Freezer Breakfast Quesadilla
If you could go back in time and give your high school self one gift, what would it be? I’d choose a freezer stocked with a Breakfast Quesadilla for every morning until graduation.
I’d also reassure myself that no one was going to remember that Kristen S. and I showed up to prom in the same dress (the horror!), and that, despite all current signs to the contrary, nice girls really do finish first in the end.
OK FINE. I’d also throw in a date with the super cute lead singer in our school’s one respectable rock band. I’m sure he’d love a breakfast quesadilla too!
I know I’ve mentioned this before, but my high school health habits were not the greatest. From the age of 16, most of my mornings began with a two-pack of brown sugar Pop-Tarts, eaten cold right out of the foil packet while driving myself to school.
Pop-Tarts and their shiny-wrapped counterparts were fast and convenient. I didn’t pay any attention to ingredient labels back then, so I attributed the fact that I was starving by second period to my metabolism, without considering the nutritional profile of my breakfast.
Nostalgia for the carefree Pop-Tart days aside, I now know enough about the human digestive system to realize that I should never have expected those sugary treats to hold me through to chemistry.
For both kids and adults, the key to staying full and happy all morning long is to have breakfast that’s high in protein and fiber and low in added sugar, critical qualities missing in the majority of pre-packed breakfast items.
My quest for healthy breakfasts that satisfy but still offer the tidy convenience of pre-packed items led me to today’s make-ahead breakfast quesadilla recipe.
This recipe came about one weekend when I’d made an aggressively large batch of breakfast quesadillas right before heading out of town, and rather than let them spoil, I decided to see what would happen if I tried to freeze the leftovers.
Guess what? A breakfast quesadilla and the freezer are long-lost BFFs! You can make as much of the scrambled egg quesadilla filling as you like, stuff the tortillas, then wrap them individually in plastic and freeze.
To reheat, pop them in the microwave from frozen if you are in a hurry, or let them thaw overnight in the refrigerator and brown them lightly on the stovetop as time allows.
This breakfast quesadilla recipe is ultra versatile, so feel free to change out the ingredients to suit your preferences. I went for one of my favorite combos, spinach and white beans, then added garlic and a generous handful of sharp white cheddar cheese.
This is a vegetarian breakfast quesadilla recipe, and I found it plenty satisfying, even without meat. The beans and cheese offer bonus protein and make each breakfast quesadilla rich and filling. If you care to throw in a handful of diced bacon, ham, or a little chicken or turkey sausage, that certainly would be delicious too. The spinach is mild and a sneaky way to coerce your kids (and yourself) to knock out a serving of veggies before 10 a.m.
Make Ahead Breakfast Quesadilla with Cheese Spinach and White Beans
- 10 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 cups lightly packed fresh spinach — roughly torn or chopped (about 4 ounces)
- 1 can reduced-sodium white beans — (15 ounces) , such as cannellini, Great Northern, or white kidney, rinsed and drained (I typically use cannellini)
- 1 1/2 cups freshly grated cheese — such as cheddar, Swiss, mozzarella, or another similar melty cheese; I love sharp white cheddar (about 5 ounces)
- 8 whole wheat tortillas — medium taco size, about 7 inches
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Set aside.
Add the olive oil to a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until it is hot and shimmers. Swirl to coat the pan, then add the spinach and cook, stirring often, until it begins to wilt, about 1 minute. Add the beans, reduce the heat to medium low, then carefully pour in the eggs. With a rubber spatula, cook the eggs low and slow, using the spatula to move them around the pan often. Continue cooking until the eggs are scrambled and just set, about 5 minutes. Taste and season with additional salt or pepper as desired. Remove from the heat. (If freezing the quesadillas, let the filling cool completely.)
To assemble the quesadillas: Sprinkle a tortilla with one-eighth of the shredded cheese, leaving a small border all the way around the edge. Spoon one-eighth of the egg mixture on top, then fold the tortilla in half. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
To cook immediately: Carefully wipe out the skillet. Increase the heat to medium and lightly coat the skillet with nonstick spray (or brush with a bit of additional olive oil). Cook the assembled quesadillas on both sides until golden and the cheese is melted, about 5 to 6 minutes total. Cut into wedges and serve warm.
To freeze: Let the egg filling cool completely to room temperature. Once cooled, form the quesadillas as directed above, then wrap each assembled quesadilla individually in plastic wrap. Arrange the quesadillas in a single layer on a baking sheet or similar flat surface that will fit in your freezer. Place the sheet in the freezer until the quesadillas are firm, then transfer them to a freezer bag or airtight container. Freeze for up to 2 months. To cook from frozen, remove the plastic wrap and warm the quesadilla in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes until heated through. Alternatively, you can let them thaw overnight in the refrigerator and cook in a skillet as directed above.
- See recipe directions for notes on freezing the quesadillas. You can also store the egg filling separately in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, then assemble the quesadillas just before cooking. I do not recommend storing assembled quesadillas in the refrigerator, as the tortillas can become mushy.
Nutrition InformationAmount per serving (1 quesadilla) — Calories: 331, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 251mg, Sodium: 477mg, Carbohydrates: 33g, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 3g, Protein: 20g
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I originally shared this post in partnership with the American Dairy Association Mideast. In August 2017, I republished it (uncompensated) with new photos, as it’s a great recipe and I wanted it to look its best. As always, all opinions are my own, and thanks for supporting the brands and companies that make it possible for me to provide quality content to you!
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