Sincronizadas are perfect for when you're feeling like a simple dish that's packed with flavor. Homemade flour tortillas sandwich together melty cheese, protein-packed (vegan) ham, and sautéed veggies.
Serve these with crema or guacamole for the ultimate comfort food!
If you're always on the hunt for meals that are easy to make, taste delicious, and work well for leftovers, sincronizadas will be your last stop.
Although sincronizadas don't have a clear origin story, we imagine they evolved from quesadillas, which date all the way back to 16th-century Central and Northern Mexico.
The Aztecs, who ate a mostly vegetarian diet, would stuff corn tortillas with foods like pumpkin and other vegetables. It wasn't until the Spanish arrived that cheese was added to the mix, which redefined Mexican food as it's known today.
Fast forward hundreds of years and you can now find many variations of the original quesadilla recipes (like sincronizadas).
What are sincronizadas?
A typical sincronizada recipe includes flour tortillas, cheese, and ham. There are other foods you can add in, but these are the basics.
All you have to do is make the tortillas, add a little cheese, layer ham on top, and sandwich it with another tortilla. Easy enough, right?
Sincronizadas come together in 15 minutes or less and can be eaten morning, noon, and night!
This makes a great meal for students, busy parents, or anyone that prefers simple and fuss-free cooking.
Sincronizada or quesadilla?
Although you might be thinking "this sounds just like a quesadilla," there are some subtle differences between the two. Let's figure this out.
- Flour tortillas. Although flour tortillas may be used in a quesadilla recipe, you'll almost always see sincronizada recipes utilizing flour.
- Stacked tortillas. Sincronizadas are made by stacking two flour tortillas rather than folding the tortilla over as with quesadillas.
- Ham. The only filling required to be termed a quesadilla is cheese, while sincronizadas usually contain cheese and ham.
- Not fried. You'll sometimes see quesadillas fried, but sincronizadas are heated on a dry comal.
Although the two terms are often used interchangeably, at least we've determined a few differences between the two recipes.
Honestly, the more we learn about Mexican cooking, the more we understand there are no right or wrong ways to enjoy this incredible cuisine. Many people will disagree on the exact ingredients needed to define a dish, but others are more fluid with their terminology. You just do you!
Serve your sincronizadas hot off the press to enjoy the melty cheese right away. If you're looking for some toppings or dips, try any one of these:
🍲 Key ingredients
For a complete ingredient list and step-by-step guide, scroll down to our recipe card.
Taste: although you can buy store-bought tortillas, making your own flour tortillas brings forth a more sweet, doughy, and soft wheat flavor than the former.
Health: made from finely ground wheat flour, tortillas are a source of iron, magnesium, and calcium. If you didn't already know, magnesium is essential for muscle and nerve function (amongst many other things).
Taste: crucial to a perfectly executed sincronizada, ham is one of the three core ingredients in this recipe. We use vegan ham, which lends a sweet, slightly smoky flavor to the meal.
Health: although we limit the number of meat alternatives we consume, it's fun being able to make recipes like this without skimping on the protein content. A 100 gram serving of vegan "ham" contains a whopping 35 grams of protein, which is needed to help our bodies with functions like energy production, blood clotting, and muscle contractions.
Taste: with a salty, tangy, and umami flavor, melted vegan cheese is the glue that holds a sincronizada together! Each brand and variety differs in taste, but some common ones used are Oaxaca, Chihuahua, Monterey Jack, mozzarella, or Manchego. We found a vegan Chihuahua near where we live, but we've also made these with mozzarella.
Health: it wouldn't be a sincronizada without cheese! Unlike cheese made from animal-derived milk, vegan cheese doesn't contain components like growth hormone or saturated animal fats, which are not so good for heart health.
Although adding extras isn't completely necessary, we like the added flavor and bulk vegetables bring to this easy recipe. Some common ones we enjoy include:
- Even refried beans
If you have any favorites, let us know in the comments so we can try them out!
If you have questions about this sincronizada recipe, don't forget to check out our FAQ section at the bottom of this post.
Step 1: if you are making your own, prepare the flour tortillas and any dip you're going to serve the sincronizadas with (guacamole, crema, salsa, etc).
Step 2: heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium, then cook the diced onions, garlic, jalapeño, and tomatoes until tender. Season the veggies with a little salt, then transfer them out of the skillet.
