Zucchini and Mexican spices were just made for each other. When I saute zucchini, I often add a little ground cumin, ground ancho powder and a dash of cayenne. But around our house a plate of sauteed zucchini does not a meal make. I do like using it instead of meat in enchiladas, but for a quicker meal, I go with zucchini quesadillas.

You can keep it simple, with just sauteed zucchini and Monterrey Jack cheese, or make your own refried beans to slather on the tortilla too. You might even want to try white corn tortillas instead of the usual flour.

To make this meal a stand-out (and when pineapple is on sale, which it is here right now), I’ll take a slice of pineapple, make slits and then stand the quesadilla wedges up in the slits. And yes, if I’m fumbling through my drawer and find a little umbrella, I pop that on too.

*Side note: I prefer green zucchini to yellow, it just seems to hold its shape better when it’s sauteed versus the squishier yellow.


Prep time: 30 minutes (including cooking)

Servings: 4-6


1 large green zucchini, sliced into thin quarter pieces

1 small onion, diced

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 can vegetarian refried beans (or make your own)

1 ½ cups Monterrey Jack cheese

4 flour or corn tortillas

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Add olive oil to a large skillet and bring to medium-high heat, toss in the zucchini and onion and cook until just barely tender.
  2. Meanwhile, using a kitchen knife add about 1/8-1/4 cup refried beans to each tortilla. Repeat with four tortillas.
  3. Remove the peppers and onions from the skillet and place the bean covered tortilla, uncovered side on the pan.
  4. Place ¼ of the sautéed zucchini and onions along with a generous handful of cheese onto the bean-covered tortilla. Add another plain tortilla on top.
  5. Flip the tortilla over in the heated pan (as you would with grilled cheese) once the tortilla begins to crisp.
  6. Heat the other side of the quesadilla until crisp. Cool for 3-4 minutes before cutting with a pizza cutter.
  7. Serve with salsa for dipping.
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