Time for another week, friends! If you’re like me, or like so many of the people I’ve talked to about this recently, it’s been a rough go lately. Either really struggling with mental health stuff, or not really feeling their job, or stressed about life stuff, or a combination of the three. Either way, it’s no fun. I’ve been trying to have more patience with myself if I haven’t been able to be as productive or social as usual and trying to give others grace when they seem to be having the same struggles. I’m not saying it’s easy, especially for me it’s far easier to give others grace than to give it to myself, but I think we’ll all be better off if we can try for it.
A big part of setting myself up for a good (or at least okay!) week is getting my meal prep done, even if I don’t really feel like it. This week, I wanted to use the sausage I had in my freezer but also kind of wanted a quesadilla so here we are – the classic sausage, peppers, and onion combo in a quesadilla!
Quesadillas are always delicious and I usually have some tortillas in the freezer so I can make a quesadilla at a moment’s notice. I focus on a few key elements to make sure they’re always amazing:
- the quesadilla – truly the base for the entire meal! I like using the small, whole wheat quesadillas because I think they’re easier for assembly and I like the flavor of the whole wheat ones
- the protein – really anything you’d like will work, but keep in mind that you don’t want anything that’s going to introduce a lot of liquid to the party. For this version I used sweet Italian sausage that I browned and cooked through
- the veg – peppers and onions were my choice this time! I cooked them down before popping them in the quesadillas both to ensure that they’d be fully cooked and also to prevent them from releasing extra moisture into the quesadilla
- the cheese – I guess you can have a quesadilla without cheese but really, what’s the point? I like grating my own cheese because it usually melts better and it’s cheaper, but you do you. I used pepperjack because I had some already in the fridge
- the toppings – I never put salsa in my quesadillas because it brings too much moisture into the equation, especially when you’re using this for meal prep, but I love all kinds of toppings for quesadillas! Salsas, avocado, sour cream, really anything will work!
Meal Prep Tips
When making quesadillas for meal prep, there are a few key things to keep in mind: how much moisture is in the fillings you’re using, storage once they’re made, and how you reheat them.
- moisture – moisture is really the enemy of a good mealprep quesadilla. If there’s a lot of moisture in the filling, it will make a soggy tortilla, especially while sitting in the fridge for a few days, and no one wants a soggy quesadilla. If you don’t introduce much moisture in the first place, then you drastically decrease the chance of a soggy quesadilla. To do this, make sure all fillings are pre-cooked and remove moisture from them whenever possible. Also, treat your salsa as a topping rather than a filing! This is also why I bake my quesadillas when making them for meal prep. It’s quicker and keeps things crisp and dry.
- storage – let the quesadillas FULLY cool before popping them into a container and into the fridge. If they’re still warm, there will be condensation on the inside of the container that will then absorb back into the quesadilla, ruining all of your efforts to keep them from being soggy.
- reheating – the quickest, easiest way to reheat is in the microwave. While this won’t result in a crispy tortilla, it also doesn’t have to mean a soggy one. wrap the quesadilla in a paper towel before microwaving and you’ll be in good shape. For a nice crispy tortilla, reheat in the oven for 10ish minutes and you’ll be all set!
The variations for quesadillas are truly never ending! Just pick a protein, cheese, and veg (optional, but I like it!) that all goes well together, unite them behind a single spice story, meaning spices that all go together, and you’re in great shape! Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Buffalo chicken with a ranch dipping sauce
- Vegetarian version with roasted sweet potatoes, eggplant, cheese, and a tahini dipping sauce
- Chicken & Veg Quesadillas
- Pulled Chicken Quesadillas
I hope this sounds as good to you as it does to me! Have a great week, y’all 🙂
Sausage, Peppers, & Onions Quesadilla
This delicious meal prep (or dinner!) combines the classic sausage, peppers, & onion flavors with the deliciousness of a quesadilla. So tasty, so easy, and so fun!
- 1 lb sweet or hot italian sausage
- 2 bell peppers
- 1 small yellow onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- red pepper flakes to taste
- 8 oz cheese of choice (I used pepperjack), grated, divided
- 12 small tortillas
- toppings, if desired
- cook the meat: heat a large pan over medium heat. add the sausage, pressing into one layer, and cook for 5-6 minutes until the bottom is nicely browned. Flip and use a spatula or wooden spoon to break into small pieces and cook until there is no pink left. remove the meat from the pan, leaving behind the rendered fat
- prep the veg: while the meat is cooking, slice the bell peppers and onion and mince the garlic. set aside
- cook the veg: in the pan the meat was in, add the bell peppers, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. cook until the peppers are softened and the onion is translucent, about 10-12 minutes
- preheat the oven to 375*
- assemble the quesadillas: on two large baking sheets, arrange half of the tortillas. top each of them with some of the cheese, the cooked meat, the veg, the remaining cheese, and the final six tortillas
- bake: pop the assembled quesadillas into the oven for 10-15 minutes, until the top tortilla is slightly browned. let cool on a wire rack
- enjoy! if eating for dinner, serve with whatever toppings you'd like. if using for meal prep, let cool completely before storing. See note above for reheating instructions