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Three wedges of Cubano Quesadillas arranged on a bright blue plate next to a slice of dill pickle.

Cubano Quesadillas

Cubano Quesadillas are a fun way to use up leftover pork and/or ham. They're melty, tangy, and utterly delicious! Each quesadilla serves one for lunch (add a side dish to make a dinner of it!). The quesadillas also make a fun appetizer for up to 6.

Course Entree
Cuisine Comfort Food
Keyword cuban sandwich quesadilla, cubano, leftovers recipe, quesadilla
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 –4

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter softened
  • 2 flour tortillas (large, a.k.a. "burrito size")
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1/2 cup dill pickle thinly sliced and chopped; dried with paper toweling
  • 1 cup pork pulled or thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup ham (smoked or boiled; thinly sliced and chopped)
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 cups Swiss cheese shredded

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 170º (or the lowest setting your oven has). Spread 1/2 tbsp butter on one side of a flour tortilla. Turn the tortilla buttered-side-down and set into a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Working quickly, spread 1 tbsp mayonnaise on one half of the tortilla. Then, load the other half (leaving ~1/2" around the edge) with 1/4 cup of cheese, 1 tbsp mustard (or to taste), and 1/4 pickles. Add a layer of 1/2 cup of pulled pork and then a layer of 1/4 cup of ham. Sprinkle on 1/4 cup more cheese. Fold the tortilla over the filling and lid the skillet.

  2. Let cook 2–3 minutes, checking occasionally to be sure that the tortilla doesn't burn, until the cheese is beginning to melt and the bottom half of the tortilla is golden-brown. 

  3. Flip the quesadilla with a silicone spatula. Use a saucepan to press down on the quesadilla to flatten, being careful not to squeeze out the filling. Hold for 30 seconds. Let the quesadilla continue cooking until the second side is golden brown, about 2 additional minutes (check at 1 minute to make sure that it doesn't go too far). Set the finished quesadilla on a baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm. 

  4. Repeat for the remaining quesadilla. Set finished quesadillas onto a cutting board and cut each into 3 approximately equal wedges. Serve.

Recipe Notes

  1. To make the two Cubano quesadillas at the same time, assemble the quesadillas on a cutting board (through folding the other half of the tortilla over the filling). Carefully transfer the quesadillas to a large, non-stick skillet and proceed with the cooking instructions. Use a Dutch oven for the flattening step.