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Epic Quesadilla Platter (and how to style it)

This delicious quesadilla platter can be easily scaled up or down for a tasty impressive party snack or meal that everyone can enjoy, with easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions on how to make it and get it looking like this.

Closeup of a wooden platter with salsas and quesadillas and corn chips arranged over it.

Why you’ll love it

  • It looks fancy but is really easy to put together.
  • It feels like the perfect marriage of quesadillas and nachos!
  • You can use my easy quesadilla recipe (scroll to the end) or your favorite one.
  • Put your own creative flair on how your quesadilla platter looks or get my exact look with easy instructions and photos to follow.
  • Use any salsas or dips you like, or use my recommended picks.
  • You can easily make this board suitable for omnivores, vegetarians, or vegans.
  • You can bulk it out to feed even more people by adding some sides like Mexican rice.

And if you love boards and grazing platters like me, you might also want to try my easy vegetarian charcuterie board.

This platter is big and can serve as a whole meal for six people, or as a great party platter.

For a sit-down meal with a few more people (eight to nine), have plenty of chips and dips refills on hand, or add some sides (Mexican rice, slaw, etc.). For smaller gatherings or meals, cut the amounts used in half.

1. Pick a base for your platter

You can use whichever large platter, tray, or board you have to hand. It doesn’t need to be fancy as you won’t see much of it, it just has to help you get the food from the kitchen to the table and serve as a backdrop to your impressive platter.

If you really need to, you could even just make your quesadilla platter directly on the table on a piece of baking paper.

I used an old wooden decorative tray I had in my living room which measures 38 cm by 52 cm (15 inches by 20.5 inches) and lined it with baking paper for easier clean-up. Using a tray also usually means it has higher edges and handles so it’s easier to transport and no quesadillas will fall off (disaster!).

You can definitely use a slightly larger base for your platter, and just fill in any extra gaps with more tortilla chips.

2. Pick your dips

I used five dips here, in a bowl about the size of a cup (for the red salsa) and four other little half-cup size bowls. You can use any small bowls you have to hand, espresso mugs, small ramekins, glasses, etc.

If you opt to use any store-made dips you can even leave them in the container they came in and just remove the lid, although you might need a slightly bigger board then.

I like to include some dips with looser texture for dipping the quesadillas in, and some chunkier ones for spooning on top (keep in mind you’ll need a small spoon or two for chunky dips).

I’ve included my favorite suggestions for pairing with this platter below with links to my favorite recipes for them (or use store-bought dips if you prefer). I’ve starred the ones I used in the platter featured in the images on this page.

3. Pick your tortillas and tortilla chips

I’m currently living in Paris and there are not a huge amount of options in my area when it comes to Tex-Mex and Mexican ingredients and products, so I used regular chips and flour tortillas on my board, but for greater visual impact I highly recommend you mix up the color scheme a bit.

For example, instead of using twelve regular flour tortillas, you could use six regular ones and six spinach or red pepper flour tortillas.

Note that while some people do use corn tortillas to make their quesadillas, I recommend using flour ones as they are softer, more pliable, and less likely to break.

Similarly, you can use different types of tortilla chips to add more color to your platter, I love using blue corn chips.

Side view of a board with quesadillas, jalapeños and salsa.

4. Cook your quesadillas

You can use any quesadilla recipe you prefer. I’ve included an easy one at the bottom of the page, or you could try my easy quesadillas de papa, this vegan quesadilla recipe, or any other tried and true favorite you have.

As there are plenty of toppings on the board, you could even just make plain cheese quesadillas.

Whichever recipe you use, there are a few different ways you can cook quesadillas, by frying them on the stovetop, in an air fryer, or in the oven. If you want you can cook the quesadillas ahead of time, and then reheat them in the oven for ten minutes at 350ºF (175ºC).

This will give you more time to get everything ready and relax if you are entertaining, but the quesadillas will soften slightly. You can also reheat them for between 1-2 minutes in the microwave but this makes quesadillas very soft and floppy.

On the stovetop

I prefer to warm the tortilla for 30 seconds, then flip and cover it with a layer of cheese, add the filling and fold when the cheese has melted slightly, and cook another one to two minutes on either side.

But to speed things up you can definitely fold your tortilla earlier, just add a layer of cheese to one half, then the filling, then top with more cheese, and that way you can fit two quesadillas in the pan at the same time.

