30-Minute Dinner/ Appetizers & Snacks/ Dinner/ mexican and tex-mex/ New Year's Eve/ Party/ vegetarian dinner

Broccoli Quesadillas with cheddar (5 ingredients!)

17 March 2020 | Last Updated: 1 August 2021 By Aleksandra

Cheesy tortillas filled with just a couple of ingredients but packed with flavor. These broccoli quesadillas with cheddar are a perfect quick party snack or vegetarian dinner!

Broccoli cheddar quesadillas are being held in a hand, tomato salsa in the background.
Broccoli quesadillas with cheddar on a plate with tomato salsa in the middle.

Ingredients

The filling for these broccoli quesadillas consists of only 4 ingredients, but I can assure you, thanks to properly cooking (= browning) the broccoli it’s just so yummy so won’t believe it!

Here’s what you need to make this recipe:

  • Tortillas – wheat or corn, I used wheat tortillas.
  • Broccoli – best is fresh. You can also use frozen broccoli (thawed) but it will be less crunchy.
  • Garlic – must be fresh.
  • Dried basil – you can also use fresh chopped basil or Italian seasoning.
  • Cheese – sharp cheddar is best for this recipe. You could also use Pepper Jack cheese or Gruyere cheese.
  • Frying oil or clarified butter – for cooking the quesadillas. Clarified butter is a butter that is suitable for pan-frying. It doesn’t burn like regular butter and still have a delicious buttery flavor. You can purchase it or make your own in 5 minutes.

What you could also add: you can add corn or pan-fried chicken breast!

ingredients needed to prepare broccoli cheddar quesadillas

How to make broccoli quesadillas step by step

Chopped broccoli on a chopping board, cooked broccoli in a black pan.

STEP 1: Chop 1 head of broccoli (about 1 lb/500g) into very small florets. You can also use the broccoli stem – just peel it and chop roughly. Grate 8 oz (250g) cheddar cheese on the big holes of a box grater. Finely chop 2 cloves garlic.

STEP 2: Heat 2 Tbsp of oil on a big frying pan. Add the chopped broccoli. Cook over high heat, stirring from time to time until the broccoli is tender, browned but still a little crunchy. It will take about 5-10 minutes depending on your stovetop. If your broccoli is already browned but still tough you can add a small amount of boiling water to the pan to speed up the cooking process. Add the chopped garlic and basil. Cook, stirring, for about a minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer the broccoli to a plate.

Very important: make sure that the broccoli is nicely browned – this is what gives it flavor! Make sure your broccoli is not overcrowded in the pan (otherwise it will steam and won’t brown). It can take longer or shorter and it also depends on the pan and stovetop you’re using!

Grated cheese and cooked broccoli on a flour tortilla placed on a chopping board.

STEP 3: Assemble the quesadilla:

-> If you have small tortillas: Sprinkle 1/3 cup of loosely packed shredded cheese over the tortilla (photo 3), top with 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli (photo 4), and sprinkle another 1/3 cup of shredded cheese (photo 5). Spread all the ingredients in an even layer. Place another tortilla on top (photo 6).

-> If you have bigger tortillas: Top 1/2 of one big tortilla with the previously mentioned ingredients. Fold the tortilla in half. These quesadillas are easier to flip over, it is very difficult to flip over a big double-tortilla quesadilla. You can see how this looks on the photos in this post: chicken quesadillas.

Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

A collage of 2 photos showing assembling steps for broccoli quesadillas.
Quesadilla is being cooked in a pan, quesadilla divided into 8 parts on a paper towel.

STEP 4: Cook the quesadillas: Clean the pan with a paper towel and heat 1 Tbsp of oil. Place the quesadilla in the pan. Move it around to make sure it doesn’t stick. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until golden brown then flip over using two spatulas and cook on the other side until browned and crispy (you can tell that the quesadilla is ready to flip over when the edges are golden, insert a spatula under the tortilla to see if it’s browned).

Transfer the quesadilla to a chopping board. Sprinkle with a little salt. Cut into 8 parts / triangles (a pizza cutter is great for that).

Serve with tomato salsa and enjoy!

How to cook quesadillas in the oven

If you’re making more quesadillas you can also finish them in the oven instead of on the stovetop (no flipping necessary!). Here’s how to do it:

  • Brush the quesadillas on both sides with melted butter.
  • Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake at 425°F/220°C for about 10 minutes or until golden.

What to serve it with:

  • Tomato salsa is perfect for this recipe. On the photos there is store-bought salsa but you can also make your own. Quick blender tomato salsa: mix all the ingredients in a blender/food processor until just a little chunky: 1 can crushed tomatoes (14-oz/400ml), 1 handful fresh cilantro, 1/4 teaspoon cumin, 1 large clove garlic, 1 deseeded jalapeno or some hot pepper flakes to taste, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 1 small white or yellow onion, salt, and pepper to taste.
  • Guacamole
  • A simple yogurt dip: combine 1/2 cup of plain yogurt with 1 Tbsp of sour cream, 1 ts lime juice, 1 small clove garlic (pressed), then season with salt and pepper.
  • pico de Gallo
  • Any other dipping sauce that you like!
Broccoli quesadillas are being dipped in tomato salsa.

