These simple ingredients are the magic behind Grilled Potato Spinach Quesadillas.
Grilled Potato Spinach Quesadillas Inspiration
I developed this recipe in March of 2020. At the time, Covid lockdowns had severely limited the variety of groceries available. With the four ingredients listed above, and a few other things I had on hand, the Grilled Potato Spinach Quesadilla was born.
I never imagined that this simple recipe would become the most popular recipe on the website.
But over 10 million repins later, that’s exactly what happened.
Surely the simplicity of ingredients is a great contributor to why this recipe resonates. Tortillas, potatoes, spinach, and cheese are staple ingredients in most homes.
These untraditional quesadillas underscore how good food doesn’t have to be fancy. Good food comes from simple ingredients prepared well.
Another secret behind this recipe is flexibility.
These quesadillas are easily made gluten-free by using gluten-free corn tortillas.
They’re easily made vegan by using vegan cheese. (I prefer Miyoko’s Farmhouse Cheddar.)
You can use any size of tortilla.
You can use just about any type of potato. (Don’t use sweet potatoes.)
Make Grilled Potato Spinach Quesadillas!
These quesadillas have inspired several variations, including my Beyond Meat Grilled Quesadillas, Holiday Leftover Grilled Quesadillas, and Ukrainian Grilled Potato Spinach Piroshki.
If you love the classic, be sure to check out these recipes as well.
Grilled Potato Spinach Quesadillas have become a staple meal in our home.
You probably have all the ingredients on hand. So, make these quesadillas tonight for a delicious, simple meal the whole family will enjoy.
A Few Things!
This is a flexible recipe. But, as my video tutorial above demonstrates, I prefer to use mini street taco size tortillas, and russet, white, or yellow potatoes in the filling.
These quesadillas are grilled in the frying pan. Here’s my favorite spatula for flipping the quesadillas [aff. link]. It’s technically a cookie spatula, but I love how the smaller size of this spatula gives me more control over what I flip and where it lands.
(Hopefully in the frying pan.)
You can also find this spatula in my Amazon store here.
Grilled Potato Spinach Quesadillas
For the potato filling:
- 1 ½ pounds potatoes, peeled; preferably a white or yellow potato variety, such as russet or Yukon gold.
- ¼ cup milk of choice, I prefer unsweetened almond milk
- 2 Tbsp butter, use Earth Balance or substitute with olive oil to keep vegan
- 2 Tbsp mascarpone, (optional, but highly recommended; omit to keep vegan, or substitute with vegan cream cheese)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion salt
- 2-3 cups fresh spinach, or 8-12 oz frozen
- 1-2 cups cheddar, freshly grated (omit to keep vegan, or use your favorite vegan cheddar)
- Tortillas, any size you have on hand; I prefer the mini street taco size flour tortillas and the mini street taco size corn tortillas
- olive oil or canola oil, for frying
Boil the Potatoes
- Bring the potatoes to a boil in a large soup pot of water. There should be at least 1 inch of water above the potatoes.
- Boil for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft, and a fork goes easily through when the potatoes are pricked.
- Note: if using large potatoes, I recommend cutting them in halves or quarters before boiling so they cook faster.
Drain the potatoes and add the seasonings
- Once the potatoes are cooked through, drain the potatoes, and put them back in the pot.
- To the pot, now add the milk, butter, mascarpone, salt, garlic powder, and onion salt.
Mash the potatoes
- With a handheld mixer, mix the potatoes on medium speed until smooth, and the butter and mascarpone are completely incorporated.
Add the spinach
- Now add the spinach. Stir everything together with a silicone spatula until the spinach wilts and turns bright green.
- Note: if using frozen spinach, cook the spinach on the stovetop until warm before adding to the potatoes. Frozen spinach will also probably turn your potatoes a little green, but the quesadillas will still be delicious.
Compile the quesadillas
- Now take a tortilla. Spread your desired amount of potato filling on half of the tortilla.
- Sprinkle some freshly grated cheddar over the potato filling.
- Now fold the other half of the tortilla over the top of the potato filling and cheddar.
- Repeat this process until you’ve used up all of the potato filling.
Grill the quesadillas
- In a medium to large-sized skillet, heat a few Tbsp of olive oil or canola oil over medium heat for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Once the oil is hot, add a quesadilla or two to the skillet. The amount of quesadillas you grill at one time will depend on the size of tortillas used.
- Grill/fry the quesadillas over medium heat until the side in the pan turns golden brown, about 2-4 minutes.
- Flip each quesadilla over, and grill the other side until golden brown, another 2-4 minutes.
- Take the quesadillas out of the skillet, and put them on a paper towel-lined plate to remove excess oil.
- Repeat the grilling process with all the quesadillas you’ve assembled.
