Can you call a quesadilla a quesadilla if there is no queso? Consider this my version of Hamlet’s, “To be or not to be” folks.
I get real deep about food.
Names aside, this quesadilla does not have any dairy but I still think it’s worthy of being called quesadilla because it’s just as gooey, melty, and delicious as the most cheese laden ‘dilla out there. Now, there are some vegan quesadillas out there that will use some type of butternut squash to sub for the cheese and while that’s just fine, there are times you just want to have a big glob of cheese between to tortillas.
This recipe was born of one of those times.
I tweaked a few things from my Not Mozzarella Mozzarella recipe and came out with a spreadable cheese substitute. To which I then added a spicy butternut squash spread and pan roasted bell peppers and mushrooms, just for good measure. You are most welcome.
I also learned with this venture that Siete makes the most amazing grain-free tortillas and I am going to go broke buying their cassava and chia tortillas. I’m ok with that because I will at least get to eat these quesadillas. But seriously. If you haven’t tried these tortillas and you’re grain and gluten free you need to find them immediately.
Tortilla. Game. Changer.
Ok, have I hyped these quesadillas up enough? They have cheese that isn’t cheese. Delicious tortillas that are grain and gluten free that don’t taste like cardboard. Spicy butternut squash that is perfect for fall. And vegetables because everyone needs more veggies in their life. So go make them and have a fiesta!
Butternut Squash Quesadillas
For the cheese:
- 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight or for at least two hours
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup tapioca starch
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Place all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and combine until completely smooth. If you have a high-powered blender, this will take about a minute.
- Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan and heat over medium-high heat. Keep stirring until it turns into a thick and stretchy mixture. Set aside until you’re ready to assemble your quesadilla.
For the butternut squash sauce
- 2 cups cubed butternut squash, steamed until soft
- 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 1 tsp chipotle chili powder (can use regular chili powder, it will just have less of a kick)
- juice of one lime
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp liquid smoke or smoked paprika
- Blend everything together until smooth and creamy. You can make this ahead of time so it’s ready to go when you make your quesadillas.
For the quesadillas:
- 1 batch of cheese
- 1 batch of butternut squash sauce
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 8 oz. package of sliced mushrooms
- 1/4 tsp salt
- tortillas (flour, corn, or grain-free like these)
- cilantro, optional
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high and saute the pepper, onion, and mushrooms until soft and starting to brown. Remove from heat.
- Build the quesadilla: Take two tortillas and spread cheese on each side. Spread some butternut squash sauce on one side and place about 1/4 cup of peppers and mushrooms on the other side. Sprinkle with cilantro.
- Heat a clean skillet over medium-high heat. DON’T use oil. Close up your quesadilla so it’s one piece. Place in skillet and heat for about 3 minutes or just starting to brown. Carefully flip and cook for three more minutes. Repeat for as many quesadillas you want.
- You can keep already made quesadillas in a warm oven until you’re ready to eat. To slice them, I like to use a pizza cutter. It’s just easier. Also, you should totally dip this into my avocado cream. 🙂