Jennifer Hanes MS, RDN, LD
Looking for a tasty and fuss-free dinner option that everyone can customize to their liking? Look no further than these delightful Mediterranean quesadillas.
Combining the flavors of the Mediterranean with the convenience of quesadillas, this recipe is a winner for both your taste buds and your busy evenings. Let’s dive into how you can whip up these yummy treats in no time!
This ingredient list reads like a who’s who of Mediterranean foods!
You will need:
Whole-grain pita – used instead of tortillas
Shredded mozzarella – it’s just easier to use
Crumbled feta cheese
Sun-Dried tomatoes – I buy the ones that are packed dry and julienned
Peperoncini peppers – sliced
For the tzatziki, you’ll use plain, full-fat Greek yogurt, cucumber, fresh dill, minced garlic, garlic powder, lemon juice, and salt. Or, you can go even easier and buy it ready-made. But honestly, it’s pretty easy to make, and it’s always better homemade.
Preparing the Mediterranean Quesadilla Filling
For the filling, all we’re going to do is sautee some mushrooms and spinach together.
Everything else is already cut up and ready to go for us!
After the mushroom-spinach mixture is done, all we have to do is put everything together and heat it all up!
This would be a good time to start preheating your oven to 400°F.
Crafting the Perfect Mediterranean Quesadillas
Perfect is such a relative term, right? I like to use whole grain pita in place of tortillas for this, but tortillas would be easier.
What I’m saying is to choose the ingredients that would make this quesadilla perfect for YOU. Because they are each made individually, not everyone is stuck with the same dish.
So leave something out. Add something else in. Use a different cheese. Whatever floats your boat. My method is described below.
Assembling the Quesadilla
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper to make clean-up easier later.
Split your pita, like you were going to stuff it, but all the way through.
Lay one half of your pita down, cut side up, and sprinkle evenly with 2 Tbsp mozzarella cheese.
Top with the cheese with your mushroom mixture and spread out evenly. Sprinkle the feta, peppers, and tomatoes. Evenly sprinkle another 2 Tbsp of mozzarella, then cover with the other half of the pita.
Rather than making each quesadilla individually, make them like an assembly line.
Open all the pitas and set the bottom half on the baking sheet. Then sprinkle the mozzarella, then the mushroom filling, and so on.
After the fillings are done, you can mark the top pita slice to distinguish between them.
For instance, let’s say we are making these quesadillas for 4 people: Two want the recipe as written, 1 hates sun-dried tomatoes, and the last person doesn’t want peppers.
In this case, top the two quesadillas with no modifications. For the person that wants sun-dried tomatoes but no peppers, place the top pita on, the place 1-2 slices of sun-dried tomato on top. For the last person, put 1-2 slices of peppers on top.
This way, when they’re done cooking, you’ll know which quesadilla goes with which person without having to open them back up.
You can cook these in a skillet (preferably the one you cooked the mushrooms in), but you’d have to do each quesadilla individually. A griddle will let you do more at a time, but flipping them can still be messy.
I prefer using the oven. I can cook them all at once, and there’s no flipping and losing half your filling.
You could also consider using a panini press. I haven’t tried this, but it makes sense that it would work well.
Making the Tzatziki
You can buy tzatziki already made at the grocery store. It’s usually found near the refrigerated salad dressings in the produce section.
But it really is so much better when you make it yourself. And you can control the balance of flavors to your preferences.
You should make at least 4 hours before serving for best results.
To make tzatziki, first grate cucumber and drain excess liquid. This is easiest to do by putting the grated cucumber in a cheesecloth and wringing the hell out of it until you don’t get any more water out.
Mix with Greek yogurt, minced garlic, garlic powder, and fresh, chopped dill. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice, season with salt, and refrigerate.
Garlic powder isn’t really traditional in this recipe, but I really like garlic, and I struggle to get enough obvious garlic flavor with minced garlic alone.
Some recipes for tzatziki use white wine vinegar instead of lemon juice. I actually like it either way, but my husband greatly prefers the lemon juice. The cooking demo we watched once at the Greek food festival definitely used lemon juice!
Also, I’ve seen people go at each other on Facebook regarding whether or not you should shred or dice your cucumber. I’ve seen it both ways and greatly prefer it when the cucumbers are shredded. It just feels more cohesive.
I believe the shred vs dice probably depends on the region the cook is from. For what it’s worth, at the Greek Food Festival, the cucumber was shredded.
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 oz Cremini Mushrooms Sliced
- 2 cups Baby Spinach Fresh
- 2 Whole Grain Pita Pockets Cut open
- ½ cup Shredded Mozzarella
- 3 Tbsp Sun Dried Tomatoes diced/julienne
- 3 Tbsp Crumbled Feta
- 2-3 Peperoncini Peppers sliced
For the tzatziki sauce:
- Combine the Greek yogurt, garlic powder, minced garlic, fresh dill, shredded, wrung out cucumber, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl. You can alter the measurements to your taste. I usually end up adding more dill after a quick taste.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
For the Quesadillas
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F
- Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and saute for 4-5 minutes.
- Add the spinach and continue to cook until the mushrooms are tender and the spinach is wilted. Ideally, the mushrooms will have released their water and the water has been cooked off.
- To build the quesadillas: lay 1/2 pita on a baking sheet lined with parchement paper. Evenly sprinkle with 2 Tbsp shredded mozzarella
- Add half of spinach/mushroom mixture and spread evenly.
- Add sundried tomatoes, feta, and peppers to taste.
- Top with another 2 Tbsp of mozzarella, then cover with second half of the pita.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
*Nutrition Facts are an estimate only. Differences are expected when making substitutions for any ingredient or when different brands are used.
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tabouli, red pepper hummus, baba ganoush
Customize your Mediterranean Quesadillas
The best thing about this recipe is it is so easy to customize it to each individual. My husband loves pepperoncini peppers, so I added them to the recipe, but I feel like they overpower a recipe pretty easily, so I left them off mine.
Next time, I’ll add more to his and leave them out on mine. I think I’ll add roasted red peppers and fresh basil too. Add as many different veggies as you want!
The possibilities here are endless. Add strips of zucchini or eggplant. Slices of red onion or kalamata olives would work too. A vegan could potentially swap the cheese for hummus, although I guess we couldn’t call it a quesadilla anymore.
A vegan could potentially swap the cheese for hummus, although I guess we couldn’t call it a quesadilla anymore.
vegan cheese, but you’ll need to know how they melt.
Add a protein source to replace the protein in the cheese. Canellini beans would work well, for example. Or maybe walnut meat.
choose a gluten-free “flour” tortilla. I don’t think a corn tortilla would work here. these are readily available.
Gluten-free pita options exist but are harder to find.
Pay attention to cross-contact with gluten-containing products if you’re using both.
Jennifer Hanes MS, RDN, LD is a registered dietitian, mom, wife, and vegetarian in North Texas. She has dedicated Dietitian Jenn to be a source of information, ideas, and inspiration for people like her, vegetarians that live with people with different dietary beliefs and/or needs in a multivore household.