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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Thanksgiving Inspired Cheese Quesadilla (Kid-Friendly)

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These absolutely adorable, Thanksgiving inspired cheese quesadillas are shaped like little turkeys but are completely vegetarian! Not to mention, they are mind-blowing delicious and super kid friendly. Each tasty quesadilla is filled with black beans, Monterey Jack cheese, and bell peppers sandwiched between two whole wheat tortillas. Fun, festive, and perfect for the holidays!

cheese quesadilla shaped like turkeys, with bell peppers, beans and cheese

If you’ve been on the hunt to find easy and tasty recipes to get your kids in the kitchen, this is exactly what you’ve been waiting for. This recipe is the perfect quesadilla for kids, but honestly adults really enjoy them too! The best part is, they are super healthy and a great dinner option any time of the year – so if you’re struggling with picky eating, you might want to try this quesadilla recipe!

Kids and adults cannot resist how adorable these cheese quesadillas are, and the fact they look like little miniature turkeys is a huge plus.

Whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving, or you just want something extra special to feed your family, these turkey-shaped bean and cheese quesadillas are exactly what you need!

Tools and Equipment You’ll Need

What You Need To Make A Cheese Quesadilla

  • Tortillas: We used whole wheat tortillas to get some extra whole grains, but you could use sprouted wheat tortillas, spelt, or even gluten-free tortillas to make this recipe gluten-free friendly.
  • Cheese: We chose Monterey Jack, but any cheese that melts will will do!
  • Beans: Black beans are the star here, but any bean or refried bean would work.
  • Veggies: The bell peppers are key to making these quesadillas look like little turkeys!
  • Candy Eyes: You only need a few of them, and they really transform these into the perfect quesadilla for kids.

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium high heat. Spread the black beans evenly over one tortilla.

black beans on a wheat tortilla

Step 2: Top the beans with the cheese. Place the second tortilla on top.

beans and shredded cheese on a quesadilla

Step 3: Carefully place the quesadilla on the hot skillet and cook for 5 to 6 minutes. When the cheese begins to melt, flip the quesadilla and cook on the other side for 4 to five minutes. When the quesadilla is browned on both sides, remove it to a plate to cool.

whole wheat tortilla on a cutting board

Step 4: While the quesadilla is cooling, slice each of the peppers into thin strips.

sliced bell peppers on a cutting board

Step 5: Cut out four larger strips from the red pepper to serve as the turkey’s bodies. Cut four small triangles out of the yellow pepper to use as the turkey’s beak.

cut bell peppers on a cutting board

Step 6: Cut the quesadilla into four wedges.

tortillas cut into quarters

Step 7: Push the pepper strips into the round part of each web to make the turkey’s feathers.

feathers shaped like bell peppers sticking out of the quesdailla

Step 7: Place the larger strip of red pepper on top of the quesadilla to make the turkey’s body. You can “stick” the pepper to the quesadilla using some refried beans or melted cheese. Decorate the pepper with a small yellow triangle for the beak and two candy eyes — sticking them on using a tiny drop of honey, maple syrup or agave.

quesadillas on a cutting board

What Makes This Cheese Quesadilla Healthy?

  • High in Protein: Thanks to the black beans, Monterey Jack cheese, and bell peppers, each bean and cheese quesadilla has over 7 grams of vegetarian friendly protein! Protein helps keep you fuller longer and is a building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.
  • Fiber: The whole wheat tortillas and black beans provide a healthy dose of fiber (4 grams) in each of these kid friendly quesadillas. Fiber helps you maintain a healthy weight, aids in digestion, and also keeps you full. 
  • Vitamins and Minerals: There are lots of valuable vitamins and minerals in these cheese quesadillas. Iron, folate, vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and niacin can all be found in these Thanksgiving quesadillas.

Will Kids Enjoy This Quesadilla Recipe?

Kids are going to love everything about these cute turkey shaped cheese quesadillas! Not only are they appealing because they are so festive, but they also happen to taste really good too. These cheese quesadillas are packed with beans and lots of cheesy goodness to keep the kiddos happy, content, and coming back for more.

cheese quesadilla shaped like turkeys, with bell peppers, beans and cheese

Recipe FAQs

How Do You Store Leftover Quesadillas?

If you end up with leftover cheese quesadillas, let them cool down before refrigerating. Be sure to wrap each of the quesadillas in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to protect them. Store them in an airtight container for up to three days. You can easily reheat the quesadillas in the microwave, on the stovetop, or even in your air fryer.

Can You Freeze Quesadillas?

Yes, you can freeze quesadillas. Let them cool completely, then wrap them in foil or plastic wrap to give them an added layer of protection. Then place the quesadillas in a freezer-safe bag or airtight container. They will last in the freezer for up to two months. Thaw in the fridge the night before serving, and then heat on the stove for best results.

Quesadilla Recipe Variations

There are so many different ways you can adjust this bean and cheese quesadilla. Here are a few of our favorite variations to this dish:

  • Cheese: You can swap out the Monterey Jack cheese for any other variety that you enjoy. Mozzarella, cheddar, and even colby jack would all be fantastic options.
  • Refried Beans: Try this bean and cheese quesadilla with refried black beans or refried pinto beans instead of whole black beans. You can add a bit of taco seasoning to your beans to give them some extra flavor!
  • Veggies: For some extra “hidden” veggies, chop up 2 cups of baby spinach and toss them into a skillet with your black beans before adding them to your quesadilla. The spinach cooks down to be so small that your kids won’t even notice they’re getting even more veggies in this dish.
  • Toppings: You can serve these kid friendly quesadillas with any toppings your family enjoys! Sour cream, Plain Greek Yogurt, Guacamole, Salsa, Green Onions, and Cilantro are some of our favorites.
  • Filling Variations: You can switch up the filling completely by using roasted mushrooms, wilted spinach, and cheese; or diced onion, diced peppers, corn and cheese; or any combination of veggies & cheese you like!

