These Masala Mushroom Quesadillas are spicy, cheesy, and served with a vibrant salsa. A winning 30 minute Mexican-inspired vegetarian recipe!
Mushrooms are honestly the best things to exist. And I will stand by that statement forever.
We grew up with mushrooms on and in everything. From mushroom curries, to mushroom pasta, pizza, roasted mushrooms, soup, and more. You name it, we’ve probably done it.
It’s one of those things that was always in the house growing up, and it’s always in mine now too. If you’re a mushroom fan like my family and I, then these 30 minute Masala Mushroom Quesadillas are definitely for you.
Masala Mushroom Quesadillas
These quesadillas are filled with spicy seasoned mushrooms. There’s also a healthy amount of garlic in there too. Because everything is better with garlic, right?
It’s a simple but quick filling to make and you can use any mushrooms you like. I’ve used portobello mushrooms and oyster mushrooms, which are my favourite for quesadillas.
The mushroom filling is then sandwiched between cheese and tortilla before being toasted up in a pan till golden and crispy. We’re serving it with a vibrant and fresh salsa too, which brings it all together into a perfectly delicious vegetarian meal.
It’s part of my ’30 Minute Recipes’ series!
This entire series will be full of recipes that can all be made in UNDER 30 MINUTES. They’re perfect for busy days, or for those evenings when you just want something quick.
In fact, they’re all recipes that I make for my own lunches and dinners. Though I’m always cooking for the blog, those recipes don’t make up my lunches and dinners.
You can find the rest of the recipes here.
These Masala Mushroom Quesadillas are great for an easy and flavourful dinner
Sometimes you just want a quick meal after work or on a busy day. This recipe is perfect for that, and it’s delicious at the same time.
The quesadillas are filling and flavourful, and once you spoon over some salsa, it becomes so vibrant, zingy, and fresh. The flavour here is all down to the spices, but they can also be adapted to your preference or what you keep on hand.
There’s also a salsa, and it’s super easy to make!
To make the salsa, it really is a case of throwing it all into a food processor and blitzing it together. It is really quick to make but it will taste like you’ve spent hours making it.
It’s perfect for summer and you could honestly use this salsa for anything. It would be great on tacos, nachos, or even some loaded fries!
In fact, the salsa actually tastes better day by day, so feel free to make it in advance and leave it in the refrigerator. The flavours really continue to mingle and develop.
The secret to these Masala Mushroom Quesadillas are all in the spices
Spices are where the flavour is at, and both the Mexican cuisine and Indian cuisine are great at utilising them. We’re going for a Mexican inspired spice mix here with elements of Indian spices in there too.
We’re also starting with a very simple tempering of cumin seeds and curry leaves, which is a common step in a lot of Indian cooking. The concept of layering flavour like this helps to create more depth and allows the spices to really shine through.
I’ll have the full list of spices and measurements in the recipe at the end of the blogpost.
If you’re making quesadillas, you need cheese
Cheese is essential here. It not only binds the quesadillas together but it also helps to balance out some of the heat from the filling. Plus, cheese is delicious! I think that’s enough to justify its purpose here.
I’ve used some low moisture mozzarella (but not the pre grated kind- that contains starch which stops the cheese from melting properly). However if you have some Monterey Jack cheese or pepper jack cheese, I think those would work beautifully.
However if you follow a plant based diet, simply substitute for your favourite vegan cheese. Just make sure it’s one that melts well, to help glue the quesadillas together.
What you’ll need
The full recipe can be found at the end of the blogpost
For the mushroom filling, you’ll need:
- Mushrooms of choice – I like to use portobello mushrooms and oyster mushrooms. You get a lovely bite and earthiness from the portobello mushrooms followed by a velvety and almost buttery texture from the oyster mushrooms. Use any mushrooms you like though!
- Cumin seeds – using the whole spices will give a far more pronounced flavour
- Curry leaves – personally I’d say these are essential for flavour however I know these are not accessible for a lot of people. Hence feel free to omit if you can’t find these
- Chilli powder
- Garlic powder
- Smoked paprika
- Ground cumin
- Garam masala
- Ghee or oil
For the salsa, you’ll need:
- Fresh tomatoes – I like to use cherry or plum tomatoes as they tend to be sweeter
- Red onion
- Red chilli – feel free to omit to keep the salsa mild
- Coriander – also known as cilantro in the US
- Olive oil
How to make Masala Mushroom Quesadillas
Let’s start with the Masala Mushrooms
1) Start by slicing the portobello mushrooms and tearing the oyster mushrooms into pieces
2) Then in a wide pan, heat up some oil or ghee and add cumin seeds and curry leaves
3) Temper the cumin seeds until they crackle and the curry leaves pop a little
4) Add in all the mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms brown and caramelise. They’ll start to smell nutty
5) Once caramelised, add the minced garlic
6) As well as the ground spices
7) Don’t forget to season with salt!
