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Cheese quesadilla on a plated with mango salsa

How to Cook a Quesadilla (Meals Kids Should Know To Make Before Leaving Home)

By Jane Maynard

Quesadilla is a fantastic go-to recipe to have at your fingertips, whether you want a quick snack or a full meal. Pretty much everyone loves eating quesadillas and they don’t require a lot of ingredients – just tortillas and cheese!

If you want to get fancy or make the quesadilla bit more filling, you can include add-ons like meat or beans. Quesadillas are simple, delicious, flexible and a great thing to know how to cook and that’s why we think it’s a meal kids should know how to make before leaving home.

Recipes Kids Should Know: How to cook a quesadilla with a photo of a cheese quesadilla

Tips I have learned for making really great quesadillas:

1. Don’t use too much cheese. It might seem like you want a ton of cheese, but that can make your quesadilla soggy and too heavy. Just sprinkle an even, single layer of shredded cheese and that will be plenty. (See picture below)

2. You can cook quesadillas on a dry frying pan, no problem. But, adding a little bit of oil to the pan adds a nice crispy texture to the outside of the quesadilla. Butter can make it soggy, so just go with a neutral oil, like vegetable or canola.

3. If you want to do add-ons, stick with ingredients that are “dry,” like meat, beans, corn, etc. Avoid putting wet things like salsa inside the quesadilla as it will make the tortilla soggy. Add-ons are especially great if you want your quesadilla to be your meal rather than just a quick snack.

4. Our recipe below is for 1 whole quesadilla, which uses two tortillas. If you want less than that, just use one tortilla, only put cheese on one half of it and then fold the tortilla in half and cook as directed below.

Uncooked quesadilla showing the amount of cheese to use

Don’t forget to top your finished quesadilla with your favorite salsa, sour cream, guacamole and/or hot sauce!

View from above of cheese quesadilla with salsa


Basic Quesadilla Recipe

Teach your kids how to make a quesdailla with this easy recipe.

  • Author: Jane Maynard


  • 2 flour tortillas (I use the medium-sized 89 inch tortillas)
  • Shredded cheese (a few tablespoons for an 8-inch tortilla)
  • Vegetable or canola oil (about 1 teaspoon), optional
  • Low-moisture add-ons: chopped cooked chicken or steak, beans, corn, etc.


1. Heat a pan large enough to fit the size tortilla you are using over medium heat (on a stove with a dial from 1-10, around 5 or 6).

2. Once the pan has been heating for about 4-5 minutes, it’s time to cook the quesadilla! If using oil, put it in the pan and swirl it around.

3. You can put the cheese on the tortilla before placing it in the pan or you can just put one of the tortillas in the pan and immediately top it with the cheese. Place the second tortilla on top. If I’m using oil, at this point I’ll use my hand to move the quesadilla around the pan a bit to spread the oil out more on the bottom of the tortilla.

4. Let cook for a few minutes until the cheese is melted. You can try to lift the top tortilla up gently (with tongs or spatula) and if it sticks to the melting cheese you are good to flip it. Cook on the second side for another minute or so to brown the tortilla. If you want the tortilla even browner or crispier just flip and cook longer to your liking.

5. Remove from pan, turn off stove, cut into pieces and enjoy with your favorite quesadilla toppings!

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More Lunch Recipes Kids Should Know Before Leaving home:

1. Teach Kids How to Make Chicken Salad
2. Teach Kids to Make Grilled Cheese
3. Teach Kids to Make Tacos

About the Author

Jane Maynard

Jane Maynard is a mom, wife, graphic designer and blogger living in the San Diego area in sunny Southern California. Jane started her food blog This Week for Dinner 9 years ago and has be...

Jane Maynard is a mom, wife, graphic designer and blogger living in the San Diego area in sunny Southern California. Jane started her food blog This Week for Dinner 9 years ago and has been posting weekly meal plans ever since, in addition to recipes, travel, kitchen tips and more. Jane writes for the food sections of several websites and is always busy cooking up something new! Jane is pretty much obsessed with chocolate chip cookies and does not want to fix that about herself.

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