These crispy, gooey cheese quesadillas are the ultimate snacks full of flavors. Melty on the outside, crunchy on the outside. Learn some tricks that yield great results.
I think the little kid inside me is not only alive and well, but tends to guide me through life, only allowing the grown up out occasionally. I know it takes the lead sometimes when I'm planning meals, making sure there is plenty of finger food and options that add a joyful atmosphere to each meal.
It doesn't have to be summertime to use this recipe, but your “adult side” would approve, since it won't heat up the house. Your child side will love the unique method of making these delectable quesadillas since you use a waffle maker.
I got the idea from waffle cones. We were out on a family day and one of the kids mentioned that waffle cones were the best because they were prettier and the bumps in your mouth made them far more fun to eat, just like waffles were more fun than pancakes. That made me stop and think. She was right! They were more fun.
So how could I use the waffle maker for more than just waffles? I started with grilled cheese sandwiches and worked my way through 90-second cookies, portable scrambled waffle eggs and finally tried this pork carnitas quesadilla. All of them were fun and delicious, but I had to make seconds and third helpings for everyone on the quesadilla.
Read Here: Slow Cooker Carnitas Recipe
Not only is this recipe easy to make, it's versatile and melts all the ingredients together perfectly. I made the recipe with the pork carnitas, which I froze earlier, but even if I didn't have it already on hand, I'd still use it since it's a snap if you have a slow cooker and it tastes so yummy. You can make it with other ingredients, such as spicy pork al pastor or even steak.
Making it crispy
I also gave it a Korean flair with gochuchang, but you can use sriracha or other hot spicy substitutes. The waffle iron makes the outside evenly crispy and crunchy and you don't have to worry about flipping it while you're cooking.
Not only does it taste great, it's far more fun and eating should be an experience. Yummers, my mouth is watering just thinking about the quesadilla.
Tips on making a perfect quesadilla
1 Use flour tortillas
I normally use the corn tortillas, however, with the flexibility of flour tortilla - it is perfect to use when making quesadillas. They hold the cheese and fillings together and they can withstand the flipping process.
2 Don't overstuff it
Filling light is the key here, making sure there are equal parts of cheese, vegetables, and protein. Use approximately 2 heaping tablespoon of filling for every large tortilla. However, if you put too little, the filling will fall out and it won't hold the thing together especially if there's no enough cheese.
3 Making the half-moon technique
It's easier to use two tortillas when using the waffle maker ( just like what I did here as per the pictures I posted). However, the half-moon technique is simpler to flip by folding the other half over the filling. You simply slide a spatula under the open side then, flip the quesadilla over on the fold.
4 Too much oil
Lightly coat the pan with canola oil. Why canola? using this neutral oil won't overpower the flavor. Flour tortillas easily absorb the oil, so spraying the pan lightly with oil is essential.
5 Cooking in high heat
Never cook quesadilla over high heat as tortillas burn easily. Cook them in a low-medium heat as it only takes about a minute and a half to get each side crunchy and golden while making the cheese perfectly melted.
6 Cooking ahead of time
Quesadillas are best eaten fresh particularly when they are crunchy and gooey with cheese. Room temperature quesadillas get soggy while the cheese hardens. If that's the case, you can warm them in the oven though they aren't that good as the ones fresh out from the pan or griddle.
Why are my quesadillas soggy?
Your quesadillas ended up soggy its because you added much oil or butter while frying. You may find them crunchy at first but once they've been sitting for a while at room temperature, the moisture starts to come out due to the amount of butter or oil added.
How do you keep quesadillas warm and crispy?
After cooking, keep the quesadillas warm on a baking sheet and put them in a 300° F oven until ready.
Can you freeze quesadillas?
You can store them in the freezer for future use. Simply put them in the freezer until firm then, place in a Ziploc bag, and sealed them tight. They can be frozen for up to 2 months.
How to reheat them
To re-cook from frozen, you can reheat them in the oven (at 350° F) until heated thoroughly or nuke them in the microwave for about 2 minutes or until done.
Also, you can heat a pan on low-medium heat until it's hot. Place the quesadilla and heat it on both sides for a minute or until reheated through. Once the cheese starts to melt and the tortilla sheets recover its crunchiness, you know it's ready to serve.
