Quesadillas might be one of my favorite foods. That and pizza. Why? Because you can put just about anything inside and the outer crispy tortilla shell somehow makes everything a million times better.
For this quesadilla I took the classic flavors of a Hawaiian pizza and stuffed into a tortilla for a quick weeknight fix. I added some red pepper flakes because I like things a little spicy, but you could easily leave those out. Other ingredients that would taste yum in this are: red onions (instead of the green), fresh jalapenos (instead of the red pepper flakes), or green peppers.
These little gems are pretty rich and creamy, so I suggest pairing them with something light and full of fiber. This simple black bean salad would be AWESOME with the quesadillas and is pretty fast to whip up.
Hawaiian Ham Quesadillas
Hawaiian Ham Quesadillas
- 8 oz. cream cheese ($1.87)
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella ($0.92)
- 3 sliced green onions ($0.35)
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes, optional ($0.02)
- 15 oz. can pineapple chunks in juice ($1.14)
- 1/2 lb. smoked ham ($3.27)
- 8 8-inch four tortillas ($1.79)
- Allow the cream cheese to come to room temperature before you begin. Combine the cream cheese, shredded mozzarella, sliced green onions, and red pepper flakes in a bowl. Stir until well combined.
- Drain the pineapple chunks as much as possible. Roughly chop them into smaller pieces. Roughly chop the sliced ham into small pieces. Add both to the cheese mixture and stir to combine.
- Place 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the filling in each tortilla and spread to cover half of the surface. Fold the tortilla in half to close. Cook each quesadilla in a skillet over medium heat until brown and crispy on both sides.
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Step By Step Photos
Make sure the cream cheese is room temperature before you begin so that it’s soft enough to stir. Combine the cream cheese with the mozzarella, sliced green onions, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine. I actually used about 1/4 tsp of red pepper, but listed 1/8 tsp because I know I like things quite a bit hotter than most!
Roughly chop up the ham. It doesn’t have to be any particular size or shape, just make it into bite-sized pieces.
Drain the pineapple as much as possible so that your quesadillas don’t get soggy. I also cut the pineapple chunks into slightly smaller pieces because they were kind of large.
Add the chopped ham and drained pineapple to the cheese mixture.
And mix it all together. The residual moisture from the pineapple will make the mixture softer and much easier to spread. I call this the “yum-yum mix” because it’s SO GOOD.
I used “fajita style” tortillas, which are about 8 inches across. Add about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of filling to each tortilla and spread it over one half of the surface. The filling is pretty rich from all of the cream cheese, so you don’t want to over fill them.
Cook the quesadillas in a skillet over medium heat until they are golden brown and crispy on each side.
Don’t forget to flip ’em.
Be warned. These are VERY ADDICTIVE.
If you want a less “creamy” quesadilla, you can change the ratio of cream cheese to mozzarella. Use 4 oz. of cream cheese and 2 cups of mozzarella. This will give you more of a classic melty cheese filling.
Got some marinara laying around? I bet it would be good for dipping these in!
I used fresh pineapple and cheddar cheese and loved it! Will keep this one for later!
This recipe is incredible. The creaminess is unreal but not too rich because it’s nicely cut with the sweet pineapple and salty ham. I ended up substituting Canadian bacon for the ham because I already had it on hand. Also used crushed pineapple (drained really well) so I didn’t have to do any extra chopping. Served this with the black bean salad as suggested and it was a perfect, well-balanced meal.
Hi! First off: I love your recipes! They are easy and tasty and just wonderful!
I grew up with the metric system and am still surrounded by it, but now I am trying to learn ounces, pounds etc and trying to convert them in my head. I noticed, however, that you mix ounces and pounds in your recipes, which makes total sense as ounces are more granular. But one thing confused me: isn’t 0.5 pounds the same as 8 ounces? Why do you, in this recipe for example, write 8 oz for the cream cheese and 0.5 lb for the ham? Does it have something to do with the type of ingredient or is it just arbitrary? I really just ask out of curiosity :)
Anyway, I truly love your recipes! Keep it up!
I usually use ounces or pounds depending on what the package had it listed as, which is sometimes quite arbitrary. :) Sorry for the confusion!
Great recipe! I tried it and got tons of compliments…definitely a keeper :)
This is a go-to weeknight meal for me. I make a batch of the “yum-yum mix” and then just add it to a tortilla and heat it up when I want one of the quesadillas, instead of making all of the quesadillas at once. I also use an 8oz can of drained crushed pineapple instead of the chunks.
The “yum-yum mix” is actually quite versatile. I like it on bagels!
So, I tried this last night substituting fresh pineapple for canned and ricotta cheese for cream cheese. It was awful! I don’t know what I did wrong but the pineapple had a horribly bitter aftertaste. It was so bad that I had to throw it out.
What did I do wrong? Is there some cardinal rule of pineapple I broke? Help!
Maybe it wasn’t quite ripe? I’ve never had a bitter pineapple before. :(
We used fresh pineapple and it was delicious! Easy to make and used up some Easter ham.
I had this experience too! They’re so bad even my husband can’t eat them. It’s the first time a budget bytes recipe has let me down. I used fresh pineapple too because it was in sale—it’s definitely not bitter though.
I used fresh pineapple as well and it was awful. I ate the pineapple on the side as well and it was delicious. I think it may just be fresh pineapple warm. My husband almost threw up when he tasted it. I was so sad. the recipe sounds soooo good. I will try it with canned next time. This is the first recipe i have made off here that was bad….i should not have deviated and stuck with canned not fresh
FYI fresh pineapple has enzymes that break down protein so you don’t want to mix it with dairy (learned that after making a smoothie with fresh pineapple and yogurt, bitter and awful) in canned pineapple the enzymes are inactivated which is my guess for the issue
This is the first recipe of yours I have tried as I am trying to learn to cook and this looked easy. It was and very tasty though I put too much cream cheese so they were a bit bland. I can’t wait to try more!