Gooey, cheesy quesadillas make a terrific appetizer or light meal. Learn How to Make Quesadillas with Spinach Dip. And be prepared for rave reviews!
My picky hubby has always steered away from artichoke hearts, so I didn’t reveal the list of ingredients when I offered him one of these Spinach Quesadillas. Imagine my surprise when he told me over and over how delicious they were! Plus, they are super simple to make.
How to Make Quesadillas with Spinach Dip
The inspiration for these homemade quesadillas came from the classic spinach artichoke dip that I was introduced to in the 1980s. I was with some girlfriends when our hostess brought out a piping hot dish of spinach dip, but wouldn’t reveal all the ingredients. That brought me back to the time my childhood friend (mostly her older sister) tried to get me to sample some chocolate covered ants. Nope, wasn’t going to fall for that!
Anyway, I fell hard for this hot spinach and artichoke dip, cream cheese, mayo, garlic, mozzarella, and Parmesan. So that was my inspiration for these spinach quesadillas. Of course, I had to tweak the spinach dip recipe with a little heat, Havarti cheese instead of mozzarella, and sour cream instead of mayo. They were spectacular!
According to the Food Lover’s Companion, a quesadilla is a “flour tortilla filled with a savory mixture, then folded in half to form a half-moon shape.” The filling varies including cheese, meat, vegetables, refried beans, etc. Then they are pan-fried or broiled and cut into pieces and served as an appetizer.
This culinary term is a combination of the Mexican word for cheese, queso, and tortilla. A quesadilla is a heated tortilla with cheese inside. Traditionally, only one tortilla is used, and it’s folded in half after the toppings are heated.
Since quesadillas are most frequently served as an appetizer, they’d pair well with tropical fruit salsa, guacamole, a bean dip or classic tomato salsa and some sour cream. If serving as a light lunch, a green salad or bowl of soup would be a delicious side dish, especially with flavors that go well with your quesadilla filling.
Generally, the answer is no. But you can make them healthier by replacing the flour tortilla with a whole wheat tortilla, reducing the amount of cheese, and adding roasted vegetables instead of meat or other high-calorie ingredients.
First, decide on your filling ingredients and get them all prepped. Determine whether you’re going to pan fry them, broil or bake them. You can use one tortilla and fold it in half like a traditional quesadilla or use two tortillas, like in these spinach quesadillas. Step by step details listed below.
Step by Step Instructions on How to Make Quesadillas
This Tex-Mex recipe is one of the most versatile appetizers around. From savory to sweet and meaty to vegetarian, the options are endless. They’re also quite simple to prepare.
- Choose your tortillas. I used small flour street taco tortillas as they were perfect for appetizers. But standard-sized flour, whole wheat, or even corn tortillas will work well.
- Find a recipe you like, or just pick out a melty cheese, plus a variety of other filling options that will go well together. Cheddar, Monterey Jack, mozzarella, and Havarti my favorite quesadilla cheeses.
- Try combining some of your favorite ingredients: Consider leftover grilled vegetables like corn on the cob or peppers, black olives, smoked pork, rotisserie chicken, and of course, cheese. Or how about Nutella and jam or marshmallow cream for a dessert version?
- Heat a skillet, and add a touch of oil or butter if not using a nonstick pan.
- Place one tortilla in the skillet and sprinkle with the cheese of your choice. Once the cheese starts to melt, add the other desired ingredients.
- Decide whether you want to make the traditional quesadilla and fold your tortilla in half or top your tortilla with a second tortilla.
- If using two tortillas, carefully flip to brown the second side.
- When the quesadilla is heated through, remove to a cutting board and slice into wedges. Serve with desired toppings.
I hope you’re inspired to add some homemade quesadillas to your menu. We invited our good friends to share some carryout pizza on our back porch a few weeks ago. I made these spinach quesadillas and some pasta salad to round out the pizza they brought. After one bite of the quesadillas, our friend John looked up and declared that we didn’t even need the pizza. I sent him home with a few of the leftovers! These were a hit all around!
If you’ve become a fan of Papa John’s handheld papadias, you can use half the filling amount for each tortilla, fold in half and heat as directed. Let cool a bit before indulging in your Spinach Papadias!!
More Appetizers with Cheese You’ll Enjoy:
- Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Cheese Balls from Living Locurto
- Muenster and Spinach Pinwheels
- Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas
- Cream Cheese Stuffed Mini Peppers
- Cheese Straw Tomato Tartlets
- Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus with Boursin
- Plus, if you love spinach, try this Spinach Torta Rustica
- More of the Best Appetizer Recipes
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 cups grated Havarti cheese, divided
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- A pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 9-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
- 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 18 street taco tortillas
- 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
Place the cream cheese and sour cream in a large bowl. Beat until smooth with a hand mixer.
Stir in 1/2 cup of the Havarti, the Parmesan, garlic, pepper flakes, salt, and pepper until well combined. Mix in the spinach and artichoke hearts. Set aside.
Melt butter or heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Place 2-3 tortillas in the pan and top each with a rounded tablespoon of Havarti.
Scoop out 1/4 cup of the spinach dip and place it on top of the cheese. Use a second tortilla to press down and flatten the filling. Cook until the tortilla is browned, then flip and cook until the filling heated through, and the second side is toasted.
Remove, and cut in half if desired. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas and fillings.
Serve hot with salsa, if desired.
You can also fold about half the amount of fillings on one tortilla to make "'papadias," or a handheld quesadilla.
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Serving Size:1 quesadilla
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 706Total Fat: 42gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 112mgSodium: 1730mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 9gSugar: 5gProtein: 30g
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