Grilled Vegetable Quesadillas with Goat Cheese and Pesto

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Summer is almost upon us, and the season brings with it so many exciting things. It’s finally time for the onslaught of refreshing cocktails, outdoor meals, exposed skin, and beach hair. It is also music festival season. I am regularly reminded of this last fact because I am somehow still on the “Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival” email list. I can’t bring myself to unsubscribe since I did spend a lovely four days there in June of 2008 with three of my besties, Maisie, Bay, and Serena. (No, I am not referring to myself in the third person. There was another Serena.) Every year around this time, I am filled with nostalgia (and nausea) thinking about my experience in Manchester, Tennessee.

Since I shall most likely never return to Bonnaroo, I figured I would indulge my nostalgia by recreating the miracle quesadillas. When I really think about it, those quesadillas had some very weird things in them. I’m pretty sure there were unexpectedly crunchy carrot rounds involved, and based on the hippie purveyors of the quesadillas, there is also a distinct possibility that the cheese used in those bad boys was Daiya or some other scary vegan shit. Fortunately, I left out the carrots and used real cheese in these Grilled Vegetable Quesadillas with Goat Cheese and Pesto. You’re welcome.

Bursting with fresh grilled vegetables, melted mozzarella and creamy goat cheese, these are the classiest quesadillas that you’ll ever come across. The hint of garlicky sweetness from the basil pesto adds a little bit of je ne sais quoi and makes these quesadillas completely irresistible. I’m pleased to report that you can feel good about eating them too since they’re made on low-carb whole-grain tortillas.

Cooking quesadillas directly on the grill adds a smoky flavor and makes them a slightly unexpected and delicious choice for summer grilling. While they’re a great option for a quick weeknight dinner, I also like the idea of slicing them up and serving them as an appetizer at an outdoor cocktail party or Memorial Day barbecue. And for those of you attending a music festival in the near future, these quesadillas are actually a practical camping meal if you happen to be one of those fancy hippies with a portable grill. Happy summer, friends!

Grilled Vegetable Quesadillas with Goat Cheese and Pesto
Grilled Vegetable Quesadillas with Goat Cheese and Pesto


  • 1 small zucchini, diagonally sliced into ¼ inch pieces
  • 1 small summer squash, diagonally sliced into ¼ inch pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, stem and seeds removed
  • 1 small red onion, sliced into ¼ inch rounds
  • 1 large Portobello mushroom, cleaned and sliced into ½ inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • white pepper
  • 4 whole grain tortillas (I used La Tortilla Factory Smart & Delicious Soft Wraps)
  • 4 tablespoon pesto, divided
  • 2 cups part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 4 oz goat cheese, divided


  1. Start by preparing your vegetables. Drizzle the sliced vegetables with 2 tbsp olive oil and season with salt and white pepper.
  2. Place vegetables on the grill (or in a grill pan) and cook for approximately 3 minutes on each side or until just tender.
  3. Remove the vegetables from the grill and let cool for 5 minutes. Cut the grilled vegetables into roughly 1-inch pieces and set aside.

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