I started with a recipe tonight for these, but altered the already small ingredients list enough times that I think it is no longer the same recipe, so I will just share mine instead. I was sort of concerned before making these that not only would there not be enough filling for each quesadilla (compared to past quesadillas we’ve made), but that we’d be hungry still after eating them as our dinner tonight. It’s a fine line some nights to come up with a dish that is low enough in calories for my dietary needs while still being filling, but also high enough and filling for my husband as well who gets a lot more calories a day than me. Quesadillas are a pretty light meal in general, but just looking at the ingredient amounts I was concerned these would be even more so. It turns out that I was wrong, and these were more than satisfying. I actually started to feel pretty satisfied after one to tell you the truth, but I managed to eat that second one somehow lol.
The flavor on these is awesome. The little bit of heat from the tortillas, matched with the creamy smoked flavor of the cheese, and the sweet smokey bacon and fresh spinach is just perfect. I think serving these with a bit of sour cream would be even better, but it’s definitely not necessary if you are hoping to keep the calories down.
I want to take just a moment to talk about the bacon…. if you have never cooked your bacon in the oven you don’t know what you’re missing! Not only is there no splatter of oil to clean up and ruin your clothes or burn you, but each piece is perfectly done with ease, and stays nice and straight and looks amazing! Thick cut bacon works best, but you can certainly do it with any bacon you have. You just have to watch it closely because the time in which is crisps happens so quickly. I am going to go ahead and say every oven is different, and so is every bacon so there is no cut and dry temperature/time combo that will work best, but I will list what I used tonight as a guideline to get you started and you’ll just have to try it for yourself to find out what works best in your oven.
Cheesy Spinach & Bacon Quesadillas
Serves : 2-4 Time to make : 10 minutes (not including bacon preparation time)
- 4 Jalapeno Cheddar Tortillas (they are large and the brand is Mission)
- 3 oz. nonfat cream cheese
- 3/4 cup shredded gouda
- 8 strips of thick cut bacon, crispy
- 1 cup of fresh baby spinach (or basically a large handful)
- First make your bacon… either in the skillet if you prefer, or in the oven as mentioned above. To make it in the oven line a large cookie (with sides) with foil and place a rack on top. The foil should come up the sides a bit to catch all your grease for easy cleanup. Spray rack a bit with non-stick cooking spray. Lay bacon on rack making sure not to overlap them for the best results. Bake in a 350 degree oven (not preheated) for about 25-30 minutes or until done, paying close attention starting around 15 minutes and flipping them once or twice for even crisping.
- Once bacon is done, combine the cream cheese and gouda in a small microwave safe bowl and heat for about a minute until melted stirring about halfway through. Watch closely so it doesn’t burn or anything, but it should be fine as long as you stirred it. You’ll end up with a sort of sticky, ball of cheese rather than a truly melted sauce.
- Split the cheese among the four tortillas and spread on one half of each. Next layer on the bacon.
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, add about a T. of water and throw in the spinach stirring gently. Cook just until it has wilted down a bit, and then remove it. Layer that into your quesadillas last before folding them over into half circles.
- Wipe out any moisture in your skillet left from the spinach and spray with a bit of non-stick cooking spray. Heat over medium-high heat and then cook your quesadillas in there either one at a time, or if you are brave and have a large skillet go for two at a time but it will make it harder to flip them. Again, watch closely because once they start to brown they will burn fast if you aren’t careful. It will probably only take a minute or so for the first side to brown up and start to get crispy, then flip it and cook the other side. Note: the other side will brown even faster so pay attention.
- Cut in half and serve warm. Optional to serve with a bit of sour cream as well.