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Gluten-Free Quesadillas

I grew up in south Texas where Tex Mex was a major food group. If you grew up under similar circumstances, you will definitely appreciate what I’m talking about.

In fact, I never had a grilled cheese sandwich until I was out of high school… but I definitely had lots of quesadillas.

When my husband Al and I were newlyweds, I thought he would be happier with “creative cooking,” so I experimented a lot. That didn’t work out so well, so I ended up focusing more on the basics.

Bean and Cheddar Quesadillas - Gluten-Free

Bean and Cheddar Quesadillas

Naturally I wanted to continue having quesadillas, no matter where we lived.

But, fortunately, I made a somewhat startling discovery…my “Yankee” husband liked them a lot…maybe more than I did.

So when I was hungry for some Tex Mex, we made those a major part of the meal.

He likes his plain and plentiful…plenty of butter in the pan, plenty of cheese on the flour tortillas, plenty of quesadillas on his plate! That’s an easy recipe to remember.

For mine, I can be as creative as I want…

…I can add sautéed onions or peppers, tomatoes or mushrooms, cilantro or green onions, salsa and, of course, leftover chili. Mmmm, especially leftover chili! That’s so good that even he decided that he likes it! As a result, leftover chili is rare in our house!

We have quesadillas for lunch, with dinner, and sometimes for snacks.

I build Al’s with flour tortillas, but to keep my quesadillas gluten-free, I make mine first using corn tortillas. If you like, you might try using some gluten-free flour tortillas for yours.   Gluten-Free Sandwich Petals work especially well, too.

I like to eat my quesadillas before I make Al’s. I eat them right away while they’re still hot and delicious…full of aroma and flavor…absolutely mouth-watering. It may not be good manners, but it’s the only sensible way for a celiac cook to manage!

It also works to use two separate pans to cook both kinds at the same time, but I have to work pretty darn hard not to mix up the utensils and cross-contaminate my meal with Al’s gluten…it’s not worth the risk sometimes.

When I cook, I usually make my quesadillas in the folded-over style or as a stack of two or three cheese-filled tortillas.

Either style works so it’s more of a taste issue. Whether it’s a corn or a flour tortilla, the procedure is the same, and the additional ingredients can be as individual and personal as you like!


Gluten-Free Quesadillas with Cheddar, Chili and Salsa

8 Corn Tortillas, or GF flour tortillas, or Sandwich Petals
1 tablespoon Butter, or Margarine or Olive Oil
4 ounces Shredded Cheddar Cheese, Natural, or Monterey Jack
Additional Fillings — Optional:
Chopped Onions, sauteed
Chopped Green Bell Peppers, sauteed
Sliced Fresh Mushrooms, sauteed
Chopped Tomatoes
Chopped Jalapeno Peppers
Chopped Green Onions
Salsa (homemade, or Pace Picante or your favorite brand)
Leftover Chili (see Chili and Beans)

Heat a griddle or heavy crepe pan over medium-high heat until it sizzles when a few drops of water are sprinkled on it.
Lightly butter one side of a tortilla. Lay the tortilla in the pan; place 1/2 oz. of cheese on it (about a tablespoon). Fold tortilla in half over filling to form a semicircle. (Or, instead of folding it, spread 1 oz. of cheese all over it and cover with another tortilla.)
Cook, turning once, until surface is lightly browned and cheese is melted. Remove from heat. Serve whole, or cut quesadillas into wedges and serve.

Cheddar Quesadillas with Chili and Salsa -- Gluten-free

Cheddar Quesadillas with Chili and Salsa, Served with a Wedge of Lettuce for Lunch or Dinner

For optional additional fillings, sprinkle any of these on with the cheese: sautéed onions or peppers or mushrooms, or tomatoes, or cilantro, or jalapenos, or green onions, or salsa, or leftover chili.
Serve with chili, salsa, guacamole, refried beans, scrambled eggs, tossed salad, or whatever else you’d like.