Southwestern Potato Quesadilla

  • Morgan Hass for Cooking Channel
Total Time:
25 min
17 min
Inactive Prep:
8 min
4 quesadillas


  • 1 cup leftover Southwest Mash , recipe follows
  • Eight 5 1/2-inch corn tortillas
  • 1 small bunch fresh cilantro, plucked (just the leaves and soft stems)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Cotija cheese (about 2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack (about 2 ounces)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Crema and salsa verde, for serving, optional
  • 2 pounds large Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 medium poblano peppers
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 1/2 cups crema or sour cream, at room temperature
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat a cast-iron grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat.

Spread 1/4 cup mashed potatoes on to 4 tortillas, leaving 1/2-inch border. Top with a few sprigs of cilantro. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons Cotija and then 2 tablespoons Monterey Jack over the potatoes. Top with the remaining 4 tortillas and brush lightly with some oil.

In two batches, place the quesadillas, oiled-side down, on the grill pan and cook until crisp with grill marks and heated through, about 2 minutes. Brush the tops with a little more oil before flipping and cook an additional 2 minutes. Cut the quesadillas into wedges and top with cilantro leaves. Serve hot with crema and salsa verde if desired.

Put the potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with cold water by about 1 inch and add 2 tablespoons salt. Bring to a boil, uncovered, over high heat, and then reduce the heat to medium-high and simmer briskly until fork tender, about 45 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pan. Coarsely mash with a traditional potato masher.

While the potatoes are cooking, char the poblanos on all sides under a broiler, 5 to 7 minutes. Place in a bowl and cover with a plate or plastic wrap to cool. Once cool, peel, seed and slice the peppers into thin 2-inch-long strips. Set aside.

Meanwhile, preheat a grill pan over high heat. Lay the onion slices on the pan and grill, turning until cooked through but still firm with distinct grill marks on each side, about 8 minutes total. Let cool and coarsely chop.

Mash the crema into the potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Gently fold in the peppers and onions to make a chunky mashed potato. Serve hot.