Summer Squash Quesadillas – Grow. Eat. Save.

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on June 19, 2010

***These would make a great appetizer for your July 4th BBQ!***

Just sayin’.

(OK, just had to get that out of the way.)

So for the second time, I’ve had to pick up the veggie from the market to make my meal for Grow. Eat. $ave. I remember looking through last year’s garden posts, and by this time in June 2009 my squash plants were producing a new squash every other day and I was struggling to keep up with them!

I must have planted the seeds later this year…I dunno!

Let’s talk quesadillas…in my head, quesadillas have always been a Tex-Mex thing…needed some chicken or beans, cheese, some cilantro, or salsa mixed in…served with sour cream, or guacamole.  That’s just what I thought about Quesadillas.

One of the things that I love about this little here website of mine is that it makes me think outside my cooking box…so for this week’s Grow. Eat. $ave. I thought I’d do a quesadilla with an Italian flavor.

Once I had the summer squash in hand and the idea to use it in a quesadilla, it was time to go foraging.  I started in the garden…fresh basil and curled parsley from the garden, (what should be fresh from the garden) yellow summer squash…

Then I raided the refrigerator and found a red pepper in the produce drawer in the fridge, some cheese that my mom has been using this week for her breakfasts, as well as some cherry tomatoes (that I couldn’t help snack on while I was quartering them).

Here’s what happened after that.

But first, the final results.


(My new favorite phrase I stole from Becky!)


2 cups shredded cheddar cheese ($1.25)
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese ($.25)
Handful fresh basil leaves (from the garden)
Handful fresh curled parsley (from the garden)
2 garlic cloves, crushed ($.10)
Large handful cherry tomatoes, quartered ($.75)
1 red pepper, grilled, then diced ($1)
1 large summer squash, grilled, then diced ($1)
8 soft taco size tortillas ($1)


1. Place the cheeses, the chopped basil and parsley and the crushed garlic into a large mixing bowl.

(I think these would be really good with mozzarella, but I was all out.)

2. Quarter the cherry tomatoes and toss into the mixing bowl with the cheese. Mix her up.

3. Meanwhile…fire up the grill and grill the red pepper slices and the squash slices.  Then dice.

4. Toss the diced grilled squash and diced grilled red pepper in with the cheese mixture.

5. Spoon the mixture into the the tortillas.  Fold over, or cover 1 tortilla with the mixture and top with another tortilla. However you like…in the end, it won’t matter how you use the mixture in the tortilla.  It’s really about the ooey-gooey goodness that will result from grilling the quesadilla.

6. Place the tortillas on the grill for a few minutes on each side, or until the cheese is oozing out the sides of the tortillas…as sure sign they are ready for consumption.

7. Let cool and cut grilled quesadillas into little triangles.

8. Serve Summer Squash Quesadillas as an appetizer or main meal.

Makes 24 Quesadilla triangles.

Cost $5.35 (less if you use a squash from your garden!)

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Favorite Yellow Squash Recipes from Last Year’s Garden Harvest:

And here are the rest of the yellow squash $5 Dinners recipes!

COMING UP IN 2 WEEKS on Grow. Eat. $ave. – Lettuces and Greens

If you’d like to learn more about Square Foot Gardening, please check out the Square Foot Gardening books by Mel Bartholemew.

We’d love to check our your favorite yellow squash recipes!  Please leave a link below or in the comments!

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristia@Family Balance Sheet June 19, 2010 at 7:35 am

squash in quesadillas is definitely thinking outside the box. this looks delicious and will definitely give it a try. I’m always looking for squash ideas, since I usually have 10 times more squash than recipes.

thanks for the meme.


Laura T. June 19, 2010 at 8:12 am

What a great app or starter for a summer dinner party! And I’m always looking for new squash ideas since they always seem to be in my fridge.


Tiffany June 19, 2010 at 8:39 am

Yum! I love the idea of Italian quesadillas. Yours look great.


Candi June 19, 2010 at 12:49 pm

That’s a great idea! Never would have thought of it…and your picture is beautiful!


Mary June 19, 2010 at 5:33 pm

Quesadillas aka Cheese Crisps are truly Mexican food not Tex Mex. We usually eat ours made from a flour tortilla, folded in half, with cheese in the middle that’s melted while cooking on the skillet. We like to eat them dipped in salsa.

Open face tortillas and tortilla “sandwiches” are variants.


Karen June 19, 2010 at 6:32 pm

Made these for dinner tonight with CSA squash…so good!


terrin June 19, 2010 at 7:50 pm

I love that this is a quick and easy vegetarian meal! I really think that less meat/animal products is the most healthy eco-concious (and cheap!) Way to feed a family. Have you thought about promoting “meatless mondays”? Maybe every monday having a new fresh meatless meal? I think many families would benefit, but need guidance…..


Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom June 21, 2010 at 7:35 pm


That’s a great idea! I have another Monday meme that I have here…I’ll see how I can work in a meatless concept…because we do at least one meatless meal per week!


The Curvy Life June 19, 2010 at 9:52 pm

This sounds sooo yummy! I am the self-proclaimed “squash queen” so this is right up my alley! Thanks for thinking out of the box so I can eat there!! :)



Debbi Does Dinner Healthy June 19, 2010 at 10:20 pm

These quesadillas sound awesome! I LOVE making quesadillas. We eat more tortillas here than we do bread. When in doubt, put it on a tortilla is my motto. I will for sure try this, thanks!!


fairy dust June 19, 2010 at 11:26 pm

Oh, those look heavenly! I have a zuke left from my farm share box, and this would be the perfect way to use it up – thanks for the suggestion and the great photos!!!


yvonne June 20, 2010 at 6:06 am

These look wonderful! My family would love them. I cannot have them GF&CF.
For folks like me, make a batch of brown rice adding chicken base to the water cooking as normal. When the rice is done add all ingredients with lime juice and garlic. This makes an awesome salad. I love it with sliced avocado on it.
Keep up the good work, I look forward to your emails with new and fresh ideas.


JodieMo June 20, 2010 at 9:31 pm

Summer squash is delicious, but it can be hard to come up with different ideas on how to use it! There are some great ideas here and I love the quesadilla!


Karen June 21, 2010 at 12:34 am

I love zucchini but I find it to be a highly expensive vegetable, guess it is one that you would probably be better off growing in the garden? its great steamed, fried, baked….such flavor!


Alta June 21, 2010 at 2:32 pm

Love this! I made a random-stuff quesadilla this past weekend – I sauteed some fresh pear tomatoes from my garden with thyme (from the garden) and spinach (frozen). Added some Daiya cheese and put it all in a brown rice tortilla and grilled until the tortilla was crispy and cheese was melty. Yummy gluten-free, dairy-free goodness! I love your grilled yellow squash even more.


tina June 25, 2010 at 1:24 pm

I do not have a blog site. Love your recipes. I noticed how healthy you try to eat. So here is our recipe.
1 cup brown Rice (cook as box)
1 cup homemade Speghetti Sauce (this is our all around go to sauce) – Great for speghetti and also great on homemade pizza on the grill. and so much better than store bought.
1 large can Red Gold (key is good canned tomato) crushed tomato
1 16oz stewed tomatoes (in the summer we used homemade)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 t sugar
1 tbs oregano (6 leaves fresh)
1 t parsley
4 cloves garlic.
1-2 Yellow and green squash (can add other veggies ie. eggphant, carrots, etc..)
3 green onion
Saute veggies in olive oil, then add rice and speghetti sauce.
YUMMY lunch or side for $1-$2.


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