Inspired by our Southwest Seasonings mixes, we dreamed up a new way to enjoy Mexican flavors: a quesadilla stack. The magic of this recipe is that you can customize it to fit your mood and preferences. Each stack is built on five basic elements: tortillas, beans, protein/vegetable filling, cheese and toppings. Begin to build your own quesadilla stack with the ingredients and instructions below.
Use either flour or corn. The number of tortillas you use will depend on the bulk of your fillings and how tall you want your stack to be.
You'll need: 6 to 8 tortillas, 8 or 10-inch sizes.
These will act as the glue between the tortillas and the protein/vegetable layers. If using canned beans, drain (reserving liquid) and warm, then coarsely mash and mix with seasoning packet.
You'll need: 2 15-ounce BPA-free cans of black beans and 1 packet of Simply Organic Black Bean Seasoning or Simply Organic Chipotle Black Bean Dip.
Choose your favorite meat or seafood protein — chicken, ground beef, ground turkey, cod or shrimp all work well.
You'll need: 1 to 2 pounds of meat or seafood.
In addition to or instead of protein, sliced bell peppers and onions add color and nutrition.
You'll need: 2 to 3 bell peppers and 1 large white onion.
Give your protein and veggies signature southwest flavor with your choice of Simply Organic Southwest Seasonings — Fajita, Fish Taco, Southwest Taco and Spicy Taco are all great options. Cook your protein and vegetables according to package instructions.
You'll need: 1 packet per pound of meat or vegetables.
Sprinkling cheese on top of your protein/vegetable layer also helps bind the tortilla and filling layers. Consider cheddar, pepperjack, queso fresco or cotija. Of course, if you're preparing a dairy-free meal you can skip this, though you'll need to take extra care when slicing and serving the stack.
You'll need: 1 cup of shredded cheese, plus more for topping (optional).
The "icing on the cake" is all about options. Salsa (or salsa verde), guacamole, fresh tomatoes, lettuce, pickled or fresh jalapenos, sour cream or Greek yogurt, hot sauce and lime wedges are starting points, but your creativity is the limit!
You'll need: Enough to top 8 servings.
To keep the layers intact as you build it, we recommend using a springform pan to hold the quesadilla stack. This also makes it easy to slip in the oven to warm.
You'll need: A 9-inch springform pan, a large knife and a large (preferably triangular) spatula or pizza-serving utensil.
1. Warm the tortillas in the oven or microwave. Place the first tortilla in the bottom of the springform pan.
2. Spread 1/4 to 1/3 cup of beans on top of tortilla, to about 1/2 inch from the edge.
3. Evenly add about 1/6 of cooked (still warm, but not hot) protein and/or vegetables on top of beans.
4. Sprinkle 2 to 3 tablespoons of shredded cheese on top of protein/vegetables.
5. Place another tortilla on top of cheese and press down gently. Try to ensure that the layer below is as even as possible, and extends to the edge of the tortilla.
6. Repeat steps 2 through 5 until you reach the top of the pan, or run out of ingredients. Make sure that your quesadilla stack is topped with a tortilla.
1. To serve warm, place in a 300-degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Note: You don't want the stack to be too hot when slicing.
2. To serve cold, cover and refrigerate for one hour and up to overnight.
3. To slice, unhinge and carefully remove the sides of the springform pan. It's best to slice the stack before topping. Using a large chef's knife, carefully slice into 4 to 8 pieces. Placing one hand on the top of the stack to keep it steady, start with the point of the knife in the center of the stack and cutting straight down.
4. Serve with toppings on the side.
The number of layers will greatly depend on how much you include in each layer.
Keep in mind that the taller you make your quesadilla stack, the more precarious it becomes!
For especially crispy tortillas, use a pastry brush to apply a light coating of vegetable oil to each side and brown in a hot skillet before adding to the stack.
If you have leftover ingredients, serve as side dishes or additional toppings.