Silver Lining: Easy Weeknight Dinners: Gourmet Open-Faced Quesadillas

October 24, 2016

Easy Weeknight Dinners: Gourmet Open-Faced Quesadillas

Happy Monday, and welcome to a new mini-series here on Silver Lining! Dinner time at our house is often the craziest time of the day, so through the years I've really focused on simplifying. For us, that means meals that are easy to make, ready quickly, fairly healthy, and inexpensive. I want to share some of our easy weeknight dinner recipes with you. None of these will be extremely gourmet or fancy, but all of them will work if you're looking for a quick yummy dinner without slaving away or breaking the bank.

(Read my first post here: Easy Weeknight Jambalaya)

Today I wanted to share one of my favorites: Gourmet Open-Faced Quesadillas

We've been making stuffed quesadillas at my house for years, but one night I only had one tortilla left. I decided to leave it open-faced and broil it instead of grill it. You guys, it was so good! These open-faced quesadillas are crunchy on the edges, warm and gooey in the center, and topped with all my favorite Mexican food ingredients.

Think of it as a south-of-the-border pizza: the refried beans are your sauce, the cheese is next, and then you can personalize the toppings to finish it off. (At our house, we all make our own "Mexican Pizza" so we can have it however we want.)

Then, just broil those babies in the oven for a few minutes. When I was growing up, my mom would often call me to sit on a chair and watch something broil in the oven. It was my sole responsibility to call out when the food was beginning to brown so she could take it out at just the right second. Even today, broiling things makes me think of cooking with my mom in warm kitchens on rainy Oregon evenings.

We also love these because they're great when you need to clean out the fridge. The only things you absolutely need are tortillas, refried beans and cheese. Everything else changes weekly depending on what I'm trying to get rid of: corn, bell peppers, olives, diced chiles, tomatoes, etc.

The recipe:



1 flour tortilla
1/2 cup refried beans (regular spreads much better than non-fat)
1/3 cup shredded cheese, cheddar or blend of your choice
Optional toppings: corn, bell peppers, olives, diced chiles, tomatoes, spanish rice, etc.
Optional garnish: lime juice, salsa, or hot sauce

1. Spread a layer of refried beans over your tortilla
2. Sprinkle a layer of shredded cheese on top.
3. Personalize with any toppings you like. (See above for topping ideas.)
4. Place on pizza tray (or cookie sheet) on the top rack of your oven and broil on high until edges are crispy and cheese is fully melted.
5. Cut into 6-8 slices with pizza cutter.
6. Add hot sauce or salsa, if desired. Serve immediately.

*I happened to have a lime on hand when I took these pictures so I sprinkled the juice on top. It was good, but it's also good without the lime, so don't sweat it if you don't have one. Like I mentioned earlier, this really is a meal of improvisation!

Anyone else make these on the regular?
What would you put on your open-faced quesadilla?

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