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There is something so good about this simple quesadilla, about tasting each element — the smoky peppers and sweet onions, the bright cilantro, the creamy, melty Jack. As with pizza, less is more with quesadillas — a thin layer of ingredients is best. Before serving, I love stretching open the cheese-locked layers and dropping in spoonfuls of sour cream. //

Roasted Poblano & Monterey Jack Quesadilla


Inspired by this Fine Cooking recipe. The quantities are quite different so definitely check out the original recipe if you want to make smaller quesadillas with fewer peppers. In sum, the changes I made include: more poblanos, larger tortillas, less cilantro. The method, however, is nearly identical.


  • 6 poblano chiles
  • ¼ cup loosely packed fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, thinly sliced lengthwise (about 11/2 cups)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • two 10-inch flour tortillas
  • grated Monterey Jack cheese (4 to 8 oz.)
  • sour cream or crème fraiche to taste


  1. To roast the peppers using a gas flame: Turn a gas burner to high and char the poblanos directly over the flame, turning them with tongs as soon as each side becomes fully blackened, about 6 to 8 minutes per pepper. To roast the peppers in the oven: Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Halve and seed the peppers and place on a parchment-lined (for easy cleanup) baking sheet. Roast for about 30 to 35 minutes or until charred in some places. (Don’t let them get too black as I did here or you will have trouble peeling them.)
  2. Immediately after roasting, put the poblanos in a bowl, cover, and set aside to steam and loosen the skins. When they’re cool enough to handle, peel the charred skin off with your hands or a small paring knife. Pull out and discard the stems and seed clusters (if you haven’t already). Slice the peppers into ¼-inch-wide strips and put them in a small bowl.
  3. Put a baking sheet in the oven and heat the oven to 150°F (or its lowest setting).
  4. Meanwhile: heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the poblano strips, season with a generous pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are heated through, another 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and wipe the skillet clean.
  5. Heat 1 tsp. of the oil in the skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add one tortilla and scatter over it half of the cheese, half of the poblano mixture, and half of the cilantro. When the tortilla smells toasty and the bottom is browned in spots, in 1 or 2 minutes, fold it in half, pressing it with a spatula to flatten it. Transfer to the baking sheet in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make one more quesadillas. Cut each quesadilla into wedges and serve with the sour cream or crème fraiche on the side — I like to open my quesadilla up and drop spoonfuls of crème fraiche inside.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican, American

Keywords: poblano, quesadilla, rajas, Monterey Jack