Veggie Quesadillas with Beet Greens Pesto

Quesadillas stuffed with end of summer veggies and beet greens pesto. 361 calories. | Nearly a year ago, a crazy cool but simultaneously awful thing happened.

A new brewery opened down the street.

And the brewery decided to have local food trucks come every weekend.

Craft beer. Tasty food. Walking distance.

This is going to end badly. Very, very badly.

Veggie Quesadillas with Beet Greens Pesto. |

For my waistline, that is.

Would probably help if the walking distance part actually led to me walking there.

My tastebuds, however, are happyyyyy!

And my support of local business (that’s my story, stickin’ to it) led me to the discovery of my favorite Dayton food truck, Harvest Mobile. Their use of local food, prepared simply and flavorfully is absolute perfection. Earlier this summer, I had the most ahhhh-mazing quesadilla from there, which inspired this recipe.

Veggie Quesadillas with Beet Greens Pesto |

I know, I know, it’s September and those are summer squash. It’s like I have summer in a death grip around here. I’m just trying to make sure you have a way to use up all your summer veggies before they go bad. :)

And when I say use them all up, we’re talking all of it. Even the beet greens!

Which sort of happened as a happy accident. When I was researching how on Earth you are supposed to cook a beet, one of the articles I read talked about how you can cook with the greens as well. To which I thought: yeah, right, those are going in the trash.

Veggie Quesadillas with Beet Greens Pesto |

So I went about my recipe development, initially making a traditional basil pesto. Well, apparently my pine nuts were completely rancid because it smelled and tasted terrible! Having literally been at four different grocery stores that particular day, I was not about to go back. Luckily, the beet greens hadn’t quite made it to the trash yet. Beet greens pesto? Why not? Sure beets another trip to the grocery <—- yeah, that was really terrible.

As for the how on Earth do you cook a beet question… I found I prefer sautéing the beets in a little olive oil and S&P as my cooking method of choice. It cut down on the cooking time and also makes the sweetness of the beets a little more subtle, but you can also roast or steam them. No matter how you cook them, please, do not wear your favorite shirt while you are working with them. Holy schmoly those betacyanins do not mess around!

This really makes for a perfect end of summer meal. Great for a relaxed summer night on the patio, soaking up every last drop of that sweet summer air, feasting on the tastes of summer – smothered in pesto and wrapped in gooey cheese.

Veggie Quesadillas with Beet Greens Pesto |

5.0 from 1 reviews
Veggie Quesadillas with Beet Greens Pesto
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Quesadillas stuffed with end of summer veggies and beet greens pesto. | WW points+: 9
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4
For the pesto:
  • 2 cups beet greens, thick stems removed
  • 2 tablespoons nuts (pine nuts, walnuts or pecans would all work)
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
For the quesadilla:
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • ½ cup beets, peeled and diced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups summer squash, sliced in half moons
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 whole wheat tortillas
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil and then add the beets and a little salt and pepper. Continue to cook for about 30 minutes, or until tender.
  2. While the beets are cooking, begin making the pesto by adding the greens, nuts, cheese, garlic, salt and lemon juice to a food processor. Drizzle in the olive oil and continue to process until well combined.
  3. Heat a second skillet over medium head and add the remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Cook the squash and mushrooms with salt and pepper for about 5 minutes. You could also just add the squash and mushrooms to the beet skillet but the squash will turn pink!
  4. Set aside the squash and mushrooms on a plate lined with a paper towel.
  5. Reheat the skillet and spray with a little cooking spray.
  6. Place one tortilla in the pan, spread half of the tortilla with ¾ tablespoon of pesto and 2 tablespoons of shredded cheddar cheese. Add a quarter of the squash, mushrooms and beets.
  7. Check the underside of the tortilla, when browned and crisping, fold the empty half over the half with filling and remove from the pan. Cut into 4 slices.
  8. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling mixture.
I was a little short of 2 cups of beet greens when making the pesto, so I supplemented with fresh parsley I had on hand. You could also supplement with spinach or basil if you find you are a little shy of 2 cups. Get creative and use what you have in the fridge!
Serving size: 1 quesadilla

Veggie Quesadillas with Beet Green Pesto |

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  1. says

    4 grocery stores in one day?? I’m impressed. I love your use of beet greens here, I’ve never tried them before, but I’m sure when they’re mixed with pine nuts, cheese and garlic, they’re delicious! I’m holding onto those summer months, too. It has been too hot to move into fall mode:)

  2. says

    I think you took one for the team by supporting local businesses ;) I live not too far from and brewery too and while I love it … the smell of freshly made churros daily can be SO TEMPTING!!

    I love this recipe, I didn’t even know you could use beet greens — pretty cool!

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