“Quesadillas are to Mexicans as the grilled cheese is to the average American,” says Chef Olivia Hernandez, owner of Austin-based Hernandez Hospitality. While her favorite quesadilla is a corn tortilla filled with Oaxaca cheese, grilled onions, and squash blossoms, in its most basic form, a quesadilla simply requires any type of tortilla, your favorite cheese, and a suitable cooking surface.
Traditionally, quesadillas are made on a comal, a flat griddle used across Mexico and South America for cooking. Hernandez uses one at home, but when running her catering business, she has turned to electric versions in order to make the process quick and consistent. If you like the idea of a dedicated appliance to churn out your own (very helpful if you're cooking for a large family), here are the best ones around.
George Foreman Electric Quesadilla Maker
Deep pockets for fillings
Only takes 5 minutes to cook
Cleanup is easy with nonstick plates
Stands on its side for vertical storage
Can't use tortillas smaller than 10 inches
Since its 1994 debut, the George Foreman grill has proven to be a favorite appliance for indoor grilling, so it makes sense that the brand’s quesadilla maker works similarly to its original best-selling product. This cheerful machine has a 10-inch cooking diameter with six deep pockets that allow for a generous amount of filling.
Using this model is very intuitive: You sandwich your fillings of choice between two large burrito-sized flour tortillas and press. This stacked tortilla cooking method is one of Hernandez’s favorite hacks. “You get a bigger surface area of cheese and tortilla,” she says. “This is harder to do on a flat grill because you have to melt the cheese enough to hold it together while flipping, but you run the risk of burning the bottom tortilla.” Since the heat comes from both sides at once, your quesadilla will be ready to eat in under five minutes.
The only downside to this quesadilla maker is that tortillas significantly smaller than 10 inches won’t reach the press-and-seal lines, and the filling might come out of any unsealed edges. No worries, though—thanks to the nonstick George Tough coating, you can clean excess cheese and oil by wiping it down, and the entire unit won’t take up too much space when not in use since it stands on its side for storage.
Price at time of publish: $35
Power: Electric | Tortilla Size: 10 inches | Cooking Surface: Nonstick | Plates: Fixed
Hamilton Beach Quesadilla Maker
Easy-to-clean nonstick plates
Space-saving upright storage
Only takes 5 minutes to cook
Only works with small tortillas
Hamilton Beach does a wonderful job with wallet-friendly kitchen appliances, and its quesadilla maker is a solid pick. It works very similarly to the George Foreman model, using two stacked flour tortillas to create six quesadilla wedges using lines that crimp the edges and create score marks. Designed to accommodate 6- or 8-inch tortillas (often referred to as taco-sized), this is an ideal choice for making appetizers or kid-friendly portions.
The nonstick surface heats evenly, resulting in that crisp exterior that is crucial to a good flour quesadilla. Equipped with a preheat light to let you know when the machine is ready to use, you can have cantina-style finger food ready in about five minutes. Cleanup is simple thanks to the nonstick surface that wipes clean, and the unit stores upright to save space.
Price at time of publish: $29
Power: Electric | Tortilla Size: 6 to 8 inches | Cooking Surface: Nonstick | Plates: Fixed
Runner-Up, Best Budget
Elite Gourmet Mexican Taco Tuesday Quesadilla Maker, 8 Inch
Fun pepper design
Removable drip tray
Wipes clean in a flash
Comes with some recipes
Clip that holds lid shut is flimsy
This festive quesadilla maker from Elite Gourmet marries function with fashion. The aesthetically pleasing machine is wonderfully round and has a handle shaped like a pepper. With a bright red color evocative of chilies, the Mexican Taco Tuesday Quesadilla Maker is ready to get the party started.
On the functionality side of things, the quesadilla maker has plates divided into triangles that make cutting the quesadilla easy as can be. It’s an ideal size for 8-inch tortillas. And, since the plates are nonstick, you don’t have to worry about scraping burnt cheese off or endlessly scrubbing to get it clean. Two indicator lights show when the machine is powered on and when it’s ready to cook.
The handy features don’t end there. Though the quesadilla maker doesn’t take up much space, it can stand vertically for even more convenient storage. Additionally, the three feet that prop it up have non-slip grips, so everything stays in place. There’s even a removable grease tray to keep things nice and neat.
