Bring Leftover Meatballs Back To Life With A Quesadilla Transformation

Leftovers often sit ignored in the fridge, waiting to either be tossed out or reheated into a less satisfying version of what they once were. With meatballs, however, that doesn't have to be the case. Give this staple dish new life by cutting it up and incorporating it into various other main courses. Unexpectedly, quesadillas might just be one of the best choices. Both rich in flavors and textures, there's no doubt that when these dishes join forces, you've only got great things to look forward to.

Normally, quesadillas get their savory kick from ground beef or shredded chicken. Since meatballs are also made from ground meat, they make a perfect substitute, especially when you don't want to go through the hassle of seasoning and cooking the meat from scratch. In addition to being time-saving, this substitution is also quite budget-friendly. It's a fantastic way to make the most of everything in your fridge while still turning out an incredible, mouthwatering meal.

You may be slightly concerned that the quesadillas may not be as good as they would be with freshly cooked food, but that's far from the truth. Once properly warmed up, chopped, and smothered in a tortilla alongside robust spices, a delectable sauce, tangy melted cheese, and crispy veggies, the meatballs will be as good as new. Tender and utterly juicy, they add to the gooey-soft fillings that deliver extraordinary flavors with each satisfying bite.

A convenient trick that's still incredibly versatile

Since the meatballs are already seasoned, all you need to do is give them a quick stir in the skillet to warm up. Of course, you can always sprinkle in some paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, or dried herbs for a truer quesadilla taste. As for the sauces, if you have tomato sauce to go along with the meatballs, all the better. For those with a jar of marinara readily available, use it to make a pizza-quesadilla hybrid that's sure to liven up any meal. If not, anything that's normally used for quesadillas such as sour cream, Greek yogurt, ranch dressing, guacamole, or salsa is also good.

Aside from the condiments, you can also play around with other foods to help the meatball quesadillas stand out even more. For a firework burst of fresh, spicy goodness, whip up some pico de gallo. Add an extra layer of indulgence by mixing various cheese varieties (cheddar, Monterey Jack, mozzarella, etc.). And if you like to bulk up the texture, beans are just the stuff to go for. Black beans, red beans, and kidney beans are the most common choices. 

Finally, don't forget about the dipping sauce either. You can mix mayonnaise with other spices for a foolproof dip that works every time. When adventure calls, however, go for avocado crema, salsa verde, or garlic aioli for a special finishing twist to an already incredible dish.