Learn exactly how to make delicious corn tortilla quesadillas, perfect for weeknight dinners. With a crispy tortilla shell, cheesy filling, and whatever else you would like to include, this easy meal will be a hit with the whole family.
Quesadillas, a seemingly humble dish, are full of flavor and texture.
And while they are most often made with flour tortillas, I actually prefer to make them with homemade yellow corn tortillas.
This simple swap is sometimes referred to as "taco quesadillas" and offers extra toasty notes and crunch that take this easy dinner up a level.
What You Need to Know About Making Quesadillas with Corn Tortillas
- Texture and Assembly: Corn tortillas are less pliable than flour tortillas, so they need to be assembled as "sandwiches" rather than a half moon shape.
- Flipping is More Difficult: Because they are open on all sides, place cheese both above and below fillings to hold the quesadilla together.
- You Can Use Whatever Fillings But... Pre-cook meat and don't overfill the quesadilla- see the chart below to determine the maximum amount of fillings to use.
- They Can Be Made with Different Cooking Methods: My corn tortilla quesadilla recipe can be made on the stove, baked, or air-fried and I have explained each method so you can do what you prefer.
- Corn Tortillas: You can use either store-bought or homemade tortillas (highly recommended- they have such delicious flavor and all you need is masa harina, water and salt).
- Shredded Cheese: Opt for your favorite melty cheese and shred it yourself for best results.
- Your Favorite Filling Options: Customize your quesadillas with a variety of fillings, creating the perfect combination for your taste buds (or just use up whatever's in the fridge!). Keep in mind that any meats you are using need to be fully cooked prior to making the quesadillas.
1. Prepare Your Ingredients: Begin by gathering your favorite fillings – cheese, veggies, meats, or any combination you desire. Shred or crumble your cheese of choice, cook any meats and cut your vegetables.
2. Assemble the Quesadillas: Place one corn tortilla on a plate.
Sprinkle half of the cheese and then your chosen fillings evenly over the tortilla.
Sprinkle cheese (the remaining amount) evenly over the fillings and then top with another tortilla to create a "quesadilla sandwich".
3. Preheat the Skillet: Place a large skillet or griddle over medium heat and allow it to preheat for a minute or two.
4. Cook and Flip: Add the assembled quesadilla, cover with a lid and cook for about 3-5 minutes until the cheese melts and the first side is lightly toasted and then carefully use a spatula to flip it. Cook on the second side for 1-2 minutes until golden brown.
5. Serve: Remove the quesadilla from the skillet and let it cool for a moment before slicing into wedges (I like to use a pizza cutter to slice it).
3. Preheat Your Oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) while you assemble the quesadillas.
4. Bake: Place the assembled quesadillas on a baking sheet. Bake for about 8-10 minutes until they become crispy with melted cheese.
TIP: If you want to yield an extra crispy corn tortilla quesadilla, lightly brush the top with avocado or olive oil prior to baking. Then flip halfway through and brush the other side.
5. Serve: Carefully remove the quesadillas from the oven and let them cool slightly. Slice into wedges and serve.
3. Preheat the Air Fryer: Preheat your air fryer to 375°F (190°C) for a few minutes.
4. Cook: Place the quesadillas in the preheated air fryer basket. You may need to cook them in batches, depending on the size of your air fryer. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, flipping halfway through, until they are crispy and the cheese is fully melted.
5. Serve: Remove the quesadillas from the air fryer, let them cool for a moment, then slice into wedges.
Leftovers and Storage
To Store: Allow quesadillas to cool and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
To Freeze: For longer storage, individually wrap quesadillas and freeze them in a labeled, resealable freezer bag or container for up to 2-3 months.
To Reheat: Microwave in 20-30 second intervals until heated through, cook in a skillet over medium-low heat, bake in the oven at 350°F (175°C) for 5-8 minutes or air fry at 350°F (175°C) for 3-5 minutes, flipping halfway for even heating.
How Much Filling to Use
Use this basic recipe to make all sorts of combinations. Here are some ideas of fillings to include and combinations to try.
- Cheddar (White or Regular)
- Pepper Jack Monterey Jack Cheese
- Shredded or Grilled Chicken
- Sliced Steak
- Shredded Pork (Or carnitas)
- Ground Beef or Turkey (Or leftover taco meat)
- Chorizo or Italian Sausage (Like in these pizza quesadillas)
- Bell Peppers (red, green, or yellow)
- Onions (red, white or caramelized)
- Jalapeños (fresh or pickled)
- Black Beans
- Classic Cheese Quesadilla:
- Monterey Jack and Cheddar Cheese
- Chicken Fajita Quesadilla:
- Sautéed Bell Peppers and Red Onion
- Monterey Jack Cheese
- BBQ Pulled Pork Quesadilla:
- Pizza Quesadilla:
- Italian Sausage or Pepperoni
- Pizza Sauce
- Mushroom and Spinach Quesadilla:
- Sautéed Mushrooms
- Fresh Spinach Leaves
- Swiss Cheese
- Breakfast Quesadilla:
- Scrambled Eggs
- Crumbled Bacon or Sausage
- Diced Bell Peppers
- Cheddar Cheese
- Fresh Cilantro Leaves
- Sliced Green Onions
- Side of Salsa or Pico de Gallo
- Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt
- Sliced Avocado or Guacamole
- Lime Wedges for a Squeeze of Fresh Lime Juice
- Pickled Jalapeño Slices
Tips for Delicious Corn Tortilla Quesadillas
- Shred Your Own Cheese: For the ultimate gooey cheese texture, shred your cheese from a block. It melts better than pre-shredded varieties.
- Layer Cheese Above and Below: Sandwich your favorite fillings between two layers of cheese- this creates holds everything together.
- Brush with Oil: To achieve an extra crispy quesadilla, brush a bit of oil on each side of the tortilla before cooking.
- Use a Pizza Cutter: When it's time to slice your quesadilla into perfect halves or quarters, the best way to cut is with a pizza cutter.
LET ME PLAN YOUR DINNERS! Get My FREE Meal Plan (Including Grocery List!)>>>
And if you liked this recipe...
...you might also like:
Corn Tortilla Quesadillas
- 4 6-inch corn tortillas
- ½ cup cheese of choice shredded
- ⅔ cup fillings of choice chopped veggies, cooked meats, etc.
- Assemble quesadillas. For each quesadilla, layer the following. One corn tortilla, 2 tablespoon shredded cheese, ⅓ cup fillings, 2 tablespoon cheese, a second tortilla.
- Place assembled quesadillas into the skillet, ensuring that they are not overlapping. Cover the skillet with a lid and cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes until the bottom layer of cheese is mostly melted. Using a spatula, carefully flip each quesadilla over and continue to cook for 2-4 additional minutes until the cheese is completely melted and the tortilla is lightly toasted.
- Remove to a plate and use a pizza cutter to slice into wedges. Serve warm with desired toppings
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) while you assemble the quesadillas.
- Place the assembled quesadillas on a baking sheet. Bake for about 8-10 minutes until they become crispy with melted cheese.TIP: If you want to yield and extra crispy corn tortilla quesadilla, lightly brush the top with avocado or olive oil prior to baking. Then flip halfway through and brush the other side.
- Carefully remove the quesadillas from the oven and let them cool slightly. Slice into wedges and serve.
- Preheat your air fryer to 375°F (190°C) for a few minutes.
- Place the quesadillas in the preheated air fryer basket. You may need to cook them in batches, depending on the size of your air fryer. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, flipping halfway through, until they are crispy and the cheese is fully melted.
- Remove the quesadillas from the air fryer, let them cool for a moment, then slice into wedges.