You can dry fry your quesadillas in a non-stick pan or well-seasoned skillet, or add a little oil (try extending it with a silicone pastry brush over the pan) to get them really golden. Keep your quesadillas in the oven at 300ºF (150ºC) to keep them nice and hot while you make the other ones.

In an air fryer

This is my least favorite way to prepare a lot of quesadillas at once as it’s kind of a pain (and requires many spatulas) to get quesadillas out of deep air fryer pans without shedding delicious filling everywhere.

You can usually fit two folded quesadillas at a time spritz with a little oil if you want them crispier, and air fry them at 350ºF (175ºC) for eight minutes, gently flipping halfway through cooking.

Of course, you’ll need to keep your quesadillas in an oven at 300ºF while you make them all to prevent them from cooling down too much, which kind of defeats the purpose of using an air fryer.

In the oven

If you have a large oven and plenty of trays, you can just fill your quesadillas all at once and cook them together. This is the fastest most straightforward way to do it.

They won’t get quite as crispy or golden as when cooked in the pan, although you can remedy this somewhat by lightly brushing the baking paper lining the sheet or pan with a little oil. Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220º), then bake for eight minutes, carefully flip over the folded quesadillas, and bake another six minutes.

5. Assemble your board

Now it’s time to put your platter together. As you can see below I lined my board with baking paper for easier clean-up, but that’s an optional step. Note that this is how I prepare the board in the photos on this page, but if you prefer a different look, you can of course place everything on your board as you wish.

  1. Get your dips in place before you get the tortillas ready. I like to place a big bowl of dipping salsa in the middle, and then place smaller bowls of four other dips (for the platter in the photos I used spicy crema, guacamole, nacho cheese dip, and black bean corn feta dip). I put two of the smaller bowls in opposite corners (like the guacamole and black bean corn feta dip below) and the other two closer to the main bowl on the opposite diagonal side.
  2. Now I grab cut quesadillas (I cut them into three pieces with either large kitchen scissors or a sharp pizza cutter) and arrange them around the bowl in the center. If you didn’t bake your quesadillas in the oven all at once, remember to keep them in an oven at 300ºF (150ºC) while you’re cooking the rest of them to keep them nice and hot for serving. Don’t worry if there are gaps at this stage, we’ll fill them in later.
A gird of four images showing a board with five sauces, then how to arrange quesadillas around them gradually.
  1. Start fanning other quesadilla slices around the nacho cheese, bean corn feta dip, and spicy crema in a single layer.
  2. Now add another layer of quesadilla slices, laying them closer to the edges as in image number four above until all the quesadillas are on the board.

6. Finishing touches to your platter

Now that you’ve placed all your quesadillas on whatever you’re using for a platter, grab some tortilla chips and fill in the big gaps with a few handfuls. This makes the platter look nicer, and is also a great way for people to eat the chunkier dips if they don’t feel like spooning them on top of their quesadilla.

Next, optionally (but I really like how it looks), scatter some sliced or pickled jalapeño peppers and some chopped cilantro over the board. You can keep a few bigger fronds of cilantro for tucking in corners or for adding a bit more texture on top if you like.

A wooden board with quesadillas and dips on it.

If you don’t like spice, you can slice some small sweet pointed peppers instead and add them to the board, or omit the peppers altogether.

If you’re thinking of adding other toppings that’s fine, just consider how much moisture they contain – some chopped tomatoes sprinkled on your cooked quesadillas without being seeded would make them mushy for example.

Done!

Easy quesadilla ingredients and substitutions

If you’re looking for a quick simple vegetarian quesadilla recipe, this is the one I used to make this platter. Take a quick look at the ingredients below, and I’ll mention if any substitutions can be made below the image.

Labelled quesadailla ingredients including black beans, cheese, salsa and onions.

Black beans: I used home-cooked beans that were well-drained here, but you can use canned beans for even quicker quesadillas, just make sure they’re rinsed and drained well. If you don’t have any black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, or chickpeas make a good substitute. If using bigger beans like chickpeas or kidney beans, I like to roughly chop them.

Chopped tomato: I used chopped cherry tomatoes here as they don’t contain as much liquid, but you can use regular tomatoes (deseed them) or finely diced bell pepper.

