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Superfood Quesadillas with Pumpkin and Kale

Quesadillas are basically tortilla filled with cheese and cooked until the cheese melts, a bit like a Mexican twist on a grilled cheese sandwich, but you can add anything you want to make them unique. This recipe, for example, uses pumpkin and kale, not only to add color and nutrients, but to offer a delicious flavor. These could be served for breakfast or dinner, but they are perfect for lunch because they are tasty but not too heavy. You can use butternut squash instead of the pumpkin, depending on what is seasonal, or even sweet potato.

If you want to make extra pumpkin and kale mixture, or you are only making 2 quesadillas instead of the 4, you can keep the mixture refrigerated for a couple of days then toss it with cooked pasta and olive oil. Served with grated fresh parmesan, that would make a delicious meal. These quesadillas are simple to prepare and you could even make them with leftover pumpkin, as long as you chop it into cubes. Perhaps you have made quesadillas lots of times before, but we bet you have never made them with kale and pumpkin, and these are quite unusual.

We are using butter and oil in this recipe but swap some for a nonstick cooking spray if you want. Use oil or butter for cooking the finished quesadillas though, at least a little, because that helps them get nice and golden brown and helps them to crisp up. As soon as they are done, you can use a pizza wheel to cut them into 4 wedges, then serve them in a stack or simply as they are. Sour cream is nice with these because it contrasts with the spicy filling, and you can also consider other sides like guacamole, avocado slices, salsa, or pico de gallo.

We are using Monterey Jack cheese here but you can swap that for any kind of cheese which melts well. Avoid reduced-fat cheeses because they tend to release a lot of liquid when heated and it runs out of the quesadillas and makes a mess. The point of the cheese is not only for flavor. It is also told hold the quesadillas together. Without the cheese they would fall apart and be difficult to flip over in the pan. When assembling the quesadillas, add half the cheese, then the filling, then the other half of the cheese to each one to help them hold together.

Crispy Pumpkin Kale-sadillas
Summary: These tasty quesadillas are made with chili-spiced pumpkin and kale, along with Monterey Jack cheese. They are golden-brown and crispy, and make a nutritious lunch or snack.
Cuisine: Mexican
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • ½ peeled, seeded, diced small pumpkin
  • 1 bunch kale
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 8 medium flour tortillas
  • 2¾ cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • Butter, as needed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Sour cream, to serve
  • Cilantro, salsa and/or avocado slices, to serve (optional)
  1. Heat a tablespoon of butter with a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over a high heat.
  2. Add the pumpkin and grind in some salt and black pepper.
  3. Add the chili powder (you can add more if you like your food spicy).
  4. Cook for a few minutes, using a spatula to keep the pumpkin moving.
  5. Get it nice and tender but not mushy.
  6. Remove to a plate.
  7. Add a splash of oil to the same skillet.
  8. Tear up the kale leaves and discard the stems.
  9. Add the kale leaves to the oil in the skillet and cook for 3 or 4 minutes.
  10. Add the pumpkin back in and toss with the kale.
  11. Melt some more butter in another skillet and brown both sides of 8 tortillas.
  12. Divide the cheese and pumpkin mixture between 4 of the tortillas, spreading it to ½-inch from the edges.
  13. Top them with the other 4 tortillas and press down.
  14. Brown each one on both sides, adding more oil or butter to the pan if necessary.
  15. Cut each tortilla into 4 wedges and serve hot with sour cream and any other condiments you like.

Photo Description:

Are you looking for a brand new idea for tortillas? This delicious recipe combines them with cheese, pumpkin and kale to make Mexican quesadillas. These make a wonderful alternative to boring sandwiches and the chili-spiced pumpkin tastes so good when combined with the crispy kale and melted cheese. Served hot with some sour cream on the side, and perhaps some salsa too if you like, these are sure to appeal to the whole family, even those who usually turn their nose up when the word ‘kale’ is mentioned. These colorful quesadillas (or kale-sadillas) are sure to appeal to everyone.

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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hi, I'm Christine, and I'm pleased to welcome you to I have endeavored to gather as many delicious South of the border recipes here for you, including Mexican-inspired as well as traditional Mexican, and also some Tex-Mex and Mexican fusion dishes. Food is very important to our family's lives and Mexican food is certainly a favorite around here.

We have everything from appetizers and snacks to soups, drinks, entrées, and much more. You will find everything from mild dishes to super-spicy ones, simple recipes based on fresh ingredients up to more complex ones suitable for a dinner party.

Home cooks just starting out with Mexican cooking tend to be surprised how much of the emphasis is placed on using fresh ingredients and aromatic herbs and spices. Forget the typical ideas about Mexican food being all beans, cheese and beef (that applies a little more to Tex-Mex), take inspiration from authentic Mexican dishes based on fresh ingredients, and inject all your passion into cooking South of the border food, for perfect results every time.

Thanks for visiting,