Pepperoni pizza quesadillas

date04.20.12

Pepperoni Pizza Quesadillas

I’ve been holding out on you. While I have been able to squeeze in a bit of time in the kitchen, finding time to write about it is a totally different story. We got home from Whistler/Vancouver/Seattle Wednesday morning around 2:30am, only to wake up a few hours later to a jam-packed workday. The evening ended with a food-filled celebration for Chuy’s birthday complete with pepperoni pizza quesadillas and gooey strawberry chocolate chip brownies prepared by yours truly.

Thursday was occupied by errands, unpacking, laundry, and re-packing, while simultaneously tending to my grad school duties before leaving for the airport at 4:30am this morning. Up in the air, again. Luckily, eating hasn’t fallen by the wayside amidst all this globetrotting.

Seattle Public Market

To honor Facebook’s billion dollar purchase, we captured our stops via Instagram.

While visiting someplace new, I most look forward to dining at the local eateries. So, to keep you on the edge of your seat for these addicting birthday quesadillas, I’ll update you on my travels by sharing my edible experiences. With restaurant week in full swing, we couldn’t have timed our arrival to Seattle any more perfectly. My pal Alicia made reservations at one of Tom Douglas’s restaurants, Dahlia Lounge, and the food was so divine that it made me forget I’d been up since 4am with only 3 hours of sleep behind me. You can’t beat a fancy three-course meal that includes leek and salsa verde soup and a leg of lamb for only $15.

Whistler

A breathtakingly scenic five-hour car ride later we arrived in Whistler only to discover that Canada + Ski Resort = pricey restaurants. Too cheap to buy a proper lunch, I survived Sunday on beef jerky and Coca Cola samples from the Telus festival happening in the village (good timing at work again?). On our last night there, I indecisively ordered two “appetizer portions” of grilled shrimp and mussels that arrived on two entrée-sized plates. And we thought Americans ate too much. Since we were paying an arm and a leg for it, I had to eat all 12 shrimp and 20 mussels – no seafood left behind!

Vancouver

While Lucas and my parents gallivanted around town, the extent of my tourism in Vancouver included hefty meals between conference sessions. With plenty of recommendations from friends, we maximized every food hour. We hit up Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives’s Fresh. Local. Wild. for seafood poutine and fried oysters, scarfed down pulled noodles and pan-fried dumplings at a Chinese noodle house, and nibbled from a tasting menu with large servings of meats and cheeses. All this in less than 24 hours. I’ve eaten enough to hibernate for a few months, but instead, I plan to eat twice as much in Philly.

Pepperoni Pizza Quesadillas

With only one free night to cook between trips, these pepperoni pizza quesadillas were a stroke of genius. Only 48 hours at home meant very little time for cooking, but I couldn’t very well let Chuy starve for his birthday – what kind of friend would I be?! Baking subtracted even more from the dinner preparation time, but what’s a birthday without dessert?

Pepperoni Pizza Quesadillas with dipping sauce

Quesadillas are about the quickest thing you can make, so they’re one of my go-to quick dinner options. Whether I’m throwing pulled pork in Texas BBQ pulled pork quesadillas or marinating beef for Korean beef quesadillas, they’re always a cheesy hit.

These cheesy tortillas tasted exactly like fresh oven-baked pizza, but required less than 10 minutes to make. Plus, they were way more fun because we got to dip them in the pizza sauce. The key ingredient to making them so mouth-watering was pan-fried high-quality pepperoni to give each bite the crispy texture reminiscent of real pizza. It was a high flavor payoff for a meal that took only a couple of minutes, and Chuy was a happy camper.

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Pepperoni pizza quesadillas
Author: 
Yields: 4 quesadillas
 
Ingredients
  • 8 flour tortillas (I used Trader Joe’s handmade tortillas)
  • 8 ounces of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ⅓ lb pepperoni
  • 1 16-ounce jar of pizza sauce
  • Optional: 1 6-ounce can of sliced black olives, 1 cup of sliced cremini mushrooms
Instructions
  1. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat and fry the pepperoni until crisp. Transfer on a paper towel to drain.
  2. Brush each tortilla with a thin layer of pizza sauce (so thin that if you turned it over, none would drip).
  3. Sprinkle cheese on top of the sauce on the bottom tortilla. Top with pepperoni and other toppings, if desired. Sprinkle with another layer of cheese and place the other tortilla on top (sauce side in).
  4. Pre-heat a medium cast-iron skilled over medium heat.
  5. Lay quesadilla in the pan and cook for 3-5 minutes on each side, until cheese is melted and tortillas are crispy.
  6. Slice into quarters and serve with a little bowl of pizza dipping sauce.