Serve and Enjoy!
- Serve the quesadillas alone, or with your favorite condiments, such as sour cream and Sriracha.
- Make these quesadillas a meal with my Champagne Vinaigrette Salad, my Kale Salad with Creamy Cilantro Dressing, or my Crisp Greek Salad.
Oh, quesadillas! I love a good ‘dilla, and these are making my stomach growl. (For the record, it’s only 6:45am here, and you’ve got me craving quesadillas already. Haha!) So I’ve put roasted potatoes on pizza, but I’ve never used potatoes in a quesadilla. I’m intrigued! And the spoonful of mascarpone for the creaminess factor is an awesome idea. We’ve been “teaching” Robbie how to cook during the quarantine, and I’m thinking these need to be on our menu soon. (And by “teaching” I mean trying to entertain him without too much screen time!) Stay safe (and sane) my friend!
Thank you so much David that is such an amazing compliment! Awww that is so sweet, this is the perfect time to teach our little ones how to cook! Robbie is so lucky to have a dad who is such a pro in the kitchen! Hope you and your sweet family are staying safe and healthy as well!
We loooove grilled quesadillas in this house! Using potato and spinach for the filling is such a great idea and I am sure it is delightful with the gooey cheese and the crunchy quesadilla pocket. Thanks so much for sharing and I hope you’re all staying safe. xx
Thanks Katerina! Quesadillas are such a fabulous family meal! Awww thank you so much, so far we are staying healthy! Hope you and your sweet family are as well! ❤️
This seems so unusual to me, and so intriguing. I’ll bet the texture is to die for, and who doesn’t love potatoes and cheese?
Thank you Jeff! The texture is to die for, if I do say so myself. 😃 And you are so right, the combination of potatoes and cheese is one of the best of all time. Absolutely love it!
The texture of these quesadillas is AMAZING. This was such a clever pairing, Shannon! The smoothness of the potatoes really compliments the crispiness of the tortilla. I could eat these ALL DAY.
Thanks MacKenzie! Haha I am right there with you! I could eat these all day, every day, and be completely happy. 😄
Hey Shannon…..greetings from the UK. I have a question…🤪. Planning a belated party for family (once restrictions end) and keeping busy looking for ‘prepare ahead & heat/re-heat’ ideas. Would these work to prepare all the way through…..cool….put in the fridge and reheat in the oven under foil…? I love the idea of them but don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen doing 2-3 at a time for 25 family members 😱😱 lol. They sound soooo yum …..I just know they’d have me back in the kitchen for 25 more 🤣🤣. Helen x
Hi Helen! 🙋♀️ Sounds like an amazing party, I hope all the restrictions end soon! These quesadillas are definitely a great make-ahead meal. Whenever we have leftovers, they are super easy to re-heat and enjoy the next day. Haha, I totally relate! No fun having guests if you have to spend the whole time in the kitchen away from the conversation! You could definitely make these quesadillas ahead, and re-heat them in the oven on a cookie sheet just before meal time. I would say leave them uncovered during re-heating so the tortilla crisps back up fully. My favorite re-heating method is to lay the quesadillas out on a cookie sheet, and re-heat in the oven at 375 degrees for 7 minutes. Then flip each quesadilla (so the other side of the tortilla has a good chance to crisp back up as well!) and heat for another 5 minutes. Thank you so much for your lovely comment Helen, hope your party can happen very very soon! 😃❣️😃
These were delicious! My picky family loved them and gave their approval to put this on our regular meal rotation. I used just half the garlic powder and half the salt that it called for, and 1 Tbs. of vegan cream cheese. On each quesadilla I used 1/2 slice of VioLife Cheddar Cheese slices cut in strips and spaced across the potato filling. I also added a sprinkle of chopped cilantro. I cooked each one in just a tiny bit of Country Crock Plant Butter and served with sour cream. I used flour tortillas for some of my kids and yellow corn tortillas for mine for more of a taco taste. Everyone agreed that these were a winner!!!!
Thank you so much for your comment Beth! I am absolutely thrilled that these were such a hit with your family. I love your substitutions, and the addition of cilantro is such a delicious idea. 😋 Thank you again for giving the recipe a try, hope you and your family have a lovely weekend! ❤️
These are great! I’m so glad you have notes about how to make this vegan, as I cannot do dairy. Can’t wait to try these!
Thank you so much for your comment.😃 Oh yes, these are great vegan as well! Hope you enjoy them!
Hi Shannon, these sound awesome. Like one of the previous comments I was also interested in making these ahead of time. Would they work if made completely than frozen ready to pop in the oven?