Grated cheese: Use a strong-flavored stretchy cheese, preferably one that’s not pre-grated as packaged grated cheese has additives that mean it doesn’t melt as well. Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Chihuahua, and Oaxaca cheese are best for quesadillas, and for extra stretchiness, you can swap out half the amount for grated mozzarella.

Chopped onion: Any onion will do here, red, brown, shallots, etc. If you don’t like onion you can omit it.

Flour tortillas: Use your favorite flour tortillas, 10-inch work best with the quantities in this recipe but you can also make do with 8-inch. Do not use corn tortillas.

Salsa: We’re only using a little salsa in this recipe (we don’t want soggy quesadillas) so use your favorite one that’s packed with flavor. I prefer to use salsa verde as a little goes a long way.

How to make my easy quesadillas

Gather your ingredients and get ready for some easy delicious vegetarian quesadillas.

  1. Mix 2.5 cups of cooked black beans, 30 roughly chopped cherry tomatoes (about 8 ounces), 1.5 cups finely chopped onion (1 large or 2 medium), and half a cup of green salsa together in a mixing bowl.
  2. If pan frying your quesadillas (oven instructions below the image) heat a pan on medium-high heat, add a little oil if using, then add one tortilla and let it warm up for about 30 seconds. Flip and sprinkle half a cup of grated cheese over the warmed side of the tortilla.
A grid of four images showing making quesadailla stuffing, then melting cheese on a tortilla and adding the stuffing.
  1. Wait until the cheese has mostly (but not all the way) melted.
  2. Add 1/3 cup (about six tablespoons) of the filling over one-half of the tortilla.
  3. Fold the cheesy half over the half with the filling, using a large spatula, and press down. Cook on both sides for one-two minutes until golden brown. Note that if you opted not to use oil, your quesadillas won’t be quite as brown.
  4. Remove the quesadilla from the pan and when cool enough to handle (but still warm) use sharp kitchen shears or a pizza cutter to slice it into three pieces (using a dull knife will make the filling squeeze out). Serve immediately or place in an oven at 300ºF (150ºC) while making the rest of the quesadillas.
Split image showing a browned quesadilla in a pan, then being snipped with scissors.

Expert tip: To make the quesadillas even faster you can skip steps 2-4 and simply put half the cheese on one half of a tortilla, the topping on top, and follow with the remaining cheese. Lower the heat to medium and cook on both sides for two-three minutes until golden and the cheese is melted. This way you can fit two quesadillas in the pan at the same time.

Oven quesadillas

If you have a large oven with two-three very large baking sheets or trays, you can make all the quesadillas at the same time. Make up the quesadillas as in the expert tip above. Line the trays or sheets with baking paper and use a pastry brush to lightly oil the paper (use about a tablespoon of oil altogether).

Next, place the folded quesadillas on the tray and use the same brush to lightly oil the tops of them (up to one more tablespoon of oil). The oil is optional but will help your quesadillas to crisp up. Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220º) and then bake the quesadillas for 8 minutes. At eight minutes, remove the trays, carefully flip the quesadillas, and return to the oven for a further six minutes.

Remove and allow the quesadillas to cool for two minutes before cutting into thirds.

Did you make this recipe? Let me know how much you loved it with a star rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐, review, and/or comment below.

Yield: 6 main servings

Epic Quesadilla Platter

A wooden board with quesadillas and dips on it.

See how to make an epic quesadilla platter for entertaining or parties. Use whichever dips you prefer or follow my recommendations, your favorite quesadilla recipe, plain cheese quesadillas, or the simple recipe I included below.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 seconds
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes 15 seconds

Ingredients

For the platter

  • 12 quesadillas (folded in half tortillas, use your favorite recipe or the simple optional one below)
  • 1 cup salsa of choice (recommended: fresh salsa, blender salsa, or salsa verde)
  • 4 x ½ cup amounts of other dips (see notes for suggestions)

For decorating the platter

  • ¼ - ½ cup thinly sliced peppers (jalapeños, pickled jalapeños, sweet peppers, etc.)
  • 1 handful of fresh cilantro
  • 3.5 ounces tortilla chips of choice

Simple quesadilla recipe (optional)

  • 12 flour tortillas (10-inch)
  • 6-7 cups cheese (Cheddar or Monterey Jack)
  • 13 oz black beans (2 ½ cups, 360g)
  • 8 oz cherry tomatoes (about 30, 255g)
  • 1 medium onion (1 ½ cups chopped, 190g)
  • ½ cup green salsa (120ml)
  • 1-2 tablespoons oil, optional

Instructions

Making the platter

1. Use a platter, tray, or board of around 38 cm by 52 cm (15 inches by 20.5 inches), slightly bigger is fine, or if you have nothing suitable you can even use baking paper on a table. Optionally, you can line whatever you're using with baking paper anyway for easier clean-up.

