This easy vegan mushroom quesadilla is perfect for satisfying that cheese cravings, and has some sautéed mushrooms for extra flavor. They're on your plate in under 15 mins with a stocked fridge and pantry. Not bad for a vegan weeknight meal...
There's never a bad time for a quesadilla, but they're particularly popular around the Super Bowl, in the summer when ingredients are fresh, and in the fall during football season.
We use the same techniques, adjusted for different ingredients. 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.
This vegan quesadilla recipe features...
2 types of vegan cheeses - cheddar and mozzarella.
Mushrooms - white or baby bella work well here. No need for anything fancy!
Onion - choose wisely. Different onions have different flavor profiles and strengths. They also have different cooking times (more on that in "Instructions").
- 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.
Cooking oil - grapeseed is my favorite for it's high smoking point
Soy sauce - can sub for coconut aminos or tamari
Flour tortillas - corn just isn't the same.
Jalapeños for a spicy kick
Pico de gallo, vegan sour cream, and/or your favorite salsa for dipping (optional)
Finally, a note on vegan dairy substitutes:
Cheese: I love Miyoko's for mozzarella, but Daiya also does a nice job. Keep trying out different brands until you find one you like.
Sour cream: The Forager Project makes a great vegan sour cream. I know Whole Foods carries that brand.
Having trouble finding these ingredients? You could also...
- Check your local health food market
- Ask your local grocery store to stock it for you
- Order it online
I'm not ambitious enough to make my own vegan cheese or sour cream, especially for a quick quesadilla. Do as our non-veg friends do, and track some down at a store.
First, thinly slice onions.
Then, slice mushrooms. Remove a little bit of the stem - that part can be a little hard and can take away from the soft texture. Now slice each mushroom thinly. They'll shrink in the pan, so don't go too crazy.
Now we're ready to cook...place onions into a large skillet on medium heat with a splash of grapeseed oil or olive oil. Saute onions until translucent, 5-6 minutes.
Note: a thinly sliced scallion will cook more quickly than a shallot, which will cook more quickly than a white or yellow onion. It's time to add the mushrooms when the onions soften and become more translucent.
Now add mushrooms with a pinch of salt to release juices. After 4-5 minutes, the mushrooms usually shrink to about half their original size. For best results, let some of the excess water evaporate.
Once mushrooms start sticking to the pan a little, we'll deglaze with soy sauce for umami or meaty 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.
Now place a dry pan on medium heat. Once warm, place one tortilla onto the pan. Cover half of the tortilla with a light layer of cheese, then mushrooms, and jalapenos if desired.
Fold empty side over side with filling, and cover with lid for 1-2 minutes. Then flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until the it's lightly golden brown and crisp. Slice and enjoy!
If you're making quesadillas for a crowd, cover the whole tortilla with toppings, and place another tortilla on top. Carefully flip, and cook until the old top of the quesadilla has browned.
Top tip: be patient when melting the cheese. When in doubt, use lower heat and cook for longer. It's better than a burnt quesadilla...
Substitutions & Variations
This delicious quesadilla is naturally vegan, egg-free and dairy free. As always, double check ingredients on anything packaged, especially if you have an allergy.
- Gluten free - use gluten free tortillas and tamari instead of soy sauce
- Soy free - use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce. Double check vegan cheese ingredients!
- Nut-free - whip up some vegan queso sauce instead of vegan cheese. Add nutritional yeast for extra cheesy flavor
- Healthier - use whole wheat tortilla
There are quite a few variations for this easy recipe!
- Fajita quesadillas - sauté sliced red pepper with red onion, then add mushrooms
- Butternut squash quesadillas - add some roasted butternut squash OR sweet potatoes
- Baja quesadillas - add black beans and corn, and serve refried beans on the side for dipping
- Black bean quesadillas - add black beans (or pinto beans if that's your thing!)
- Vegetarian quesadillas - use regular cheese instead of vegan cheese - Monterey jack is a great option
- Hot sauce is always a welcome condiment for quesadillas of any kind
If you don't like mushrooms, try cutting into smaller pieces. Mushrooms enhance the texture and flavor, without overpowering the quesadilla. In addition, we'll season with soy sauce, so they won't taste like mushrooms. Win!
I do NOT recommend using corn tortillas, as they don't crisp as nicely as flour tortillas.
Note: for a more traditional quesadilla, you can always add dairy cheese. In fact, most vegan quesadilla recipes will still work with regular cheese - it's a great way to introduce more veggies into your meal!
Pan should be shallow and flat bottomed. A frying pan works well.
You may need to use slightly lower heat for a stainless steel pan, as they retain more heat than a nonstick. Don't forget the lid!
The great news is there's no fancy equipment required for this recipe (looking at you, food processor and blender...).
These cheesy vegan quesadillas are best enjoyed fresh. Store ingredients separately, and make individual quesadillas to reheat. If you have leftover quesadillas, store in an airtight container, and gently reheat in a skillet over low to medium heat. If you're short on a time, a microwave will work too.
Frequently asked questions
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.
You can also whip up a vegan cheese sauce. This one uses butternut squash for a light and healthy quesadilla.
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.
There are tons of options for veggie quesadilla fillings. Sautéed mushrooms, onions and bell pepper, corn, beans, sweet potato, and butternut squash are some of my favorites.
Top with guacamole, sour cream, and pico de gallo.
Take your time melting the cheese! Low heat and more time is better than a burnt quesadilla any day.
Craving cheese? Check out these other vegan recipes!
- Butternut squash quesadillas
- Baked mac and cheese
- Grilled cheese
- Twice baked potatoes
- Black bean enchiladas
- Butternut squash mac and cheese
- Easy vegan nachos
- Butternut squash alfredo
- Butternut squash lasagna
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 quesadilla.
- 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.
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