Price at time of publish: $33
Power: Electric | Tortilla Size: 8 inches | Cooking Surface: Nonstick | Plates: Fixed
George Foreman 2-Serving Classic Plate Electric Indoor Grill
Can use to cook anything you would make on a grill
Floating hinge accommodates thicker quesadillas
Drip tray captures grease and other liquids
Upright storage saves on space
Lasts a long time despite budget price
If you prefer a multitasking machine, the best-selling George Foreman Classic Grill can sear steaks, grill chicken, and press paninis to perfection, so why not quesadillas, too?
“The George Foreman grill makes the best quesadillas, and they look great, as well,” says Hernandez. While her own older model is still going strong, this updated version comes in a compact size that is perfect for cooking for two. Simply fill your tortilla, fold it in half, and press the top down to cook quickly and evenly on both sides at once—no need to flip it over. The sloped grill will drain any excess oil into the removable, dishwasher-safe drip tray. Thanks to a floating hinge, this model is also great for accommodating thicker quesadillas stuffed with meat and cheese.
The George Tough nonstick coating is durable, easy to clean, and requires no butter or oil to keep it nonstick. And this small, lightweight appliance can be stored effortlessly on its side—easy to pull out when you need it and put away to save counter space.
Price at time of publish: $28
Power: Electric | Tortilla Size: 9 inches max | Cooking Surface: Nonstick | Plates: Fixed
“Stick with flour tortillas when making quesadillas at home. Flour tortillas are easier to work with when flipping and more forgiving when you overfill the quesadilla. And use two tortillas rather than flipping one in half. It's a lot easier to turn and you can add more filling.” — Andy Wang, Chef and Co-Founder of Knives Sensei
Runner-Up, Best Multipurpose
Betty Crocker Pizza Maker
Simple to clean
Can cook pizza, pancakes, omelets, crepes, giant cookies
Must flip tortilla; doesn't touch top plate
While this isn’t technically a quesadilla maker either, it can certainly serve as one. The Betty Crocker Pizza Maker features a deep well that can fit up to a 12-inch tortilla—you can use it to make two giant folded quesadillas at once.
The nonstick cooking surface delivers the right amount of crisping and is easy to clean with a simple wipe-down. The lid and well heat at the same time, so you get the cooking action from both the top and bottom plates, though you will have to flip your quesadilla, as the top plate does not fully press down. (This is designed for pizza, and if the top plate were to press the exposed cheese and toppings, you would be in for a real mess.)
When you’re not using it to make quesadillas, you can cook a pizza, make nachos, frittatas, or bake giant cookies—the options are endless. It's an easy option for those who prefer a multi-use kitchen appliance rather than a dedicated quesadilla maker.
Price at time of publish: $54
Power: Electric | Tortilla Size: 12 inches max | Cooking Surface: Nonstick | Plates: Fixed
Best for Thick Quesadillas
Nostalgia 6-Wedge Quesadilla Maker
Two latch positions allow for thicker quesadillas
Drip tray catches any overflow
Stands upright for vertical storage
Doesn't accommodate tortillas smaller than 8 inches
Outside of machine gets hot
If you’re the type who tends to overstuff your tortillas, then the Nostalgia Taco Tuesday Quesadilla Maker is for you. The 8-inch cooking surface has six generous wells and a two-position latch to accommodate both thick and thin quesadillas. Two indicator lights tell you when the machine is powered on and ready to use, and the heated cooking surface will toast your tortillas to the ideal crispness in minutes.
With this model, the melted cheese will fuse the top and bottom tortillas together, but it does not seal the outside edge closed as securely as some other models. Wipe down the nonstick plates when you’re finished for easy cleaning—the drip tray underneath catches any cheese or oil overflow and can be removed and cleaned separately. If you want a bigger version, there’s also a 10-inch option.
Price at time of publish: $35
Power: Electric | Tortilla Size: 8 inches | Cooking Surface: Nonstick | Plates: Fixed
“The Aztecs originally made quesadillas with corn tortillas as a sweet treat, and it wasn't until later on when cheese was introduced to the area that they started morphing into what we eat today. And cheese is actually what they're named after with quesadilla roughly translating into 'cheesy little thing.'" — Andy Wang, Chef and Co-Founder of Knives Sensei
Breville Sear & Press Grill
Reversible plates offer grill or griddle options
Can accommodate 12-inch tortillas
Removable plates are easy to clean
Can make burgers, steaks, paninis, eggs, pancakes, kebabs, and more
For those who want a super high-quality option for quesadillas (and much more), the Breville Sear & Press Grill is a fantastic option that is definitely worth its hefty price tag. This model features reversible ceramic grill and griddle plates, allowing you to use the smooth side for more traditional quesadillas or the grill side to achieve grill marks. Two sensors indicate when the grill is preheating and when it’s ready to cook (it has a max temperature of 450 degrees).
