Broccoli Quesadillas

April 17, 2019
Photo by Ty Mecham
Author Notes

These broccoli quesadillas forever opened my heart and mind to quesadillas' deliciousness. Inspired by Gonzalo Guzmán's Quesadillas with Brussels Sprouts and Cascabel Chile Oil in the cookbook Nopalito: A Mexican Kitchen, they have layers of flavor from charred broccoli and red onion, a smoky-spicy-tangy chipotle-peanut sauce, and lots of melty, salty cheese. They take a little more effort than a clean-out-the-fridge type of quesadilla, but the pay-off is so worth it. —EmilyC

  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Makes 6 quesadillas
  • For the quesadillas
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided, plus more for cooking quesadillas
  • 1 large broccoli crown (or 2 small), about 400 grams or 14 ounces
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 lime
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups crumbled cotija, crumbled queso fresco, or shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 6 soft corn or flour tortillas (about 6-inches in diameter)
  • For serving: 1/2 cup sour cream, lime wedges
  • For the chipotle-peanut sauce
  • 1/2 cup peanuts (I like roasted and salted)
  • 2 chipotle chiles in adobo, plus 1 tablespoon adobe sauce (from the can)
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons honey, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • kosher salt, to taste
In This Recipe
  1. To shave the broccoli: Trim the crown of any discolored areas and cut into quarters. Use the slicing blade of a food processor (or a sharp knife) to cut the broccoli into 1/4-inch slices. You should have about 4 to 4 1/2 cups. Set aside. (Tip: wipe the bowl of the food processor clean, and use it for Step 2.)
  2. To make the chipotle-peanut sauce: In a food processor or blender, combine peanuts, chipotles, adobe sauce, water, olive oil, vinegar, and a pinch of salt. Process until smooth. Taste a small amount to gauge spiciness, then add honey, to taste, to balance the heat. Taste again, and adjust seasoning and acidity. Add more water (a teaspoon or two at a time) to loosen the sauce, if needed.
  3. To make the filling: In a 12-inch skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion. Sauté until tender and browned around the edges, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add another tablespoon of oil, then the broccoli; season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli is crisp-tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in 3 tablespoons of the chipotle-peanut sauce, lower the heat, and cook another minute to warm through. Season with salt and a few squeezes of lime juice, to taste.
  4. To make quesadillas: In a large skillet, heat a teaspoon of oil over medium heat, then place the tortillas in the skillet (working in batches to fit). Quickly sprinkle the whole tortilla with cheese, then spread the broccoli mixture (about 1/4 to 1/3 cup) over half the tortilla and fold in half. Flip quesadilla; cook, pressing down a few times, until the cheese is fully melted and the tortilla is nicely toasted on both sides, about 4 to 5 minutes in total. **Alternatively, you can make the quesadillas with two full tortillas, which I sometimes do if my corn tortillas aren’t pliable.
  5. For serving, stir together sour cream and 1/4 cup of the chipotle-peanut sauce (or more or less, to taste). Cut quesadillas into wedges, and serve with sour cream and lime.

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  • Stephanie B.
    Stephanie B.
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  • Louise Kendall
    Louise Kendall
  • EmilyC

Recipe by: EmilyC

I'm a home cook. I love salads. Two things you'll always find in my refrigerator are lemons and butter, and in my pantry good quality chocolate and the makings for chocolate chip cookies.