibiscus tea to go along with it!
Did you like this mushroom quesadilla? Here's more I think you'll love:
- Wild Mushroom Ravioli
- Caramelized Onion, Mushroom and Apple Puffs
- Quick Sweet and Spicy Pork Stir Fry
- Vegetarian Lo Mein
- Cheesy Beef and Beans Enchiladas
- Mexican Inspired Mango Salad with Avocado Dressing
- Turmeric Chipotle Fried Rice
- Fresh and Spicy Guacamole
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