Fish Quesadillas

I love the simplicity of quesadillas. You take stuff and put it in a tortilla, fold and either bake or fry. Even the most novice of cooks can make an amazing quesadilla. Back in my grad school days quesadillas were on my normal lunch rotation, but they were pretty boring, just cheese and salsa. They were a great student food; cheap, easy to make, plus they were quick and portable for when I was in a rush (which was always).

I abandoned this easy dish once I got full time work; until recently. One lazy Sunday I had some leftovers to use and I wanted an easy lunch that I could have while catching up on all the shows that I missed while I was on vacation. Out of nowhere the idea of quesadillas popped into my head! They fit all my needs; easy to make, they’d use my leftovers and I could eat them comfortably in front of the TV without making a huge mess. I had forgotten what a great meal they were.

The recipe below is more refined then my first version, and much better than my grad school lunches. These quesadillas use white fish like Basa, but chicken could easily be substituted if you aren’t a fan of seafood or have an allergy. I have used ancho chili powder, if you can’t get your hands on some then try chipotle powder. Both will add a beautiful smoky flavor that you can’t get with regular chili powder. If you don’t like spicy food feel free to leave the jalapeño out of the avocado dip. I have tried to keep these on the healthier side by using whole wheat tortillas, a reasonable amount of cheese (instead of the pound that I would like) and baking instead of frying. Needless to say these quesadillas would taste amazing with white flour tortillas, tons more cheese and fried.

As always, I’d love to see how these turn out for you. Please post your pictures to the Nickels and Noodles Facebook and Instagram pages.


Fish Quesadillas

Serves Four 

$2.55 per Serving


2 Fillets of White Fish like Basa

1.5 Tsp Garlic Powder

1 Large Yam, Peeled and Diced

1 Tbsp Canola Oil

1 Tsp Ancho Chili Powder

0.5 Can of Black Beans, Drained and Rinsed

1 Tsp Cumin

0.25 Cup Water

4 Oz Grated Marble Cheese

4 Whole Wheat Tortillas

Salt and Pepper


Avocado Cilantro Dip

2 Avocados

1 Lime

0.5 Bunch Cilantro

1 Tsp Chopped Garlic  

1 Jalapeño, Diced  

Salt and Pepper



Toss diced yams in oil and ancho chili powder

Bake at 350 degree for about 25 minutes. Set aside.

Thaw fish if it is frozen

Sprinkle fish with 1 tsp of garlic powder and a little salt and pepper

Bake at 350 degree for about 15-20 minutes (it will depend on your oven)

Break fillets into chunks and set aside

Add black beans, water, remaining garlic powder and cumin to a small pot

Bring to a boil, turn down heat to a simmer and cook until all the water is evaporated

Mash beans and season to taste with salt and pepper

To Assemble

Smear one quarter of the mashed beans on to half of a tortilla

Top with one quarter of the fish and yams

Sprinkle with one quarter of the cheese

Repeat with remaining tortillas

Fold each tortilla in half and bake at 350 degrees for about 12-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the edges are crispy

Avocado Cilantro Dip

Wash and finely chop the cilantro

Scoop out the flesh of the avocados and mash well

Zest the whole lime, and juice half of it. Save the other half for another purpose.

Mix the avocado with the lime juice and zest, cilantro, garlic and jalapeño

Add salt and pepper to taste

Serve quesadillas hot with a side of guacamole dip