This is not your typical quesadilla. There’s nothing even remotely Mexican about it. It’s filled with a savory mixture of caramelized onions, buttery mushrooms, and spinach. Oh, and of course, cheese!
Can we all just agree? Sauce makes everything better.
Think about it. What is the chicken finger without the honey mustard?
The mozzarella sticks without the marinara?
The chip without the salsa?
The cheesy quesadilla without the creamy cilantro lime dip?
Wait, what? That was sneaky, I know.
Seriously though, these quesadillas were meant to be with this sauce.
They’re like Oreos and milk, Cory and Topanga, Adele and Grammy awards. It’s just meant to be.
This is not your typical quesadilla. There’s nothing even remotely Mexican about it. It’s filled with a savory mixture of caramelized onions (omg, I could put these on everything), buttery mushrooms (hello there beautiful), and spinach (it’s healthy…whatever). Oh, and of course, cheese! Because everything is better with cheese.
Then there’s the sauce. I’ve been a slow convert to the Greek yogurt movement. The first time I tried it I felt like I was eating globs of sour cream. Gross.
But it’s slowly won me over with its ability to replace sour cream in recipes while simultaneously cutting the fat and adding protein. Not bad for a simple carton of yogurt.
This sauce starts with plain low fat Greek yogurt (which is still pretty gross, by the way), but then gets doctored up with lime juice, cilantro, garlic, and a little hot sauce. It’s creamy, light, and refreshing. A perfect compliment to the quesadillas.
A couple of notes about the recipe. I recently learned a quick way to caramelize onions using a dry skillet for the first 5 minutes of cooking then adding the oil and salt for the last five minutes. The texture isn’t quite the same, but this produces sweet, soft onions in half the time. Feel free to use the long method if you prefer, but I’ve loved this new shortcut for busy weeknights.
Also, all of these ingredients are approximations. That’s the beauty of the quesadilla. You can adjust the ingredients to your liking. So add more cheese (always a good idea), or take some away (this is not recommended). Whatever you decide will be delicious. Just make sure you keep the sauce around. It really does make everything better.
Caramelized Onion, Spinach, and Mushroom Quesadillas
Yield: 2 quesedillas (can serve 2-3 people)
Recipe by Neighborfood
3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 small yellow onion, sliced
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 cup packed fresh spinach leaves
About 1/3 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
About 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
4 tortillas (use GF corn tortillas for gluten free version)
1. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add sliced onion to the dry pan and cook, stirring frequently, until they have a deep brown color (about 5 minutes). Add 1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil and the sea salt and cook for another 5 minutes or until onions have softened completely. Remove to a plate.
2. Add another 1 1/2 Tablespoons oil to the pan along with the sliced mushrooms. Cook until softened and brown. Add spinach leaves and stir until wilted, about 1-2 minutes. Remove mushrooms and spinach and set on a plate close to the stove.
3. Meanwhile, in another skillet grill one side of each of the 4 tortillas then remove to a plate. (Feel free to butter them first, but I’ve found this isn’t necessary if you’re using a non-stick pan).
4. Place one tortilla (ungrilled side down) into the skillet. Top with half the cheese and toppings then a second tortilla (ungrilled side facing up). Grill until bottom tortilla is browned then flip and grill until the second tortilla is browned and cheese is fully melted.
5. Repeat with the second quesedilla then serve immediately with Cilantro Lime Dipping Sauce.
Cilantro Lime Dipping Sauce
1 single serving size plain Greek yogurt carton
1 Tablespoon milk
1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3 dashes hot sauce
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
Combine all ingredients together. Season with salt. Thin with additional milk, hot sauce, or lime juice, if necessary.