Recipe: Italian Vegetable Quesadilla


I’m a big fan of classics. Nothing beats a perfectly cooked steak, a delicate swirl of chocolate frosting on a cupcake, or the slightly blistered edges of a roasted brussel sprout. Classics are classics for a reason, but every once in awhile it’s good to shake things up!

One way to re-interpret classic dishes is to change the way that they are presented, such as turning chicken pot pie into a portable pocket version. Another way is to keep the same concept but change the flavor profile. And that’s what I did when I looked in my fridge and saw a tub of leftover grilled vegetables, whole-wheat tortillas and pesto sauce.

I decided to turn the Tex-Mex classic of quesadillas on its head and whip up an Italian version instead. The same quesadilla methodology remains–cheesy goodness inside two toasted tortillas–but the filling is pure Mediterranean veggie overload! This new classic has all the elements of the traditional dish, but with a healthy vegetable spin.

It starts with a pan set over medium-low heat and coated lightly with cooking spray. Place in a small tortilla–this is a 6-inch whole wheat one (they call it “fajita-style”)–that is spread with some pesto (homemade or bottled–your choice!).











Sprinkle on some mozzarella cheese. Because what is a quesadilla without melty cheese?











And then place on the grilled vegetables. Sprinkle on a little more cheese to help “glue” the quesadilla together.











And then top with another tortilla coated with some more pesto. Grill the quesadilla until golden brown on both sides, about 1-2 minutes per side.











All that’s left is to place the quesadilla onto a cutting board and cut into quarters.











Serve with a spoonful of your favorite marinara sauce and a garnish of basil. And there you have it–a simple, delicious, and interesting twist on the traditional Tex-Mex classic!











Check out more of Catherine’s delicious recipes by visiting Simply A (RD) Foodie and come back here every Friday for new recipes!

Italian Vegetable Quesadilla

Total Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 1


  • 2 6” whole-wheat tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons pesto, divided
  • 1 cup grilled vegetables, like zucchini, summer squash, bell peppers, onion
  • 1/3 cup grated mozzarella cheese, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • Marinara sauce for dipping


  1. Place a medium-sized skillet over medium-low heat. Spray lightly with cooking spray.
  2. Coat one side of both tortillas with pesto (one tablespoon per tortilla). Place one tortilla pesto-side up in the skillet. Sprinkle on half of the mozzarella cheese over the pesto and arrange the vegetables in one even layer over the cheese. Sprinkle on the second half of the cheese over the vegetables (to act as the “glue”) and top with the second tortilla, pesto-side down.
  3. Cook the quesadilla 1-2 minutes per side until it becomes golden brown and the cheese gets melty.
  4. Transfer the quesadilla to a cutting board, cut into wedges and serve with marinara sauce and some fresh basil. Enjoy!

Nutritional Information:

454 calories | 34gm carbohydrates | 17gm fiber | 25gm protein | 32gm fat | 8gm saturated fat | 783mg sodium | 27mg cholesterol | 5mg iron | 515mg calcium
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Catherine is a registered dietitian, whose love of all things food and cooking started during her study abroad in Italy. She believes that all foods fit into a healthy diet (even chocolate cake), food tastes better when you cook it yourself, and that a well-stocked pantry is a lifesaver. Check her out at Simply a (RD) Foodie.

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