How to Make Quesadillas on the Stove



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Wondering how to make the best quesadillas? This recipe includes tips and tricks for making the most delicious perfect quesadillas on the stove.

quesadillas on a serving board with bowl of queso

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Here is your guide to making quesadillas, with options for variations and delicious toppings! Starting with a tortilla and shredded cheese, this easy snack, appetizer, or main dish comes together in about 10 minutes.

ingredients for how to make quesadillas on the stove

How to Make Quesadillas on the Stove

Here is a brief overview of how to make the perfect quesadilla on the stovetop. For the full recipe, see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  1. Build your quesadilla. Lay a tortilla flat and add your shredded cheese and any other toppings you wish to half of the tortilla. I share more about what to add to quesadillas below.
  2. Fold the tortilla in half to cover the side with the cheese and fillings.
  3. Prepare your skillet. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Alternatively, add a little butter or olive oil to the pan.
  4. Cook the quesadilla. Place the quesadilla into the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until the tortilla is golden brown and the cheese has melted. Enjoy!
quesadillas in pan. Bowls of salsa and queso sitting beside for serving

Buying Tortillas For Quesadillas

Tortillas are the base of your quesadillas. The best tortillas for quesadillas are flour tortillas and fajita-sized because they are easy to arrange and flip in the pan. One tortilla is needed per quesadilla and is folded in half to hold the cheese and any other delicious toppings. While you can use any type of tortilla for quesadillas, know that corn tortillas and other varieties may not hold up as well while cooking or folding in half. Since we are folding them in half, you can cook multiple at a time like in the photo above.

Best Cheese for Quesadillas

The best cheese for quesadillas is something that melts well. Cheddar, white cheddar, Monterey Jack, or cheddar jack are all great options. For a spicy kick, you could even do pepper jack.

For any recipe that calls for shredded cheese, I recommend buying a block of cheese and grating it yourself. It will melt and taste so much better than pre-shredded cheese which is covered in preservatives that keep it from clumping together in the bag. Trust me, it is worth the extra few minutes to shred it yourself!



This recipe for how to make quesadillas is the base for endless quesadilla possibilities. Here are a few ideas for what to add to the inside of your quesadillas! I share some delicious topping ideas below.

  • Add protein: Cooked chicken, steak, ground beef, or even leftover taco meat or carnitas! Cut your cooked meat into bite-sized pieces or strips.
  • Add vegetables: Diced onion, bell peppers, mushrooms, black beans, or refried beans can all be added with the cheese. If I am adding onion, bell pepper, or mushrooms, I prefer to cook them in the pan for a few minutes first so they are soft.
  • Breakfast quesadillas: Add scrambled eggs, diced cooked bacon, ground sausage, or ham with cheese for a delicious breakfast!
  • Pepperoni Pizza Quesadillas or BBQ Ranch Chicken Quesadillas are also delicious variations!

Tips and Tricks

  • Make sure your pan is hot. Don’t add your quesadilla to the pan until it is hot and monitor the heat carefully while it cooks. You want enough heat that the cheese will melt and the outside of the tortilla get crispy, but not too much that the outside burns before the cheese has time to melt.
  • Chop your veggies small. This will help keep them in the tortilla and prevent you from pulling out all the cheese and toppings with each bite.
  • Press the quesadilla with a spatula. This helps it to brown evenly in the pan and prevents it from opening up or spilling when you flip it.
  • You can cook as many quesadillas at a time as will fit in your pan. Just make sure they don’t overlap and you have room to flip them.
woman's hand dipping quesadilla in queso

Serving and Storing Leftovers

Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut your quesadilla into triangles after taking it out of the pan. Serve as is or with toppings. Store any leftover quesadillas in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop until heated through.

Other Cooking Options

I’ve found the stovetop to be my preferred way to make quesadillas, but you do some other options that will still give you a delicious snack or meal. If you are cooking for a crowd, an electric griddle is a great way to make multiple quesadillas at once.

You can also cook them in the air fryer. Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees and spray the basket with nonstick cooking spray. Prepare your quesadilla and add it to the basket, then spray the outside of the quesadilla with cooking spray. Cook for 6-8 minutes, or until golden and the cheese is melted.

Do you cook quesadillas in oil or butter?

Either! I prefer to spray my pan with nonstick cooking spray, but a little oil or butter will also work to prevent the tortilla from sticking and give the quesadilla a nice crispy outside.

What do you put on a quesadilla?

This is totally up to you, what you like, and what you have on hand. It can be as simple as just cheese, or you can add various protein and vegetables. I share some options for what to put on a quesadilla below.

Can you make quesadillas in the air fryer?

Yes! See my directions for making quesadillas in the air fryer above. The air fryer is also a great option for reheating leftover quesadillas.


Quesadilla Toppings

Serve your quesadilla as is or add some of these delicious toppings. If you are making quesadillas for your family, you can set out bowls of toppings for each person to add their own.

If you make this recipe for how to make quesadillas on the stove or any of my other recipes, please leave a comment and let me know! I love hearing from you and how you enjoy my recipes.

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How to Make Quesadillas on the Stove

Tips and tricks to make the best quesadillas on the stove!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes


  • Flour tortillas fajita size recommended
  • Shredded cheese freshly grated for best result
  • Optional fillings- cooked chicken, cooked steak, beans, veggies
  • oil, butter, or non-stick spray only a small amount is needed


  • Shred cheese.
  • Lay out a tortilla on a flat surface.
  • Sprinkle a generous amount of cheese evenly over half of the tortilla.
  • If using additional fillings like cooked chicken, steak, or veggies, add them on top of the cheese.
  • Fold the tortilla in half to cover the side with the cheese and fillings.
  • Preheat a non-stick skillet over medium heat.
  • Spray the pan with non-stick spray or use a small amount of oil or butter.
  • Place the quesadilla into the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes then flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until the tortilla is golden brown and the cheese has melted.
  • Press down on the tortilla with a bit of pressure using a spatula to help the tortilla brown evenly.
  • Top with quesadilla sauce, sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo, or any of your favorite quesadilla toppings.
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Hi, I’m Ashley & I’m so happy you’re here!

Ashley is the founder of CenterCutCook and a former teacher that now spends her days in the kitchen so that she can share her favorite recipes with you!