Ground Turkey Quesadillas

Ground Turkey Quesadillas are a quick and easy weeknight meal. Serve with your favorite Mexican toppings and you’ve got a hearty and nourishing dish.

Ground turkey quesadillas piled on a cutting board.

About The Recipe

Quesadillas are a quick stovetop meal that comes together without any special ingredients or equipment required.

This recipe features a cheesy, gooey quesadilla stuffed with a mixture made of lean ground turkey, vegetables, and spices. The perfect finger food for family mealtime fun.

Why you should make it

  • Easy preparation – A few pans and a few simple ingredients are all you need to make this flavorful dish.
  • Quick – This hearty meal comes together in just 30 minutes, and if you make the turkey mixture ahead you can make it in about 15 minutes!
  • Versatile – This Ground Turkey Quesadilla recipe can be modified to suit your taste buds – more spice? Less spice? Different veggies? No cheese? You name it, you can modify it. 
  • Family friendly – Quesadillas are a fun family finger food. Not to mention smothered in cheese which the kids will love. 
Ground turkey quesadillas served in a plate with a small bowl of salsa on the side.

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Large flour tortillas. This recipe requires 8 large flour tortillas (about 8-inch/20cm each). Though you can easily use the small tortillas, but then you will need to adjust the amount of filling to put in them. Corn tortillas also work well in this recipe and they are a good option if you are looking to make a gluten-free quesadilla. 
  • Melty cheese. Any shredded cheese will work: asadero, Mexican cheese blend, cheddar (choose sharp or aged if you do use cheddar cheese as the flavor is stronger).
  • Ground turkey. I use ground lean turkey in this recipe but you can also use ground beef, chicken, or pork.
  • Red bell pepper. Choose a large red pepper, sub with yellow or green peppers if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Onion. Use a medium onion, any kind will work; white or yellow are good.
  • Tomatoes. Choose bright red, ripe tomatoes.
  • Fresh garlic. Fresh is best but if you don’t have any on hand, jarred or garlic powder will also work.
  • Seasonings. Cumin powder, hot paprika, salt, and pepper. Or you can also use taco seasoning. 
  • Olive oil. I prefer extra virgin olive oil but any mild cooking oil will work.
  • Butter. For cooking the quesadillas nice and crisp. Sub with cooking spray if you want.

How To Make Ground Turkey Quesadillas

Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add turkey and season with salt and pepper.

Cook the meat breaking it with the back of a spoon until it changes color and is cooked through (about 7-8 minutes).

Ground turkey cooked in a pan.

Add diced bell peppers and sauté for 3 minutes or until the peppers start to soften.

Ground turkey and bell peppers cooked in a pan.

Stir in diced onion and cook, stirring constantly until softened (about 3 minutes).

Peppers, onions, and ground turkey cooked in a pan.

Next, add diced tomatoes, minced garlic, cumin, and paprika. Pour in 1 cup of water or chicken stock and mix well.

Tomatoes and spices added to ground turkey mixture.

Cook for about 10 minutes stirring from time to time. The vegetables should be nicely cooked and the mixture should have a bit of sauce at the end.

Fully cooked turkey mixture with vegetables in a pan.

Adjust salt to taste, turn off the heat and keep aside.

Make the quesadillas

Heat a cast iron skillet or comal over medium heat and grease it with a bit of butter.

Place a tortilla flat on the skillet and add some cheese in the middle.

Flour tortilla in a griddle with cheese on top.

Spoon some of the ground turkey mixture and carefully fold the tortilla into a half-moon.

Flour tortilla in a griddle with cheese and turkey mixture on top.

Cook for about 1 minute on one side, then flip the quesadilla and cook for an extra minute or until golden crispy.

Folded crispy ground turkey quesadilla in a griddle.

Transfer cooked quesadilla to a cutting board (don’t cover). Repeat all steps with the remaining ingredients.

Ground turkey quesadillas on a cutting board.

Once all ground turkey quesadillas are cooked, cut each in half and serve with your favorite toppings and sides.

Useful Recipe Notes

  • I suggest you use lean ground turkey for this recipe. Or, if you choose a different source of protein it should also be lean. Just good to keep our saturated fat intake low.
  • Choose really red and ripe tomatoes. There is nothing worse than an unripe tomato. Buy the tomatoes a few days before you are going to make this recipe so they have time to ripen.
  • To spice things up add some chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to the turkey mixture. A pinch of chili powder or 1-2 chopped jalapeño peppers works too.
  • If you are in a pinch and haven’t had time to pick up fresh vegetables you can also pour in a cup of jarred salsa.
  • You can also mix in a cup of cooked black beans, for extra protein.