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93 Comments

  1. OMGosh yum!! Dinner tomorrow, thanks :-)

  2. emily says:

    Yum! This sounds really delicious. A fun twist for pizza night. Lovely photos!

  3. Jill says:

    Genius!!

  4. Sheri says:

    Great idea for families with little kids!! Wish I’d thought of it when you were young!

  5. Veronica says:

    Yummy! Wonderful movie night treat!

  6. Deanna says:

    We’ve been making these for a long time and love them – we call them ‘pizzadillas’ our kids love them too – we also make what we call ‘rancheros’ which is just a quesadilla with cheese and ranch and maybe ham or chicken if we have it.

  7. kat says:

    OMG I love this! So easy too! Saving this as a lunch idea for when we had leftover pepperoni :)

  8. Nanny K says:

    How do you cook it if you don’t have an iron skillet?

  9. Rachel Diaz says:

    My 4 year old daughter just saw the picture and said “that looks yummy!” Can’t wait to try it tomorrow night for dinner. Thank you for the idea.

  10. Barbara says:

    Why wont your site let me print out a recipe?

    • snixykitchen says:

      That’s a GOOD question – it’s actually one of my biggest gripes with the standard themes on wordpress. Unfortunately, I can’t control the themes, but we’re currently building a custom theme that will be launched VERY soon and this is one of the options I’ve made available. Until then, I’ll e-mail you a printable version of the recipe. Thanks for the feedback:)

      • Darlene Wagner says:

        I’m new to pinterest and just saw this recipe. Could you e-mail me the printable recipe also. Thanks!

      • Alanna Thays says:

        Please email a printable version as well. Thank you in advance.
        Alanna Thays

        • SnixyKitchen says:

          A PDF version should be in your e-mail inbox now! Also, just for your reference – if you’d like to print any other recipes, I’ve now added that feature to the site – Just click the little button on the bottom right of the recipe that says “Print This!” Let me know if it’s not working and I’ll look into it! Thanks for stopping by – hope you enjoy the quesadillas:)

  11. Sherri L. W. says:

    What do you mean by “pan fried high quality” pepperoni? Did You pan fry it first or is that how you buy it?

    • snixykitchen says:

      Good question! Sorry for the confusion – I bought high quality pepperoni from the butcher and pan fried it before putting it in the quesadillas. Updated the recipe to be more clear – thanks!

  12. Abbey says:

    what is the nutritional information for these ??

    • SnixyKitchen says:

      The nutritional information will really change a lot depending on the type of tortilla you use, whether you add pepperoni, etc. If you know what specific ingredients you’ll use, you can calculate the exact information on a site like http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp. However, with my ingredients these delicious quesadillas weigh in at about 500-600 calories – certainly not something you’ll want to eat for every meal, but a perfect indulgence every once in awhile!

  13. seems like I can omit the frying of the pepperoni? I have never done that, and just put it in the tortilla … what do you think?

    • snixykitchen says:

      Technically, pepperoni doesn’t need to be cooked before eating, so it’ll be just fine for you to put it in without frying it. However, since the quesadilla takes barely any time to cook, the pepperoni will only be heated at best, leaving them soggier than they would be on an oven-baked pizza. So, it’s up to your personal preference, but I highly recommend tossing it around in a pan for a couple minutes beforehand (just like you do with bacon). Let me know what you end up doing and how it turns out!

  14. Sheila B says:

    My family ( except ) my husband love pizza. This way everyone can make their own the they like it and I don’t have to order pizza from 2 different pizza places. My youngest son and I like banana peppers, bacon, and extra cheese on our pizza. So he and I will try this and see how it turns out. Thanks for another quick and fun idea for dinner or anytime.

