Looking for a twist to the normal taco night? This lean ground turkey quesadilla is a great way to make a healthy dinner a little more exciting! With well-seasoned turkey meat and plenty of melty cheese, these quesadillas will be your family's new favorite!
Why These Quesadillas are the Best!
I love making Mexican food at our house. It's usually a quick dinner that even my picker eaters will agree on. These easy ground turkey quesadillas are a unique spin from the normal cheese quesadillas. With lots of flavor and an extra source of lean protein from the ground turkey, this turkey quesadillas recipe will quickly become a favorite in your house too!
I always make my own seasoning for quesadillas and tacos. You can buy the premade packets but I just find the fresh spices have better flavor, plus you can control the sodium. My mixture consists of the usual spices found in Mexican cuisine, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, ground cumin, salt and pepper.
What are Quesadillas?
Quesadillas are tortillas that are filled with a mixture of meat and cheeses and folded over and heated on a stove top. Most of us are familiar with either a cheese or chicken quesadilla, but you can use any meat or even beans to make a vegetarian option.
ground turkey- my favorite ground turkey has a fat ratio of 93/7 because I find it does not dry out as much as the 99% lean turkey.
flour tortillas-hold up better than corn tortillas.
bell peppers-I love adding a little touch of color and love the sweet red bell pepper in this recipe. You can use any color bell pepper you prefer.
jalapeno- adds just a little spice to the meat mixture. If you are making this for the kids, you can omit the jalapeno from the recipe.
cheese- quesadillas are all about the melty cheese. Most often I will shred my own cheddar cheese but you can buy pre-shredded blends that have a combination of cheddar and monterey jack that are perfect for quesadillas.
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add a teaspoon of olive oil and sauté the chopped red pepper, onion and jalapeño.
Cook the vegetables until they have softened but not mushy. Stir often to keep the onions from burning.
Next add the turkey and use a spoon to break up the meat as it cooks. The turkey will change from a light pink to a brown color when cooked. Drain the fat from frying pan.
After the meat is fully cooked, add the taco seasoning, salsa and black beans. I like making my own spice blend but you can always use a premade packet. Because ground turkey is leaner I like to add a little salsa to the mixture to add moisture. The beans add a great source of fiber plus if you are fixing this for a crowd you can add extra beans to stretch the meal further.
Heat a second large skillet over medium heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil to the pan and place a tortilla in the skillet. The olive oil will brown and and make a crispy tortilla. Sprinkle cheese on one half of the tortilla, followed by a layer of the turkey mixture. Then fold tortilla in half gently pressing with a spatula to seal.
Once the tortilla is lightly brown and crisp on the one side, use a spatula to flip. Cook for an addition minute or until the cheese is melty and the tortillas are a golden brown color on both sides.
Carefully slide the folded tortillas onto a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut the tortilla into wedges. Repeat this step with the remaining tortillas. To make this quicker you can make the quesadillas on a griddle and fit several on at one time.
Quesadillas are a fun recipe because you can make a toppings bar to serve with it. This way your family can really add what they like to the top of the quesadillas. I love to serve with sour cream, tomatoes, salsa diced red onion or green onions and chopped jalapenos. Here are a few of my favorite toppings and side dishes to go with this turkey quesadilla recipe.
Easy Guacamole with Tomatoes- guacamole is always a favorite with any Mexican dish!
Grilled Corn and Mango Salsa- this is loaded with fresh flavor and makes a great side to serve with quesadillas.
Storage and reheating tips
I prefer to store the leftover meat mixture separate in an airtight container and reheat it before assembling the quesadilla. This will prevent the tortilla from getting soggy.
However, if you have leftover turkey quesadillas you can reheat in a 375 degree Fahrenheit oven. Place them in on a sheet pan and pop in the oven for 10-15 minutes. This will help crisp them up much better than a microwave.
Substitutions and Variations
whole wheat tortillas- there are many different types of tortillas so if you are wanting to add extra fiber or go low carb look for those varieties.
cheese- add your favorite cheese blend.
salsa- use your favorite salsa or even salsa verde for a different flavor. Whether you like a chunky salsa or smooth salsa it's really your own preference.
Looking For Other Quick Dinner Ideas? Try These!
Did you try this recipe? Please let me know what you think! Leave a comment below, and a 5- star rating. I would love to hear from you! Subscribe to get new recipes sent straight to your inbox!
Cheesy Ground Turkey Quesadilla Recipe
- 2 skillets
- ⅓ cup onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons jalapeno, minced
- ⅓ cup red pepper, chopped
- 1 pound ground turkey
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons salsa
- ⅓ cup black beans
- 6 flour tortillas
- 8 ounces Mexican cheese blend, shredded
- sour cream
- Heat a medium sized skillet over medium high heat. Add a teaspoon of olive and add the onions, red peppers and jalapeño peppers to sauté.
- When vegetables are softened add the ground turkey to cook while breaking up with a spoon or spatula.
- When turkey is cooked drain any fat from meat. Add seasoning and 2 tablespoons of salsa and stir well to season the ground turkey. Add the black beans and remove from heat.
- Heat a second skillet over medium heat and drizzle with olive oil. Place a tortilla in the skillet. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of cheese over half of the tortilla. Spread a few spoonfuls of the meat mixture over the cheese.
- Use a spatula to fold over the other half of the quesadilla. Press gently and flip to toast both sides of the quesadilla.
- Remove the quesadilla from the skillet. Repeat the process with remaining ingredients.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the quesadilla into thirds. Serve with avocado slices, tomatoes, salsa, jalapeño and sour cream.