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Cyndi Allison - Grill Girl

Grilled Quesadillas

tortilla morguefile
Tortillas for Quesadillas

We love to grill, and we love Tex-Mex food, so it’s only natural that we do a lot of Mexican-inspired foods on the barbecue grill.

My youngest son is the quesadilla king. That is his favorite all-time, Tex-Mex dish (if you don’t include the cheese dip which he can eat by the gallon).

We do some breads on the grill, and tortillas are pretty sturdy. It seemed pretty likely that they would hold up to grilling. It did take a little experimenting to get a system down pat for making quesadillas, but it’s really not hard to make these tasty little treats on the grill.

Grilled Quesadillas

  • Soft taco wraps (or burrito wraps)
  • Cheese (Monterey Jack or mixed Mexican)


If we’re using soft taco wraps (which are small), then it takes two to make a quesadilla. For the larger burrito wraps, then it’s one folded over. They come out close the same size either way and small enough to flip without major problems.

I buy 2 packs of the small tacos (8 to each pack) or burritos at usually 10 per pack and then buy 8 oz of cheese. Sometimes I buy the bagged shredded cheese, but usually I have a block in the refrigerator and just shred it myself.

The amounts can vary, but that’s a good ballpark idea.

Preparing the Wraps

Taco and burrito wraps are pretty stiff, so I zap them in the microwave for a few seconds – not a lot. I’d run about 40 seconds for a pack of 8 soft taco wraps. They shouldn’t be soft like when making soft tacos in the house. They should just be a little more flexible than right out of the package.

When the wraps are lightly warmed, I cover them with paper towels and then a very lightly damp dish towel, so they stay pliable.

Building the Quesadillas

It’s easiest to put all the quesadillas together at once before starting to grill. It’s hard to make wraps and watch the ones grilling.
With soft taco shells, put down one. Put on some cheese. Top it. Repeat. Make a stack of quesadillas. With burrito wraps, sprinkle on cheese, fold the burrito, stack. Repeat.

Don’t put on too much cheese or it will run out while grilling. I’d estimate about ½ cup per soft taco quesadilla and about the same with the burrito wraps.

Grilling the Quesadillas

The wraps need some oil to keep from sticking to the grill. You can either grease the grill grates or use a brush and put oil right on the wraps before putting them on the grill. Any oil will work, but olive oil is especially good.

Carefully place quesadillas on a medium grill. Leave for a couple of minutes until there are grill marks on the wraps exposed to the heat. If you want crosshatch of tic-tac-toe crossed, then rotate once.

Flipping is the Hardest Part

The easiest way to flip quesadillas is to use a big spatula but not really a grill spatula. It’s easier to have a shorter handle and a thinner metal than typically seen on grill spatulas.

Have a heat proof plate in one hand and the spatula in the other. Slide the spatula under the quesadilla and put the plate close. Slide the quesadilla onto the plate.

Have a second plate close at hand. Put that over the plate holding the quesadilla and then invert of flip over so that the grilled side is up.
Take the second plate with the grilled side up and place it close the grates. Use the spatula to slide the quesadilla back onto the grill so that the other side can be cooked.

Ready to Eat

It takes another minute or two for the uncooked side to heat and show grill marks and for the cheese to be fully melted. It doesn’t take long though, so don’t wander off while making grilled quesadillas.

Again, use the spatula and plate and slide the finished quesadilla onto the plate, and that’s it. A grilled quesadilla.

Jazzing it Up

You can add other toppings to the quesadillas during the grilling process. Some examples would be onions, black olives and beans. If you add meat, just be sure to pre-cook any meat toppings. The quesadillas do not stay on the grill long enough to cook meat.

Once the grilled quesadillas are off the grill, then the toppings are typical Tex-Mex. Use salsa, sour cream, guacamole or anything other topping you like.

While you have the grill fired up, try some Gilled Nacho Chips too. Those are delicious and only take a few seconds to heat up.


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