This quick and easy Cheese Quesadilla Recipe using only 3 simple ingredients is a staple in our house. Cheese quesadillas taste great on their own, but also go well with a Mexican salad, paired with your favorite protein, or served with a side of salsa, guacamole, or sour cream as a kid-friendly snack.
We love Mexican food and quesadillas are at the top of our list! Without a griddle, making this dish is just as easy in a non-stick pan. Quesadillas are the Mexican version of the American grilled cheese.
Why we love this recipe:
- It's quick & easy - Only 3 ingredients, some shredding, and a spatula flip before it's ready-to-eat. Go from refrigerator to serving dish in under five minutes!
- It's kid-friendly - Cheese quesadillas make an awesome after school snack for kids. Double the recipe and their friends will be happy, too!
- It's versatile - Add in leftover veggies, some shredded chicken or beef, or serve them with a variety of dipping sauces.
- Tortillas - Jumbo flour tortillas work best for this recipe.
- Cheese - We typically use White Cheddar cheese, Monterrey Jack, or Colby. A combination of cheeses works very well, too.
- Olive oil - For browning.
Note: Refer to the recipe card below for exact quantities.
How to Make a 3 Ingredient Cheese Quesadilla
STEP ONE: Prepare the Cheese
Use a cheese grater to shred the cheese.
STEP TWO: Prepare the Tortilla
Lightly brush the tortilla with olive oil, being sure to coat the entire shell.
STEP THREE: Cook the Quesadillas
In a frying pan on low-medium heat, lay down the tortilla so that it is flat and unfolded with the oily side touching the pan. Generously top half of the tortilla with the shredded cheese, then fold the other (empty) side of the tortilla over the cheese to cover. Cook for approximately one minute while pressing down with a spatula. When slightly browned, flip the folded tortilla once more to finish browning on the other side.
STEP FOUR: Cut and Serve
Remove the cheese quesadilla from the burner and place on a clean cutting board. Using a pizza cutter, cut into single-serve wedges.
- Tortillas - Wheat flour tortillas make a good substitute.
- Cheese - Experiment with multiple grated cheese varieties to enhance the flavor.
- Protein Add-ins - Add shredded chicken, cooked ground or shredded beef, and even grilled shrimp if you want more protein in your diet.
- Vegetable Add-ins - Add bell peppers, grilled onion, corn, black beans, and other veggies for a delicious Meatless Monday or Vegetarian weeknight meal.
- Course - Breakfast tortillas with egg, bacon, and cheese or dessert tortillas with cinnamon and sugar are a popular favorite, too.
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Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 2-3 days. Wrap wedges individually in aluminum foil to prevent sticking.
This dish is not freezer friendly.
Note: Refer to Top Tips below for more storage and reheating tips.
You can buy pre-shredded cheese to save time if you're in a hurry, but block cheese tends to melt better.
Reheat leftover quesadillas in an air fryer to help retain their crispy texture.
Have leftover ingredients?
- Leftover cheese can be used on this Crispy Buffalo Chicken Salad.
- Excess tortillas can be brushed with butter, sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, then toasted in the air fryer for a sweet kid-friendly snack.
In the mood for a similar dish?
Need something to pair this with?
- Cheese Quesadilla Salad
More lunch recipes you will love:
It is pronounced kay-suh-dee-uh. The L's are silent and you stress the 3rd syllable.
Yes! Brush them with a light amount of oil and cook them at 350F for about 8 minutes, flipping halfway through. If they get dark on the outside, but the cheese isn't fully melted, just add them to the microwave for a few seconds to finish.
Originating in Mexico, traditional quesadillas were made with corn tortillas and were filled with a stringy cheese called Oaxaca. Popular add-ins were potatoes, chorizo, chicken or beef Tinga, and cooked pork.
3 Ingredient Cheese Quesadilla
- 2 jumbo Flour tortillas
- 2 cups White cheddar, Monterrey Jack, or Colby Jack cheese (shredded)
- 2 tablespoon Olive oil
- Shred all cheese with a cheese grater.
- Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the tortilla with olive oil, being sure to coat the entire shell.
- In a frying pan on low-medium heat, lay down the tortilla so that it is flat and unfolded with the oily side touching the pan. Generously top half of the tortilla with the shredded cheese, then fold the other (empty) side of the tortilla over the cheese to cover.
- Cook for approximately one minute while pressing down with a spatula. When slightly browned, flip the folded tortilla once more to finish browning on the other side.
- Remove the cheese quesadilla from the burner and place on a clean cutting board. Using a pizza cutter, cut into single-serve wedges.
- Create a clean work area.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat or seafood.
- Rinse fresh produce thoroughly.
- Do not use the same cutting board or utensils on cooked food or produce, that previously touched raw meat or seafood.
- Do not leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- Use oils with a high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove.