Corn and Zucchini Quesadillas Recipe

Photograph and video: J. Kenji López-Alt

Why It Works

  • Mixing the cheese in with the fillings distributes it evenly and ensures that the quesadilla fillings stay intact instead of falling out.
  • Using plenty of oil gives the quesadillas a puffy, flaky, crispy texture.

For the best quesadillas, we like to mix our fillings directly with the cheese. Here, we combine lightly browned corn and zucchini mixed with Jack cheese, and cook it up in a crispy, puffy, flaky crust.


3 Ways to Make Quesadillas

Recipe Facts



Active: 10 mins
Total: 10 mins
Serves: 2 servings

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  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons (40ml) vegetable oil, divided

  • 3 ounces finely diced zucchini (85g; about 1/2 medium zucchini)

  • Salt

  • 3 ounces fresh corn kernels (85g; about 1 small ear)

  • 1 jalapeño pepper, minced

  • 1 tablespoon (12g) minced fresh cilantro leaves

  • 4 ounces (115g) shredded Jack cheese

  • 2 (8-inch) flour tortillas


  1. Heat 2 teaspoons (10ml) oil in a 10-inch cast iron or nonstick skillet over high heat until oil just starts to smoke. Add zucchini, season with salt, and cook, tossing and stirring frequently, until zucchini is lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add corn kernels and continue cooking, tossing frequently, until corn is lightly browned, about 2 minutes longer. Add jalapeño and cook, tossing constantly, until softened, about 30 seconds. Stir in cilantro and transfer mixture to a medium bowl.

  2. Add cheese to zucchini mixture and mix to combine. Spread half of mixture evenly over half of one tortilla, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Fold tortilla over and seal edges by pressing down firmly. Repeat with remaining filling and second tortilla.

  3. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons (30ml) oil in same skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Carefully add both folded tortillas and cook, swirling and moving tortillas around, until golden brown and puffy on first side, about 2 minutes. Using a flexible metal spatula, flip quesadillas, season with salt, and continue cooking until golden brown and puffy on second side, about 2 minutes longer.

  4. Transfer quesadillas to a paper towel to drain. Cut into triangles and serve immediately.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
593 Calories
40g Fat
40g Carbs
21g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 593
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 40g 52%
Saturated Fat 13g 67%
Cholesterol 51mg 17%
Sodium 880mg 38%
Total Carbohydrate 40g 14%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 21g
Vitamin C 18mg 89%
Calcium 468mg 36%
Iron 3mg 15%
Potassium 381mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)