Quesadilla, actually pronounced as keh-sah-diya, is a cheesy-loaded grilled tortilla that can be simply filled with anything you have at home. Its filling is usually seasoned with various flavorings. Thus, this article will cover how quesadilla spices bring flavor to this beloved Mexican food.

The usage of spices comes down to seasoning the fillings that go in this dish. However, in order to season meat, seafood, or poultry used in fillings, the following spices are generally used:

  1. Garlic
  2. Onion powder
  3. Black pepper
  4. Cumin
  5. Cayenne Pepper
  6. Paprika

In addition, dried oregano is used as a key herb, and some recipes even include herbs and spices like chopped cilantro, taco seasoning, chili powder, serrano pepper and red chili flakes.

So, let’s check out how these flavors help to spice up your quesadilla!

Jump to Recipe

What Spices Are In Quesadillas?

You can actually pop in anything inside your quesadillas, followed by cheese, as we mentioned earlier. The magical taste of this food lies in the cheesy bite and the filling you use.

What spices are in quesadillas - SpiceRally

Most ones come together with a simple cheese filling or, most prominently, chicken, ground beef, seafood, pulled pork, and vegetable fillings. However, there are no standard or must-use quesadilla spices. 

But a set of general and mostly used flavorings plays a significant role in seasoning the ingredients used in their fillings. And that is what we will be focussing on from this section.

01 – Garlic

The unique pungency and the strong bite of this spice is undoubtedly a spotlight flavoring of this dish. Most of the time, garlic powder is used to season chicken or seafood that goes in the stuffing. And minced garlic often accompanies ground beef, vegetables, and sometimes even chicken.

02 – Onion Powder

Onion powder makes friends with most ingredients that go in the fillings. This spice is primarily found in non-veg quesadilla recipes like chicken and shrimp. Its distinctive sulfur-like hint with sweet, savory, and garlicky notes matches well with ingredients like garlic, meat, and seafood.

While these spices add flavor to quesadillas, many other spices are used in traditional Mexican cuisine. Click on this link and refer to our comprehensive post to learn the essential spices that define Mexican cooking.

03 – Black Pepper

Ground black pepper is often paired with salt as a seasoning. Freshly ground black pepper is simply used in most meat-based, seafood, and vegetable fillings in this food. Most of the time, its earthy, piney, and peppery flavor profile provide the perfect flavor support to chicken when seasoned.

If you ever need to learn about adaptability in life, you better watch how a quesadilla fixes with every filling that goes in it!


04 – Cumin

Ground cumin is a prevalent spice in most quesadilla recipes. This spice is predominantly used to season chicken, beef, shrimp, and even vegetables that go into the fillings. Cumin holds a nutty, slightly sweet, and warm flavor that can particularly complement meat and seafood.

05 – Cayenne Pepper

This could tantalize your taste buds with a hot, fiery kick and a depth of flavor. Adding cayenne pepper is actually a personal choice, but we found many recipes with this spice. Cayenne pepper gets along well with meat and gives a subtle spiciness to the creaminess of the cheese.

06- Paprika

Sweet, smoked, or hot paprika varieties are typically used in many non-veg quesadilla recipes. The flavor it adds depends on the variety we use but any type of paprika would give a nice tone to the filling.

Herbs Used In Quesadilla

01 – Dried Oregano

Dried oregano is a leading addition to many recipes of this dish. Apparently, it is the only dried herb that we found in a majority of the recipes. Oregano is bold with a slight bitter-sweet, earthy flavor.

Did you know that dried oregano is also a key ingredient in Herbes de Provence mix? For more information, click here and read our article.

02 – Fresh Cilantro (Coriander Leaves)

Sometimes, fresh cilantro is used in fillings. Again, this is another personal choice for an extra punch of taste.

What Are The Other Ingredients Used In Quesadilla?

As stated before, the fillings of this dish can be made with anything on our appreciation. But, there are some staples used as the base. They are:

  • Corn of flour tortillas
  • Cheese ( Monterey Jack, Cheddar, Mozzarella, Oaxaca, Colby Jack)

Fillings can include:

  • Meat (chicken, pork, beef)
  • Seafood
  • Sausages
  • Vegetables
  • Sauces
  • Corn
  • Guacamole
  • Black beans
  • Tomato paste
  • Tomato
  • Salsa
  • Salt
  • Beef broth
  • Water
  • Butter
  • Oil

Quesadilla sauce is indeed a flavorful addition to this dish that you cannot resist. Want to know what it is made of? Click for our featured article on quesadilla sauce!

How Do You Spice Up A Cheese Quesadilla?

A cheese quesadilla is the most basic type that you can put together easily. Since no spices or herbs are typically used in a basic cheese quesadilla, you can find it a bit bland without many flavors. 

