Sweet Corn and Goat Cheese Quesadillas
Sweet Corn and Goat Cheese Quesadillas

Corn! Zucchini! goat cheese! Basil! Fold these into a quesadilla and you have a quick dinner. When you need a super easy meal on a hot summer day, this is definitely it.

In summer I like to cook simple dishes. It’s hot and no one really wants to use the oven or stove excessively, which only increases the heat in the kitchen and boosts our spirits!

This corn, zucchini, goat cheese, and basil quesadilla combines the best of summer with maximum flavor and minimum fuss.

  • Want to make your own tortillas? Try this recipe: Homemade Flour Tortillas

What kind of corn to use?

In a perfect world, you’d make these quesadillas with fresh, straight-off corn, which honestly doesn’t even need to be cooked to be eaten — it’s usually just that sweet.

However, for this recipe you will need to remove the seeds from the cob. All you have to do is hold the ear of corn upright and cut the cob lengthwise to remove the pips. (Here’s a step-by-step recipe Elise wrote.) Toss them in a hot skillet, reheat, and you’ve got a toasty-toasty approach to summer sweetcorn.

A word about zucchini prep

I once went to the farmers market with a chef friend of mine and saw him selecting summer squash and zucchini: the smaller the better. As soon as I saw it, the lightbulbs went out!

They were about an inch or so in diameter, and they were short, maybe no longer than 10 inches. They’re just so much easier to work with, and they’re less watery and tastier when they’re smaller. Because I’m using these small zucchini, I cut them in half lengthwise and then in half again—essentially quarters—and they’re no larger than 1/2 inch at their widest point. This size plays well with the candy corn.

However, I know how much I like to roll zucchini in the summer. If you have a garden and you can’t keep up, they’ll grow big and fast. So if you have baseball bat-sized zucchini on your hands and have already made zucchini pies or bread, here’s what I would do: cut the zucchini lengthwise into long strips, then dice them as small as possible. This way they fit snugly in the pan with the corn and aren’t so big that they fall out of the quesadilla.

Which herbs to use?

I love fresh basil with corn and scallions and goat cheese. Corn and basil are usually in season at the same time, and the sweetness of corn simply works against the sharp, sweet, and slightly minty flavor you get from basil.

You could also substitute cilantro, but in the dead heat of summer where I live in Pennsylvania, cilantro does nothing but pods, which makes the cilantro bitter.

However, if you are preparing this dish in the winter and don’t want to use basil, you can also opt for cilantro. There is nothing wrong with this choice.

Why use goat cheese?

There’s something about warm weather that makes me get out the goat cheese. It’s such a great complement to the natural sweetness of fresh veggies in summer. And it’s flavorful without being too heavy as far as cheese goes. A little goes a long way.

Also, key is to soften it beforehand so it spreads more easily when it’s time to go on the tortilla. I usually take it out of the fridge and find that when it’s warm in the kitchen, the goat cheese is almost ready to roll by the time I’ve chopped the corn off the cob and chopped the veggies.

But just like goat cheese isn’t your typical cheese, this isn’t your typical quesadilla — you won’t get an end result with ooey-gooey cheese. If that’s what you’re into, we have plenty of other quesadillas to choose from!

Do you love quesadillas? Here are more to try!

  • Easy Black Bean and Avocado Quesadillas
  • Kimchi Avocado Quesadillas
  • Crispy Cheese and Mushroom Quesadillas
  • Broccoli and Cheddar Quesadillas
  • Apple Chicken Quesadilla

Sweetcorn and Goat Cheese Quesadillas

preparation time
10 mins

cooking time
15 minutes

total time
25 minutes

to 8 quesadillas

If you use fresh corn on the cob, here’s how to prepare it. Shell the corn and give the corn a quick rinse to remove any stray bits of silk. Then, holding the corn on the cob, cut the corn off the cob from top to bottom. Rotate the corn cob until all of the corn is removed and repeat for the remaining ears.

If you use frozen corn or canned cornrinse and pat dry with a paper towel before use.


  • 3 cups corn kernels, fresh, frozen, or canned

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 cups zucchini, diced no more than 1/2 inch thick

  • 3 spring onions, chopped, green parts included

  • 4 ounces goat cheese, slightly softened

  • 1/2 cup large basil leaves, loosely packed

  • 4 8-inch flour tortillas (or 6 to 8 6-inch corn tortillas)


  1. Brown the corn:

    Cook the corn in a dry skillet over medium-high heat until it starts to brown and smell a bit like popcorn – this should take about 5 to 7 minutes. Keep a close eye on it; You don’t want it to burn.

    Place in a small bowl and toss with butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.

  2. Cook the zucchini:

    Still over medium-high heat, add olive oil to skillet along with zucchini, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the courgettes are slightly softened.

    Add the chopped scallions and cook for another minute or two, until soft as well. Turn off the heat and return the corn to the pan. Stir to combine.

  3. Assemble and cook the quesadilla:

    Heat a griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add about a teaspoon of olive oil and once the oil starts to shimmer a little, add the tortilla. (Alternatively, you can put the veggies in a bowl and then cook the quesadillas in the same pan.)

    Spread about a tablespoon or two of softened goat cheese on half of the tortilla. Spread the zucchini, corn, and spring onion mixture evenly over the goat cheese and sprinkle with a few basil leaves. Fold the tortilla over. Cook for a few minutes, then carefully turn to the other side with a spatula.

  4. Surcharge:

    Cut into thirds and serve. Repeat the process with the remaining tortillas. Quesadillas are best eaten hot immediately. Serve with fresh pico de gallo, chopped avocado, or your choice of side dishes.

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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!