Craving pizza? Does the whole family want it for dinner tonight but you just don't have the time to make it? Give some easy pizza quesadillas a try! Filled with layers of gooey cheese, Italian sausage, peppers and onions and dipped in no-cook pizza sauce, they might just be your new favorite way to enjoy some 'za!
Lately, though, pizza has been making its appearance as these crispy quesadillas. With just a few ingredients, they replicate the flavors right down to being able to eat it by the slice!
And as a bonus, this recipe makes a LOT of filling! So you can enjoy it for dinner for the night and then freeze the leftover filling for dinner in a fraction of the time another night.
- Favorite Pizza Toppings: This Italian sausage combo is my go-to. If you would like to explore different flavor ideas, check out the "make it your own" section.
- Italian Sausage- I typically use spicy Italian pork sausage but sweet Italian sausage will also work. Ground Italian sausage (that is not in links) will also work- just cook and crumble it in the first step instead.
- Bell Pepper- I like to use a combination of colors.
- Red Onions- Yellow or white onions can be used instead.
- Mozzarella Cheese- Feel free to use another melty cheese.
- Tortillas- Corn, oat or wheat tortillas can be used. However, the assembly for corn tortillas is a bit different as you will use two tortillas rather than one folded in half.
- Pizza Sauce- For dipping. Marinara sauce would also be great.
1. Prepare fillings.
- Shred the cheese
- Cook the meat- In a large skillet, add the sausages, cover and cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway until cooked through to 165 F. Remove to a plate and slice into rounds.
- Prepare the veggies- If there is excess grease from the sausage, drain most of it off but retain 1 tablespoon to cook the vegetables in. If there is not as much grease, add 1 tablespoon of olive or avocado oil. Add the onions and peppers and cook over medium heat until nearly softened (about 10 minutes), stirring often.
- Once the vegetables are nearly tender, return the sliced sausage to the skillet and cook for about 5 additional minutes. The vegetables should be lightly caramelized and the sausage should be somewhat browned. Remove filling from heat.
Corn tortillas tend to be less pliable so I find that when making corn tortilla quesadillas, it works best to assemble them with two tortillas rather than trying to fold them. For 6 inch corn tortillas, layer:
- Bottom Tortilla
- 2 tablespoon shredded cheese
- ½ cup filling
- 2 tablespoon shredded cheese
- Second Tortilla
*Don't skip the second layer of cheese as it helps to hold the pizza quesadillas together.
Wheat or oat tortillas can be assembled by folding in half. Assemble toppings on one half of the tortilla and then fold in half and cook as per the recipe directions. *If using a 6-inch tortilla, use half the amount of toppings that are listed above for corn tortillas but use the same amount if using 9-inch tortillas.
3. Cook. Either remove the filling to a separate bowl or assemble all of the quesadillas first. Wipe out the skillet and place over medium heat. Set 1-3 quesadillas into the skillet (depending on the size- you don't want them to be crowded/overlapped).
Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes. The cheese should be starting to melt (especially the bottom layer). Flip the quesadillas and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes, uncovered. The cheese should be fully melted and the tortillas should be toasted and crispy.
Alternate Cooking Methods- While the skillet is my preferred way to cook the perfect pizza quesadilla, you can also cook them in the air fryer at 375 F for 5-7 minutes or on a sheet pan in the oven at 375 F for 8-10 minutes. For extra crispy tortillas, lightly brush the top of the tortilla with avocado or olive oil prior to baking.
4. Slice. I find that a pizza cutter works best to slice quesadillas (and works well with our pizza theme!).
5. Serve! I highly recommend dipping them in this quick Pizza Sauce.
Leftovers and Storage
Make Ahead: Fillings for this easy recipe can be prepared in advance and refrigerated for up to 4 days.
To Store: Leftover pizza quesadilla recipe mixture (unassembled) can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 3 months. When ready to use, resume with assembly on the recipe card.
Leftover assembled and cooked crispy pizza quesadillas can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before packaging so that they don't become soggy.
To Reheat: Assembled and cooked quesadillas can be reheated in the microwave until warmed through. However for best results, I recommend warming in the oven at 350 F for 5-8 minutes or reheating in a frying pan for a couple of minutes per side over medium-low heat.
Make it Your Own
- Change Up the Fillings- Do you have a favorite vegetable that you love on a homemade pizza? Feel free to add it in! Use one less pepper and add up to 1 cup of a different vegetable such as:
- Sliced mushrooms
- Explore Other Pizza Ingredients and Flavors- Sub out the Italian sausage and peppers for other favorite toppings. Here are some ideas:
- BBQ Chicken- Mix some shredded chicken with Barbecue Sauce and use as the filling along with some red onions and cheese.
- Beef and Onion- Cook the filling from this Ground Beef and Onion Pizza and use it as the filling. Garnish with fresh parmesan cheese.
- Hawaiian- Use cooked ham and pineapple as fillings. Bacon bits would be a good addition as well.
- Pepperoni Pizza Quesadillas- Fill the tortillas with sliced pepperoni and cheese. Mushrooms would also be tasty.
And some ideas for what to serve alongside Pizza Quesadillas:
- Crispy Oven Baked Fries
- Mixed Berry Spinach Salad
- Mediterranean Salad
- Or check out this collection of 48 Perfect Ideas for What to Serve with Pizza
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- Place the sausages in a large skillet over medium heat. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Flip the sausages and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes until cooked through. Remove to a plate. If there is a lot of grease, drain most of it but reserve 1 tablespoon for cooking the vegetables.
- If there is not enough reserved grease, add 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and then add the onions and peppers. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often, until nearly softened.
- Meanwhile, slice the cooked sausages into thin rounds.
- When the vegetables are near tender, add the sausages and stir to combine. Continue to cook for 3-5 additional minutes until the sausages are lightly browned and the vegetables are beginning to caramelize. Remove mixture from heat.
- For each quesadilla, layer the following:Corn tortillas- One corn tortilla, 2 tablespoon shredded cheese, ⅓ cup filling, 2 tablespoon cheese, a second tortilla. Wheat/Oat tortillas- Assemble the 2 tablespoon shredded cheese, ⅓ cup filling and then 2 tablespoon cheese on one half of the tortilla and then fold in half.
- Assemble all of the quesadillas or remove additional filling to a bowl. Once cooled enough to handle, wipe out the skillet.
- Place assembled quesadillas into the skillet, ensuring that they are not overlapping (you'll have to work in batches). 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 pizza sauce alongside for dipping.