Pizza Quesadillas (Pizzadillas) are stuffed with mozzarella and pepperoni and dipped in a flavorful homemade pizza sauce for a fun, quick, and easy lunch idea!
As school wraps up for the year, I'm dusting off those lunch (and snacktime) recipes that are simple enough for my kids to make for themselves (or with minimal help)...yet yummy enough to keep their attention. Like tasty Pizza Quesadillas!
In summer, my kiddos revel in a little more lunchtime flexibility and variety than their typical lunchbox PB&Js. They enjoy lunches that are warm, like grilled cheese sandwiches with soup, or perhaps even reheated leftovers from the night before. They enjoy lunches that need to stay chilled (and might not be considered "lunchbox safe" during the school year), like mayo-based chicken salad or egg salad.
But one of my kids' favorite things to eat when they're home for lunch -- AKA, all summer long -- is quesadillas. Not only are they tasty, but they're quick and easy to throw together with lots of different ingredient options.
Since bean and cheese quesadillas can get a little boring, sometimes we like to change things up a bit. One way to do that is by turning their favorite pizza toppings into Pizza Quesadillas...lovingly referred to at our house as Pizzadillas!
This is not rocket science, y'all. This is pepperoni and melted mozzarella on a tortilla. My kids like their pizza (and apparently, their Pizza Quesadillas) simple, but you can certainly add your own favorite pizza toppings to jazz things up! A few ideas...
- Mushrooms and olives.
- Ham and pineapple for a Hawaiian twist.
- Jalapeños and anchovies? Or not...ha. 😉
At any rate, feel free to go crazy!
The Dipping Sauce
Regardless of how you stuff 'em, the thing that puts these Pizza Quesadillas over the top is the flavorful, AMAZING dipping sauce!
- It's basically just homemade pizza sauce, infused with lots of herbs and simmered on the stove (to thicken up a bit) while you cook the quesadillas.
- I like to add some crushed red pepper flakes to mine to give it a little heat, as well as a bit of sugar for a hint of sweetness to counter the acidity of the tomato sauce.
The result is a pizza sauce that's good enough to eat with a spoon. And it sure does take a humble, pepperoni + mozzarella pizzadilla to the next level!
So what do you like to eat for lunch when you're home? Any summer vacation favorites? Send some ideas my way, because we're always looking for more creative ideas to join these ever-popular Pizza Quesadillas. 🙂
More Kid-Friendly Lunch Ideas
- Homemade One-Pot Macaroni & Cheese
- Chicken Salad with Apples & Cashews
- Creamy Chicken Taco Hand Pies
- French Bread Taco Pizza
FOR THE DIPPING SAUCE:
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, optional
FOR THE QUESADILLAS:
- 4 (8-inch) white OR whole wheat flour tortillas
- 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 to 3 ounces pepperoni, diced
- In a small pot set over medium heat, stir together tomato sauce, tomato paste, sugar, basil, oregano, parsley, thyme, crushed fennel seeds, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and allow to heat and thicken while making the quesadillas, stirring occasionally.
- Assemble quesadillas by laying out two tortillas on a cutting board. Sprinkle EACH tortilla with 3/4 cup of shredded mozzarella, 1 tablespoon Parmesan, and 2 ounces of diced pepperoni. Lay the remaining tortillas on top.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Transfer an assembled quesadilla onto the skillet. Cook for a couple of minutes, occasionally lifting edge of quesadilla to check color of underside, until tortilla begins to turn golden and cheese starts to melt. Carefully flip quesadilla over and cook for another couple of minutes or until cheese is fully melted. Remove hot quesadilla to a plate and repeat with second quesadilla. Alternatively, you may cook both quesadillas at the same time on a flat griddle.
- Slice each quesadilla into 6 wedges and serve immediately with warm dipping sauce.
- All measurements are approximate. Use as much cheese, etc., as you like!
- The pepperoni I typically buy is very large and I prefer to dice it so that the whole piece doesn't pull out of the quesadilla when taking a bite...but leave it whole if you wish.
- Feel free to add any of your favorite pizza toppings to the quesadilla filling!
Originally published May 28, 2015.