Tomato, Olive and Chickpea Quesadillas with Dill Yogurt Dip

tomato, olive and chickpea quesadilla with dill yogurt dip recipe

Confession: if it weren’t for this blog, I would probably subsist on quesadillas. Any time inspiration and leftovers are running low, I’ll stuff a tortilla with cheese and whatever else I can scrounge up in the vegetable crisper and call it a meal.

Quesadillas, literally queso tortillas in Spanish, originated in Mexico, along with so many other tasty things. Although my default quesadilla is stuffed with black beans and dipped in salsa, my quesadillas don’t always feature traditional Mexican flavors. And why should they? Quesadillas are just another delightful cheese-and-bread base recipe with endless flavor possibilities, like pizza, grilled cheese sandwiches and crêpes.

dill and mini heirloom tomatoes

This quesadilla came to be when I had chopped vegetables and dip left over from my Greek farro and chickpea salad. It was lunchtime; I was hungry; there was no more salad to eat. Enter the quesadilla solution. If we’re getting real here, I’ll confess that I was probably still wearing my pajamas because I don’t get dressed until someone’s around to appreciate it.

Anyway, I pulled out my trusty cast iron skillet, shredded some cheese, and threw a tortilla on the pan. Five minutes later, I dipped a crispy corner of quesadilla into herbed yogurt dip and took a bite of one of my most delicious, blog-worthy quesadillas yet. Sweet tomatoes, filling chickpeas and salty sliced kalamata olives, sandwiched between layers of creamy cheese and crisp tortilla, became a totally satisfying one-skillet meal.

dill yogurt dip and cooked quesadillas

In case you want to throw together a quesadilla for dinner tonight, I thought I’d share some quesadilla tips today. Without further ado:

  1. Use one tortilla per quesadilla, and fold it over on itself in a half-moon shape. It’s much easier to manage than a giant, round quesadilla made with two tortillas.
  2. Be sure your pan is large enough to accommodate the quesadilla lengthwise, so it can get nice and toasty from end to end.
  3. Don’t crank up the heat too high. You want a moderate heat that will slowly melt the cheese and crisp the tortillas without scorching them. That said, make sure to cook each side long enough that they get deeply golden and most importantly, crispy. Crispiness is key.
  4. I like to include beans as a protein-rich filler that lightens up the cheesy-carby elements. It seems like a more well-balanced, full meal that way.
  5. I usually cook my tortillas in a cast iron pan without any oil, but just barely frying the outsides with a light brush of oil is a nice touch (see instructions included in the recipe below).
  6. For a cheesy flavor explosion like, woah, sprinkle a little bit of cheese on the outside of the quesadilla, let it melt, and then flip it so the cheese fries against the quesadilla (this is also a great trick for grilled cheese sandwiches). Repeat with the other side if you’d like. You can find more detailed instructions in my crispy mushroom, spinach and avocado quesadillas recipe.

Tomato, olive and chickpea quesadilla with dill yogurt dipGreek quesadillas and dill yogurt dip

4.5 from 2 reviews

Tomato, Olive and Chickpea Quesadilla with Dill Yogurt Dip
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree, appetizer or snack
Cuisine: Greek
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
A crisp quesadilla stuffed with Greek flavors, including tomatoes, olives, chickpeas and red onion. Serve with dill-mint yogurt dip (optional) for a terrific quick meal, snack or appetizer.
Ingredients
Per quesadilla, multiply as necessary
  • 1 whole grain tortilla (use gluten-free tortillas for gluten-free quesadillas)
  • ¾ cup shredded raw farmers’ cheese or Monterrey Jack cheese
  • ¼ cup cooked chickpeas, well drained
  • 8 mini heirloom, cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced into thin rounds
  • 7 pitted kalamata olives, sliced into thin rounds (or a sprinkle of capers or crumbled feta cheese)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • ½ teaspoon olive oil, for brushing
Dill-mint yogurt dip (enough for at least 4 quesadillas)
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons packed fresh dill, torn into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons packed fresh mint (or basil or flat-leaf parsley), torn into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (about ½ of a large lemon)
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Make the dip: In a food processor or blender, combine all of the dip ingredients. Blend well, and transfer to a bowl(s) for dipping.
  2. Make the quesadilla(s) one at a time: heat a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Warm one tortilla for about 30 seconds, flipping halfway. Flip once more, and sprinkle one-half of the tortilla with about half of the shredded cheese. Cover the cheese with chickpeas, tomatoes, olives, and red onion. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the other fillings and fold over the empty side of the tortilla to enclose the fillings.
  3. Quickly brush the topside of the quesadilla with a light coating of olive oil, and flip it with a spatula. Let the underside of the quesadilla cook until golden and crispy, about a minute or two. Brush the topside with a light coating of olive oil, flip it and cook until the underside is golden and crispy. Flip it once more and immediately transfer it to a cutting board.
  4. Let the quesadilla cool for a couple minutes, then slice it into three even wedges using a sharp pizza cutter or chef’s knife. Serve immediately, with a side of yogurt dipping sauce.
Notes