“We have used [machines like this one] to do events in buildings where no open fire is allowed,” says Hernandez. “It is super fast since it cooks both sides at once.” Because this machine adjusts to accommodate thicker items like burgers, you can confidently cook a quesadilla Suiza: a flour tortilla stuffed with meat, cheese, salsa, sour cream, and avocado, pressed to get that crispy exterior, just like you’d find at a bonafide taqueria.
With independent temperature controls for each plate, plus the ability to open flat to make a 240-square-inch griddle surface, you can also use it like a grill top and heat quesadillas as you would on a comal. Regardless of if you use it as a press or a flat grill, Hernandez advises warming up the tortillas a bit before filling and folding them to prevent cracking. The brushed stainless exterior is a beautiful match for other stainless appliances, and the grill/griddle plates are easy to clean—they can be washed by hand but are also dishwasher-safe.
Price at time of publish: $200
Power: Electric | Tortilla Size: 12 inches max | Cooking Surface: Ceramic nonstick | Plates: Removable/reversible
Best for the Grill
Outset Quesadilla Basket
Simple to use; no power required
Grilled quesadillas have wonderful smoky touch
Good for camping and barbecues
Can fit large tortillas and other foods
Locking mechanism keeps ingredients secure
Need to monitor cooking carefully
Cleaning cheese off grates might be tedious
This quesadilla basket by Outset is the perfect option for cooking in the great outdoors or at a backyard barbecue. Made of heavy-gauged chrome steel with a rosewood handle, this basket locks your quesadilla in place to heat over a grill or campfire. The 12-inch basket can hold a large tortilla stuffed with cheese (and more), and there's a lock, so you don't have to worry about any of your ingredients meeting a fiery fate.
Toast one side over the fire, then flip to toast the other side—your quesadilla will have a touch of smoky flame-broiled flavor that you can’t replicate on the stove. You can also use this to grill vegetables, toast pita bread, or heat up plain tortillas when barbecuing meats for tacos. This is a great tool to take camping.
Price at time of publish: $17
Power: None | Tortilla Size: Up to 12 inches | Cooking Surface: Steel wire mesh | Plates: None
Victoria 10.5-Inch Cast Iron Round Pan Comal Griddle
Large, versatile cooking surface
Curved handle for leverage
Made from recycled cast iron
If you've just returned from Mexico and are inspired to make quesadillas on a comal, this cast-iron version from Victoria is the right size and price. This is made from recycled cast iron and will arrive pre-seasoned with flaxseed oil so you can get started right away. If you're worried about balance, Victoria makes its handles slightly longer and semi-curved for the best leverage. This makes it easier to carry the pan from your cupboard.
The very flat 10.5-inch surface is perfect for a large quesadilla, especially if you like to leave the tortilla open at the beginning so you can add fillings while it's warming up. Cast iron allows this pan to get hot enough to melt even the most fickle of cheeses, so you can experiment once you've got your technique down. It also makes this incredibly versatile for making all types of dishes like crepes, pizza, or pancakes.
Price at time of publish: $25
Material: Cast iron | Lid Included: No | Dishwasher Safe: No
Nostalgia MyMini Personal Sandwich Maker
Great for pressed sandwiches, hand pies, omelets, cookies
Useful for college dorms, RVs, offices, small kitchens
Heats in just 1-3 minutes
No on/off button; must unplug
For any reason you may not want a full-size quesadilla (maybe you want an appetizer, party snack, or small serving for the kiddos), Nostalgia has a small solution for you: The MyMini Personal Sandwich Maker can do so much more than just sandwiches. In fact, the company suggests using it for omelets, handheld pies, pizza pockets, French toast, and, yes, quesadillas.
Both the top and bottom nonstick plates are heated, meaning you’ll get an evenly cooked meal you won’t need to flip midway through. There are two triangular-shaped sections that seal in the flavor. Since it is a small appliance, you’ll need to find smaller tortillas, too. About 5 inches is ideal.
