The $10 Challenge: Chipotle Pork Quesadillas

I saw this recipe in the Everyday with Rachael Ray Magazine.  It was featured in the $10 Spot — recipes that should only cost $10.  I’ve always thought these articles are a little aggressive in their pricing so I decided to see how much this recipe would cost at my local store.

The ingredients cost $15.10.  I already had the cilantro and cumin at home so this would have likely been a $20 meal at the Greenwich Village D’Agostino.  Here’s a breakdown of the bill:


But I really can’t complain — there was a lot of flavor packed into this budget-conscious meal!

Only a couple of modifications to this recipe: I used a whole onion, a little more than one chipotle pepper plus 1 teaspoon of adobo sauce, and — rather than a block of Monterey Jack which would have definitely increased the budget — I bought a pre-shredded Mexican cheese blend.

I served the quesadillas with refried black beans, sliced avocado, and salsa verde (which put my final grocery bill at $20). The quesadillas were super flavorful, very easy to make, and a much healthier alternative to take-out Mexican!

Chipotle Pork Quesadillas
Every Day with Rachael Ray, March 2009

  • 2 boneless pork chops (about ¾ pound)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro,plus leaves for garnish
  • 8 medium flour tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Season the pork chops with salt and pepper. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook until browned, 4 minutes on each side. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool; cut into thin strips.

In the same skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and their juice, the garlic, chipotle and cumin and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the mixture thickens, about 3 minutes; stir in the pork and chopped cilantro.

Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Brush one side of each tortilla with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Working in batches, cook the tortillas oiled side down until grill marks form, 1 to 2 minutes.

Arrange 4 tortillas grilled side down on a baking sheet. Divide the pork mixture among the tortillas and sprinkle with the cheese. Top with the remaining tortillas, grilled side up. Bake until the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes.

Cut into wedges and top with the cilantro leaves.

Serves 4

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