Grilled Veggie Quesadillas

Packed with summer flavor, these Grilled Veggie Quesadillas are a tasty way to enjoy dinner on the grill!

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Packed with summer flavor, these Grilled Veggie Quesadillas are a tasty way to enjoy dinner on the grill!We live by our grill in the summer months.  Technically I should say grills as we have 4 of ’em – each with it’s own special benefits.  Last weekend, we were craving quesadillas, so I decided to fire up the grill and add some tasty grilled flavor to this recipe.  The result?  Holy delicious quesadilla, Batman!  We started by grilling all of the veggies.  Then those veggies got stuffed into quesadillas (along with some cheese), and they went back onto the grill for a couple of minutes.  There is so much flavor going on with these grilled veggie quesadillas.  Trust me when I say that these deserve a spot on your summer grilling menu!

Packed with summer flavor, these Grilled Veggie Quesadillas are a tasty way to enjoy dinner on the grill!I put a bit of chopped cilantro into these quesadillas, and then I sprinkled more cilantro (coriander in some countries) on top before serving.  What are your opinions on cilantro?  I personally love it!  I like my guacamole (also pictured here) to be cilantro and lime forward.  However, I know some folks say cilantro tastes like dish detergent.  Mmmm…grilled veggie quesadillas topped with dish detergent.

So it turns out that your affinity or dislike for cilantro is actually genetic.  Yup, it’s in your blood.  Researchers have identified a specific gene cluster – OR6A2 – that causes folks with this gene to detect a dish detergent flavor in cilantro.  I did the whole DNA testing thing several years ago, and sure enough, there is a line in the report that says I do not have the OR6A2 gene cluster.  That helps explain why I love cilantro!

Packed with summer flavor, these Grilled Veggie Quesadillas are a tasty way to enjoy dinner on the grill!Taking the genetic thing one step further, this explains why some cultures – notably Hispanic and Middle Eastern – have a notable preference for cilantro.  Indeed, only 4% of folks with a Hispanic background and 3% with a Middle Eastern background dislike cilantro.  (Cilantro is used quite a bit in the foods in these regions.)  Compare that with 21% of folks with East Asian background and 17% with Caucasian background who dislike cilantro.  Researchers have noted that the OR6A2 gene cluster is more common in these ethnocultural groups.  Fascinating stuff!

So if you think cilantro tastes like soap, then you’re not alone.  You can just blame your genetics!  And obviously if cilantro isn’t your jam, then just leave it out of this Grilled Veggie Quesadillas recipe.  The ‘dillas will still be delicious without the added herb.

Packed with summer flavor, these Grilled Veggie Quesadillas are a tasty way to enjoy dinner on the grill!Grilled Veggie Quesadillas

Speaking of adding or taking ingredients away, these quesadillas are the ultimate in flexibility.  If you can grill it, then you can add it to these quesadillas!  One note on the grilled veggies: make sure to chop the veggies into much larger slices that you might think.  That will help them hold up better once they hit the grill.  For instance, I used 2 very large onions for this recipe.  I sliced each of those onions into just 4 slices.  These were monster-thick (almost 1″) slices of onion – but they cooked up beautifully on the grill!

Packed with summer flavor, these Grilled Veggie Quesadillas are a tasty way to enjoy dinner on the grill!Other fun veggie ideas would be eggplant, zucchini (courgette) and/or yellow squash.  All of these tend to hold up well on the grill, and they would bring a noticeable summer produce flavor to the finished quesadilla.  Whatever veggies you use, I do highly recommend tossing ’em with seasoned olive oil.  That step not only brings a ton of flavor, but it also helps the veggies cook up nicely on the grill.  I hope you enjoy these Grilled Veggie Quesadillas as much as we do – cheers to summer grillin’!

Did you make these grilled quesadillas at home?  Leave a comment, or better yet snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog).  I’d love to see your version!

Packed with summer flavor, these Grilled Veggie Quesadillas are a tasty way to enjoy dinner on the grill!

Grilled Veggie Quesadillas

Packed with summer flavor, these Grilled Veggie Quesadillas are a tasty way to enjoy dinner on the grill!
5 from 10 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 565kcal



  • Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
  • Slice onions into 1” slices; place on a large plate and set aside.
  • Slice each bell pepper lengthwise into quarters; remove seeds. Place peppers in a large bowl.
  • Remove peel and pit from avocado; slice into ½” slices; place in bowl with peppers.
  • Slice each tomato in half and remove seeds and pulp; place tomatoes into bowl.
  • Using a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and black pepper. Brush some of oil mixture onto both sides of onions. Pour remaining oil mixture into bowl with other veggies; toss until well coated.
  • Transfer onions and veggies onto grill. Grill for 4-6 minutes, flipping as needed. (Note: The tomatoes and avocado will only need 3-4 minutes. The onions and peppers will need a little longer.)
  • Remove veggies from grill and transfer to a large cutting board; let cool for 10 minutes.
  • Using a sharp knife, chop veggies into small pieces; set aside.
  • Using a medium bowl, mix cheeses together.
  • Lay tortillas out on countertop. Divide chopped veggies mixture into quesadillas. Divide shredded cheeses evenly on top of veggies. Sprinkle green onions evenly on top of cheese. (Tip: Spread fillings onto half of the tortilla so that it’s easier to fold tortilla over.)
  • Fold each tortilla over to create a half-moon quesadilla.
  • Place quesadillas on grill. Grill for 2-3 minutes per side, or until cheeses have totally melted and tortillas have just begun to turn crispy.
  • Remove quesadillas from grill and slice each into 4 wedges.
  • {Optional} Serve with sour cream, cilantro and salsa.

Packed with summer flavor, these Grilled Veggie Quesadillas are a tasty way to enjoy dinner on the grill!

Looking for more tasty grilling recipes?  Check out these other favorites, too:

Turn up the flavor on dinner with these Chicken Bacon Ranch Quesadillas!  (And since the grill is hot, go ahead and grill the 'dillas, too!)Chicken Bacon Ranch Quesadillas

These Citrus Grilled Salmon Skewers are an easy and delicious way to enjoy dinner on the grill!  They're perfect for everything from backyard parties to tailgating with friends!Citrus Grilled Salmon Skewers

Grilling season is back!  Let's kick it off with a delicious Grilled Steak Salad topped with strawberries, blue cheese, corn and toasted walnuts!Grilled Steak Salad

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  1. 5 stars
    Thanks to my mom and pop, I must be totally lacking that OR6A2 gene cos I absolutely LOVE cilantro! And heck yes to cilantro in and on and with these grilled veggie quesadillas! We simply love grilled veggies and cannot wait to give this recipe a try- thanks for the inspiration, my friend! Also – am wondering .. do you have all 4 grills going at once? If you say yes, gosh am super impressed as I have a hard enough time keeping up with one!

    1. You and me both, Shashi! I love cilantro, and I packed plenty into these grilled quesadillas. So much flavor! And for the record, no…there’s no way I could get all 4 grills going at once. I feel pretty scatterbrained as it is thanks to the full quarantine household…I can’t imagine trying to man 4 grills at the same time, too. Haha!

  2. 5 stars
    Funny thing – I used to not like cilantro and thought it was ‘soapy’ and now I don’t notice any soapy taste and LOVE IT! Speaking of love, these quesaillas looks awesome, David! What a brilliant idea to grill ’em. Without a doubt, adding these to the menu this summer…they look too good not to 😉

    1. Interesting! I mean they say our taste buds change every 7 years, although I’m not sure how that works with the genetic side of things. *shrug* Either way, these quesadillas are a fun and tasty recipe for summer grilling! Thanks, Dawn!

  3. 5 stars
    Wow, four grills! I only have two, unless a Bradley Smoker and Muurikka Stekhäll counts. I love cilantro or koriander as we call it here. Very interesting info regarding the genetics involved in liking or not.
    We love grilled veggies, as a matter of fact, we had grilled asparagus, aubergine, zucchini and cauliflower steaks last night. Lucky me we have leftovers and I make a mean flour tortilla. Thanks for tonight’s dinner inspiration, David.

    1. Yup, both of those count for sure…that means you, too, have 4 grills, Ron! Yup, I was kinda surprised to see that the affinity for coriander is actually genetic. Go figure! I hope you got a chance to grill up some veggie quesadillas for dinner last night. Sounds like you were half-way there already. 🙂

    1. Nope, no beans here, Priya! I used cheese to help hold it all together. Mashed beans (like refried beans) would be a good choice, too, but I personally love these quesadillas just the way they are!

  4. 5 stars
    We eat a lot of quesadillas, but don’t typically grill them. Love this idea!! Especially when they’re stuffed with grilled veggies along with the cheese. Thank you for the inspiration!

    1. You should totally put those quesadillas on the grill, Marissa! The grill adds such a fun layer of flavor. Of course, you’ve gotta grill them low and slow or else they burn, but it can be done. Thanks so much, my friend!

  5. Looks fantastic, David! Look me some grilled veg, and melted cheese, well, that just takes them to another level.

    Like you, I really like cilantro and never did understand the whole “tastes like soap” thing. Until now, that is. Thanks for the info!

    1. Yup, affinity for cilantro is actually genetic. I never thought it tasted like soap either, but that’s because I don’t have that gene. Now it makes sense why some people hate it! Either way, more cilantro for me…and another round of grilled veg quesadillas, please. 🙂 Hope you’re doing well, my friend!