Comments

  1. says

    This is genius! I never in a 100 years would have thought to put anything besides the typical Mexican style ingredients in a quesadillas. Looks like the perfect lunch idea.

  2. says

    I too am a fan of the ‘let’s call this lunch’ quesadilla – it’s such a good base for a meal. And I’m in love with your flavours here – dill, olives and tomatoes?! Bliss.

  3. says

    Love this! If I had to subside on one thing it would be pasta and roasted tomatoes, all day every day! Thank God for food blogs to force us out of our go-to routines!

  4. says

    LOL! I cook my quesadillas the EXACT same way as you! It is so much easier working with one at a time!

    I wish so badly this was dinner right now and would totally jump and make it if I did not already have food sitting in front of me. My roasted veggies are looking lame compared to this cheesy quesadilla. Oh and I mean that dip? Come on! Love that!

  5. says

    I am posting fusion/nontraditional quesadillas tomorrow! I love the way we think. Mine arent’ mediterranean though, but now I’m kind of wishing I’d gone that route!

    And please. I pretty much live in pajamas when I home. Why be uncomfortable wearing anything else?

  6. suzanne says

    Yum! I was so happy to see this in my inbox when I got home yesterday…..uninspired for dinner. I never make quesadillas and I have no idea why. My husband stopped for tortillas and arugula and we LOVED these. They were so tasty and simple. The best quesadillas my husband has ever had and he is a mexican food junkie. Btw – glad I’m not the only one that lingers in my pjs.
    Thanks for the recipes! I look forward to trying more!

    • says

      Suzanne, I’m happy to hear that you two enjoyed the quesadillas! Thanks for leaving a comment to vouch for them. The flavors aren’t for everyone (so many olive haters out there), but I love these quesadillas!

  7. says

    I love anything smushed between a tortilla. And I totally agree, options have no end when it come to tortillas! I’m definitely digging that yogurt-y goodness on the side, lovely post as always.

  8. says

    Simple things are always the best and this is the case for food too. I love this recipe; if it tastes as good as it looks I guess people must hurry to get their share before all is polished off…

  9. says

    I feel the same about quesadillas … If it weren’t for my blog I’d eat them almost everyday. Love them! Also love the gourmet version you have here. I will definitely be trying that soon (like, probably tomorrow) :)

    Also, I just saw that you won Foodie’s Baking Dead contest. Congratulations!!

  10. says

    Wonderful wonderful post. I adore quesadillas but I’ve never used this particular combination of flavours. Gorgeous – I’ll be trying this over the weekend! Dill is so underused in my kitchen (I have no idea why, I need to change that!)

  11. says

    This looks soooo good! A perfect single meal. Thank you for all those quesadilla tips, Kate. I’m especially tempted to try that extra-cheese-taste-explosion-experience. I think I’m going to have a quesadilla night next week…

  12. Sophie says

    Growing up, quesadillas were that staple meal we ate often, especially when there was “nothing to eat”. I still love them! THIS is excellent because I just made your Greek farro salad (again) this week and have some leftover veggies and chickpeas. And some kalamatas in the fridge. Winner! Can’t wait to devour this. With my husband recently taking on a night shift, cooking for one is going to have to be simple or it just won’t happen at all ;) Thanks, K!

  13. says

    Greek quesadillas are an idea I’ve seen floating around the web for awhile, but despite my obvious love of Greek Mexican food, I really hadn’t thought seriously about making my own version until recently. Which is pretty ridiculous because I always have the staple ingredients hanging out in my kitchen– feta cheese, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, spinach– and I seem to incorporate those ingredients in half of the things I make from pizza to sandwiches to this .

  14. says

    Hi there! Just found your blog! Love the design and your recipes! I especially like your food blogging tips, all very true! Look forward to more posts!

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