Try quesadillas de flor de calabaza (squash blossom quesadillas) for a quick, easy-to-make, and flavorful meal. Squash blossoms, melty vegan cheese, and fresh vegetables are packed into rustic blue corn tortillas and served with dips like salsa verde.
What's not to love?
Quesadillas have always been a comfort food for us (and probably for most people). They're one of those meals that are perfect at any time of the day and so simple to throw together.
Adding squash blossoms (flores de calabaza) makes this dish even more special. You're going to love your quesadillas served this way!
What is flor de calabaza?
"Flor de calabaza" translates to "squash flower," but is typically referred to as squash blossom. In Spanish, the word calabaza can refer to various species of squash or pumpkin.
These edible flowers are what give life to the type of squash they produce. Some examples are zucchini, pumpkin, or spaghetti squash.
Flor de calabaza is predominately found in Southern European and Middle Eastern cooking, but it's also utilized extensively in Mexican cuisine.
In Mexico, you may find these blossoms in recipes like quesadillas or soups. They can also be stuffed, fried, or sautéed. Quite the versatile little flower if you ask us!
What does flor de calabaza taste like?
Flor de calabaza has a light and delicate taste. Many describe it as earthy, green, or "flower-like." No surprise there!
This type of flavor pairs extremely well with dishes heavy on the cheese, so Mexican food seems like the perfect companion for squash blossom!
History of the squash
Squash represents one of the staple foods found in pre-hispanic Mesoamerica. Along with corn, beans, and chiles, they were cultivated in the area for many years before Spaniards arrived in the 1500s.
There is archeological evidence of domesticated squash crops dating back 10,000 years (that's a long time!). At first, these gourds were mainly used as containers or utensils because of the hard outer shell.
Later, the flesh, seeds, and flowers became an integral part of the Mayan and Aztec diets. Fast forward to today and squash is still widely consumed throughout Mexican cuisine.
Serve your squash blossom quesadillas straight off the skillet so the cheese is ooey and gooey.
If you love dipping your quesadillas in salsas as much as we do, here's a list of our favorites:
Whatever sauce you decide to eat your quesadillas with, this recipe is 100% vegan and gluten-free.
🍲 Key ingredients
For a complete ingredient list and step-by-step guide, scroll down to our recipe card.
Flor de calabaza (squash blossom)
Taste: as described above, flor de calabaza has an earthy, delicate, and mild flavor that balances out the richness of the cheese.
Health: because of their beautiful color, it's no surprise that squash blossoms are high in vitamin A and other nutrients like iron, potassium, and vitamin C. Vitamin A is essential for slowing down the decline of your eyesight, so make all the vegan quesadillas you can!
Taste: with a sweet, toasty flavor, we highly recommend using homemade tortillas for this quesadilla de flor de calabaza recipe. Corn tortillas are quick and easy to make, and they really make a difference in a dish with minimal ingredients.
Health: corn tortillas are naturally gluten-free, contain few calories, and are filled with fiber and B-vitamins. That's great news for our bellies because we can always squeeze one or two more in at mealtime!
Taste: creamy, melty, and essential for any great quesadilla, cheese makes everything better. We used a vegan Chihuahua cheese in this recipe, but other varieties like mozzarella, cheddar, or Monterey Jack all work too.
Health: switching from dairy-based cheese to nut-based cheese is a great way to take back control of your health. Unlike the saturated fat found in dairy, nuts contain healthy fats that help lower your cholesterol. On the contrary, studies have found a correlation between saturated fat and an increased heart disease risk.
Taste: although quesadillas with a simple flor de calabaza and cheese filling are great, we thought the sweetness from onions, spice from serranos, and zest from garlic all made tasty additions. But, you can also use other vegetables that suit your fancy or none at all!
Health: if you have the option to add vegetables to a meal, you should go for it! Even little amounts of serrano, onion, and garlic provide tremendous health benefits. For example, onions have been shown to boost digestive health, and garlic has a positive effect on blood pressure.
If you have questions about this quesadilla de flor de calabaza recipe, don't forget to check out our FAQ section at the bottom of this post.
Step 1: clean the squash blossoms, remove the stems and sepals on the outside. Carefully open up the flowers and remove the stamens. Check for bugs and dirt, and gently remove manually or with water. Let them drain on a paper towel if you rinsed them.
Step 3: sauté the onions, garlic, serranos, and squash blossoms in some olive oil until tender. Throw in a little salt to suit your taste preferences.