    1. Wow, thank you so much, Alex! I do love quesadillas, and I do love to grill…so it just makes perfect sense to combine these two. 🙂

  6. i love coriander (cilantro), tho it took me a while to warm up to it. i think just about any food can become a favourite, even if you don’t first like it. tho i get what you’re saying about it being genetic. i have read articles on that too . it’s a funny old thing isn’t it? to think we taste foods differently because of our genes. anyway love your quesadillas. looking tasty!

    1. Yeah, it’s crazy to think that genetics play a role in what tastes we like and don’t like. I hear ya about learning to like foods, though. I totally did that with blue cheese and olives. I used to hate both – but now I love ’em! These grilled quesadillas are another one that ranks pretty high up on the list. 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    I guess that I am one of those people that have the gene cluster OR6A2. Although I have been eating things with some cilantro in it. I would like to like to get to the point that I can eat it and like it. These grilled veggie quesadillas sound yummy. Perfect food for the summer.

    1. Hey, as Sherry pointed out, you can often learn to like any food. Maybe cilantro is one of those things for you, Dawn. I don’t know how the genetics factor in, but keep trying it? I personally love cilantro! And I also love these grilled veggie quesadillas. They’re great for summer grilling!

    1. Interesting! That seems to throw the genetic thing out the door since you love it but your sister hates it. I dunno? Either way, I think the cilantro goes great with these grilled quesadillas. They’re perfect for summer grilling season!

  8. 5 stars
    4 grills? I’m jealous! David I had my birthday a few weeks ago…just saying for any case 🙂 I’ve said a couple of times that we didn’t have a grill, but now, with a house and nice backyard, we’re definitely getting one soon!
    You’re the king of all the grilled cheese, quesadillas, and other things and this delicious version is no exception! Totally awesome!

    1. Haha! Well, each of the 4 grills does a very different thing. I highly recommend getting a grill at your place – you have the space now, and grilling is one of my favorite ways of cooking during the summer! Why thank you for the kind words. I’m going to get business cards printed up that say “King of Grilled Cheese, Quesadillas and other things.” 🙂

  9. 5 stars
    Four grills!!! I don’t want to say that’s a bit excessive, but that may be a few too many! Although, maybe not since you said they each have a special use. These quesadillas are such a great idea. We often have quesadillas for lunch or when we need a super quick dinner and these will have to be added to our rotation of quesadillas. Love all those grilled veggies and cheese in there.

    1. No way! 4 grills is perfect – each one does something different! 🙂 So we love quesadillas around here. They’re a great way to make a quick dinner or use leftover meat, etc. However, I have to say that the grilled version takes it up a notch in terms of flavor. We love making these in the summer!

  10. That’s so interesting about genes and your taste buds. I disliked cilantro intensely the first time I tried it, but I’ve come to love it. Have I evolved? Am I mutating? Only time will tell. Or when I manifest superpowers, I guess that will also tell. Anyway, there are other foods that I also don’t like – surprisingly very few – but have never gotten past it. So curious. Why dish soap, in particular, though? And how do they know what it tastes like? Obviously what the world needs is quesadilla-scented dish soap! But I digress. How many grills did you say you have? And still you’ve not had us all over for dinner?

    1. Hmmm. We could go with the whole tastebuds changing every 7 years angle, but I like the thought that you are mutating. Perhaps you are growing a second nose? Or maybe a third ear? Or perhaps you’ll come out of the Rona Quarantine looking like Alf – wouldn’t that be cool!? (Except for the whole eating cats thing.)

      Quesadilla-scented dish soap! That’s our million dollar idea, Jeff! Let’s talk over dinner. Something grilled perhaps? 🙂

    1. Yes! Try grilling the veggies and then grilling the quesadillas, too. Sure, it’s a bit of extra work, but the grill is hot anyways. There is so much flavor going on here! And I’m with ya on the sour cream, cilantro and salsa – the toppings are arguably the best part!

  11. 5 stars
    Okay, 4 grills sounds like a genuine grilling obsession, David! But if this is the stuff you produce, then grill away, I say! I love how you go to the grill a couple of times for this recipe – and the result looks and sounds mouthwatering. I love cilantro and must say I’ve only heard about the soap-tasting phenomenon recently after I got asked in a restaurant if I wanted any cilantro in my salad. I am loving the detail you provided on this – finally this makes sense to me!

    1. Haha! I guess I do have a small obsession when it comes to grilling. I’m not sure where that comes from, but I absolutely love being outside on a summer evening grilling away. (Or outside on a summer morning setting up the smoker for an all-day smokefest!) There is so much grilled flavor going on in these quesadillas, Katerina. They’re delicious!

      And, yup, now you know the reason behind the cilantro-soap debate. I’ve never tasted soap when I eat cilantro, but apparently it’s a genetic thing.

    1. Thanks so much, Mimi! I do love meat in quesadillas (especially a good marinated, grilled chicken breast), but I have to say that this veggie version ranks right up there near the top. There is SO much grilled flavor going on here!

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