For the fillings:
- Leftover carnitas (or you can use your favorite fillings)
- Mexican cheese (shredded)
- flour tortillas
For the salsa
- Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Verde (or you can buy the salsa at the grocery store)
- tomatillos (skins removed)
- Korean Sunchang chili paste (or use Korean chili paste/Gochujang (or sriracha optional*)
- soy sauce
- Juice from 2 limes
- pineapple chunks (fresh)
- sesame oil
- toasted sesame seeds
- fresh cilantro (chopped)
Step by step instructions
Prepare the Tomatillo Salsa (Skip this if using a store-bought one):
1 Preheat the broiler into high.
2 Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the peeled tomatillos and place under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, until the tomatillos are mostly charred all over.
3 Remove from the oven and let them cool a bit. Throw the charred tomatillos and pineapple chunks to a blender or food processor.
4 Add the sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, Gochujang or sriracha and lime juice. Blend well.
5 Transfer into a glass container and stir the sesame seeds.
The mixture would last for a week if stored in the fridge.
Prepare your Quesadilla:
6 Preheat a waffle iron maker. Once preheated, layer one tortilla on the waffle maker and then add a layer of cheese, a layer of pork, a sprinkle of rice and then another layer of cheese.
7 Add the top tortilla and carefully close your waffle iron. Be careful not to overload your quesadilla or your waffle iron will not shut.
8 Cook until lightly golden and browned, approximately 5 minutes. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
If using a non-stick pan
Heat a pan on low-medium heat until it’s hot. Place the quesadilla and heat it on both sides for a minute or until reheated through. Once the cheese starts to melt and the tortilla sheets recover its crunchiness, you know it’s ready to serve.
Korean Sunchang is a Korean chili paste/sauce you can buy at any Korean market or you can order it thru Amazon. You may also use sriracha or Gochujang (Korean chili paste) as substitute.
Other interesting recipes:
Cheese Quesadilla with Tomatillo Salsa Verde
For the Fillings:
- Leftover carnitas
- Mexican cheese (shredded)
- 8 flour tortillas
Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Verde (or you can buy the salsa at the grocery store)
- 6 tomatillos (skins removed)
- 2 tablespoon Korean Sunchang chili paste (or use Korean chili paste/Gochujang (or sriracha optional*)
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- Juice from 2 limes
- ¼ cup pineapple chunks (fresh)
- 2 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- ½ cup fresh cilantro chopped
Prepare the Tomatillo Salsa (Skip this if using a store-bought one):
- Preheat the broiler into high.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the peeled tomatillos and place under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, until the tomatillos are mostly charred all over.
- Remove from the oven and let them cool a bit.
- Throw the charred tomatillos and pineapple chunks to a blender or food processor.
- Add the sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, Gochujang or sriracha and lime juice. Blend well.
- Transfer into a glass container and stir the sesame seeds.
- The mixture would last for a week if stored in the fridge.
Prepare your Quesadilla (if Using a Waffle Iron):
- Preheat a waffle iron maker. Once preheated, layer one tortilla on the waffle maker and then add a layer of cheese, a layer of pork, a sprinkle of rice and then another layer of cheese.
- Add the top tortilla and carefully close your waffle iron. Be careful not to overload your quesadilla or your waffle iron will not shut.
- Cook until lightly golden and browned, approximately 5 minutes. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
If Using a Pan:
- Heat a pan on low-medium heat until it’s hot. Place the quesadilla and heat it on both sides for a minute or until reheated through. Once the cheese starts to melt and the tortilla sheets recover its crunchiness, you know it’s ready to serve.
Please note that all nutrition information are just estimates. Values will vary among brands, so we encourage you to calculate these on your own for most accurate results.
Elizabeth O says
This quesadilla looks so tempting. I will definitely pinned this. I will try to do this cheese quesadilla recipe. I am pretty sure that my live ones will surely love this.
This looks absolutely mouth watering!! I am definitely saving this for our family, we love quesadillas lol. Thank you!
Wow! that's looks mouthwatering! I'm a mexican food lover and that doesn't help. haha I'm gonna give this a go tomorrow!
this looks amazingly delicious! maybe i'll try these this weekend!
Ania Travels says
Oh this looks so delicious, I would love to try this sometime with some extra tabasco on it.
EG III says
What a brilliant idea! I never thought to use a waffle maker for quesadillas but it looks delicious, fast, and like something I definitely have seconds on.
This looks SO yummy, omg! I will definitely have to try this recipe out this coming weekend!
This looks amazing and delicious. If it wasn't everything I was allergic to, I would eat it up!
This looks really delicious. Quesadillas have to be one of my favorite foods to get at a restaurant or make at home. I'll have to save this to make the sauce later.
Wow you have given a new look to quesadilla. Waffle styled quesadilla is an innovation and I would surely try out this. Now I am getting so many ideas. Thanks for sharing this super innovative idea.
