Making quesadillas using an air fryer is quick, easy and convenient! You get to enjoy perfectly crisp, golden tortillas with gorgeously gooey cheese inside in just minutes. Enjoy them as they are or load them up with your favorite fillings and serve with salsa, guacamole, and sour cream! These are ideal when you need an easy lunch or weeknight dinner, or quick snacks for game days or movie nights.
Quick and Easy Air Fryer Cheese Quesadillas
If you enjoy quesadillas made on a griddle, then you will absolutely love this air fryer quesadilla recipe! It requires less effort on your end because all you have to do is assemble and pop them in the air fryer – no flipping required! Just let the air fryer do what it does best- produce deliciously crisp food quickly!
I added specifics below on how to cook this simple recipe using toaster oven style and basket style air fryers to make sure that you get the best results.
- In Ninja Foodie toaster oven-style air fryer. The quesadillas are perfectly crispy and melt in 4 minutes total at 350°. No flip needed if placed directly on the rack.
- In the Cosori basket-style air fryer. The quesadillas take 3 minutes per side and are still crispy enough without flipping but are more evenly crisped if flipped halfway through. If using this type of model you do have to open the basket and push down the top tortilla 2-3 minutes into cook time.
Filling Options to Choose From
While quesadillas are traditionally made with tortillas and cheese only, there are so many ways to load them up using different meats and veggies. Few things beat a good chicken quesadilla but you can think beyond the basic with these filling ideas. Here are some fun twists to explore:
- Meats- you can use shredded pork, beef, chicken, or turkey meat. Try my delicious Chicken Tacos, Pork Tenderloin Carnitas, or Turkey Tacos. You can also use rotisserie chicken, ground beef taco meat, or leftover meats you have in your fridge. Sausages and bacon are great options too.
- Vegetables- you can use black beans, refried beans, pickled red onions, black olives, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, corn, cilantro, spinach, etc.
- Breakfast edition- fill your quesadilla with scrambled eggs and bacon bits!
- Dairy-free options- use dairy-free cheese and meaty mushrooms to make this available to vegetarians and vegans too! I tried this with Violife cheddar and it melted fine.
You will only need 2 ingredients to make a classic quesadilla using your air-fryer. The rest is optional! Here’s a list of the simple ingredients you’ll need and notes on optional extras:
- Tortillas– I used 8-inches flour tortillas in this recipe. You can use corn tortillas to make it gluten free or whole wheat tortillas. Just adjust the amount of cheese and filling to fit the size of your tortilla.
- Cheese– if you want to make it authentic, use Queso Oaxaca, a stringy Mexican cheese. However, any type of melty cheese will do like cheddar cheese, Mozzarella, pepper jack, or Monterey Jack, Colby or a shredded Mexican cheese blend.
- Fillings (optional)- use any filling you like (see the previous section for my favorite fillings).
- Oil (optional) – I sprayed the outside of the tortillas with cooking spray on each side. This step is not necessary but adds that traditional greasy crispiness without a lot of oil. Alternatively, you can rub with a small amount of olive oil if you prefer.
- Guac/ Salsa/ Pico de Gallo/ Sour Cream – totally optional to serve with the quesadilla but highly recommended!
How to Make Air fryer Quesadillas!
This is possibly one of the easiest ways to make quesadillas! So take your air-fryer out and get cooking!
- Preheat the air fryer to 350° F (175° C).
- Shred the cheese. I prefer buying them in blocks instead of pre-shredded because they do not contain additives and melt better. I grate a few cups at a time and keep it in a container in the refrigerator for quick use later on. Pre-shredded works fine too though!
- While the air fryer is preheating (or before if yours preheats fast), lay a tortilla out on a flat surface and sprinkle ½ cup grated cheese onto one half . Leave a ½ inch border around the edge. Add additional filling if desired.
- Fold the empty half over the cheese-covered half. If desired you can spray each of the outer sides with cooking spray but you will still get a crispy tortilla without this step.
- Gently place the prepared quesadilla in the air fryer basket or tray. Repeat with the other tortilla and ½ cup of cheese, gently laying it down in the air fryer without overlapping with the other tortilla or letting cheese spill out.
- Air fry for approximately 5-8 minutes until cheese melts and they are crisp and golden, flipping the tortillas over after the first 3 minutes if needed.
- Once toasted to your desired level, remove the quesadillas from the air fryer. Cut and serve immediately. I recommend serving them with salsa, guacamole, and sour cream but you can serve them however you prefer.
