Sunday, January 23, 2011

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto-Goat Cheese Quesadilla

I've been eating this quesadilla for lunch pretty much non-stop lately.  It has the perfect blend of creamy goat cheese, tangy pesto, and something green to make you feel a bit virtuous.  It's also fantastic as a grilled cheese sandwich, although slightly messier. 

The red pepper pesto recipe makes way more than you need for one quesadilla or sandwich, but don't worry - you'll definitely use it up!  I love red pesto like this one way more than the green variety - somehow it's just more interesting.  Although the red pesto is often made with sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers make a great substitution here - you can roast your own if you're feeling ambitious, or just get a jar at the store. Either way, this is not a recipe to be missed!

I love that this sandwich is so easy to pull together.  The pesto itself is a quick one - I just put everything in the container for my immersion blender and blended away, though a regular blender or food processor would work just as well with a bit more clean-up.  Then once the pesto is made, the actual quesadilla is even quicker to pull together - the perfect quick lunch along with some fruit or a small salad.

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto-Goat Cheese Quesadilla (adapted from Closet Cooking, original recipes here and here)
Makes 1, easily multiplied

2 tortillas (I used tortillas made of a whole wheat-yellow corn blend)
1 ounce goat cheese
Baby spinach and/or basil leaves
2 T roasted red pepper pesto, recipe below

Crumble the goat cheese over one tortilla.  Top with the baby spinach or basil.  Spread the pesto over the other tortilla, and then flip over onto the cheese and spinach.  Toast in a non-stick skillet over high heat until the cheese is melted and the spinach is wilted, flipping halfway through.  Cut in halves or quarters with a pizza cutter and serve immediately.

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

2 roasted red peppers
3 T fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 T pine nuts
2 T grated Parmesan cheese
2 T olive oil
1 T balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine everything and then blend with an immersion blender or food processor until a slightly chunky pesto forms.


  1. Wow, I wish my lunches looked that good!

  2. This quesadilla sounds delicious, love the idea of roasted peppers and the goat cheese in it...yummie!

  3. This sounds wonderful; what a great combination of flavors! Yum!

  4. I like the sound of the quesadilla version even more!

  5. Looks delicious! I may even throw in some fresh spinach leaves when I make this!