2. Decant your chosen salsas and dips into five containers (or use the container they came in if you're using shop-bought sauces, but you'll need a slightly bigger platter).

3. Place a cup of salsa for dipping in the very center of the board.

4. Place two smaller bowls on the board, one in the upper right corner and one in the lower left corner.

5. Place one more bowl two inches above the main bowl to the left, and the last one two inches below the main bowl to the right (see the process photos in the above article if needed).

6. Make the tortillas according to the recipe you're using or use my simple recipe below. If not baking your tortillas all at once, and making them on the stovetop, leave them in the oven at 300ºF (150ºC) while you're making all of them so that they all stay nice and hot when ready to serve. Cut each folded quesadilla into three pieces.

7. Place a layer of slightly overlapping quesadillas around the main salsa dish in the middle, and then arrange more quesadillas around the board around the smaller dips, without squishing them into any spaces available (don't worry about gaps)-

8. Place a second layer of quesadillas closer to the edges of the board until all the quesadillas are on the board.

Decorate the platter

1. Finishing off your platter is easy. Take the tortilla chips and drop handfuls of them in any gaps on the board.

2. Thinly slice fresh or pickled hot or sweet peppers (like jalapeños) and sprinkle them around the board.

3. Pick out a few fronds of cilantro and tuck them in corners and on top of some areas of the board, then chop the rest and sprinkle over. Done!

Simple quesadilla recipe (optional)

1. Roughly chop the cherry tomatoes, finely chop the onion, and mix with the black beans and green salsa to make the filling. Then choose whichever option you prefer below. Oiling the pans is optional and will result in a more golden and crispier quesadilla.

2. (option 1 - 48 minutes) For crispy pan-fried quesadillas, heat a non-stick pan on medium-high. Brush with a little oil. Add one tortilla to the pan. After 30 seconds, flip the tortilla and sprinkle half a cup of cheese evenly over the tortilla. When the cheese is half melted, add a third of a cup of filling over half the tortilla. Fold the tortilla, using a large spatula, and press down firmly. Let cook for a further one-two minutes until golden and crispy underneath, and then flip and do the same to the other side. Keep in an oven preheated to 300ºF (150ºC) while you make the rest of the quesadillas. Cut into thirds and use on your platter.

3. (option 2 - 24 minutes) Heat a non-stick pan on medium heat and brush with a little oil. Prepare two tortillas by sprinkling a quarter cup of cheese over half the tortilla, adding a third of a cup of filling, and topping with a further quarter cup of cheese for each one. Fold both tortillas and add to the pan. Cook for one-two minutes each side until golden and the filling has melted.

4. (option 3 - 15 minutes) Preheat the oven beforehand to 425ºF (220º). Prepare all the tortillas as in the 2nd option, folded over with cheese on the bottom, filling in the middle, and more cheese on top. Get two - three large oven trays or baking sheets ready by lining with baking paper and lightly brush the baking paper with oil. Place the folded quesadillas on the trays, with at least an inch space around them for optimal crispiness. Lightly brush the tops with oil. Bake for 8 minutes, then flip the tortillas, and bake for 6-7 minute more until done.

5. Cut each folded quesadilla into three pizza-slice-shaped portions when they are cool enough to handle (but still hot). To avoid handling them much or squishing out filling with a blunt knife, I recommend using sharp kitchen shears or a pizza cutter to cut them.

6. Enjoy!

Notes

For the other dips in the photos, I used spicy crema, guacamole, nacho cheese, and black bean corn feta dip. You can make your own, or use shop-bought. I also recommend; Chunky tomato salsa, mango salsa, corn salsa, cowboy caviar, sour cream, creme fraiche, or queso dip.

Nutrition Information

Yield

6

Serving Size

2 quesadillas

Amount Per Serving Calories 528Total Fat 30gSaturated Fat 19gCholesterol 85mgSodium 940mgCarbohydrates 36gFiber 2gSugar 34gProtein 2esadg

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