Level Up Your Camping Food: The Quesadilla Burger Recipe
Crispy tortilla, tons of melted cheese, oozing salsa, intense flavors, and a hefty serving of chicken meat – that’s what best describes a quesadilla, ladies and gentlemen. A trip to a Mexican restaurant translates to a lot of calories and saturated fat, but who cares? I care not.
Mexican food is the one type of food I could eat all my life. And I won’t let my little camping getaways to stop me from getting my quesadilla fix. Anyone here who feels the same?
So I got the brilliant idea of creating this particular food from Applebee’s quesadilla burger recipe which I’ve tried in their Brooklyn branch. Its delicious but it’s too oily and fattening so I decided to make a healthy recipe based from it for our fellow campers to enjoy.
It varies a lot from Applebee's recipe, especially with the taste and ingredients used. But trust me, the recipe I’ll share with you tastes great too! And hey, I’m not boasting here. Find out how I made the quesadilla burger in a short while.
Mexican food are among the top go-to food for campers because they are healthy, they don’t spoil quickly, they’re fast and easy to prepare, and they’re delicious.
Tacos, burritos, nachos, elote (Mexican corn cobs), and chili con queso are some of the frequently cooked Mexican camping food. I’ve only tried preparing pre-cooked camping burritos once, and it’s glorious! It’s a must try.
But quesadillas are a different story. Unlike most Mexican camping food, you won’t need a Dutch oven to cook it in the campsite, only a grill, and some hot coals, just like the camping burrito or you can try cooking in a skillet pan using a camping stove.
Quesadillas are much thinner than the camping burrito and have fewer vegetables and lots of melted cheese and meat strips. They’re also heavy with onion, black beans, and salsa sauce.
Quesadillas resemble the typical American pizza. The salsa sauce serves as the base where you put and stick the toppings and later add cheese that melts upon baking.
It also has the unique pizza slice cut. So for pizza lovers out there, you might want to substitute a piece of quesadilla for pizza to take with you on your camping trip.
Us Americans, being huge fans of Mexican food, created off-the-hook quesadilla recipes that are hybrids of both American and Mexican goodies. Some that I’ve tried (and will try again) are pizza quesadilla, zucchini quesadilla, salmon quesadilla, grilled shrimp quesadilla, Thai chicken quesadilla, and four-cheese quesadilla.
You see, you’ll never run out of quesadilla recipes in your lifetime because you can just put anything and everything you like and make it into a cheesy quesadilla. That’s why I got a little bored of the typical quesadilla, so I decided to spice it up a little for my fellow campers to taste and enjoy in our camping session.
The making of the quesadilla burger
Place the chicken breasts in a saucepan with water. Add some salt, pepper and any flavoring you prefer. Boil the chicken in medium heat for about 20 minutes or until the flesh no longer appears pinkish. Drain the water and let the meat cool for 5-10 minutes.
Feel the chicken’s temperature until you can handle touching it. Grab a small bowl and start pulling thin strips of flesh for our quesadilla. Set aside.
Wash the ground beef through a strainer. Make sure the meat is completely drained of water. Put the ground beef in a mixing bowl and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Chop the red onion into onion rings.
Gently form half-inch thin, 4-inch wide meatballs using your palm. Lightly press the top side of the balls to get the thickness you desire. Fry the burger patty and onion rings until half-cooked.
Grab the flour tortillas. Spread 2 tbsp. of salsa sauce/ Tostitos dip over one side of the tortilla, covering the whole perimeter of the bread. If you want a kick of spice, get tbsp. of cayenne pepper and mix it with the salsa.
Place about ¼ cup of pulled chicken strips on the sauced-up side of the tortilla. Scatter the strips all around the tortilla.
Place two burger patty on either the left or right side of the sauced-up tortilla. Get the shredded cheese and scatter ½ cup around the tortilla. Spread the fried onion rings as well.
Fold the tortilla in a half-moon shape and wrap it in a sheet of foil. Grill the tortillas over hot coals (if you plan to cook it in the camp) or bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until golden brown (for pre-cooking).
After you finish grilling the quesadilla, open up the foil and slice the half-moon tortilla in three, making it look like triangle wedges.
A quesadilla burger is best eaten warm. It’s oh-so-yummy when you grill the pre-made slices because it re-melts the cheese and the meat becomes more tender. What a perfect treat for a chilly camping morning!
Of course, you can have it as your lunch and dinner too, if you love it so much. I’m also fond of eating this at dinnertime paired with (of course) a can of beer while playing drinking card games with my fellow campers.
You can also have it as your finger food for quick hiking breaks. If you plan to bring little ones, don’t overdo the pepper because kids hate all things spicy.