Love and Olive Oil

Quesadillas with Onion-Cranberry Salsa

Vegetarian Quesadillas with Onion-Cranberry Salsa

I’m surprised that this is the first quesadilla I’ve ever posted here. It may be the fact that it’s not a common occurrence here, and especially wasn’t so during the time I was (mostly) cheese free.

Quesadillas can often teeter on the greasy side. Too much cheese and too much oil is probably the quickest way to get me feeling not so great, and perhaps I’ve had one too many of those experiences to view quesadillas as a regular dinner option.

But after these quesadillas, that all might change. A true rainbow of flavors. Spicy, but not too spicy. Cheesy, but not overly. And with a cranberry salsa that adds a lovely sharp accent to the rich melty cheese. Wonderful, decadent, melty cheese.

Funny how your grocery bill skyrockets when you start eating cheese again. Oops.

Quesadillas with Onion-Cranberry Salsa

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Onion-Cranberry Salsa
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
1 Tbs. sugar
3 Tbs. fresh lime juice (1 lime)
2 Tbs. orange juice
1 to 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 cup canned whole berry cranberry sauce

1 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into long strips
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 cup peeled winter squash (cut in 3/4-inch cubes), such as acorn or kabocha
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
4 flour tortillas
2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese


Make salsa: In medium bowl, mix onion, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let stand 15 minutes. Add remaining salsa ingredients and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until using.

In medium skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add bell pepper, corn, squash and salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until squash is almost tender, about 7 minutes. Stir in cumin and chili powder. Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

To assemble quesadillas, lightly coat large skillet with cooking spray. Place 1 tortilla in pan and heat about 30 seconds each side. Spread about one-third warm vegetable mixture over half the tortilla. Sprinkle with some cheese. Fold tortilla in half to enclose filling. Cook quesadilla until cheese is melted, about 1 minute each side. Slide quesadilla onto cutting board and cut into wedges. Repeat process to make remaining quesadillas. Serve with salsa on the side.

Recipe from Vegetarian Times

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  1. Just came across your blog and I’m really enjoying it… that cranberry onion salsa combo sounds really good!! I can imagine how great that is paired with cheese, almost like a chutney. Great photos, too, btw.

  2. Great recipes and photos. Love seeing different ways to use cranberries. Hate that they’re relegated to salads and Thanksgiving.

  3. I love all the flavors in this recipe – I bet it is so delicious!

  4. In the spirit of Mexican…

    New York finally found a place with authentic Mexican food to speak to the stomach and soothe the soul :)

  5. Those sound delicious. I also concur about cheese prices, it makes me sad when I’m paying for it.. but then happy when I’m eating it

  6. Do you think you could use just fresh whole cranberries instead of cranberry sauce? Not a fan of jar’d sauce…just wondering how i could do that be still have the liquid part.

  7. A quesadilla does become greasy a little too easily for me too. Cranberry salsa sounds like a great addition to a well balanced quesadilla. Being able to dip makes everything better.

  8. I always like a lighter healthier version of the original. I’m with you on quesadillas. They’re quite often dripping with oil which is very unappetizing!

  9. I love the idea of onion and cranberry salsa – fabulous!
    :-) Mandy

  10. I love the cranberry salsa! Fun salsas and sauces totally dress up something basic like a quesadilla! YUM!

  11. I absolutely LOVE the cranberry salsa – what a brilliant idea! This is on my list of things to make. Have a wonderful Sunday!

  12. Oh this sounds and looks delicious. I think I never made quesadillas before, but I’ll have to try these.

  13. I quite like the idea of adding cranberries into the salsa… That just sounds delicious. I am a huge fan of mexican food, but you’re right sometimes just a bit too much cheese (and grease and waistline disappearance…:))

  14. Greasy quesadillas are a pet peeve of mine. I prefer to use cheeses that aren’t so greasy and, of course, fill them with lots of other goodies.

  15. I love the idea of a cranberry salsa – such fresh flavors here!

  16. Cranberry salsa is on my “things I want to make”, list. I love all the veggies in your quesadilla – this could realistically be my breakfast this morning. thanks!

  17. Looks and sounds delicious, and I agree with the grocery bill part! Cheese is so worth it though :-)

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