Vegetarian Quesadillas

I bet you expected a Thanksgiving recipe. Perhaps you were looking for turkey tips…or a soup-free version of a classic American casserole…or a recipe for an autumn spiced pie. I have been swimming in a sea of fall-inspired recipes lately in anticipation of the looming Thanksgiving holiday.

Today I choose to be rebel. I am jumping off the deep end of fall dishes and jumping right into…a fiesta! Quesadillas are the perfect weeknight dinner because they are ready in just a few minutes and can be made approximately 1,382 ways. This, however, is absolutely my most favorite way to make quesadillas. Onions and an array of bell peppers lightly sprinkled with spices and sandwiched between two ooey-gooey layers of cheese all enclosed in a crispy tortilla shell. Yum!

If you are looking for a quick dinner (using minimal ingredients, because let’s be honest, the refrigerator is STUFFED with holiday goodies) I think you have found it.

Ingredients

  • 6 whole wheat tortillas (8 inch)
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • pinch chipotle chili powder (add more if you like it spicy)
  • 1/2 tsp. dried mexican oregano
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 c. mexican blend cheese
  • non-stick cooking spray

Begin by warming a skillet over medium heat.

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Thinly slice the onions and bell peppers.

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Add the onions to the skillet and saute until translucent; approximately 5 minutes.

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Next, add the bell peppers and season with salt and pepper.

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Saute the onions and peppers until tender; about 8 minutes. Stir the mixture often so the vegetables cook evenly. Season with chili powder, cumin, chipotle powder, and mexican oregano after 5 minutes of cooking.

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Break out the largest skillet you own…mine still only holds two quesadillas at a time. Preheat the skillet on medium heat. Lay the tortillas on a cutting board and sprinkle 1/2 of the tortilla with mexican blend cheese.

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Next, spread an even layer of the onion/pepper mixture on top of the cheese.

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Add another light sprinkle of cheese and fold in half.

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Spray the pre-heated skillet and add the quesadillas. Cook until the cheese begins to melt and the tortilla shell becomes crispy; approximately 5 minutes.

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Flip the quesadilla and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes. Remove to a cutting board and cut into thirds. Repeat the quesadilla assembly line until all the filling is used; I was able to make 6 quesadillas with this amount of filling.

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I like to serve my quesadillas with refried beans and quesadilla “sauce”; mix equal parts light sour cream and store-bought salsa. It is extremely easy and perfect for dipping! In a perfect world I would also serve with slices of avocado…but no such item made it in my shopping basket this week. The holidays are upon us…take a deep breath and enjoy!

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