Meet one of my favorite brunch recipes: Smoked salmon quesadillas. Smoked salmon, goat-cheese, basil and lemon zest are sandwiched between crisp toasted tortillas. They are easy to throw together for a crowd, tempting to behold and most importantly, they're absolutely scrumptious!
Whenever I host a brunch the first thing I think about is flavor. My second concern is logistics. The goal, when hosting, is to make the most delicious food possible and still be able to enjoy the festivities (not in the kitchen!)
That's why I love these quesadillas so much. They take a bit more work than the classic salmon bagel and cream cheese platter, but you can do all of the prep work in advance and they are festive and flavorful - a real crowd-pleaser.
The recipe comes from a fun cookbook called Radically Simple, by Rozanne Gold. It's a simple and straight forward recipe, as are most of the recipes in the book.
I made a couple of minor tweaks. I upped the goat cheese to cream cheese ratio and I devised a preparation strategy that works well if you're cooking for a crowd.
HOW TO MAKE SMOKED SALMON QUESADILLAS FOR A CROWD
If you're cooking brunch for a large group of people, you probably don't want to be standing over the stove, browning tortillas after your guests arrive. Here's how to prep these quesadillas ahead so you can enjoy your guests:
- Brown all the tortillas ahead of time.
- Once the tortillas are cool, lay out half of them and top with all the fixings: goat cheese, cream cheese, smoked salmon, basil and lemon zest.
- Add another toasted tortilla on top
- Set the assembled smoked salmon quesadillas on baking trays and cover lightly with saran or foil.
- Just before serving, remove the saran/foil and pop them into a preheated oven to warm.
- Slice into triangles using a pizza cutter and arrange on a platter.
When you take your first crisp bite, as you experience the mingling of minty basil, sharp lemony zest, tangy, creamy goat cheese and salty smoky salmon, it might just be love at first bite. It was for me!
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Here's the recipe for Smoked Salmon Quesadillas with Goat Cheese. If you try this recipe, I hope you'll come back to leave a star rating and a comment. I'd love to know what you think.Print
Smoked Salmon Quesadillas with Goat Cheese
- Total Time: 31 mins
- Yield: 4-6 1x
Crisp quesadillas stuffed with goat cheese, smoked salmon, lemon and basil. Perfect for brunch!
- 8 flour tortillas (8-inch)
- 6 ounces goat cheese, from a log
- 4 ounces whipped cream cheese
- 8 ounces smoked salmon, sliced into 1-inch strips
- ½ cup slivered basil leaves, plus extra for sprinkling on top
- Zest of 1 large lemon
- Vegetable oil for sautéing
- Assemble Quesadillas Preheat oven to 225ºF. In a medium sized bowl stir cream cheese and goat cheese until thoroughly combined. Set 4 tortillas out on the counter. Spread each tortilla with ¼ of the goat cheese mixture. Evenly distribute the salmon slices, basil and lemon zest. Cover each with a second tortilla and press down gently.
- Cook Quesadillas Heat 2 teaspoons of oil over medium-high heat in a large cast iron or non-stick skillet. (for speed, work with two skillets) Place a quesadilla in the skillet and cook for about 2 minutes, until crisp and golden brown on the bottom. Flip quesadilla and brown on the other side. Transfer the quesadilla to a large baking sheet in the oven, to keep warm while you cook the remaining quesadillas. Slice quesadillas into quarters with a pizza cutter, and arrange on a platter.
- Optional garnish Sprinkle slivered basil over the quesadillas
Cooking for a crowd: If you're doubling or tripling this recipe, you'll want to do some prep ahead. Brown all the tortillas on just one side. When they're cool, lay half of them out a flat surface, brown side down. Spread the goat cheese mixture on the top (uncooked side) and assemble the fillings on top. Cover with another tortilla, browned side up, pressing down gently. Place all the assembled quesadillas on baking trays. Just before serving, pop them in a 250F preheated oven for about 10 minutes, to heat them through. For extra crispness you can turn on the broiler for the last minute or so of heating. Watch carefully and constantly so they don't burn. Slice into wedges, pile onto a platter and serve warm, topped with slivered basil.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 16 mins
- Category: Breakfast or Brunch
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: smoked salmon quesadillas, goat cheese quesadillas, quesadillas with salmon and goat cheese
Absolutely delicious. Perfect ratios of all the ingredients. So quick. I did only one thing different ; I brushed the tortillas with oil instead of putting oil in the pan. Served with asparagus. My boyfriend loved these too. We only needed one quesadilla each even though we're both big eaters, so this meal actually worked out to be a good price as well. Thanks for an amazing recipe! We'll be using it often!
I love this. Simple as that!
This is now one of my go-to snacks. When I want something that tastes gourmet and chefy, but takes 10min to make with one pan!!!
I've probably made these upwards of 20 times — to the point where they've become part of my diet. I've even done 'super quesadilla' versions where I cook one side, flip it over and put another layer of goat cheese/salmon/zest on and then a tortilla on top and repeat. You end up with a 2 inch thick creation where each slice is the equivalent of about half a regular quesadilla.
Finally made these (vs enjoying yours) - super good! Everyone loved them! For sure a brunch staple to be served over and over again.
Hi Joel! I'm glad you liked them enough at my house to make them at yours! I love these so much for brunch - especially because I love the bagel and salmon theme but it's nice to have a new and interesting variation on the theme.
These quesadillas were fantastic - as were the the friends we enjoyed them with!! Happy and healthy New Year to all - here's to cooking together...and maybe a walking food tour of London in 2018!
So glad you enjoyed the quesadillas and the friends 🙂 Cheers to cooking together and to a walking food tour of London in the new year! Happy Healthy 2018 to you and yours!
Melissa | Bits of Umami
Saw this on a Good Housekeeping round up and had to come check it out! I'm a sucker for bagels with lox. And an even bigger sucker for quesadillas. Love the mash up!
Thank you Melissa!
Rachel (Rachel's Kitchen NZ)
These are so my kind of food - yum.
Florence & Isabelle
This is a great idea! I'm going to make it for my kids for an after school snack and it's a terrific brunch idea when I've had my fill of lox and bagels... Julie
Privileged to have been there when this was created and...YUM!
Great idea, looking forward to trying this!
Your photos are even more stunning than usual, if that's possible!
Thank you Mindy!