Step 4: add a corn tortilla to a skillet over medium-low. Add the squash blossom mixture and a handful of cheese to one half. Fold the tortilla over and cook on each side until the cheese is melty. Serve with a side of crema, guacamole, salsa verde, etc. Happy eating!
Keep your squash blossom quesadillas fresh for longer by following these simple storage instructions.
These vegan quesadillas will last in your fridge for up to 4 days. Just make sure to store them in an airtight container so the tortillas don't dry out.
If you made a big batch or can't get through them all in 4 days, freeze the quesadillas in a freezer-safe bag or airtight container for up to 2-3 months. If you make a large batch, you can also freeze the filling and tortillas separately.
The best way to reheat quesadillas de flor de calabaza is on a cast-iron skillet over medium-low for about 1 minute per side, or until warm. If you don't have time, heat the quesadillas in your microwave in 15-20 second bursts.
💭 Pro tips
We'd like to share some tips and tricks we learned while experimenting with this quesadilla de flor de calabaza recipe:
- Try your favorite fillings. These quesadillas are so easily customizable, which is why they're a favorite of ours! Try carnitas, refried beans, chorizo, or additional vegetables like bell peppers, chard, spinach, etc.
- Start with a lower heat. This will give your cheese time to melt, but you can always increase it after a few test runs.
- Grate your own cheese. Pre-shredded cheese is often full of preservatives to prevent clumping, so shred your own block if you have the option.
- Experiment with different cheeses. As it is the main ingredient in quesadillas, make sure to play around with different styles of queso to find the one that suits you best!
- Keep them warm. If you're not serving the quesadillas right away, store them in your oven at 200 degrees F until you're ready to eat.
🍴 Tasting notes
It's safe to say squash blossom quesadillas are a fan favorite in our house. They're:
If you try these vegan quesadillas de flor de calabaza, please rate them 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!
Vegan Squash Blossom Quesadillas
- Cast-iron skillet or comal
- Cheese grater
- Knife & cutting board
- 6-8 blue corn tortillas ($0.12)
- 12-15 squash blossoms ($2.19)
- 6 ounces shredded vegan cheese* ($1.87)
- ½ tablespoon olive oil ($0.06)
- ¼ white onion ($0.06)
- 1-2 cloves garlic ($0.04)
- 1 serrano chile ($0.02)
- Salt to taste ($0.01)
- To clean the squash blossoms, remove the stems and sepals on the outside. Carefully open up the flowers and remove the stamens. Check for bugs and dirt, and gently remove manually or with water. Let them drain on a paper towel if you rinsed them.
- Prepare the corn tortillas if you are making your own. Shred the vegan cheese and set it aside. Keep the tortillas warm in a towel or tortilla warmer.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium. Sauté the onions for 2-3 minutes, or until translucent. Add in the garlic and serranos, and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Lastly, mix in the squash blossoms and a pinch of salt. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until the blossoms are wilted.
- Heat a corn tortilla in a skillet over medium. Add the squash blossom mixture and a handful of cheese to one half. Fold the tortilla over and cook on each side until the cheese is melty.
- Serve with a side of crema, guacamole, salsa verde, etc. Happy eating!
- The cheese we used in this recipe is a vegan Chihuahua variety, but mozzarella or Monterey Jack work well too.
- You don't have to pre-cook the tortillas if you want them more tender. Add the tortilla to the skillet, flip it, then add the fillings right away before folding it up.
- Optional ingredients are not reflected in the price or calories of our recipes.
- Nutritional information is a rough estimate.
- 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 enjoy your tortillas (corn or flour), check out our:
- Sincronizadas for gooey cheese, protein-packed vegan ham, and sautéed veggies sandwiched together between homemade flour tortillas.
- Crispy black bean tacos for crunchy tacos drizzled with an avocado cream sauce that will take you to foodie heaven!
- Quesabirria tacos to try these viral mushroom-stuffed tortillas dipped in a rich, savoury broth.
- Sweet potato quesadillas for another spin on vegan quesadillas that are easy to make and great for meal prep!
Flor de calabaza (or squash blossom) should be available at farmers' markets, Latin grocery stores, or your backyard! If you have a zucchini plant, you can harvest the flowers when they're blooming. Just make sure to only pick the male flowers as they don't produce any squash.
Absolutely not! You can use white, yellow, or blue corn tortillas for this recipe interchangeably. It just depends on your taste preferences.
While we prefer them this way, you do not have to sauté the blossoms before adding them to your quesadillas.
Squash blossoms are one of many edible flowers, so they are safe for human consumption.