When you plug in the MyMini Personal Sandwich Maker, a light will pop on. When the plates are heated and ready for ingredients, the light will turn off, so keep an eye on it. You'll also need to unplug this when you're finished, as there is no on/off button. Compact and lightweight, it’s both easy to store and easy to transport for any on-the-go cooking needs.
Price at time of publish: $29
Power: Electric | Tortilla Size: 5 inches, folded | Cooking Surface: Nonstick | Plates: Fixed
Our top pick is the George Foreman Electric Quesadilla Maker, thanks to its ease of use and reliable performance. To save a couple bucks, we recommend the Hamilton Beach Quesadilla Maker.
What To Look for in a Quesadilla Maker
Most dedicated quesadilla makers come in either an 8- or 10-inch model, sized to accommodate the two most common flour tortilla sizes. If you prefer making snack-size portions (useful for kid-friendly servings, appetizers, and late-night cravings), go for a smaller size or mini version. For those who prefer extra-large tortillas (12 or 14 inches), an indoor grill or griddle with a wider cooking surface will better suit your needs.
Electric-powered quesadilla makers and grills typically feature nonstick coating for an easy release of your finished quesadilla. Note that these coatings are not impervious to damage, so avoid using sharp utensils or abrasive scrubbers to keep the coating intact. Most just need a quick wipe-down when the machine is unplugged and cooled down.
A quesadilla maker certainly doesn't have to break the bank. You can find a quality electric machine for under $40, but as with many kitchen appliances, you get what you pay for. If you see lots of quesadilla-making in your future, you may want to select one in a higher price range that will easily withstand daily use.
How do you use a quesadilla maker?
For quesadilla-specific machines, use the stack method: Lay one tortilla on the heated cooking surface, add your cheese and any other ingredients, and then place another tortilla on top. Close the lid and the machine will heat both sides of the quesadilla at the same time, melting the cheese and fusing the tortillas together. Many machines will also feature lines that help to crimp the edges and create score marks so you know where to cut them. Most people find that placing the quesadilla on a cutting board and using a pizza cutter is most efficient. Never cut your quesadilla when it's still in the quesadilla maker, as this will damage the nonstick coating.
Multifunctional cookers, such as the Breville Sear & Press Grill, can utilize the fold method: Warm your tortilla to make it more pliable, add cheese, fold it in half, and then lay it on the warm cooking surface. Close the lid/press so it toasts the tortilla and melts the cheese at the same time.
How do you clean a quesadilla maker?
Since many of the quesadilla makers and grills feature a nonstick surface, they're pretty easy to clean. Wait until the machine is cool, and then wipe off any food debris with a clean towel. If your machine features removable plates, remove any stuck-on bits by gently scrubbing with soap and water. Even if your plates are dishwasher-safe, you may want to wash them by hand to preserve the life of the nonstick coating.
What else can you make with a quesadilla maker?
Despite its seemingly singular function, a quesadilla maker can be used to cook many other items, thanks to its heated cooking surface. Try making omelets, pressing French toast, or pouring pancake batter into the wells for easy breakfast options.
What kind of tortillas should I use for quesadillas?
Flour and corn tortillas work best. Popular gluten-free options made from cassava flour, coconut flour, etc., are often too dry and don’t have the right texture for a good quesadilla. While flour tortillas are great for party food, Hernandez is partial to corn due to the earthier flavor and structural integrity.
How much cheese should I be using?
While you might be inclined to load up on cheese, Hernandez suggests less than 1.5 ounces of cheese on a regular-size corn tortilla and about 2.5 to 3 ounces on a larger flour tortilla for the perfect ratio.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
The author of this piece, Bernadette Machard de Gramont, specializes in global food and wine content.
Florida-based chef and restaurateur Carrie Honaker updated this article.
Allison Wignall also updated this piece, and if she could only eat one food for the rest of her life, it would probably be quesadillas. She’s obsessed with the versatile and cheesy dish no matter what ingredients are inside (though she is partial to grilled chicken or marinated carnitas between corn tortillas). Her work has been featured in publications including Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, and Southern Living.
Austin-based chef Olivia Hernandez was born in Mexico and raised in Los Angeles. Hernandez grew up around her mother’s mobile catering business before receiving her formal culinary training. She went on to become the executive chef at El Cid in Silverlake, and today she continues to run her own catering business, Hernandez Hospitality, where giant flour tortilla quesadillas served with salsa, guacamole, and sour cream are still one of her favorite party foods.
Andy Wang, is a retired chef and the co-founder of Knives Sensei.