I make quesadillas so often, it’s actually quite surprising that I only have one quesadilla recipe on the blog. I think because I usually use them as a way to repurpose leftovers, like my Southwest Pumpkin Risotto Quesadillas, and I’m not creating a brand new recipe, it doesn’t really cross my mind to feature it here. I need to change that. This quesadilla recipe, however, is from scratch and features several fall goodies. It’s a little crunchy, a little creamy, a little sweet, a little smoky, even a little spicy if desired. You gotta try a Pumpkin, Apple and Caramelized Onion Vegan Queasadilla!
Generally, when I make quesadillas, it’s because I’m short on time and I can throw one together in just a few minutes. Admittedly, this one isn’t the quickest recipe. The onions take about 30 minutes to caramelize, but it’s so worth it. I’m not even an onion fan in general. I add them for flavor to lots of things, but I don’t like to take a big bite into one. But when you caramelize them until they’re all sweet and tender and then add some balsamic vinegar (which I love so much I could practically drink the stuff!), they are the stuff dreams are made of. 🙂 Are you with me?
Originally, my plan was just for an apple and caramelized onion quesadilla, but it just wasn’t enough. It needed a creamy factor to pull it all together. I had some leftover pumpkin puree in the fridge (oh, ok, so I guess this does contain some sort of leftover, but it’s just as easy to open a fresh can) and I thought to myself, (or more likely said out loud as I do like to talk to myself) “why not?”. I doctored it up with some spices and a little maple syrup to balance it all out. Put it all together with the caramelized onions and some tart apple slices into a tortilla and crisp it all up…mmmmmmm, finger lickin’ good!
On this particular day, I served it alongside my Creamy Tomato Soup, which ironically was sort of the inspiration for this quesadilla recipe. I really wanted the soup for lunch and I wanted something to go with it. Grilled cheese obviously goes perfectly with tomato soup, but I didn’t have any vegan cheese slices and this concoction of apples and onions somehow snuck into my head. By the way, the Creamy Tomato Soup can be made in less than 3o minutes, so if you want to eat these together like I did, start the soup after you get your onions going and it should all be ready around the same time.
- 2 onions (I used 1 sweet white onion and 1 red onion), sliced thin
- ¼ cup vegetable broth (plus more as needed)
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup pure pumpkin puree
- 2 tsp pure maple syrup
- ½ tsp chili powder
- ¼ tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp crushed dried rosemary
- pinch of cayenne, optional for heat
- 1 apple, sliced thin
- 4 medium tortillas (gluten free, if desired)
- In a large skillet (I used non-stick) on the stove, heat ¼ cup vegetable broth over medium heat.
- Add the sliced onions and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so, until dark and caramelized. You may need to add an additional tbsp or 2 of vegetable broth if the onions start to stick too much. As they cook down, try to keep them in one even layer. If it's ok if they overlap a little, but you don't want a too high of a mound of onions because then they will simply steam and not caramelize.
- In the meantime while the onions are cooking, in a small bowl, stir together the pumpkin, maple syrup, chili powder, smoked paprika, rosemary and cayenne, if using. Set aside.
- When the onions are caramelized, turn off the heat and add the balsamic vinegar. Stir to coat.
- Take one tortilla and lay it flat. Spread ¼th of the pumpkin mixture all over the whole thing. Place ¼th of the onion mixture over one half of the pumpkin puree. Add the sliced apple on top of the onions. Fold the half of the tortilla that only has pumpkin on it over the other half and set aside. Continue with the remaining tortillas in the same way.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat (I did a quick wipe with a paper towel of the one I used for my onions). Spray it with a little cooking spray, if necessary, and place the folded tortillas in the pan. Do not overcrowd the pan. I only fit two at a time. Cook for a few minutes on each side until brown and crisp. Repeat with any remaining tortillas.
- Serve warm.
*This post is linked to Tinned Tomatoes: Meat Free Mondays.