This easy and simple cheese quesadilla is the best easy dinner or lunch your whole family will love. Crispy outsides, gooey and cheesy insides, and full of flavor! Done in 5 minutes!
Our go-to easy and kid-friendly meal is a simple homemade cheese quesadilla. On busy days I'm making these (or this pizza quesadilla) if I'm not making meatballs or an easy crock pot recipe.
Why You Need To Try This Recipe
- Quick and easy to make!
- Easier to make and flip than other recipes - great for beginner cooks.
- This cheese quesadilla can be made in a pan on the stove or in the air fryer.
- Cheaper and healthier than driving through Taco Bell or Chipotle!
- Great to make ahead for school lunches.
- This cheese quesadilla can be made straight from frozen. Great for meal prep!
- Simple baby-led weaning recipe great for 1-year-olds, toddlers, or babies.
Ingredients You Need For This Recipe
Here are the ingredients you need to make this recipe. Reference the recipe card at the bottom for exact measurements and the notes below for substitution ideas.
- Shredded cheese: Cheddar and Monterey Jack are two kinds of cheese that melt well and can be found in most grocery stores.
- Flour tortillas: I recommend burrito-sized flour tortillas like these Mission ones. You could use corn tortillas or low-carb tortillas if preferred.
- Butter: Don't skip this ingredient! It creates the browned, crusty outside of the cheese quesadilla. Swap for ghee or olive oil if necessary.
This is a step-by-step walkthrough of how to cook this recipe. The recipe card at the bottom shows the exact cook time and temperatures.
How to Make a Cheese Quesadilla in a Pan
Place the skillet on the stovetop and turn the heat to medium. Melt the butter.
Place the tortilla onto the skillet and move it around so the underside is coated with butter.
Evenly sprinkle the cheese across the topside of the tortilla. Once the cheese starts to melt, use a spatula to fold the tortilla in half.
Allow the tortilla to cook for 1-2 minutes per side or until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is nicely browned.
How to Air Fry Quesadillas
Place the buttered tortilla in the air fryer and place cheese on one half. Secure the other half with toothpicks.
Air fry for 8 minutes at 350F, flipping halfway and checking the basket during the first few minutes of cooking to ensure the tortilla hasn't floated up.
Serving, Topping, and Other Filling Ideas
- Serve a cheese quesadilla with sides like raw veggies and fruit and a dipping sauce like salsa or guacamole.
- Top with pico de gallo, Greek yogurt, sour cream, or guacamole.
- Add in some protein from grilled chicken, rotisserie chicken, ground turkey, or ground beef seasoned with taco seasoning.
- Make with rice, black beans, refried beans, or pinto beans.
Air Frying Tips
- Use a toothpick inserted into each side of the cheese quesadilla or place a rack over top of them to keep the tortilla down during air frying.
- Check the basket during the first few minutes of air frying. The tortilla tends to float up due to air circulation. You can use a spatula to pat it back down.
- Timing will vary depending on your model. I tested this in the Ultrean Air Fryer.
Freezing, Storage, and Reheating Tips
- Frozen: Assemble and cook cheese quesadillas and allow them to cool. Cut into triangles and store in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
- Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Reheating: Reheat on a pan over medium heat for 1 minute per side or until cheese is melted.
Other Expert Tips
- Purchasing cheese blocks and shredding your cheese is a cheaper way to get cheese and only takes a few minutes.
- If you are doubling this recipe or making more than one cheese quesadilla, turn the heat down for the later quesadillas. The pan tends to heat up fast and can brown the outside of the second and third tortillas too quickly before the cheese melts.
This recipe for a simple cheese quesadilla has just cheese inside of it. However, it is a great blank canvas for adding many fillings and toppings to customize the quesadilla to your preferences.
Besides meats like ground beef, turkey, or chicken, you can fill a quesadilla with grilled vegetables, black, refried, or pinto beans, or rice.
According to Food & Wine, there are a few different kinds of cheese that Mexican restaurants use to make a cheese quesadilla like Asadero or Oaxaca (similar to Monterey Jack). All of these cheeses melt very well.
Yes. Buttering the outside of the tortilla provides a delicious crust and crunch for the outside of the cheese quesadilla.
The best cheese for quesadillas is one that melts well. I recommend a 50/50 mix of cheddar and Monterey Jack.
You could also select Mozzarella, Mexican blend, queso, Oaxaxa, pepper jack, or Chihuahua cheese.
This recipe has 464 calories which were calculated using an online calorie calculator. The entire nutrition information for this recipe can be found below in the recipe card.
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Simple Cheese Quesadilla Recipe (Air Fryer or Stove Top)
- 1 non-stick skillet if using stovetop method
- 1 Air Fryer if using the air fryer method
- 2 toothpicks if using the air fryer method
- 1 8-inch tortilla
- ¼ cup cheddar cheese shredded
- ¼ cup Monterey Jack cheese shredded
- ½ tablespoon butter
Stove Top Instructions
- Place the skillet on the stovetop and turn the stove on to medium heat. Place butter on the skillet and allow it to melt.½ tablespoon butter
- Place the tortilla onto the buttered skillet and use a spatula to move around to coat the under-side of the tortilla.1 8-inch tortilla
- Sprinkle cheese evenly over the tortilla. Once cheese begins to melt, use the spatula to fold tortilla in half.¼ cup cheddar cheese, ¼ cup Monterey Jack cheese
- Heat for 1 minute per side or until the cheese is melted and the outside has a browned crust.
Air Fryer Instructions
- Butter the outside of the tortilla and place into the air fryer basket. Sprinkle the cheese onto ½ of the tortilla, fold the tortilla in half, and use a toothpick to secure the tortilla.1 8-inch tortilla, ¼ cup cheddar cheese, ½ tablespoon butter, ¼ cup Monterey Jack cheese
- Air fry for 8 minutes at 350F, flipping halfway and checking the basket during the first few minutes of cooking to ensure the tortilla hasn't floated up.
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