Whipped up in just 10 minutes, these air fryer quesadillas are quick and easy to make, with whatever fillings you have on hand!
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Quesadillas have been one of my go-to easy lunches for ages now, but I've just discovered a way to make them even quicker and even easier to make - use the air fryer! These air fryer quesadillas can be whipped up in just 10 minutes - perfect when you're pushed for time (or even when you're not).
What are quesadillas?
Just in case you're not (yet) as enamoured with quesadillas as I am, I'll explain what they are.
Quesadillas are a Mexican / Tex-Mex dish, which are essentially two layers of crispy tortilla sandwiched around a hot filling. You can use whatever fillings you like, though I usually make sure I include some cheese, as when it melts, it acts as a kind of glue to hold the quesadilla together.
Sometimes I'll make a full size quesadilla, using two flat tortillas, and other times I'll make a smaller version, with one tortilla folded around the filling (like I did here). Either way works just fine - it just depends how hungry you are, and what else you're serving alongside your quesadillas.
Why make quesadillas in an air fryer?
Usually, I make my quesadillas in a frying pan. Admittedly, they're already really simple to make - just fry them in a dry pan for a few minutes each side.
But using the air fryer is even easier and more hands-off - and I'm willing to embrace anything that makes my life easier.
There are lots of advantages to using an air fryer to make your quesadillas:
- You don't need to pay any attention to the quesadillas as they cook - just set the air fryer to cook, and then you can ignore them until the machine beeps, with no risk of them burning (as long as you take them out after the time's up!)
- Air frying is a really quick way to cook - they're ready to eat in just 5 minutes (which is quicker than using a frying pan).
- The quesadillas end up beautifully crispy all over, and hot and gooey in the middle - without even having to flip them over.
I have a tendency to forget about what I'm cooking halfway through, so knowing my lunch will be ready in mere minutes, and I'll even get beeped at when it's ready to eat is really handy.
Ninja Foodie MAX Dual Zone air fryer
I've had an air fryer for a while now (see my air fryer fajitas!), and I cook in it at least a few times a week. But since I've seriously fallen in love with it, I've been finding myself wanting a larger one, so I can cook two things at the same time.
The Ninja Foodie MAX Dual Zone air fryer, which I got from very.co.uk, is exactly what I wanted. It has incredible reviews, and it's easy to see why. It's a large air fryer, but still looks attractive and sleek in the kitchen, and it's really easy to use.
The Ninja Foodie MAX has a really impressive capacity, with two separate cooking trays, so you can cook multiple things at the same time without anything getting mixed up.
I took full advantage of this by roasting up some diced potatoes to serve alongside my air fryer quesadillas (any excuse for roast potatoes, right?). I used the 'sync' feature to make sure the two pans of food would be ready at the same time, even though they took different amounts of time to cook - so handy for a scatterbrain like myself.
How to make quesadillas in an air fryer
Quesadillas can be made in the air fryer in just 10 minutes - which includes 5 minutes to assemble them, and 5 minutes for cooking. They're the perfect quick and easy vegetarian lunch!
Step 1: Add fillings to a flour tortilla
First, add your chosen fillings to one half of a flour tortilla.
Since quesadillas cook so quickly in the air fryer, you need to make sure you choose ingredients that don't need much cooking. They will end up warmed through, but don't use any really hard vegetables, for example, as they'll come out almost as hard as they were when they went in.
See below for lots more quesadilla filling ideas - this time, I used refried beans (make sure you choose vegetarian ones - these Old El Paso ones* are my favourite of all time!), spring onions, red pepper, and grated cheese.
Step 2: Fold the tortilla
Fold the tortilla in half over the fillings.
Or, if you want a quesadilla that's twice the size, use the full side of the tortilla, and place a second one on top.
Step 3: Place in the air fryer
Place your filled and folded tortilla in the basket of your air fryer.
Since air fryers cook with a blast of hot air, the top part of a quesadilla can sometimes be blown upwards during the first minute of cooking. To make sure your quesadilla stays closed, place an oven-proof item on top for the first couple of minutes (or for the whole cooking time, if you prefer).
A small heat-proof ramekin is ideal, or you can even just lay a metal fork across your quesadillas to weigh them down. Just remember that when you remove your item, it will be hot!
Step 4: Air fry for 5 minutes
The Ninja Foodie MAX air fryer has several different settings. I found the 'air fry' setting was perfect for cooking these quesadillas (the other settings are 'max crisp', 'roast', 'bake', 'reheat' and 'dehydrate').
The air fry setting defaults to 200°C (390°F), and 5 minutes was the perfect amount of time to give quesadillas that were crispy on the outside, with gooey melted cheese inside.
Other quesadilla filling ideas
As I mentioned previously, you can use all sorts of things to stuff your quesadillas - just don't choose anything that needs a lot of cooking.
Here are a few other quesadilla filling ideas:
- (vegetarian) refried beans
- tinned black beans
- tinned sweetcorn
- fresh tomatoes
- grated cheese
- crumbled feta
- black olives
- diced peppers
- spring onions
- diced red onion
- hummus (I love white bean hummus!)
Just choose 3 or 4 fillings from the above, and go to town.
If I make a larger quesadilla (two tortillas sandwiched together), I usually just serve them on their own.
But I really enjoyed making these half-sized ones this time, as I could serve up some side dishes too. I went for some crispy air fried roast potatoes and a green salad. I also served a little bowl of sour cream and chipotle sauce for dipping!
Since quesadillas are so quick to make, they're best cooked fresh, as this helps them to be nice and crispy.
If you do want to reheat a quesadilla later, you can zap it briefly in the microwave. However, this will make it a little soggy.
A better option is to reheat your quesadilla in the oven, a dry frying pan on the hob, or in the air fryer. Just a few minutes at a low heat should be enough to revive it, and to crisp it up again.
Absolutely! If you're a fan of cold pizza, you'll probably be a fan of cold quesadillas too. They're perfect for lunch boxes!
Have I inspired you to give these air fryer quesadillas a try? If so, head over to very.co.uk to grab your very own Ninja Foodie MAX Dual Zone air fryer!
10 Minute Air Fryer Quesadillas
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- 2 mini flour tortillas
- 2 tablespoon vegetarian refried beans
- ½ red pepper, diced
- 2 spring onions, sliced
- Small handful grated cheese (I used cheddar)
- Spread the refried beans over one half of each of the tortillas. Sprinkle with diced peppers and spring onions, as well as a generous amount of grated cheese. Fold the tortillas in half, and press down firmly over the fillings.
- Place the folded tortillas in the air fryer, and weigh down the tops with an oven-proof item, e.g. a small ramekin or a metal fork. Cook in the air fryer at 200°C (390°F) for 5 minutes, until crispy.
- Best served immediately.
Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on your exact ingredients. Please calculate your own nutritional values if you require accuracy for health reasons.