This vegan mushroom quesadilla is perfect for satisfying that cheesy craving, and has some yummy mushrooms for extra flavor. You’d be hard pressed to find a more delicious vegan quesadilla. Y’all know I’m all about keeping it simple. With a quick trip to Whole Foods or your local health food market, these quesadillas are no more difficult to make than a quesadilla with dairy. They can be on your plate in under 15 mins with a stocked fridge and pantry. Not bad for a vegan weeknight meal…
This vegan quesadilla recipe features…
- 2 types of vegan cheeses – cheddar and mozzarella
- Sautéed mushrooms
- Jalapeños for a spicy kick
The mushroom part
1. First, choose your onion wisely – different onions have different flavor profiles and strengths. For something savory and garlicky go for a small shallot. If you want something a little lighter, try a scallion. To keep it simple, try a basic white or yellow onion. If onions make you cry, go for a sweet onion. There are so many options! Different onions also have different cooking times. For example, a thinly sliced scallion will cook more quickly than a shallot, which will cook more quickly than a white or yellow onion. Watch for signs that it’s time to add the mushrooms – usually when the onions soften and become more translucent.
2. Slicing your mushrooms – when making dishes where mushrooms are meant to enhance the texture, but not overpower, we want to make sure they’re cut into small pieces. First, I remove a little bit of the stem – that part can be a little hard and can take away from the soft texture we’re going for. Then, I slice each mushroom thinly, and then dice by running my knife perpendicularly to the first set of slices. You want them to be a little smaller than a regular slice. They’ll shrink in the pan, so don’t go too crazy.
3. Add salt to release juices – this step is crucial to getting decadent mushroom flavor. When you add your mushrooms to the pan, give them a nice pinch of salt. Usually you can tell when the mushrooms have released their juices by looking for excess water in the pan, and watching the size of the mushrooms. My original volume of mushrooms typically reduces by half or more.
4. Add flavor back in – so your mushrooms have released their juices – excellent! We don’t want our vegan mushroom quesadilla to be drippy, so let most of that liquid evaporate. Once your mushrooms start sticking to the pan a little, it’s time to deglaze with my favorite ingredient, soy sauce. You can use Tbsp or two of tamari, coconut aminos, soy sauce, whatever you’re into. The key here is adding in umami flavor. It won’t taste like soy sauce or Asian food, I promise. Let most of the soy sauce evaporate and absorb, then transfer into a dish to cool.
Why would you add mushrooms to a perfectly good quesadilla? Ah, not a mushroom fan I see. That’s ok, neither I wasn’t until I learned to cook them properly. See tips above for making delectable sautéed mushrooms worthy of the almighty quesadilla.
Ooh these are spicy! Do you have any recommendations for a great vegan sour cream? Why yes, I do! The Forager Project makes a great vegan sour cream. I know Whole Foods carries that brand. You could also…
- Check your local health food market
- Ask your local grocery store to stock it for you
- Order it online
One thing’s for sure – I’m not ambitious enough to make my own vegan sour cream, especially for a quick quesadilla. Do as our non-veg friends do, and track some down at a store.
Vegan cheese questions
What’s the best vegan cheese for quesadillas? I recommend two types of cheese for this vegan mushroom quesadilla. First, get your hands on some cheddar. I used Miyoko’s here, but pick your favorite. I also recommend some mozzarella. In this case, I do recommend a specific kind – Miyoko’s mozzarella wheel is unmatched in flavor and texture. It’s the secret sauce that really adds that sharp cheesy flavor, which is odd because it’s a mozzarella, but I’m not mad about it.
Why won’t my vegan cheese melt? Good question – in short, there isn’t a vegan cheese that I’ve found that melts like dairy cheese, however, we can still get that gooey texture.
- First, make sure your pan is on low – medium heat. We want to cook our mushroom quesadillas low and slow, because vegan cheese takes a little longer to melt.
- Second, make sure you cover your pan with a lid while cooking – this keeps the warmth inside which helps melt your cheese. Even if your cheese doesn’t look melted, give it a shot after 2-3 mins on each side – vegan cheese tends to hold its shape when warm, but it still gooey.
- Finally, make sure you’re using a thin layer of vegan cheese. The shreds will spread out as they warm up. This will happen more quickly if they’re in a thin layer, same as dairy cheese, but more important here. If you’re interested in the food science behind vegan cheese, I break it down for you here.
What do you know about making amazing quesadillas as a vegan? Well friend, quite a few things. Though I’ve been plant-based for the last 5 years, I used to be a cheese addict and expert at melting it perfectly on everything from triscuits, to toast and, you guessed it, quesadillas. When cooking for a crowd after a long night, this is my go-to snack. My quesadillas NEVER disappoint. I’ve applied the same techniques I’d use to making a dairy quesadilla, and simply adjusted my cooking times to allow for proper melting, and ingredients to add more umph.
Vegan mushroom quesadilla recipePrint
- 1 package mushrooms, slice thinly, then diced
- ½ medium onion (see recommendations above)
- 1 Tbsp cooking oil (such as grapeseed. eyeball it!)
- Pinch salt
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce/tamari/coconut aminos
- OPTIONAL: 1 clove garlic, minced
1. Prepare mushrooms: once mushrooms and onions are sliced and ready to go, heat a nonstick pan on medium heat. Add oil and onions with a pinch of salt, and sautée for 2-3 mins until they begin to soften. Then add mushrooms (and garlic if desired) and another pinch of salt. Stir every couple of minutes. You’re looking for the mushrooms to release their water.
2. Add soy sauce/tamari/coconut aminos: once the mushrooms release their juices, and their volume has reduced by at least half, it’s time to start thinking about adding flavor back in. Let the water evaporate – once the mushrooms start sticking to the pan a little, add soy sauce. Let most of the soy sauce evaporate, then transfer to dish to cool.
3. Put together quesadillas: using the same pan as the previous step (it’s already seasoned, don’t let those flavors to go waste!), set the heat to low-medium. Lay down a tortilla. On one half of the tortilla, put down a thin layer of cheddar shreds. Then add a few tsp size pieces of mozzarella. Using a slotted spoon, lay down a thin layer of mushrooms, and top with sliced jalapeno. Fold the empty half over, and cover pan for 2-3 minutes. Then flip. The tortilla should have a little crispiness, but isn’t burnt. Cover for another 2-3 minutes, then remove from pan, slice, and enjoy with pico and sour cream.