Featured Recipe: Shrimp Quesadilla with Chipotle Corn Salad

Copyright Linda Gassenheimer

Filled with plump, juicy shrimp, smooth melted cheese and crunchy salsa, this quesadilla makes a quick, Southwestern dinner. Quesadillas are hot sandwiches – Tex-Mex style.  Though quesadillas usually are served as an appetizer, these are large and filling enough for supper.

Most quesadillas are made by filling tortillas and folding them over. For this dinner, the quesadillas are stacked with the filling placed on one and another tortilla placed over the top.

The side dish has a smoky chipotle dressing. Chipotle peppers are a red Jalapeno chili that is ripened, dried and smoked.  They’re sold dried or canned in adobo sauce.  I used powdered chipotle chili pepper found in the spice section to give a quick smoked flavor to bottled dressing.  It can be sprinkled on many other ingredients and makes a great sauce when sprinkled on mayonnaise.



Vegetable oil spray

4 8-inch whole wheat tortillas

1/2 cup drained tomato salsa

1/2 pound peeled, cooked shrimp

1 cup reduced-fat, shredded Monterey jack cheese, divided use

Preheat broiler. Slice shrimp in half lengthwise, from tail to head end. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Spray with vegetable oil spray. Place one tortilla in skillet.  Spread half the salsa on the tortilla.  Place half the shrimp on the salsa.  Set aside 1/4 cup shredded cheese.  This cheese will be sprinkled on top of each quesadilla when it is placed under a broiler. Sprinkle half the remaining cheese over the shrimp.  Cover with a second tortilla and with a lid.  Cook 2 minutes.  Remove lid and sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the reserved cheese on top of the tortilla.  Place the skillet under the broiler for 1 minute. Remove skillet from oven and transfer the quesadilla to a plate with a spatula.  Repeat for second quesadilla. Makes 2 servings.


2 tablespoons reduced-fat oil and vinegar dressing

1/8 teaspoon powdered chipotle chili pepper

2 cups washed, ready-to-eat shredded lettuce

1 cup frozen corn kernels, defrosted (1 minute in microwave oven)

Mix dressing and chipotle powder together.  Place shredded lettuce on a plate.   Sprinkle corn over the lettuce. Drizzle sauce over salad.  Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition Information

SHRIMP QUESADILLA: Per serving: 468 calories (31 percent from fat), 16.1 g fat (8.0 g saturated, 3.1 g monounsaturated), 208 mg cholesterol, 43.0 g protein, 37.0 g carbohydrates, 5.0 g fiber, 1277 mg sodium. CHIPOTLE CORN SALAD: Per serving: 85 calories (21 percent from fat), 2.0 g fat (0.2 g saturated, 0.6 g monounsaturated), 1 mg cholesterol, 3.1g protein, 17.0 g carbohydrates, 3.1 g fiber, 221 mg sodium.

Shopping List

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for Dinner in Minutes.

To buy: 1 package 8-inch whole wheat tortillas, 1 bottle tomato salsa, 1/2 pound peeled, cooked shrimp, 1 package reduced-fat, shredded Monterey jack cheese, 1 bottle powdered chipotle chili pepper, 1 bag washed, ready-to-eat shredded lettuce and 1 package frozen corn kernels.

Staples: Vegetable oil spray and reduced-fat

Helpful Hints

  • Fruit and other types of salsa can be used instead of tomato salsa.
  • Any type of 8-inch tortilla can be used.
  • Any type of Mexican-style cheese can be used.
  • Use 2 skillets to speed cooking time and avoid repeating the recipe.


  • Assemble salad.
  • Make quesadillas.