Smoked Salmon Quesadillas

Back when I catered, I once created a quesadilla bar for a smallish party. It was a lot of work, with two skillets going, but the guests enjoyed choosing their custom ingredients and their ooey gooey appetizers.

If my memory serves, I had chicken, beef, and shrimp, peppers and onions, tomatoes and mangos, good cheeses, plus cilantro. There are just so many options with quesadillas.

On this blog I’ve posted on what I’d call traditional, southwestern-style quesadillas, which I’ve made a lot over the years, especially when my kids were home. I love serving them with both red and green salsas.

With flour tortillas that get extra crispy in butter, and all of the cheesy goodness inside, you hardly need anything else. But I do. And smoked salmon quesadillas are a perfect example of going beyond the traditional quesadilla.

Smoked Salmon Quesadillas
Makes 3 – 8″ quesadillas

6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
6 ounces soft goat cheese like chèvre, at room temperature
1 generous tablespoon chopped chives
1 generous tablespoon finely chopped parsley
2 teaspoons olive oil or butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
6 – 8” flour tortillas
12 ounces grated mozzarella
6 ounces high quality smoked salmon
Butter, about 3 generous tablespoons

Mix together the cream cheese and goat cheese along with the chives and parsley until smooth. Don’t overstir.

In a 12” skillet, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté them for about 5 minutes. Remove the cooked shallots to a small bowl, and keep the skillet on the stove. Get out a lid that works with the skillet as well as a large metal spatula.

Set out a large cutting board for cutting the quesadillas, and a serving platter.

Spread the soft cheese on all 6 tortillas.

Then add the slices of smoked salmon to 3 “bottom” tortillas, and top the salmon with 1/3 of the cooked shallots on each of the 3 tortillas.

When ready to start cooking, have all of the tortillas, tops and bottoms, the grated mozzarella, and butter on hand. It’s best to be fully prepared.

Heat the skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter; some browning is good. Carefully place the bottom tortilla in the skillet, tortilla side down, then immediately add a generous amount of grated cheese, about 4 ounces per quesadilla, followed by the top tortilla (that only has the soft cheese spread on it.) Press gently on the quesadilla.

If the tortilla has crisped up golden on the bottom, carefully turn over the quesadilla using a heavy spatula. Press down on it with the spatula, then cover the skillet, turn down the heat and put on the lid.

The heat is lowered to allow the cheeses to melt thoroughly and the quesadilla to heat through.
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Carefully place the quesadilla to the cutting board. Add more butter to the skillet, turn up the heat, and repeat with the remaining 2 quesadillas.

Let the quesadillas rest for at least five minutes before cutting up like a pizza, using a long knife or pizza cutter, then layer onto a serving platter.

Cover with a clean towel to keep them warm, but keep it loose. You want to retain the crispiness of the tortillas, which is why it’s best to work fast.

As an appetizer, these will serve quite a few people; they’re quite rich.

Keep in mind that these alone are fabulous with a rosé or Prosecco, or better yet, a sparkling rosé!

And if you prefer, use raw shallots instead of sautéed. Even capers can be used in the quesadillas.

You can play with my version of these quesadillas, but I highly suggest you stick to my cheeses because they’re mild. You want to taste the luscious smoked salmon in these.

By Published On: April 18th, 201938 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

38 Comments

  1. canelakitchen April 18, 2019 at 10:50 AM - Reply

    Love quesadillas and with salmon sounds and looks fantastic and delicious!! love them

    • chef mimi April 18, 2019 at 11:29 AM - Reply

      Thanks! They’re very decadent!

  2. sippitysup April 18, 2019 at 5:48 PM - Reply

    It’s like a gourmet (south of the border) grilled cheese sammy! GREG

    • chef mimi April 18, 2019 at 6:22 PM - Reply

      Whatever it is, it’s pure decadence! I’ve had had smoked salmon on pizza, but never on a quesadilla, and it’s exceptional!

  3. cookingontheweekends April 19, 2019 at 12:57 AM - Reply

    I haven’t had smoked salmon in a quesadilla before. The generous amount of chives puts it over the top. Yum. And what fun a custom quesadilla bar sounds like.

    • chef mimi April 19, 2019 at 6:15 AM - Reply

      Doesn’t it? I know people enjoyed the quesadilla bar although some people wanted them faster than I could make them at the beginning!

  4. Gaz April 19, 2019 at 1:38 AM - Reply

    Smoked salmon is so good. These quesadillas look so good.

    • chef mimi April 19, 2019 at 6:13 AM - Reply

      Thank you so much! They were very good!

  5. adina April 19, 2019 at 4:35 AM - Reply

    Quesadillas are always delicious. I have never had them with smoked salmon, they are probably even better than most quesadillas I’ve had.

    • chef mimi April 19, 2019 at 6:13 AM - Reply

      They’re all good, in my book! Crispy flour tortillas with cheese can’t be beat! But I love the fun extras that came be put inside as well!

