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Cuban quesadillas with roasted pork, smoked ham, pickles and plenty of cheese in between grilled tortillas.
I love cuban sandwiches, when I see them on the menu at a restaurant I can never resist ordering one. That combination of meats and cheese just can’t be beat. I decided to take my love for the cuban sandwich and turn it into something a little different – a cuban quesadilla! It’s all of the great cuban sandwich fixings stuffed into tortillas and grilled to a golden brown perfection.
Let’s talk about the quesadilla components. I cooked up a small pork tenderloin, cut it into thin slices and layered it on a tortilla. On top of the pork goes pickles, plenty of shredded cheese (I used swiss for tradition and mozzarella for the melting factor) and a pile of Boar’s Head SmokeMaster™ Black Forest Ham. This ham is naturally smoked with imported German beechwood and has a complex flavor that really makes these quesadillas something special.
I enjoy smoked meat, but with three young children I just don’t have the time or energy to smoke it myself, so I rely on high quality store bought products. I love to pair smoked meat with cheese, it’s always such an amazing combination. I buy this Boar’s Head SmokeMaster™ Black Forest Ham at my deli counter – I asked for the ham to be sliced about 1/2 inch thick for these quesadillas, it’s a nice texture contrast to the roasted pork.
Once I had all of my meats, cheese and pickles in between the tortillas I grilled the whole thing until it was golden brown and crispy, just like a traditional cuban sandwich. I used an electric sandwich press, if you don’t have one of those you could bake the quesadillas in the oven or even just heat them in a pan on the stove. Make sure you serve some mustard on the side for dipping!
Confession time: I actually preferred these quesadillas over a sandwich made with bread. The traditional cuban sandwich roll is good, but let’s be honest, it’s really just a vehicle to serve up great pork, smoked ham and cheese. The tortillas complement the fillings perfectly without overwhelming them. These quesadillas make a great main course, and you can even cut them into smaller pieces and serve them up as a unique appetizer.
Do you love smoked ham as much as I do? Head on over to the Boar’s Head Smoke House Rules sweepstakes and enter to win a gift card by sharing your culinary rules for creating the perfect smoked recipes.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
- 1 pork tenderloin 3/4 to 1 pound
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 8 flour tortillas soft taco size
- 6 ounces Boar's Head SmokeMaster™ Black Forest Ham cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
- 3 dill pickles thinly sliced lengthwise
- 4 ounces shredded swiss cheese
- 4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/3 cup yellow mustard
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan on medium-high heat. Combine the salt, pepper and garlic powder and sprinkle over the pork.
- Place the pork in the pan, cook for 8-10 minutes on each side until pork is cooked through. Thinly slice the pork.
- Heat a grill pan, sandwich press or large skillet. Place 4 tortillas on a flat surface, top each tortilla with 1/4 cup of the shredded cheeses. Divide the pork, pickles and ham evenly between the 4 tortillas; sprinkle another 1/4 cup of cheese over the meats and place the 4 remaining tortillas on top.
- Cook each quesadilla for 3-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cheese has melted. Cut into quarters and serve with mustard on the side. (Oven directions: Bake at 400 degrees for 8 minutes)
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