Therefore, we tried to find what you can do to spice up your regular cheese quesadilla. Some recipes suggest that you can use additional ingredients like:

  • Hot sauce
  • Taco seasoning
  • Onions
  • Jalapenos
  • Sour cream
  • Guacamole
  • Salsa
  • Green chilies

In addition to these suggestions, you can absolutely use anything you like that goes with cheese!

Grilled cheese is a cheesy loaded treat just like a quesadilla. To discover the best spices that can be used for grilled cheese, click here for our fully detailed feature.

What’s In Taco Bell Quesadilla?

This is nothing about revealing trade secrets. But since many of you have this question, we conducted our broad research to find out what they really have in their quesadillas.

So, here’s what we found from Taco Bell official website and other sources.

Type of tortilla they useFlour tortillas
Main ingredients in the fillings– A blend of three kinds of cheese
– Grilled chicken
– Steak
– Black beans
Dressings and sauces– Sour cream
– Creamy Jalapeno sauce
– Chipotle sauce
– Nacho cheese sauce
– Spicy ranch
Other add-ons– Seasoned rice
– Seasoned beef
– Guacamole

Easy Homemade Beef-Cheesy Quesadilla Recipe!

0 from 0 votes
Recipe by SpiceRally Cuisine: Mexican


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time



How does it feel to savor juicy and perfectly seasoned ground beef inside cheesy and crispy tortillas! If you sensed the taste already, why wait?

Here’s an easy and simple beef-cheesy quesadilla recipe that you can put together in under a few minutes. Get your beef seasoned right-and you’ll get the best treat right under your roof!

Cook Mode

Keep the screen of your device on


  • Spices and Herbs
  • 2 tbsp 2 Cumin powder

  • 1/4 tbsp 1/4 Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 tbsp 1/4 Cayenne pepper (optional)

  • 1 tbsp 1 Onion powder

  • 1 tbsp 1 Dried oregano

  • 2 cloves 2 Minced garlic

  • 3/4 Cup 3/4 Chopped cilantro

  • Other Ingredients
  • 8 8 Tortillas (20cm/8″)

  • 2 Cups 2 Monterey Jack cheese (shredded)

  • 1 Pound 1 Lean ground beef

  • 1 Cup 1 Corn kernels (can-drained)

  • 1/2 tbsp 1/2 Olive oil

  • 2 tbsp 2 Tomato paste

  • 1/2 1/2 An onion (finely chopped)

  • 1 1 Small red bell pepper (diced)

  • 1 tbsp 1 Salt

  • 1/4 Cup 1/4 Water


  • How to Make The Beef Filling
  • First, to prepare the spice mix- in a small bowl, mix together onion powder, cumin powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, and dried oregano. Combine all well together and set aside.
  • Next, in a skillet, heat oil and add onions and garlic. Saute for about two minutes.
  • Now, add beef, breaking the pieces using a wooden spatula as you cook through.
  • When beef turns brown from pink, add bell pepper and cook for another one minute.
  • Then, stir in tomato paste, the prepared spice mix, and water and cook for about two minutes.
  • Transfer this beef mixture to another bowl to cool down.
  • Let’s Make Quesadillas!
  • Keep a tortilla on your worktop and sprinkle some cheese on one side.
  • Now, top with a small amount of the beef filling- do not overload!
  • Sprinkle some corn kernels, chopped cilantro, and fold the tortilla in half.
  • Heat a non-stick skillet on medium-low heat and place and keep the quesadilla in it. (Use some oil if you use an ordinary skillet or a pan)
  • Press down the quesadilla lightly, covering it with a lid.
  • Cook each side for about three minutes, or each side turns golden and crispy. (Once the underside turns golden, no lid is required to cook the other side)
  • Transfer to a cutting board and cut into pieces as you like.

Tasty Notes

  • Although we have used Monterey jack cheese here, feel free to use a cheese of your choice.
  • You can even use minced pork, veal, or chicken instead of beef.
  • If you don’t have tomato paste, you can even use tomato sauce.
  • If you feel like using beef broth instead of water- go ahead and make your choice!

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @spice_rally on Instagram and hashtag it with #SpiceRally

Like this recipe?

Follow @SpiceRally on Pinterest

Join our Facebook Page!

Follow SpiceRally on Facebook

Ending With Your Favorite Mexican Delish…

Every bit of savor of this dish depends on the filling that goes in. And, in that case, spices have a significant part in flavoring the ingredients. 

So, as you just read on the top, quesadilla spices like Garlic, Onion powder, Cayenne pepper, Chili powder, Cumin powder, Black pepper, Dried oregano are generally used to season the meat, seafood, or vegetables used in the fillings.

So, what’s your favorite type of quesadilla? Let us know in a comment down below!

Related Topics

Write A Comment