I was perusing some of my favorite food blogs last week, and had an “Oh duh!” moment when I got to SimplyRecipes where Elise had posted a recipe for quesadilla pie. Eric and I love quesadillas, they can be as easy or complex as you want and are so fast to make. I love stuffing them full of different ingredients, so I can’t believe I never thought of layering it before. Brilliance!
I had so much fun playing with this recipe. The key to me is fresh ingredients, using fresh peppers, tomatoes, onions and some chicken from my roast chicken absolutely made this dish. I only used about 1/4 cup of shredded chicken but it was so flavorful that I didn’t really need much more than that. I also sprinkled some taco seasoning on the chicken layer to add more flavor. If you don’t have taco seasoning, cumin works great along with some garlic and onion powder. I bought a big jar of taco seasoning 3 years ago, it’s half gone and still delicious. I make sure to keep it in a cupboard where it’s cool and dark, as well as keeping it tightly sealed. This is a great way to save money, so much cheaper than those packets.
There are a couple very important things to keep in mind when making quesadilla pie. One is to use cheese in each layer (I used cheddar) as the glue to hold the pie together. After taking a photo of each layer, I sprinkled a little more cheese to help it stick to the tortilla above it. Another key is to get as much moisture as possible out of the vegetables. Once I chopped the tomatoes, I squeezed a handful at a time over the sink, then wrapped them in paper towels and pressed them some more. I also drained the beans really well. This all keeps the pie from getting soggy.
As I was brainstorming what I wanted to put in the pie, I thought of my sister in law Heather who is a self proclaimed bean hater. She said she’s trying to learn to like them, and I decided this could be a great starter recipe for someone who hates beans. It’s a great recipe for hiding beans or vegetables in. I used about 1/2 a can split between the two vegetable layers. The other great thing about this dish is that the leftover ingredients make amazing omelets the next morning! What will you put in your quesadilla pie?
Quesadilla Pieserves 4
1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, jack or both)
1/2 green bell pepper chopped
1/2 tomato chopped (with liquid squeezed out)
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/2 can black beans drained
1/4 cup shredded chicken
1 TBS taco seasoning
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare all your vegetables. Butter a 9 inch pie pan well. Place a tortilla in the bottom (it will come up the sides) and top with a little cheese, the green pepper and half the beans.
Add another tortilla and top with cheese, chicken and taco seasoning. Add a third tortilla and top with the last of the cheese, red onion, tomatoes and the last of the beans. Place the final tortilla on top and press it down. Wrap entire pie in foil and place in oven.
Bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil, butter the top tortilla and let bake another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before slicing into 4 pieces.
Approximate Cost/serving: The whole pie only cost about $2.50 to make (partly because I didn’t use a whole pepper, onion, etc and also because I went light on the chicken) which comes out to around 68 cents per serving!
Vegetarian/Gluten Free: This is a really easy recipe to make vegetarian, simply use other vegetables instead of the chicken. For gluten free, use gluten free tortillas, and check your taco seasoning ingredients to make sure it doesn’t contain gluten.