This is a riff on two classic bites. Crispy-gooey tuna melts and crispy-gooey quesadillas.
When you think about it, it just makes sense to combine these two favorites into one.
Here’s the backstory:
It was lunch-time and I was dying for a tuna melt. There was some leftover tuna salad in the fridge, but the loaf of bread had dwindled down to the heel and I was faced with a rumbling tummy at 12:45.
Necessity being the mother of invention, I looked for a suitable substitute for the bread. When I spied the flour tortillas in the fridge, I knew I was on to something.
To spice it up and truly make it a quesadilla, fresh pico de gallo was a must.
And for a little more lusciousness, I layered on slices of haas avocado. This lunch was approaching sublime.
The How-To’s For Cooking Tuna Melt Quesadillas:
- Spray a skillet with vegetable spray and heat it over medium heat.
- Lay a tortilla in the pan and scoop on the tuna salad — spread it evenly over the tortilla, leaving a little border at the edges.
- Top with avocado and a generous handful of Monterey Jack (pepper jack or cheddar would be good too).
Top the quesadilla with a second tortilla and press firmly with a spatula to meld the quesadilla together.
Slip the spatula under the crisp quesadilla and place your hand on top to hold everything in place. Then quickly flip it so that nothing escapes and to get that telltale melt on the cheese.
Let the quesadilla rest for a minute before cutting into it, and make sure to use a large sharp knife to cut.
Don’t saw back and forth, just press down firmly with the blade.
Thanks to my ready made tuna – this lunch came together in about 15 minutes. Craving satisified!
Tuna Melt Quesadillas
for pico de gallo
- 1 large tomato seeded and chopped in 1/4" dice
- 1/4 cup white onion finely diced
- 1/4-1/2 jalapeno pepper if you like less heat, remove membrane and seeds, minced
- 1 lime zested
- pinch of salt
- pinch of pepper
for each quesadilla
- 2 small flour tortillas
- 1/2 avocado thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup prepared tuna salad
- 1/3 cup Monterey Jack cheese grated
Make pico de gallo
- In a small bowl combine the tomato, onion, jalapeno, lime zest, salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Taste for seasoning. Add a squeeze of lime juice for extra flavor.
- Spray a 9" skillet with vegetable spray. Heat over medium heat until pan is very hot, but not scorching. Place one flour tortilla in the pan. Top with tuna salad and spread evenly over tortilla, leaving about 1/2" gap from the edge of the tortilla.
- Add the avocado slices in a circle. Top with shredded cheese and the 2nd tortilla. Cook until the bottom of the tortilla begins to brown and crisp, 2-3 minutes. Use a large spatula to carefully slip under the quesadilla. Place your hand on top of the quesadilla and in one quick movement, flip the quesadilla in the pan. Cook until the bottom of the quesadilla is crisped and browned and the cheese is melty. Remove from the heat.
- Transfer quesadilla to a cutting board and let it rest for a minute before cutting into it. Use a large chef's knife to cut into 4 equal pieces -- not sawing the quesadilla -- but setting the sharp blade across the quesadilla and pressing from the tip to the hilt, until it splits. If anything oozes out, nudge it back in with a spoon (or your finger).
- Serve with pico de gallo
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