Cranberry Sausage Quesadilla

Cranberry Sausage Quesadillas

Cranberry Sausage Quesadillas are quick and easy – an incredibly tasty combination of sweet-hot that makes a great party appetizer

These Cranberry Sausage Quesadillas are an example of my favorite type of dishes – both interesting and very tasty … but very easy to throw together on no notice.

I always have the ingredients for these in the house – a giant bag of Craisins from Costco, a jar or can of diced green chiles (or frozen), grated cheese, and tortillas. Note: I always have tortillas in the freezer.

In this case, I used 505 diced green chiles, medium hot. I occasionally buy the big jar of them at Costco. The Craisins last forever in the cabinet – 6 months or a year easily. This dish can literally be thrown together in 5 minutes. It’s cooking it in the quesadilla maker that takes the longest. Of course, if you don’t have a quesadilla maker, you have to cook it in a large skillet on the stove, flip it and cook it more to lightly brown on both sides. Takes almost twice as long on the stove and you have to be careful when you flip it (most easily done by sliding half-cooked quesadilla onto a large plate, turn skillet upside down on top of it, and flip the skillet and plate over so uncooked side gets cooked).

The Craisins are easy to chop – I just put them in my little Cuisinart food processor, pulsed it a few times and I get coarsely chopped cranberries. They need to soak in hot water about a half hour – just to make them soft rather than chewy.

Not only is this dish quick … it’s also a great combination of hot and sweet/tart; then I like sharp cheddar cheese to balance out the flavors. You don’t want a mild cheese or the flavor is completely overshadowed by the the hot and sweet-tart.

This is literally a 5- minute dish to throw together (if you’ve already soaked the cranberries). Personally, I own 5 quesadilla makers – 2 large (12-inch) and 3 small (8-inch). If I want to handle a crowd (like for upcoming game day parties), I can have all 5 going at once. I bought all of them at thrift stores for no more than $2-3 apiece. I have several pizza cutters to cut them into triangles (all bought at dollar stores).

You gotta try this one; it’s guaranteed to make an impression and make any party more interesting!

Cranberry Sausage Quesadillas
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2 servings
  • ½ cup Craisins
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 8-inch flour tortillas
  • ¼ lb breakfast sausage
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, packed
  • ½ cup diced green chiles (505 is good)
  1. Dump the Craisins in a food processor or blender. Pulse 3-4 times for a coarse chop.
  2. Dump the Craisins in a bowl. Boil the water and pour over the Craisins; let sit for a half hour, then drain the water off.
  3. Stir the Craisins together with the green chiles; you can add either a bit more Craisins or more chiles depending on how sweet or how hot you want your quesadilla.
  4. In the meantime, fry up the sausage in a skillet while breaking it up into small crumbles.
  5. While sausage is cooking, place a tortilla in the skillet or quesadilla maker and cover with half the cheese. Note it will seem sparse, but it's easy to overdo the cheese.
  6. When sausage is cooked, scatter it evenly over the cheese; the sausage may also seem sparse.
  7. Dot little blobs of the Craisin/green chile mixture evenly over the sausage. This layer may also seem sparse; if you spread a solid layer of any of these fillings, you'll end up with an overstuffed quesadilla that's hard to handle.
  8. Top with the remaining ½ cup cheese and tortilla.
  9. Cook for 2-4 minutes in the quesadilla maker or until you see signs that the tortilla is browning and filling is hot. If using a skillet, flip and cook some more.
  10. Cut into 6-8 wedges, serve and enjoy!
  11. Note: if using 10 inch tortillas, increase each ingredient by about half; if using 12 inch tortillas, you can nearly double the ingredients. Just use your judgement, it's hard to screw this up.


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