  15. Nina says:

    We just had them for dinner and loved them.

  16. Michele Blackhurst says:

    We made them tonight in a non stick pan and they turned out great! :)

  17. Michele Blackhurst says:

    We made these for supper tonight and they were a hit! Even with my picky eaters! Thanks for the quick and easy meal idea! :)

  18. These are SOOOO good! Thanks for the idea!

  19. sarah says:

    Have you ever made them with corn tortillas? for those of us GF?

    • snixykitchen says:

      I have not, but I’m not a huge fan of corn tortillas. If you like corn tortillas, I bet they’d be good (although the tortillas might add an extra layer of flavor where the flour tortillas sort of blend into the background). There are also other GF options like these tortillas that might be more comparable to flour tortillas: http://www.latortillafactory.com/products-6.aspx. I’ll keep my eye out next time I’m at the store to see if they sell them at the larger supermarkets!

    • Laurie says:

      Sarah, we make quesadillas all the time with corn taco shells or gluten free ones. Our favorite gluten free tortilla is made by Rudis. It is pretty expensive but we love that they don’t crack like most other gluten free brands. For a cheaper version we use Brown Rice tortillas by Food for Life.
      Our favorite fixings are: #1 cooked salmon, cheese, basil and sour cream or pesto, #2 chicken, cheese and a garlic seasoning.
      This is my teenage boys go to food when they are in a hurry.

      • Laurie says:

        I forgot to add…we put a thin layer of butter on the tortilla and put the butter side down in the pan (non stick). It makes for a crispy outside. :-)

        • SnixyKitchen says:

          Thanks for the recommendations! Now that I’m eating gluten-free, I’ve actually have started using some of the brown rice tortillas from Trader Joe’s. I was also just planning to make some quesadillas using corn tortillas this weekend. I’ve finally found some corn tortillas brands that I really do like (some of the major cheapo brands just don’t cut it!) I’ll have to look for the Rudi’s brand – I haven’t come across those yet. Thanks again for the ideas:)

  20. Tiffany says:

    oh my! My hubbys two favorite things: pizza and tortillas! Making this for him tonight! Thanks!!

  21. Laura H says:

    These are great!!! Quick, easy and delicious!!!! I love how everyone can personalize it!! Kids had pepperoni and cheese, while I added mushrooms and peppers to mine!!! Clean plates all around!! Thank you!!!

  22. Nikki says:

    Made it, ate it, LOVED it! So good. Thanks for the terrific recipe!

  23. Emmy says:

    Just wanted to let you know that I found this recipe on Pinterest and it’s now one of my favorites! This was SO easy to make and really filling, too. Thanks!

  24. Hey there! Just wanted to let you know we featured you in our Favorite Find Fridays post over at Whimsically Homemade. We used one of your pictures. If that’s a problem let us know and we’ll remove it immediately. Thanks for your great inspiration!

  25. Mindy says:

    We made this tonight and my two boys loved it. My husband wasn’t too excited until he tasted it and said it was awesome! Thanks for the idea!

    • SnixyKitchen says:

      It’s so simple that you wouldn’t think adults would love it, but it’s so very tasty. Glad to hear it was a hit!

  26. Christine says:

    I so got to make this for my boyfriend! Can I put the ingredients on half of the tortilla and then fold it over though?

    • SnixyKitchen says:

      Yup! It’d just be a smaller quesadilla. I’d still put sauce on the entire tortilla though. I hope the bf enjoys it!

  27. Keeley says:

    I used turkey pepperoni, and it turned out AMAZING! We had it 2 days in a row, and its alittle more of a “skinnier” version :)

  28. Lynnette says:

    These are awesome! We have made them several times now experimenting with different ingredients. They have quickly became a family favorite. We not only do pizza toppings, but other things as well. Recently we used a little A1, steak, pepperjack cheese.YUMMY! So many variations make this an all around win =) Thanks for sharing! I found on Pinterest and repinned for others!

  29. Shannon says:

    Super yummy and easy! Frying the pepperoni makes all the difference! Thanks!!!