Hi Carole! Excellent question, you can absolutely make these quesadillas completely ahead of time, then freeze, and warm them back up in the oven later. To reheat from frozen, pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Lay the quesadillas out on a baking sheet so they’re not touching each other (this will help the tortillas get crisp again), and put the quesadillas in the oven for about 7 minutes. Take the baking sheet out of the oven, flip each quesadilla, and re-heat for about another 7 minutes. This will both warm the filling, and get the tortillas crisp again. (I’ve noticed that the time it takes to re-heat from frozen is surprisingly only a minute or two longer than re-heating from the refrigerator.) Thanks for your question Carole, hope you enjoy the quesadillas! ♥️
These sound wonderful! I love all your directions too, very clear, so nice. When I was reading the recipe I was thinking how good some pesto would be with these. Hope to try them soon! Thank again for the wonderful recipe.
And just a side note…tho not vegan I love a potato omelet! Especially with green onions and cheese! Makes my mouth water.
Thanks Kathy! Adding pesto is a great idea, I am definitely trying that! I’m such a fan of potato omelets as well. Sounds delicious. 😋
what a perfect combination for a quesadilla. As a potato lover, Sounds delicious to me
These are addicting! Make these a few times a month in our house.
Great to hear, thanks Janae!
Can’t believe how good these are! I use Yukon gold potatoes.
Может, сказать ей, что в сковороде можно сразу по 3 штуки жарить?))) классный рецепт!
Thanks for commenting Anna! If you use smaller tortillas, you can definitely fry three quesadillas at a time.
So easy and delicious! I make these all the time!
That’s great to hear, thanks Brenda!
OMG delicious! So easy to make too.
Love these. Enough said.
That’s great to hear, thanks Jade!
Obviously your recipe is a hit. I’m thinking I’ll try substituting coconut cream for the mascarpone – what do you think? I just started cooking vegan.
Hi Cleta, that’s awesome that you’ve just started cooking vegan! It’s so rewarding and delicious. You could substitute coconut cream for the mascarpone in the mashed potatoes. My only concern would be that, if you’ve got a sensitive palate, the coconut could be a strong taste. When I make these quesadillas vegan, I usually sub the mascarpone with Tofutti Brand Dairy-Free Sour Cream, or Tofutti’s Dairy-Free Cream Cheese. Both are available at most grocery stores. Hope you enjoy the quesadillas!
I’m not an experienced home cook. But I was able to make these and they were delicious!
That’s awesome, I’m so happy to hear Betsy!
Sounds delicious. I’d add some onion, just because.
You might explain that freshly grated cheese is a better choice because the bagged cheese has cellulose added to limit clumping. It makes the cheese less meltable.
Thanks Libby! Onion would be a great addition. Adding info about the benefits of freshly grated cheese is a great idea. I discuss cellulose and natamycin in another recipe here. I’ll add the link to the recipe notes, thanks!
Made these tonight for dinner. My husband enjoyed them so much he took two of mine. 😁 Definitely keeping this recipe at the front of the list. Easy and tasty, great combination!
Haha that’s awesome Christine! 😆 I’m so glad these were a hit. Thanks for your lovely comment!
Usually when a recipe is as hyped up as this one I’m disappointed when I make it. But these were AMAZING. So worth the hype!
Thanks so much Kristie, that’s great to hear!
I’m obsessed love these! Going to try your quesadillas with beyond meat next
Excellent! Super easy and really delicious. 😋
Thanks for commenting Sasha, so glad to hear!
These are great! I’m dairy-free (but not vegan). Made these with earth balance, vegan cheddar and vegan cream cheese. Delicious!
Thanks Jo! That’s great to hear!
A repeat recipe for sure! I made these with the little tortillas you say to use. I had never used them before and they were great! Can’t wait to try your pesto version.
It’s all been said already, but these quesadillas are great! Can’t wait to make them when my daughter’s in town. She’s vegan and will love these with vegan cheese.
My whole family loved these quesadillas! Simple and delicious. Will make again, thanks!
This recipe was just what I needed this week. Tasty, easy, and affordable! Really appreciate recipes like this amidst rising prices. Thank you!
Making these for Christmas dinner. They’re always a hit with kids and adults. This recipe’s a keeper, thanks!
Thank you Amy!
Easy, affordable, and delicious. Made these for the kids over this Christmas break and they were a hit with the adults too! Will be making again for New Year’s party we do each year.
So good to hear, thanks Jacinda! Thanks for commenting!
Delicious! Made for my vegetarian guests and they loved it.
That’s so great to hear Donna, thank you! And thanks for making the quesadillas!
These quesadillas are amazing! Easy, affordable, and the kids loved them.
That’s great to hear Marion, thank you!
I added to the mash potatoes dice onion cooked in a little bit of olive oil or butter and it’s really good!
That’s a great idea to add diced onion Judith! What a delicious addition 😋. Thanks for making the quesadillas, and for commenting!