Step 3: on a griddle or skillet over medium, add one flour tortilla to the pan. Top it with some shredded cheese, then 2-3 slices of vegan ham followed by more cheese, veggie mixture, and more cheese.
Step 4: top everything with another tortilla and let it cook for a few minutes on the first side. Flip and cook for another couple of minutes on the second side, or until the cheese has melted. Repeat this process with the second sincronizada.
Sincronizadas make excellent leftovers, so follow these tips to keep them fresh and delicious when you want to reheat some more.
Sincronizadas store in your fridge for up to 3 days. It's best to keep them in airtight glass containers so the flavor stays consistent.
If for some reason you don't finish your sincronizadas within a few days, they will keep in freezer-safe bags or containers for up to 2-3 months in the freezer. We actually do this quite often because they make such a good meal when we're in a pinch!
Reheat your sincronizadas on a cast-iron skillet for 30-40 seconds per side to crisp them up again. If you're feeling lazy, you can always use a good ol' microwave in 30-second bursts.
💭 Pro tips
Time to share our tips and tricks we learned while experimenting with this vegan sincronizada recipe:
- Spice it up. If you like a little tang and spice, try adding in pickled jalapeños.
- Perfect the flip. Instead of flipping the whole sincronizada, try lifting it up slightly with your spatula and bringing the skillet over top.
- Make your tortillas. If we haven't said it enough, try making your own tortillas. Sincronizadas are so tasty this way!
- Don't leave them unattended. Flour tortillas have a knack for burning quicker than corn, so make sure you check on your pan every minute or so.
🍴 Tasting notes
This might be a simple recipe, but that's why we love it so much! It's:
If you try this sincronizada recipe please rate it and leave us a comment below! Want to stay up-to-date with new recipes? Subscribe to our newsletter or connect with Broke Bank Vegan on social media. Happy eating!
- Large skillet or griddle
- Cheese grater
- Knife & cutting board
- ½ tablespoon olive oil ($0.06)
- ½ small white onion, diced ($0.12)
- 1 clove garlic, minced ($0.04)
- 1 jalapeño, minced ($0.03)
- 1 Roma tomato, diced ($0.16)
- Salt to taste ($0.01)
- 4-6 slices vegan ham ($2.87)
- 4-6 ounces shredded vegan cheese ($1.87)
- 4 large flour tortillas ($0.20)
- First, prepare the flour tortillas if you are making them from scratch. Make any of the dips you're going to serve the sincronizadas with (guacamole, crema, salsa, etc.)
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium, then add in the diced onions and sauté for 2 minutes. Add in the garlic and jalapeño and cook for another 1-2 minutes, then mix in the tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes are tender, then season with salt to taste. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- On a griddle or skillet over medium, add a flour tortilla to the pan. Top it with 1-2 ounces of cheese, then 2-3 slices of vegan ham followed by more vegan cheese, a few scoops of the veggie mixture, then more cheese.
- Top everything with another tortilla and let it cook for 2-3 minutes on the first side. Flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes on the second side, or until the cheese has melted. Repeat this process with the second sincronizada.
- Cut each one into quarters and serve warm with a side of guacamole, crema, salsa, etc. Happy eating!
- We used a vegan Chihuahua cheese in this recipe, but other varieties like mozzarella or Monterey jack work great too!
- Optional ingredients are not reflected in the price or calories of our recipes.
- We calculate nutritional information for our recipes with Cronometer.
- Recipe cost calculations are based on ingredients local to us and may vary from recipe-to-recipe.
- All prices are in USD.
♻️ Similar recipes
For more tasty ways to incorporate tortillas, check out our:
- Sweet potato quesadillas for a quick dinner that showcases a delicious Mexican antojito.
- Easy sopes recipe for a crispy corn cake topped with all your favorites like beans, cheese, and pico de gallo.
- Black bean tacos for an easy weeknight dinner that's filled with refried beans and melty vegan cheese.
- Quesabirria tacos for chile-dipped tortillas folded over crispy oyster mushrooms and more vegan cheese.
You definitely don't have to make your own flour tortillas. But, you'll be glad if you do since they're one of the main components in this recipe! The taste of freshly made tortillas is just way too delicious.
Traditionally, sincronizadas are made with flour tortillas that contain gluten. You can try gluten-free tortillas or use corn tortillas instead.