- If using a basket-style air fryer, open it after the first minute of cook time and use a spatula to press the top of the tortillas down into the melted cheese to keep it in place.
- Check quesadillas for doneness at 5 minutes in an oven-style air fryer and 6 minutes in a basket-style air fryer.
Pro-Tips for the Best Results
- Keep cheese about 1/2 inch from the edge of the tortilla. This will ensure that the cheese will not ooze out as much once they melt, so you have less mess to worry about later on.
- Adjust cooking time. Air fryer models differ and so does the cooking time! I find that the oven-style ninja air fryer takes 3 mins per side maximum, while bucket- style Cosori air fryer takes 3 to 4 mins per side.
- When using oven style air fryer. Make sure the edges of the quesadilla aren’t over the heating elements and leave closer to an inch of room around the edge of the tortilla so it doesn’t melt and drip out onto the burners.
- Add more cheese on top of toppings. If you are using toppings, make sure to sprinkle more cheese on top of it to ensure the top portion of the tortilla will stick properly.
- Flip the tortillas. This will give you evenly crisp sides. If you choose not to flip the tortillas one side may be crispier than the other but it still works. Just make sure to check it after the first minute or two and press the top part of the tortilla down with a spatula if it is lifting up.
- Always cook the quesadillas in a single layer. If you are planning to make more, cook in batches instead, it’ll only take a few minutes per batch and is worth the better texture.
Serving and Storing Notes
These are best enjoyed right off the fryer while they are still crisp and gooey. However, you can always store leftover quesadillas in the fridge for up to three days in an airtight container. You can simply reheat them in the air fryer for a minute or two until they are crisp again. You can microwave them too but won’t get that crispness back and the tortilla will be tough.
If you’re in love with your air fryer and looking for more favorite air fryer recipes, check these out:
- Air Fryer Apples are full of cinnamon flavor, this fun healthy treat is always a winner
- Air Fryer Broccoli is an easy side that pairs well with anything
- Air Fryer Asparagus gets dressed up with parmesan and lemon in this easy, yet impressive side
- 2 8” flour tortillas
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese divided
- Optional – up to 2/3 cup of filling divided*
- Optional – cooking spray
- Preheat air fryer to 350° F (175° C).
- While air fryer is preheating (or before if yours preheats fast), lay tortilla out flat** and sprinkle ½ cup grated cheese onto one half of it leaving a ½ inch boarder around the edge. Add additional filling if desired, making sure to sprinkle more cheese on top of the toppings to ensure the top portion of the tortilla will stick properly.
- Fold the empty half of tortilla over the cheese covered half. If desired you can spray each of the outer sides with cooking spray but they will be plenty crispy without this step.
- Gently place prepared quesadilla in air fryer basket or tray. Repeat with other tortilla and ½ cup of cheese, gently laying it down in the air fryer without overlapping with the other tortilla.
- Air fry for approximately 5-8 minutes total until crisp and golden, flipping the tortillas over after the first 3 minutes. If using a basket style air fryer, open after first minute of cook time and use a spatula to press the top tortillas down into the melted cheese to keep it in place. Check quesadillas for doneness at 5 minutes in an oven style air fryer and 6 minutes in a basket style air fryer.
- Once toasted to your desired level, remove quesadillas from air fryer, cut and serve immediately. I recommend serving with salsa, guacamole and sour cream but you can serve however you prefer.
** To make tortilla extra crispy, spray the outside with cooking spray on each side. This step is not necessary but adds that traditional greasy crispiness without a lot of oil.
- Air fryer models differ and so does cooking time:
In Ninja Foodie toaster oven style air fryer– quesadillas were perfectly crispy and melted in 4 minutes total at 350° with no flip needed if placed directly on the rack.
- In Cosori basket style air fryer: quesadillas took 3 minutes per side and were still crispy enough without flipping but were more evenly crisped if flipped half way through. If using this type of model you do have to open the basket and push down the top tortilla 2 minutes into cook time.
- If cooking directly on the rack of an oven style air fryer- make sure edges of quesadilla aren’t over heating elements and leave closer to an inch of room around the edge of the tortilla so it doesn’t melt and drip out onto the tray.
- Can use a whole wheat or gluten free tortilla if desired.
- To make dairy free, use a dairy free cheese that melts well. I tried it with Violife cheddar and it melted fine.