Think of quesadillas as a Mexican grilled cheese sandwich, but kicked up more than a notch by delicious, savory fillings.
They’re not the healthiest choice when you’re dining out. Those globs of glorious melted cheese are full fat and the fillings may be glistening from the oil they’re sautéed in.
But if you make your own quesadillas, you can keep the delicious taste while you jettison most of the fat calories. Best of all, the whole quesadilla concept—tortilla, cheese, filling—is so versatile, you can have them morning, noon or night.
Here are our favorite healthy quesadillas that make great Flex meals:
This savory breakfast is a great way to sneak in more than one serving of veggies in a day—something you can rarely do at breakfast time.
It uses one low carb wheat tortilla into which you place a half cup of cooked broccoli florets (from frozen), one cup of chopped spinach steamed in water until it wilts, two scrambled egg whites, some garlic powder for extra taste and, of course, low-fat cheese—a quarter cup of shredded cheddar. Breakfast quesadillas are a great way to start your day.
Clocking in at just 201 calories, this breakfast quesadilla counts as one SmartCarb, one PowerFuel, and one and a half Vegetables on the Nutrisystem program.
You won’t miss any fat or flavor in this traditional recipe that pairs tender, cooked chicken with low-fat shredded cheddar, sautéed red bell peppers and onions, and parsley between two whole wheat tortillas (go for the 60-calorie, low-carb version). Of course, there’s salsa and fat-free sour cream for dipping. Best of all, they take no time to prepare—just some quick sautéing and cheese melting!
This recipe makes two servings with each counting as one SmartCarb, two PowerFuels and one Extra.
This is the heat-lovers’ special, brought to you by jalapenos, chili powder and cayenne. You can choose the heat level yourself by adjusting the spices.
It’s easy and quick to make, too. Simply toss two ounces of small raw shrimp with chili powder and cayenne. Set aside and sauté diced bell peppers, half of a small jalapeno, and minced garlic for two to three minutes, then add shrimp and cook for another two minutes on each side of the shrimp.
This recipe also use one low-carb wheat tortilla into which you fold the shrimp mixture, two tablespoons of piquant cilantro leaves, sliced green onion and a quarter cup of low-fat shredded Mexican cheese blend. Cook in the skillet until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is crisp, then serve with two tablespoons of pico de gallo and lime wedges.
Clocking in at just 210 calories, this recipe counts as one PowerFuel, one SmartCarb and one Extra.
This totally customizable and hearty dinner may become your favorite way to get your veggies. The recipe calls for kale and semi-soft goat cheese, along with cherry tomatoes and caramelized (read: Sweet!) Vidalia or yellow onion, but you can swap in spinach, broccoli, even shredded Brussels sprouts if you like and substitute cheddar for goat cheese to please your particular palate.
This recipe makes two servings so it calls for two low-carb wheat tortillas. You may spend the most time caramelizing the onions (with a touch of sugar) and wilting the kale (or your veggie of choice). The quesadilla will be ready to eat once the cheese melts and the tortilla is a little crispy. Wrap the second half for another meal. Reheat it in a medium-hot skillet.
At 306 calories per serving, this delicious dinner quesadilla counts as two PowerFuels, one SmartCarb, one Vegetable and one Extra.