Corn and Zucchini Quesadillas Recipe

The Food Lab

Unraveling the mysteries of home cooking through science.

Corn and Zucchini Quesadillas Recipe

[Photograph and video: J. Kenji López-Alt]

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.

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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.
  • Yield:Serves 2
  • Active time: 10 minutes
  • Total time:10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  1. 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. 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. 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. 4.

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