Quesadilla with Zucchini, Corn and Olives

I usually make a quick quesadilla with cheese and salsa but it’s never really filling and I always feel like I’ve eaten way too much cheese.  This quesadilla with zucchini, corn and olives hits the spot.  The zucchini is filling, the corn sweet and the olives are salty – a great balance of textures and tastes.  A little pepper jack cheese, scallions and garlic give it just the right amount of bite.  I was originally going to add black beans instead of olives but when I checked the cupboard there were no black beans in sight.  I was sure I had some but alas the cupboard was bare.  So a substitution was made using olives – which turned out to be a happy, tasty accident.

I had avocados and cherry tomatoes on hand so made a quick and simple salsa to go with it. Just add half an avocado (diced) to a cup of  cherry tomatoes (halved) – add a little bit of scallion or red onion (I used scallion), mix in some minced cilantro or parsley (I used parsley) and toss with the juice of a half lime and a tablespoon of olive oil.  Then add a little black pepper and you’re done.   I don’t like my salsa too spicy but if you do add some red pepper or jalapeño.  If you don’t feel like making it then use a jarred salsa instead – go for easy I say.


A couple of notes:

I wiped one side of the tortilla (the side that is going facedown in the pan) with just a little bit of olive oil.  This gives you a crispier tortilla shell.

Drain your zucchini on paper towel after you’ve grated it.  Just spread the zucchini out on a some paper towel and layer another piece of paper towel on top.  This will draw out a lot of moisture from the zucchini so it won’t make your quesadilla soggy.

Don’t have the heat too high on the stove.  You’ll end up burning your quesadilla before it’s had the chance to melt the cheese inside.  The burner should be on medium high.


Quesadilla with Zucchini, Corn and Olives

A filling quesadilla using zucchini, sweet corn and salty olives. Pepper jack cheese gives it some bite.

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2


  • 1 medium zucchini grated
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh corn
  • 10 olives – chopped
  • 1 scallion chopped finely
  • 2 tbs parsley – minced
  • 1 garlic clove – minced or put through a press.
  • 1 cup of grated pepper jack cheese
  • 2 tortillas
  • A little bit of olive oil


  1. Grate zucchini and allow to drain on paper towels for 10 minutes.
  2. If using frozen corn, allow corn to thaw.
  3. Put zucchini, corn, chopped olives, chopped scallion, minced parsley and minced garlic in a bowl and toss to combine.
  4. Lightly wipe one side of the tortilla with a little olive oil (this will be the side that goes face down in the pan).
  5. Turn tortilla over and layer the following on to one half of the tortilla – first a 1/4 cup of cheese, next half of the zucchini, corn and olive mixture, and finally another 1/4 cup of grated cheese. Then fold the empty side of the tortilla over the layers.
  6. Place the quesadilla in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes until tortilla is golden brown. Flip quesadilla over and cook until other side is golden brown.
  7. Repeat steps with second quesadilla
  8. Slice each quesadilla into 3 or 4 slices and serve with salsa.

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8 comments on “Quesadilla with Zucchini, Corn and Olives

  1. Kavitha

    Hi Geraldine:

    So do I cover one tortilla with another after adding the filling in between? Sorry, I was not able to follow how I can fold and still get the triangles at the end..


    1. Geraldine Post author

      Hi Kavitha – You’ll be using just one tortilla – lay the tortilla down and add the filling to one half of the tortilla (but not all the way to the edges). Next fold the tortilla in half (folding the empty side over the side with the filling) and then place in the pan – the tortilla will be a half moon shape. The cheese will melt – helping to seal the edges together. Just turn it over carefully with a spatula when you’re ready to cook the other side. Hope that helps!

      There are two tortillas so you would be making two quesadillas – if you just want to make one quesadilla then please just use half the ingredients. Let me know if it all worked out!

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    1. Geraldine Post author

      Hi Kaycee – I used jarred kalamata olives that I got from Trader Joes. I’m sure any olive would work well in the recipe. Hope you like it!


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