  6. Frank Fariello April 19, 2019 at 7:33 AM - Reply

    We enjoy the occasional quesadillas at home, too. They’re so easy and, as you said, lend themselves to just about anything variation you can think of. Hard to go wrong with lots of gooey melted cheese after all. And smoked salmon does sound like an appealing if unorthodox riff.

  7. Frank Fariello April 19, 2019 at 7:35 AM - Reply

    I do love me a quesadilla. So easy to make and so versatile. Hard to go wrong with all that gooey cheese inside! And it’s on the table in minutes, for when you’re in the mood for immediate gratification.

    • chef mimi April 19, 2019 at 8:20 AM - Reply

      Exactly! They’re so fun to create. But mostly fun to eat if you’re a cheese fan!

  8. thatskinnychickcanbake April 19, 2019 at 12:41 PM - Reply

    I love, love smoked salmon. In fact, I eat it almost every day for breakfast. But these quesadillas would be perfect for lunch or dinner….they sound AMAZING!!!

    • chef mimi April 19, 2019 at 4:39 PM - Reply

      Thank you! Or, as an appetizer as well!

  9. Angela@eatlivehappy April 19, 2019 at 9:30 PM - Reply

    Oh my goodness! These look “over the top” good!

    • chef mimi April 20, 2019 at 7:12 AM - Reply

      Thank you! They are definitely over the top!

  10. neil@neilshealthymeals.com April 21, 2019 at 11:23 AM - Reply

    You made these quesadillas look so easy to make Mimi. I love the smoked salmon cream cheese filling. These would be a great recipe for my skillet. Yum!

    • chef mimi April 21, 2019 at 1:04 PM - Reply

      You’ll love them!

  11. Sofia April 22, 2019 at 2:05 AM - Reply

    Tortillas, smoked salmon and gooey cheese. 3 things I love all together and sounds so perfect together!

    • chef mimi April 22, 2019 at 6:39 AM - Reply

      And they are! These are really a treat! How are you Sofia?

      • Sofia May 27, 2019 at 5:50 PM

        I’m fine! Motherhood is beautiful but so time consuming and challenging too! How are you?

      • chef mimi May 27, 2019 at 6:34 PM

        Good! Just had our grand daughter here for a few days. It’s time consuming and challenging when you’re a grand parent too! But a lot of fun.

      • Sofia June 2, 2019 at 4:56 PM

        Yes! Challenging and time consuming. But we know we wouldn’t change it for anything in the world ;)

  12. Laura April 22, 2019 at 4:49 PM - Reply

    I love quesadillas in all their incarnations – this one with smoked salmon sounds like a perfect brunch dish! Love these flavors!

    • chef mimi June 2, 2019 at 5:04 PM - Reply

      Definitely would be fabulous at brunch. I think anyone who loves lox would love these!

  13. jenniferguerrero1 April 23, 2019 at 10:24 AM - Reply

    These sound fabulous! Everyone in the house loves salmon, especially smoked, so I think I’d like to give these a try. My problem is that my kids don’t like 3 things: duck, lamb, and goat cheese. Horrifying, I know! I wonder what I could sub in for the goat cheese. Maybe a boursin?

    • chef mimi April 23, 2019 at 10:57 AM - Reply

      I’d just stick with cream cheese. Your kids have great tastes!

  14. Ron April 24, 2019 at 6:21 AM - Reply

    What a great idea. I see a tall cold beer sitting next to your salmon quesadillas on my kitchen table soon.

    • chef mimi April 24, 2019 at 6:43 AM - Reply

      Thank you. They’re great with all kinds of beverages!

  15. Karen (Back Road Journal) April 24, 2019 at 7:34 AM - Reply

    Your smoked salmon quesadillas will make an elegant addition at a cocktail party…especially with a glass of Champagne.

    • chef mimi April 26, 2019 at 4:26 PM - Reply

      For some reason this went to spam! These really are fabulous. A bit on the rich side, which is why you definitely need the champagne!

  16. Kathryninthekitchen May 1, 2019 at 8:55 PM - Reply

    Mmmmm, comfort food …. quesadillas are so satisfying, crispy on the outside with a soft gooey centre…now I want one !

    • chef mimi May 2, 2019 at 6:53 AM - Reply

      Yes, one of my favorite snacks. This one is a bit on the rich side, but I love them all!

  17. Linger May 2, 2019 at 12:07 PM - Reply

    Oh my goodness! There are so many great ideas for quesadillas on this post. But the most amazing one is definitely the smoked salmon. Just the thought of it is making me so hungry. I will have to try it. I adore smoked salmon and this sounds wonderful!

    • chef mimi May 2, 2019 at 3:06 PM - Reply

      Oh, you’ll definitely love this combination then!

  18. sherry a mackay June 11, 2019 at 2:21 AM - Reply

    yum yum i love smoked salmon!

    • chef mimi June 11, 2019 at 6:54 AM - Reply

      OH then you’d love these – warm, flavorful, and cheesy!

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