Top Tips For Making The Best Cheese Quesadilla

  • Don’t overstuff quesadillas or the filling will seep out of the sides. This could end up with a huge mess that you don’t want to do it.
  • Be sure to keep an eye on the quesadilla as it cooks so you do not burn it. Cook them on medium low heat so that the cheese melts slowly and the tortilla crisps up at the same time.
  • Feel free to serve these turkey-shaped quesadillas with all of your favorite toppings such as sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and just about any other quesadilla topping you love.
  • Spray your pan with olive oil cooking spray before you add the quesadillas to the pan – that helps to give the tortilla its crispy outer layer without adding a ton of calories and fat.
cheese quesadilla shaped like turkeys, with bell peppers, beans and cheese

Check Out These Other Drool-Worthy Mexican Recipes!

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cheese quesadilla shaped like turkeys, with bell peppers, beans and cheese
Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Turkey Shaped Cheese Quesadillas

These absolutely adorable, Thanksgiving inspired cheese quesadillas are shaped like little turkeys but are completely vegetarian! Not to mention, they are mind-blowing delicious and super kid friendly. Each tasty quesadilla is filled with black beans, Monterey Jack cheese, and bell peppers sandwiched between two whole wheat tortillas. Fun, festive, and perfect for the holidays!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 4 quesadillas
Calories: 173.5kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

  • 2 large whole wheat tortillas
  • 1/4 cup canned black beans rinsed & drained
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese or Mexican cheese blend
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 8 candy eyes

Instructions

  • Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium high heat.
  • Spread the black beans evenly over one tortilla. Top the beans with the cheese. Place the second tortilla on top.
  • Carefully place the quesadilla on the hot skillet sprayed with olive oil cooking spray, and cook for 5 to 6 minutes. When the cheese begins to melt, flip the quesadilla and cook on the other side for 4 to five minutes.
  • When the quesadilla is browned on both sides, remove it to a plate to cool.
  • While the quesadilla is cooling, slice each of the peppers into thin strips. Cut out four larger strips from the red pepper to serve as the turkey’s bodies. Cut four small triangles out of the yellow pepper to use as the turkey’s beak.
  • Cut the quesadilla into four wedges. Push the pepper strips into the round part of each web to make the turkey’s feathers.
  • Place the larger strip of red pepper on top of the quesadilla to make the turkey’s body. Decorate the pepper with a small yellow triangle for the beak and two candy eyes.

Notes

Quesadilla Recipe Variations
  • Cheese: You can swap out the Monterey Jack cheese for any other variety that you enjoy. Mozzarella, cheddar, and even colby jack would all be fantastic options.
  • Refried Beans: Try this bean and cheese quesadilla with refried black beans or refried pinto beans instead of whole black beans. You can add a bit of taco seasoning to your beans to give them some extra flavor!
  • Veggies: For some extra “hidden” veggies, chop up 2 cups of baby spinach and toss them into a skillet with your black beans before adding them to your quesadilla. The spinach cooks down to be so small that your kids won’t even notice they’re getting even more veggies in this dish.
  • Toppings: You can serve these kid friendly quesadillas with any toppings your family enjoys! Sour cream, Plain Greek Yogurt, Guacamole, Salsa, Green Onions, and Cilantro are some of our favorites.
  • Filling Variations: You can switch up the filling completely by using roasted mushrooms, wilted spinach, and cheese; or diced onion, diced peppers, corn and cheese; or any combination of veggies & cheese you like!
Top Tips For Making The Best Cheese Quesadilla
  • Don’t overstuff quesadillas or the filling will seep out of the sides. This could end up with a huge mess that you don’t want to do it.
  • Be sure to keep an eye on the quesadilla as it cooks so you do not burn it. Cook them on medium low heat so that the cheese melts slowly and the tortilla crisps up at the same time.
  • Feel free to serve these turkey-shaped quesadillas with all of your favorite toppings such as sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and just about any other quesadilla topping you love.
  • Spray your pan with olive oil cooking spray before you add the quesadillas to the pan – that helps to give the tortilla its crispy outer layer without adding a ton of calories and fat.

Nutrition

Serving: 1turkey shaped quesadilla | Calories: 173.5kcal | Carbohydrates: 25.7g | Protein: 7.5g | Fat: 5.3g | Saturated Fat: 2.8g | Cholesterol: 11.4mg | Sodium: 211mg | Potassium: 334mg | Fiber: 3.7g | Sugar: 3g

Posted In…

Appetizers ·

Appetizers are the perfect complement to my favorite entrees and dinner party menus. You can also make a small batch for a snack, or turn them into a complete meal.

10 responses to “Thanksgiving Inspired Cheese Quesadilla (Kid-Friendly)”

  1. These Thanksgiving Inspired Cheese Quesadillas were perfect for a little (socially distanced) get together we had for the children. I just loved the smiles on their faces the other day. This is a super cute kid-friendly recipe that we will be passing on to a few friends!5 stars

  2. I just can’t believe my eyes – these quesadillas are too cute! And they are perfect for what I have been looking for – thank you so much!5 stars

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