Children and adults alike love oven-baked quesadillas because they are quick to make and yummy to eat. There are so many ways you can create your quesadillas and the kids can help you assemble them since there is no hot stove top to worry about. You don't need a second set of hands to make this meal but it makes for a great way to encourage your kids to cook with you in the kitchen.
You missed your kids so much during the day having the family cook together is a great way to bond with the kids. This recipe is not hard to follow and guarantees a delicious meal the kids will be proud to say they helped make. Here's how to bring the kids into the kitchen
Pick Out the Ingredients Together
While you are lining the cookie sheet with tin foil and finding the cooking spray have your child chose the ingredients. You can choose to make the quesadillas plain, which means just cheese and the tortillas, or you can add protein and vegetables.
For proteins you can use:
- chicken, either cooked in a Mexican spice over the weekend so it's easy to chop up and cook on a weeknight, or pick up a cooked rotisserie chicken from your local deli on the way home.
- ground up beef
- strips of pork or pulled pork
- black beans (mash up half of the beans and then add the rest of them, yum!)
- or if you want to make them breakfast style, scrambled eggs.
For vegetables, you can choose to saute them in a little bit of oil to make them a bit soft, or just throw them in raw. This decision can be made based on how hungry your crew is. You can add:
- onions (caramelized or sauteed) or red onion
- green or red peppers
- sauteed mushrooms
For toppings, you can use guacamole, salsa, sour cream, Greek yogurt, lettuce, green onions, bacon bits, cilantro, or pico de gallo (that you made over the weekend).
For the cheese, this can be personal preference. If you want to keep the dish Mexican combine Monterrey Jack and cheddar.
If you want to make this recipe gluten-free you can pick up gluten-free tortillas and make your own spicy shredded cheese combo. Shred your own cheese combo, great arm workout for the kids, and then you can add the spices such as cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or chili powder.
Praise Your Mini Chef
After you've chosen the ingredients, provide positive feedback while you and your child prepare the tortillas. Like I said, this recipe is simple with not much room for error. You can commend them on the yummy combination of ingredients they've selected and you can't wait to taste the yummy dish they are making.
Start a Heart to Heart Conversation While You Cook
Ever notice that you tend to open up more when you're doing something with someone? If you're sitting down, face to face, it can sometimes be hard to open up. But when you're busy doing something together you tend to feel a bit braver about sharing things.
So if you feel like your child is having a tough week, whip up some easy quesadillas, sing their praises and see if they open up a bit about what's going on. Good conversations are had over good meals. With this recipe, you are bound to enjoy some good family bonding.
- 4 flour tortillas
- 3 cups shredded cheese (Mexican mixture)
- Optional: 1 cup salsa
- Optional: chicken, beef, shrimp or other protein (see above suggestions)
- Optional: onions, peppers, tomatoes or other vegetables (see above suggestions)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Take a piece of aluminum foil that is big enough to cover a cookie sheet front and back. Center it on a cookie sheet.
Place two tortillas side by side on the foil. Sprinkle cheese evenly on both tortillas.
Place protein option on top of the cheese.
Place vegetable option on top of the protein.
Spoon about half the salsa over the top, making a very light layer, if you want to make the quesadilla spicy.
Cover each stack with another tortilla.
Bring two sides of the foil together above the quesadillas, sealing the foil at the center of the cookie sheet. Crimp the edges of the foil to seal along the side of the cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Open foil carefully. Slice each quesadilla in quarters and serve with optional toppings (if desired).