8) Finish with a small handful of fresh coriander/cilantro
Now we can assemble the quesadillas
1) Place a small amount of oil in a wide pan
2) Place the tortilla on top and move it around the pan to coat the base of the tortilla in the oil
3) Layer half of the tortilla with cheese, the mushroom filling, and then more cheese
4) Fold the tortilla over and gently press
5) Let the quesadilla cook until the underside is golden, then flip over and repeat
6) You should end up with a cheesy, crispy quesadilla
For the salsa
1) For the salsa, simply place all the ingredients into a food processor
2) Pulse until chunky, avoid making it completely smooth
3) Pour into a bowl and season with salt
4) That’s it, your salsa is done! The salsa will continue to develop flavour day by day so feel free to prepare this in advance and leave refrigerated
Frequently asked questions
Can we make these Masala Mushroom Quesadillas vegan?
Simply substitute the cheese for a plant based cheese and you’re good to go. Make sure the cheese is one that melts well to help glue the tortilla together.
Also make sure to use oil to temper the cumin seeds and curry leaves instead of ghee.
Can the salsa be made in advance?
Yes it can and in fact it tastes better if made in advance. The flavour continues to develop once refrigerated so you can absolutely make this 1-3 days in advance.
If we don’t like mushrooms, can we use anything else?
You can substitute the mushrooms for peppers, or any vegetable you like really. You can even use black beans/kidney beans/pinto beans/refried beans and add that to the tempered cumin and curry leaves, along with the garlic and spices.
If you enjoyed this recipe
Please do let me know! Leave a review and a rating below, I’d love to know how you got on.
Until then, happy cooking!
For the Masala Mushroom filling:
- 300g portobello mushrooms (equivalent to 4 large)
- 150g oyster mushrooms
- 2tbsp of ghee or oil
- 1tsp cumin seeds
- Handful of curry leaves - around 16 leaves
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1tsp Kashmiri chilli powder, or any other chilli powder
- 1/4tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2tsp garlic powder
- 1tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2tsp ground cumin powder
- 1/4tsp garam masala
- 1/4tsp sugar
- 1tsp salt
For the salsa:
- 250g fresh cherry or plum tomatoes
- 1/2 red onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 red chilli - optional
- Handful of coriander
- Juice of half of a lime
- 2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1tsp salt
You'll also need:
- 4 tortillas
- 4tsp oil
- 200g mozzarella, or any cheese you like
For the Masala Mushroom filling:
- Start by slicing the portobello mushrooms and tearing the oyster mushrooms. (Note: you can use any mushrooms you like here)
- Then in a wide pan, heat up the ghee or oil and add cumin seeds and curry leaves. Temper over a medium heat until the cumin crackles and the curry leaves pop
- Add in all the mushrooms and turn the heat to high. Sauté until the mushrooms caramelise and brown. They will start to smell nutty
- Turn the heat down to low and add in the garlic, ground spices, and salt. Cook for a further 1-2 minutes, then finish with fresh coriander/cilantro
To assemble the quesadillas:
- Place 1tsp of oil at a time in a wide frying pan. Place a tortilla over this and move it around to ensure the base is evenly coated in oil
- On half of the tortilla, place a handful of mozzarella, followed by some of the mushroom filling, followed again by some more cheese
- Fold the tortilla in half to seal in the filling
- Toast the tortilla over a medium to medium-low heat until the underside is golden and crispy, then flip over and repeat
For the salsa:
- Simply place all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until it forms a chunky salsa. Avoid making it completely smooth into a sauce. We want texture! Don't forget to season with salt.
Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 896Total Fat 51gSaturated Fat 17gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 28gCholesterol 88mgSodium 2389mgCarbohydrates 80gFiber 14gSugar 23gProtein 42g
This is an automated calculation that may not be entirely accurate.