How To Serve

  • If you want to make it a pure Mexican meal you can serve this Nopales Salad with the quesadillas.
  • Salsas are the perfect accompaniment, my favorite is this roasted tomato salsa.
  • Or serve with a side of Frijoles Refritos, lots of Mexican meals come with a side of refried beans. 
  • This Mango Pico De Gallo is a fresh and zesty salsa great for dipping. 
  • And of course, you can go wrong with classic quesadilla sides such as guacamole, sour cream, and pico de gallo salsa.
  • Wash all of these cheesy ground turkey quesadillas down with a nice thirst quenching Limonada!
Taking a ground turkey quesadilla and dipping it into the salsa.

Store And Reheat

These turkey quesadillas can easily be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days. I like to add some paper towels in between the quesadillas so they don’t get too soggy.

You can also freeze any leftovers and simply pop them in the toaster oven to reheat. 

I don’t recommend reheating completely in the microwave as the tortillas will be soggy. You can however warm the quesadilla in the microwave for a minute or two then pan fry them to crisp them up. 

The leftover turkey mixture freezes wonderfully. You can make a large batch and divide it into containers or resealable bags, then freeze them for up to 3 months.

When craving ground turkey quesadillas just thaw the mixture, heat it up in the microwave, and make quesadillas or breakfast tacos!

FAQ

How do you get quesadillas to stick together?

Quesadillas stick together really well if they have cheese in them. However, if you overstuff them the filling may come out so be careful not to place too much of the turkey mixture in the quesadilla before you fold it. 

Are quesadillas healthy?

Now, this is a loaded question! Quesadillas can definitely be part of a healthy diet. Quesadillas can be a good source of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Just don’t go overboard on the cheese and rich toppings and you’ll be ok. Everything in moderation is my mantra.  

Should you grease the pan for quesadilla?

I recommend you grease the pan slightly so the quesadilla doesn’t stick and you get a nice crisp finish. This also depends on whether you are using a non-stick pan. The tortilla may stick and break in a non-stick pan that has not been greased. 

Are turkey quesadillas actually Mexican?

Quesadillas are a traditional Mexican food that can be served with a number of different fillings including turkey.

Ground turkey quesadillas recipe.

Ground Turkey Quesadillas

author Maricruz
These ground turkey quesadillas are deliciously cheesy and comforting. They can be served for lunch or dinner any day of the week with your favorite toppings.
prep 10 minutes
cook 25 minutes
total 35 minutes
serving 16 quesadillas

Ingredients 

  • 8 flour tortillas (about 8 inch/20cm each)
  • 3 cups melty cheese, shredded (asadero, Mexican cheese blend, cheddar, etc.)
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 large red bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 2 medium tomatoes (diced)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp hot paprika
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • butter (as needed)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oil in a pan or skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add turkey and season with salt and pepper.
  • Cook the meat breaking it with the back of a spoon for 7-8 minutes or until cooked through.
  • Add bell pepper and sauté for 3 minutes or until slightly soft.
  • Mix in onions and cook until softened (about 3 minutes).
  • Add tomatoes garlic, cumin, paprika, and 1 cup of water.
  • Mix well and cook for 10 minutes stirring from time to time.
  • The vegetables should be nicely cooked and the mixture should have a bit of sauce at the end.
  • Adjust seasonings to taste and keep aside.

Make quesadillas:

  • Heat a cast iron skillet, pan, or comal over medium heat and grease it with butter.
  • Place a tortilla flat on the pan and add some cheese in one side.
  • Spoon some turkey mixture and carefully fold the tortilla into a half-moon.
  • Cook for 1 minute on one side, then flip the quesadilla and cook for an extra minute or until nicely crispy.
  • Transfer cooked quesadilla to a cutting board but don’t cover.
  • Repeat the steps to make all quesadillas.
  • Cut quesadillas in half and serve.

Notes

  • I suggest you use lean ground turkey for this recipe. Or, if you choose a different source of protein it should also be lean. Just good to keep our saturated fat intake low.
  • To spice things up add some chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to the turkey mixture. A pinch of chili powder or 1-2 chopped jalapeño peppers works too.
  • If you are in a pinch and haven’t had time to pick up fresh vegetables you can also pour in a cup of jarred salsa.
  • You can also mix in a cup of cooked black beans, for extra protein.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 239kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 626mg | Potassium: 147mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 450IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 1mg
Don’t miss any recipe.Subscribe for free to our Newsletter!

Loved our ground turkey quesadillas recipe? Then please don’t forget to rate it and leave us a comment below! And also…

  • Tag us on INSTAGRAM if you make this recipe.
  • Follow us on FACEBOOK for blog updates.
  • Don’t miss our pins in PINTEREST.
  • Check up and follow our YOUTUBE channel.

More Quesadillas Recipes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating