I thought these where so cute when they started popping up in my world on the internet about 3 years ago, and I decided they would be great during the Halloween season. Since Jack-O-Lanterns are the ultimate Halloween symbol, these quesadillas scream Halloween. They are easy to make ahead, and can be assembled, covered with foil, and refrigerated until time to bake.
Most of the recipes I saw had directions to cut out the tortillas using the tip of a knife. I decided to fold the tortilla in half and use kitchen shears for the nose and mouth, and a knife for the eyes. After folding the tortilla in half I cut it free hand. Unfold and save part of the mouth cut-out to slide back in at the top for a curved stem. Repeat for 3 more tortillas.
ANYTHING GOES, BUT YOU HAVE TO HAVE CHEESE
Lay the uncut bottom pieces on a sheet paper lined with parchment or foil. I used both plain and whole wheat. The plain tortillas were burrito size—almost too big for my pans, so I would suggest you get regular size tortillas. You can use anything you like for the filling: shredded chicken or shredded pork and cheese, ham and cheese, plain cheese.
I mashed some black beans with lime zest/juice and spices and I divided the filling among the tortilla bottoms and sprinkled cheese over top. I decided to make one plain cheese for the toddler grandchild who would get one for dinner. Of course you can fill the quesadillas with anything and, even as I assembled these, I thought it would be good to make a veggie version with sautéed peppers and onions. Whatever filling you use, you should put the cheese on the top, so the melted cheese shines through when baked.
ASSEMBLE AND GET READY FOR A QUICK BAKE
Place the cut-out tortillas on top, gently pressing down. Spray the Jack-O-Lanterns with olive oil cooking spray or brush with olive oil or melted butter.
Bake the Jack-O-Lantern quesadillas in the preheated oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and tortillas are browned. Serve with taco sauce or salsa.
I must mention that my granddaughter was impressed and she commented just before digging in, “She CARVED it!!!” My daughter enjoyed the kick of lime that was part of black bean adult version. Whatever you choose to put inside, these quesadillas are fun to make and fun to eat.
- Cooking spray
- 15 oz. can of refried beans or black beans, drained
- Juice and zest of one lime
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 8 medium flour tortillas
- 3/4 c. shredded Cheddar
- 3/4 c. Shredded Monterey Jack
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, or cooking spray
- Taco sauce or salsa for garnish
Preheat oven to 425° and line a large sheet pan with foil or parchment paper. Combine beans, lime juice and zest, cumin, and garlic powder. If using black beans, drain them and smash with a fork. Mix until well combined and set aside.
Fold a tortilla in half and use scissors to cut out Jack-O-Lantern faces. Repeat for three more tortillas. Place the four plain, uncut tortillas on the sheet pan. Spread each with the bean mixture and place a piece of the cut out mouth at the top tor form the stem. Sprinkle cheese over each and gently press a cut out tortilla on top.
Brush with oil, (or spray with olive oil cooking spray), and bake until cheese is melty and tortillas are golden, 15 minutes.
Serve with Taco Sauce, salsa hot sauce.