After summer events, my fridge is often littered with containers full of bean, quinoa, and rice salads. Let these sides take center stage as quesadilla filling! Quesadillas are perfect for a quick lunch or dinner.


makes 1 quesadilla

  • 3 oz (1/2 Cup) Bean, Quinoa, or Rice salad
  • 1 oz (1/4 cup) Shredded or Crumbled Cheese OR more salad
  • 1 Tablespoon Yogurt, Sour Cream, or Creamy Dressing, optional
  • 1 Tablespoon Oil, for cooking
  • 1- 8" Tortilla
  • Kosher Salt for sprinkling
  • Salsa, dressing, or chutney, for dipping, optional

Deviations & Tips

  • If your salad contains cheese or for a vegan "quesadilla", use a little more salad instead of the cheese.
  • Try feta or chevre and yogurt with Mediterranean salads or queso blanco or monterey jack and sour cream with Mexican flavors.
  • Caprese salads make perfect quesadillas. No other cheese or dressing is necessary.
  • Don't skimp on the oil. Pan frying the quesadilla creates a tasty pastry-like wrap!
  • Corn tortillas are perfect for gluten free diets. Just make sure that your ingredients aren't too wet because corn tortillas are more fragile than wheat.

the method

Heat the oil in a 10" or 12" skillet or frying pan over medium.

Cut up any large chunks of veggies or cheese to about 1/2" or no bigger than 1". Bigger chunks of filling make the quesadilla difficult to work with. For salads with watery dressings, strain the ingredients using a slotted spoon.  If desired, gently heat your salad; a quick 45 seconds in the microwave should do it. Add the cheese and yogurt, sour cream, or dressing to the salad and mix well... Mixing everything together instead of layering it binds the ingredients together and helps to the filling to stay put in the tortilla. Taste the filling and add salt only if needed.

Spread filling on one side of the tortilla; be sure to leave some space around the edges. Fold over the tortilla and press the edges together... The edges of a white flour tortilla will seal better than a whole wheat or corn tortilla, but it's ok if the edges don't really seal. Note: If you're doubling this recipe, still use this "half moon" method of constructing your quesadilla. Making a large round quesadilla with one whole tortilla stacked on top of the other is needlessly difficult to flip.


Gently place your quesadilla into the frying pan. Shake occasionally to distribute the oil and prevent sticking. Pan fry for about a minute or 2 or until golden brown. Carefully flip, sprinkle the cooked side with a little kosher salt, and cook for another minute or 2 until golden. 

Cook until golden and salt the exterior.


Transfer to a plate, cut in half with a pizza cutter, and enjoy with salsas or dressings if desired.

Quesadilla with Mediterranean white bean salad, feta cheese, and yogurt.

Quesadilla with Mediterranean white bean salad, feta cheese, and yogurt.