A lot of people have asked me, how do you make the perfect gluten-free and vegan quesadilla? Yes, quesadillas are very easy. I would say most people don’t really need a recipe for quesadillas. It’s just fun to add whatever you have on hand. The real struggle for people with food allergies, especially those new to food allergies, is figuring out what products work best. This post will focus on what products I love to use for quesadillas and will also include an easy recipe you can follow.
Choosing the Right Tortilla for your Quesadilla
There are three gluten-free tortillas I really love. Each of them is actually pretty different and are good for different reasons.
Trader Joe’s or Food for Life Brown Rice Tortillas
This is the tortilla I used for this recipe.
I’m listing both brands for this tortilla because I’m pretty sure they’re both made by Food for Life. Trader Joe’s sells them under their own brand though and if you can get those, it is a little bit cheaper.
These tortillas definitely do not taste like flour tortillas. They are dry and kind of hard. Regardless of the differences, I think they are delicious. They have a hearty texture that will leave you full.
You need to warm them up if you don’t want them to break. I like to heat them on the stove and get the outside a little bit crisp for my quesadillas.
Mission Gluten Free Soft Tortillas
These are so delicious. This will remind you of a flour tortilla. It’s soft and starchy and tastes like white flour. They are a little bit easier to fold than the brown rice tortillas, just be careful not to overstuff.
Even better, they have a good price tag if you buy them at Walmart. (contains soy)
Corn Tortillas (any brand works)
If cross-contamination is not an issue for you, then any brand of corn tortillas is perfect. The corn tortillas need to be heated before you use them. Otherwise, they are dry and will tear easily. You can microwave them or heat them in a pan for a crispy texture.
Choosing the Right Vegan Cheese for your Quesadilla
Vegan cheese a fickle beast. None of them emulate cheese perfectly, but some come pretty close. I would say they are all good at melting, which is what you want in a quesadilla.
If the flavor bothers you, only use a little bit to give you a melty texture and then add other ingredients to mask the flavor. This is how I normally use fake cheese. I mix in small amounts with other ingredients.
Daiya Mozzarella cutting board style shreds
This is a great cheese because of how melted it gets. I don’t think Daiya has the best flavor, but it does win in melted texture. Don’t ever try to eat Daiya right out of the bag, trust me. Daiya needs to be melted for the flavors to really come alive.
Although Daiya is not good as a stand-alone cheese, it really does work great when you use just enough to add a good melty texture.
Follow Your Heart Mozzarella style shreds
This is one of my favorites in terms of taste. It does melt but Daiya melts a bit better. It has a light flavor that is tasty in almost everything. I would still say, don’t use as much of this as you would dairy-full cheese.
Parmela Creamery Mozzarella style shreds
This dairy-free cheese is out of this world. Amazing aged flavor, great eaten right out of the bag. My only two negatives, it does not melt perfectly and it is very pricey. Definitely more of a treat on my grocery store budget.
Other Great Ingredients for your Quesadilla
An authentic Mexican quesadilla typically only has cheese. However, being an American, my quesadillas can be very extra. 🙂 Especially when using vegan cheese, the whole thing tastes a lot better with some extra “stuff”.
Here are some examples of my favorite quesadilla add-ins:
- Leafy greens like spinach, escarole, or arugula
- Meat like hot dogs, ground meat, cold cuts, shrimp (not vegan)
- Black beans, pinto beans, black-eyed peas
- Onions, garlic, or green onion
- Sweet Peppers
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Gluten Free and Vegan Quesadilla
- 1 brown rice tortilla
- 1/4 cup Parmela mozzarela style cheese
- 1/2 of a green onion - sliced
- 1 large handful baby spinach
- 1 tablespoon Just Ranch vegan dressing
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce of choice
- Place your tortilla in a large pan and heat on medium. Sprinkle on your vegan cheese, green onion slices, baby spinach, ranch, and hot sauce. Cover and let the inside cook for about 2 minutes or until cheese begins to melt.
- Fold your quesadilla with a spatula. Cook uncovered on medium for about 5 additional minutes on each side or until each side is lightly browned and crispy.
Awesome guide and recipe! I love making impromptu quesadillas 🙂 My favorite dairy-free cheeses are Go Veggie and Daiya. I’ve never heard of Parmela, I’ll have to check them out.
Thank you, Jenna! Same, quesadillas are my go-to lazy snack or lunch. Yes definitely try Parmela. It’s more of a treat purchase because of the price, but definitely worth trying!