Storage / how to make it ahead / freezing:

Storage: You can store these broccoli quesadillas in the fridge, in a tightly closed container, or wrapped in plastic foil for up to 3 days. You can reheat them in a pan – just cook them on a dry non-stick pan on both sides until warm. You can also warm them up in an oven preheated to 320-350°F (160-180°C).

These quesadillas also taste good cold, but when left for too long they’re becoming soft and not crunchy. They can also be reheated but they taste best freshly cooked.

Make it ahead: the filling can be made ahead. You can store it in the fridge for up to 3 days and assemble quesadillas just before serving. Tastes like freshly made!

Freezing: wrap each quesadilla in plastic wrap or place it in a tightly closed container (but separate each quesadilla with a piece of baking paper so they won’t stick to each other) and freeze for up to 6 months. Defrost in the fridge then warm up on the stove or in the oven or defrost directly in the oven.

More quesadilla recipes

Did you make this recipe? RATE THE RECIPE or tell me in the COMMENTS how you liked it! You can also add a photo of your dish. It would make me very happy and will help other readers. Thank you!!

Broccoli Cheddar Quesadillas

Cheesy tortillas filled with just a couple of ingredients but packed with flavor. This is a perfect quick party snack or dinner!
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broccoli quesadilla
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 servings (4 small quesadillas)
Calories 1301kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

  • 8 small tortillas about 7-inch/18 cm
  • 8 oz (250g) sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3 tablespoons frying oil
  • 1 head broccoli 1lb/500g
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Prepare your ingredients: Chop the broccoli into very small florets. You can also use the broccoli stem – just peel it and chop roughly. Grate the cheese on the big holes of a box grater. Finely chop the garlic.
  • Cook broccoli: Heat 2 Tbsp of oil on a big frying pan. Add the chopped broccoli. Cook over high heat, stirring from time to time until the broccoli is tender, browned but still a little crunchy. It will take about 5-10 minutes, depending on your pan and stovetop. If your broccoli is already browned but still tough you can add a small amount of boiling water to the pan to speed up the cooking process.
  • Add the chopped garlic and basil. Cook, stirring, for about a minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer the broccoli to a plate.
  • Assemble the quesadilla: If you have small tortillas: Sprinkle 1/3 cup of loosely packed shredded cheese over the tortilla, top with 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli, and sprinkle another 1/3 cup of shredded cheese on top (spread all the ingredients in an even layer). Place another tortilla on top. If you have bigger tortillas: Top 1/2 of one big tortilla with the cheese and broccoli. Fold the tortilla in half. These quesadillas are easier to flip over, it is very difficult to flip over a big double-tortilla quesadilla.
  • Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  • Cook the quesadillas: Clean the pan with a paper towel and heat 1 Tbsp of oil. Place the quesadilla in the pan. Move it around to make sure it doesn't stick. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until golden brown then flip over using two spatulas and cook on the other side until browned and crispy (you can tell that the quesadilla is ready to flip over when the edges are golden, insert a spatula under the tortilla to see if it's browned).
  • Transfer the quesadilla to a chopping board. Sprinkle with a little salt. Cut into 8 parts / triangles (a pizza cutter is great for that).
  • Serve with tomato salsa and enjoy!

Notes

  • Calories: 1 serving (1/2 of the recipe). This is only an estimate!
  • Corn or pan-fried chicken breast would be a great addition.
  • What to serve it with: tomato salsa (for us is mandatory for this recipe!) or guacamole, pico de gallo.
  • Very important: make sure that the broccoli is nicely browned – this is what gives it flavor! It shouldn’t be overcrowded in the pan (otherwise it will steam instead of brown). It can take longer or shorter and it also depends on the pan you’re using!
  • Storage: You can store these broccoli quesadillas in the fridge, in a tightly closed container or wrapped in plastic foil for up to 3 days. You can reheat them on a pan – just cook them on a dry non-stick pan on both sides until warm. You can also warm them up in an oven preheated to 320-350°F (160-180°C). These quesadillas also taste good cold, but when left for too long they’re becoming soft, losing their crunchiness. They can be reheated but taste best freshly cooked.
  • Make it ahead: the filling can be made ahead. You can store it in the fridge for up to 3 days and cook it with the tortillas just before serving. Tastes as freshly made!
  • Freezing: wrap each quesadilla in plastic wrap or place it in a tightly closed container (but separate each quesadilla with a piece of baking paper so they won’t stick to each other) and freeze for up to 6 months. Defrost in the fridge then warm up on the stove or in the oven or defrost directly in the oven.
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine international, Tex-Mex-inspired
Keyword broccoli cheddar quesadillas, broccoli quesadillas, broccoli tortilla

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