Quinoa Quesadillas

Quinoa Quesadillas

A few days ago, some of my coworkers and I were talking about food, and we somehow got on the topic of “Foods that start with Q”. After mentioning a few Q foods, I half-jokingly mentioned that I should make Quinoa Quesadillas — a nice double-Q food dish. Well, one of my coworkers took that seriously, and challenged me to make them by the next time I saw him. Not being one to back away from a culinary challenge, I decided to give it a shot. After all, this also provided me the opportunity to chalk up another new recipe for my 50 in 15 Challenge.

At first, I wanted to make Quinoa Tortillas for the quesadillas, but after discovering the ridiculously high price tag on Quinoa Flour, I decided that I’d just use regular whole-wheat tortillas, and make some Mexican Quinoa to use as part of the filling of the quesadillas. In the end, I was very happy with my creation of Quinoa Quesadillas, and I think my coworker will be pleasantly surprised with my efforts.


  • 1/2 c. quinoa
  • 3-4 tbsp. olive oil (divided)
  • 1 c. vegetable broth
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 c. diced onion
  • 2 tsp. cumin (divided)
  • 2 tsp. paprika (divided)
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 whole-wheat tortillas
  • 1/2 c. diced bell peppers
  • 1/2 c. diced onion
  • 1/2 c. black beans, rinsed and drained
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream, Guacamole, Salsa, and/or Mexicali Dip (optional)


  1. In a medium sauce pan, heat 2 tbsp. oil and add the quinoa and 1/2 c. diced onion, stirring constantly. Add sea salt, pepper, and spices and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes or until onions start to soften.
  2. Add the vegetable broth, jalapeño, and diced tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the liquid is absorbed and quinoa is fully cooked, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. While the quinoa is cooking, heat 1-2 tbsp. oil in a sauté pan and cook the diced peppers and remaining onions, seasoning with salt, pepper, and spices to taste.
  4. Microwave each tortilla between 2 paper towels for 15 seconds to soften.
  5. On half of each tortilla, sprinkle 1-2 tbsp. of shredded cheese, followed by a thin layer of the quinoa. Divide the sautéed veggies and black beans, and place on top of the quinoa. Top with another 1-2 tbsp. of shredded cheese.
  6. Fold the non-filled half of the tortilla over on top of the fillings and press to flatten.
  7. Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat, and cook each quesadilla for 3-5 minutes per side, or until the tortilla starts to brown and the cheese melts.
  8. Cut each quesadilla into wedges. Serve with a side of the unused quinoa, as well as sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and/or Mexicali Dip as desired.


There really isn’t anything too special to note about this recipe. Like many Mexican dishes (e.g. burritos, tacos, nachos), it’s really not necessary to follow a recipe verbatim — just use ingredients/fillings you like, and in the amounts that fit what you’re making.

Like I mentioned above, I was very happy with my creation of these Quinoa Quesadillas, and I think my coworker will be pleasantly surprised with my efforts. It’s a nice derivation from standard quesadillas and Spanish/Mexican rice, and provides the ability to show off to your friends by being able to say that you made a double-Q food dish.

Bon Appétit!


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