Zucchini Corn Quesadilla

Menu Part: 
Cuisine Type: 
2, ½-servings

At Pennsylvania State University, in State College, Executive Chef Mark Kowalski created this zucchini corn quesadilla to satisfy demand for a quesadilla option that was not only healthy but also vegetarian. Kowalski says healthy items at Penn State must be 400 calories or less and contain 10 grams of fat or less.

To create this quesadilla, Kowalski says he didn’t really use any different cooking techniques, but he changed the ingredients from a traditional quesadilla.

“We substituted the protein with a variety of vegetables and black beans and used a low-fat cheddar cheese,” Kowalski says. “This is a very popular item with our students. It is great when you get a crossover vegetarian item that is also healthy.”


Corn and Black Beans:
Yield: 10, 2½ oz.-portions

2 qts. water
1 lb. frozen whole kernel corn
1 tbsp. salad oil
2 oz. green bell peppers, diced
2 oz. red bell peppers, diced
2 oz. Spanish onions, diced
1 pinch minced garlic
2 oz. black beans, drained
2 tsp. lime juice
¼ oz. light brown sugar
1 tbsp. Southwestern seasoning

Zucchini Corn Quesadilla:

1 oz. zucchini, small dice
1 oz. onions, sliced
2 oz. corn and black bean (recipe above)
1 each white tortilla
2 oz. low-fat cheddar cheese
1 tbsp. salsa
1 pinch cilantro
2 tbsp. sour cream


Corn and Black Beans:

1. Add corn in basket and blanch until hot. Drain well.

2. Heat oil on grill and add corn. Toss until light brown. Place in pan.

3. Sauté peppers and onions. Add garlic. Add corn back to grill.

4. Season with seasoning, add lime juice and toss. Add black beans and toss.

Zucchini Corn Quesadilla:

1. Grill onions and zucchini and add to corn mixture. Set aside. Shred cheese and chop cilantro.

2. Place tortilla on 350°F flat top grill. Top with 2 oz. cheese and 4 oz. vegetables.

3. Fold tortilla in half to form half moon. Tortilla should be slightly crisp and lightly browned.

4. Cut in half and shingle in hotel pan for service. Serve topped with 1 oz. salsa 1 oz. sour cream and sprinkle of cilantro.

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
fish tacos

From High Liner Foods.

Younger consumers are driving an increased focus on sustainability, and more consumers overall are demanding a wider variety of seafood on menus. With shifting interest in seafood, operators need to be familiar with the seafood consumer—who they are, what they’re looking for and when they eat it—to more effectively boost interest in seafood dishes.

Understand consumer habits

Technomic’s 2017 Center of the Plate: Seafood & Vegetarian report finds that 65% of consumers eat seafood at least occasionally (once every 90 days or more), either as an...

Industry News & Opinion

The Missouri House of Representatives has initially approved a bill that would enable students with dietary issues to forgo mandatory meal plans at public colleges and universities, U.S. News reports.

Approved Tuesday, the bill would grant students with medical documentation of food sensitivities, food allergies or medical dietary issues the right to opt out of meal plans.

Supporters of the bill say it will allow students to not have to pay for food they can’t safely eat, while opponents say that the bill will negatively impact schools financially. According to legislative...

Industry News & Opinion

A study released by Sodexo indicates that gender-balanced management improves team performance.

The 2018 study is an expansion of a previous Sodexo study that launched in 2014. The expanded study analyzed 50,000 managers in all levels of management from 70 entities around the world over five years.

The study found that teams managed by 40% to 60% women had better employee and client retention, saw fewer workplace accidents and increased their operating margins and employee engagement.

Industry News & Opinion

Rick Farmer, executive chef for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., and Stephanie Powers, executive chef of Spring Harbor, a retirement community in Columbus, Ga., were crowned the winners of MenuDirections’ 2018 Culinary Competition.

Split into teams of two, chefs had 60 minutes to prepare and plate their own entrees using a preselected basket of ingredients such as beans, mushrooms and orange sauce. Each dish was judged on its presentation, taste and creativity.

The winning dish was orange glazed pork with a black bean and wild mushroom cake topped...

FSD Resources