These vegetarian pesto quesadillas are made with fresh spinach and basil pesto. They come together in 15 minutes for an easy lunch or dinner that the whole family will love!
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Is there a better condiment than fresh pesto? Honestly, I don’t think so! And being that it’s peak basil season right now, I’m really on a pesto kick.
Pesto is an amazing sandwich spread and dip, but did you know that you can also use it on quesadillas?! Yep. Pesto quesadillas are a game changer, my friends.
They’re gooey, melty, cheesy, and simply delicious. Not to mention, they only take 15 minutes to prepare. I snuck some spinach into the pesto too for an added vegetable and a little more green color.
This recipe makes a great dinner for a hot summer night when you don’t want to turn on the oven. And for all of you out there who are working from home, you can even whip this one up for lunch! I’m very much into it.
How to Make Pesto Quesadillas
Next, make the quesadillas by following these steps:
- Heat a flour tortilla in a skillet. Spread pesto on top.
- Sprinkle cheese on one half of the tortilla. Cook for a couple minutes.
- Fold the other half over the cheese. Cook for a few more minutes until the cheese is melted. Slice and enjoy!
- Some parmesan cheeses are made with animal rennet and are therefore not considered vegetarian. Be sure to look for a variety that is made with vegetarian rennet if you need your pesto quesadillas to be strictly vegetarian.
- I recommend using flour tortillas instead of corn ones. They’re much better for making quesadillas. Thank you to my resident taco/quesadilla consultant, Will, for this tip.
- When spreading the pesto on the tortilla, leave about ½-1″ around the edges. As the pesto heats up, some of the oil will drip out around the edges, so you want to leave a little room for it to spread/melt.
- Make the pesto in advance to cut back on prep time. It’s a quick recipe either way, though!
- If you don’t have pine nuts for the pesto, you can sub sunflower seeds, pistachios, pecans, or almonds.
- Serve these quesadillas with my Green Beans and Corn with Cider Vinegar and Herbs, Mango Corn Salsa with Black Beans, Tarragon Roasted Summer Vegetables, or Mango Cucumber Salad.
More Mexican-Inspired Recipes
If you like this pesto quesadillas recipe, you may also enjoy these dishes:
- Ancho Chile Black Bean Sweet Potato Tacos
- Veggie-Loaded Slow Cooker Shredded Mexican Chicken
- Loaded Radish Chip Nachos
- Roasted Parsnip Guacamole
- Double Pepper Mango Salsa
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Spinach Basil Pesto Quesadillas
For the pesto
For the quesadillas
- 6 8-inch flour tortillas
- 1.5 cups shredded Mexican cheese - more to taste
- In a food processor or high-powered blender, combine the pine nuts, spinach, basil, garlic, parmesan, lemon juice, salt, and olive oil. Pulse/blend until smooth, about 60 to 90 seconds, and stop to scrape down the sides as needed. Drizzle in more olive oil as needed to promote blending. Remove the pesto from the blender and transfer to a jar or bowl.
- Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place a tortilla into the skillet and heat for a minute on each side. Spread one to two tablespoons of pesto on top of the tortilla. Leave about ½-1 inch around the edges of the tortilla (the pesto will spread out as it melts). Sprinkle the cheese on one half of the tortilla. Cook for a couple of minutes until the cheese starts to melt around the edges. Use a fork to flip the other half of the tortilla over the side with the cheese and press it into the melted cheese around the edges. Cook for another minute or two until the cheese is melted through. Remove from heat and repeat with the rest of the tortillas.
- Slice the quesadillas in half before serving, and enjoy!
- You can use different size tortillas for the recipe, but you will need to adjust how much pesto and cheese you add.
- Make the pesto in advance to save time. It will last in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week.
- If you don’t have pine nuts, you can sub pecans, sunflower seeds, or almonds.
- Look for a parmesan cheese that is made with vegetarian rennet if you need these to be strictly vegetarian.
Happy Monday! – Lizzie