These look so good'! I love quesadillas. I wouldn't have thought to use my waffle maker for anything else so I'll be experimenting from now on.
Oh my... This Quesadilla looks so yummy!!!! And it's not complicated to do it.. Why I've never tried ??XDD
I'm taking note very carefully !
What a great idea to use the waffle maker. I haven't used mine in a while as I've only made waffles in them. Will start experimenting with it
Ali Rost says
An outdoor grill works wonders in making a quesadilla ultra smoky and crisp if you are fortunate to have access to one- and no fat needed. At our house, we love quesadillas and make them often with just about anything inside them. Just a touch of cheese is all that’s needed to make them adhere and I’ve made a sweet potato and gouda blend that is killer good. x
Annemarie LeBlanc says
This is such a smart idea! Now I can make use of our waffle iron for other things, especially this quesadilla recipe! I can't wait to make it. Yummy!
I love everything about your recipe! Hubby loves everything Mexican cuisine based and I love finding good recipes like yours! Thank you for sharing!
You did a wonderful job with this quesadilla! I love how you topped it with extra ingredients to make it even more pretty!
This is such a great idea! I'm definitely trying this with my waffle maker! I'm also going to do the grilled cheese sandwich suggestion too.
This looks so delicious! I am pinning it to use this recipe for family dinner, love love love quesadillas! 🙂
Michelle Leslie says
That was so unexpected Calleigh. Never in a million years would I have thought of using our waffle maker for anything but waffles. Thank goodness for kids and their beautiful inquiring minds. This is just brilliant
Stephanie Jeannot says
I am a lover of Mexican food and I really love quesadillas. Yum. I need to try this recipe out. That looks delicious.
This would a perfect dinner. I love this full of flavour, thank you for sharing this recipe.
Josselyn Radillo says
mexican food is just one of my favorites!! I love the spicy and all taste. I really new to try your recipe this weekend
Corey | The Nostalgia Diaries says
I never would have thought to use a waffle maker for a quesadilla. Brilliant!
I love how you can make more than just waffles and quesadillias are delicious. I can imagine eating these cheese quesadillias with some salsa and a nice cup of fruit juice x
Tanvi Rastogi says
That looks absolutely delicious. And I love your idea of making them in a waffle maker.
Megan | Ginger Mom & the Kindle Quest says
I love the idea of using a waffle iron for quesadillas! I have one sitting in my cupboard and, because pancakes are quicker, we never really make waffles. I tried grilled cheese in my waffle iron once and it was pretty good 🙂 This is definitely up next on the list as the cooler weather sets in and I start digging out my hoards of cooking utensils/appliances again!
The first thing I will do tomorrow morning is to buy a waffle machine! And then make thia for lunch! It does look very fun with all the colors! Yummy!
Courtney Blacher says
Wow, this looks so tasty! I have never made anything similar, but I think I'll make this. My family will surely enjoy it!
This quesadilla recipe looks yummilcious! I love the use of the waffle maker - such a great idea! Why haven't I thought of that? It certainly makes a perfect quesadilla!
Im a huge lover of cheese so anything with cheese in is going to be a hit with me. However these pictures look mouth watering. Im going to buy the ingredients this week and give it a go as looks really easy to follow. Hopefully I dont set light to mt kitchen haha
Anup Das says
Looks tasty.. will try to cook it.
Ayanna @ 21FlavorsofSplendor says
This looks so yummy!! I love how you have expanded the use of a waffle maker. Rarely use mine because it's so big and has only one use, now I can pull it out and make so many fun dishes.
You can add anything you want for a quesadilla.
That is sucj a cool idea! I am definitely going to try that! Can chicken be used as well?
We like quick and simple meals like this. The salsa is perfect.
Very good photography,and also nice description of the recipe thanks
[email protected] says
Fab idea to make these in a waffle iron. Quesadillas make such a great family meal. Love your addition of gochuchang.
I love love love quesadillas! This post reminds me that I really need to make some soon. It looks and sounds delicious! Plus, it's always nice to feed that literal and theoretical inner-child 😉
What fun to make them in a waffle iron! Great photos! Love this whole idea!
Amy | The Cook Report says
What a cool idea to use your waffle iron to make these, makes them easier and more fun like you say!
sue | theviewfromgreatisland says
These are absolutely brilliant, I'm plugging in my waffle iron now!!
Marjory @ Dinner-Mom says
Genius! This covers my adult and child side! I can't wait to try making quesadillas in a waffle iron!
How fun! I love how the grooves are perfect for holding extra sauce. My family would absolutely love these. So easy too.