These goat cheese quesadillas are not your conventional quesadillas. What they lack in tradition they more than make up for in inspired innovation with tastes, textures, and temperatures that meld so hummingly, you’ll wonder why no one ever thought to do this sooner.–David Leite

Can I change the ingredients in these quesadillas?

Absolutely. Although much depends on personal preference. We’re tempted to swap in properly caramelized onions for the radicchio. Or perhaps squash blossoms. It’s tempting to try thinly sliced butternut squash that’s been tossed with olive oil and roasted until tender and sweet. Go ahead. Surprise us. Surprise yourself.

Two pieces of goat cheese quesadillas filled with radicchio, tapenade, and goat cheese stacked on top of each other.

Goat Cheese Quesadillas

5 from 1 vote
These goat cheese quesadillas are stuffed with radicchio charred under the broiler, creamy goat cheese, and your favorite tapenade. Excellent for an easy weeknight dinner or casual gathering.
David Leite
CuisineTex Mex
Servings8 to 10 servings
Calories232 kcal
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time40 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced rosemary leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small head of radicchio
  • 2 tablespoons (1 oz) butter, melted
  • 6 large flour tortillas
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons store-bought or homemade tapenade
  • 11 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled (about 2 1/3 cups)


  • Preheat the broiler.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, garlic, rosemary, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and a good pinch of pepper.
  • Quarter the radicchio lengthwise into wedges. Swish them around in a bowl of water and pat dry. Rub each radicchio wedge with the oil mixture and place them on a broiler pan. Broil about 6 inches from the heat source, watching closely but without turning, until slightly charred, 3 1/2 to 5 minutes.
  • Baste the tops of the wedges with the oil mixture and then turn them over and baste the other side. Continue to broil until browned and crisped on the surface and completely tender inside, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board.
  • Turn off the broiler and preheat the oven to 175°F (79°C).
  • Cut the radicchio crosswise into thin slivers. Have the melted butter, tortillas, tapenade, and goat cheese ready near the stove. Place a dry griddle or large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and brush the pan with some of the melted butter. Thinly spread one side of a tortilla with about one third of the tapenade. Place in the pan, tapenade side up, and immediately scatter with one third of the crumbled goat cheese, leaving a 1/4-inch border uncovered around the edge. Top with 1/3 of the slivered radicchio and place a tortilla on top; brush with a little more butter.
  • Press down with a spatula and cook until the goat cheese begins to liquefy and the underside is mottled brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn over with a wide spatula and cook until the other side is golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a large baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you make the remaining 2 quesadillas in the same way.
  • Transfer the quesadillas to a cutting board and, using a large, sharp knife, cut each one into 6 equal wedges. Fan the wedges on a warmed platter and serve at once. Originally published August 2, 2009.

Adapted From

Tavern on the Green

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 232 kcalCarbohydrates: 12 gProtein: 9 gFat: 17 gSaturated Fat: 9 gMonounsaturated Fat: 6 gTrans Fat: 0.1 gCholesterol: 26 mgSodium: 310 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 1 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2009 Jennifer Oz LeRoy | Kay LeRoy. Photo © 2009 Ben Fink. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

In first looking through this recipe, my thought process went a little something like: Goat cheese? Yes, please. Radicchio? Yes, please. Tapenade? Yes, please. Quesadillas? Yes, please…wait, what? I would’ve never thought to use these ingredients in a quesadilla, but they work perfectly together! I love this! Super easy and very adaptable for however many servings you need.

Honestly the only note I had was that I might add a little rosemary to the quesadilla itself as I wanted a little more of that flavor, but otherwise this is fantastic! I will definitely be making this again (and again).

I’d say 8 to 10 servings (or maybe fewer as I may have eaten more than a serving’s worth when I made this, but it was just so good!).

I used leftover homemade olive tapenade from My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz.

These ingredients are a bit of a departure from those that you’ll find in a classic Mexican quesadilla, but they work quite well. There’s a hint of rosemary that marries well with the radicchio and the goat cheese.

We are not big fans of the “funkiness” of most goat cheeses, so I always opt for a honey goat cheese which adds a touch of sweetness and helps to temper the tanginess of the goat cheese.

The recipe will serve different numbers of people depending on how you use the quesadillas. If you serve them as an hors d’oeuvre or a snack and cut them each into 6 to 8 wedges, them you can serve 8 or so. If you serve them as a meal, then one quesadilla can serve 2 people or one person with a heartier appetite.

I had two whole quesadillas left over and they heated up very nicely the next day in the toaster oven.

I used a store-bought green olive tapenade.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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