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Curry Kale Quesadillas with Sweet Pepper Sour Cream

  • Author: Tessa
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 quesadillas 1x


Meatless and gluten-free. For extra quick assembly (or quesadillas all week), sauté the vegetables or mix the filling for these Indian-Mex quesadillas ahead of time. Havarti is a very soft cheese, perfect for quesadillas, but it softens quickly, so refrigerate it until ready to use. The sweet pepper sour cream is optional, highly encouraged, and does best made ahead so it has plenty of time to chill.


  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil


  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 3/4 C sour cream
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 t grated ginger
  • 1 lime, juiced (on the large side)
  • 3/4 t turmeric powder
  • 2 t curry powder


  • 1 1/2 T coconut oil
  • 1 orange bell pepper, cut into 1/2 by 1″ strips
  • 1/2 red onion, halved lengthwise and sliced about 1/4” thick
  • 3/4 t curry powder
  • Leaves from 6 stems kale, chopped into 2” pieces
  • Juice of 1/2 lime (on the large side)
  • 1 1/2 C shredded havarti cheese (about 6 oz.)
  • 1 C shredded manchego cheese (about 4 oz.; or more havarti)
  • 1/4 C roughly chopped cilantro
  • 8 small corn tortillas
  • Salsa and lime wedges for serving


Sweet pepper sour cream (makes 1 cup; 35 minute prep, mostly inactive)

  1. Lightly rub the outside of the pepper with vegetable oil and broil about 6 inches from the heat for 5 to 8 minutes per side. Once blistered and blackened almost all over, place in a heatproof bowl and cover with plastic wrap, a dish towel, and a plate or pan for 15 minutes. Uncover and peel off skin by hand, then stem and seed. Dry on paper towels, roughly chop, and place in a blender or food processor once cooled.
  2. Add 1/4 cup of the sour cream and remaining sauce ingredients and blend until smooth. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/2 cup sour cream by hand. Refrigerate until chilled, a day or more if time permits.


  1. Heat a tablespoon of coconut oil over medium high in a 10″ or larger cast iron skillet. Add peppers and onion and cook until well browned in places and mostly softened, stirring infrequently. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a mixing bowl to cool. In the same skillet, heat remaining coconut oil over medium, sprinkle curry powder into the pan, and cook for a minute, stirring. Add kale, a generous pinch of salt, and the lime juice. Stir occasionally until kale is completely wilted, 5 minutes or more. Remove to a cutting board, chop small, and add to the bowl of peppers and onions. When the vegetables are cool enough that they won’t melt the cheese (refrigerate to speed this up), add both cheeses, cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Carefully wipe out the cast iron skillet with a damp cloth. While it heats over medium high, brush one side of each tortilla with vegetable oil. Lay one tortilla oil side down in the skillet, top with about 3/4 cup filling (I used three of the scooper linked above), and spread filling about 1/2 inch short of the edge. Top with a second tortilla, oil side out. Press down on the quesadilla for 10 to 20 seconds with a big spatula, then continue to fry for a few minutes until lightly browned and the cheese is melting well. Use the spatula to flip the quesadilla over and cook until browned on the other side. Scoop any loose filling out of the pan so it doesn’t burn. Repeat to make remaining quesadillas. After quesadillas have cooled slightly, cut into fourths and serve with salsa, lime wedges, and the sauce.


Make ahead options: these are a great make ahead dinner. Things you can do ahead: roast the yellow pepper, make the sauce, and prepare the filling.

Prep/cook time doesn’t include making the sauce or waiting for vegetables to cool. Placing them in the refrigerator will make it quick.

Cook time is for making four quesadillas, one at a time. Keep quesadillas warm on a sheet pan in a low oven (250 F) while you make the others, if you’re feeding 4 or more. You can easily make more than one at a time on a griddle pan.

You can use any kind of kale–I’ve tried both green curly and lacinato, both with success.

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: Meatless