  30. Teri says:

    Any suggestions on how to make ahead and freeze? These wold be great for the kids to be able to come home from school and just heat up.

    • SnixyKitchen says:

      Although I’ve never tried it, I bet you could freeze them right after putting them together (before cooking them). Then the kids could just put them in a pan to heat them up. OR, if you only want them using the microwave, I’d recommend freezing after you cook them, to get the crispy exterior.

  31. Andrea says:

    Pizza and quesadillas? Yummy!!!!! Great idea, I’m going to try them soon :-)
    BTW, I had no problem printing the recipe.

    • SnixyKitchen says:

      Thanks! Actually, I should have responded to that earlier comment – I’ve updated the site, so all should be easy with printing now! Hope you enjoy them. MMMM

  32. Kaci says:

    I made these tonight, with the help of my son! Fun recipe to include the little ones. He enjoyed making his own! We added banana peppers to ours and pineapple to my 4 year olds! They were delicious! We will definitely make these again!

  33. Katie says:

    I made these tonight with corn tortillas, because it was all I had, and they weren’t that great. The corn flavor really overpowered everything else. I wouldn’t recommend using them unless you have to. I’ll definitely try again with flour!

    • SnixyKitchen says:

      Good to know. I was skeptical that corn tortillas would taste good – they’re really overpowering and probably wouldn’t meld well with Italian food. Thanks for sharing! Definitely try with flour:)

  34. Imke says:

    Goood Stuff! Just had this for lunch with some salad! Sooo yummy!

  35. Ruth Calahan says:

    This are two of my grandson’s favorite foods. He loves the Pepperoni Pizza /chicken Quesadillas, combination. Totally awesome!

  36. Angie says:

    I made these using homemade sourdough wheat tortilla’s (lower carbs). And oh my, but were they good. And thanks for posting the recipe calculator, I make a lot of things from scratch.

  37. Marci says:

    Just found this on Pinterest! We have a quesadilla maker & use it all the time-can’t believe I haven’t thought of this before!! Can’t wait to make them this week!

  38. Kaydee says:

    WHY have I never thought of this?!?!?! I cannot wait to try this! Thank you!

  39. Amanda says:

    Love this! I saw it on Pinterest and re-posted it in Stuffdot. We LOVE pizza in our house so I seriously can’t believe we’ve never thought of this. Awesome post and and I can’t wait to make it this weekend.

    • SnixyKitchen says:

      Thanks for leaving a note! I hope you enjoyed them this weekend – I’m always happy to hear when people make my recipes:)

  40. Nicole says:

    Hello I love the idea of Pepperoni Pizza Quesadilla. I love combination of the 2 worlds.I love pizza and quesadillas. What a great party appetizer I think I will try this when I am invited to a party.Thank you for sharing your talents.By the please checkout my website its :www.simplybittenkitchen.net I think you’d like it.
    Have a good holiday season.

  41. Whitney says:

    If I have a quesadilla maker can I make this on the maker or the skillet is better??!

  42. Leslie says:

    I just made these for supper, my 2 very picky boys loved them. They were so easy, literally like 5 minutes and they were done. Will be making these again

  43. Jasmine says:

    I love this recipe, and so does my husband! I even blogged about how awesome this is (with link to your recipe): http://hodgepodgecook.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/pizza-quesadillas/ Thanks!

  44. Brittany says:

    So i was wondering, is there a way to bake them to server multiples for larger groups or a party? i am making these for a semi small get together and feel that if i do this stove top, the first few ones will be cold by the time im finished.. any suggestions?

    • SnixyKitchen says:

      I would recommend doing them on the stove top like usual, but then putting them on a baking sheet in a 200 degree oven to keep them warm while you cook the rest. Goodluck!

  45. MaMa's cookin says:

    I was looking for easy things to fix for a job sight lunch for my son and other workers. This is going on my menu. Thanks!

  46. Karen says:

    how many carbs? and sugar?

    • Thanks for your question, Karen! Since the specific ingredients used in each recipe can vary extensively from one person to the next, I don’t provide the nutritional information. However, you can plug the exact ingredients you use into a free online calorie counters – this is my favorite one to use. Happy cooking!

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