Applebee's Quesadillas copycat recipe by Todd Wilbur
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Applebee's Quesadillas

Score: 5.00. Votes: 1
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Menu Description: "Two cheeses, bacon, tomatoes, onion, jalapenos grilled between tortillas with guacamole, sour cream and salsa."

When Bill and T.J. Palmer opened their first restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1980, they realized their dream of building a full-service, reasonably-priced restaurant in a neighborhood setting. They called their first place T.J. Applebee's Edibles and Elixirs, and soon began franchising the concept. In 1988 some franchisees bought the rights to the name and changed it to Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar. By that time, there were over 650 outlets, making Applebee's one of the fastest-growing restaurant chains in the world.

According to waiters at the restaurant, the easy-to-make and slightly spicy quesadillas are one of the most popular appetizers on the Applebee's menu. The recipe calls for 10-inch or "burrito-size" flour tortillas, which can be found in most supermarkets, but any size can be used in a pinch. Look for the jalapeno "nacho slices" in the ethnic or Mexican food section of the supermarket. You'll find these in jars or cans. 

Find more of your favorite Applebee's copycat recipes here.

Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • 2 10-inch ("burrito size") flour tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/3 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 medium tomato, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons diced onion
  • 1 teaspoon diced canned jalapeno ("nacho slices")
  • 1 slice bacon
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Pinch salt
On the side
  • Sour cream
  • Guacamole
  • Salsa
  • Do This
    • Restaurant/Brand
    • Instructions

      1. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat.

      2. Spread half of the butter on one side of each tortilla. Put one tortilla, butter side down, in the hot pan.

      3. Spread the cheeses evenly onto the center of the tortilla in the pan. You don't have to spread the cheese all the way to the edge. Leave a margin of an inch or so all the way around.

      4. Sprinkle the tomato, onion, and jalapeño over the cheese.

      5. Crumble the slice of cooked bacon and sprinkle it over the other ingredients.

      6. Sprinkle the cilantro and a dash of salt over the other ingredients.

      7. Top off the quesadilla with the remaining tortilla, being sure that the buttered side is facing up.

      8. When the bottom tortilla has browned, after 45 to 90 seconds, flip the quesadilla over and grill the other side for the same length of time.

      9. Remove the quesadilla from the pan, and, using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the quesadilla three times through the middle like a pizza, creating 6 equal slices. Serve hot with sour cream, guacamole, and salsa on the side.

      Serves 2 as an appetizer.

Average rating:

Score: 5.00. Votes: 1
Rating of votes (1)
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Dec 14, 2017, 10:07

This is the first time that I tried a Todd Wilbur recipe although I have printed off and saved many of them to try in the future. I made this recipe last night and it was absolutely wonderful! Light golden brown and crisp as a quesadilla should be. I normally never make a change to a recipe the first time I try it but I did with this one only because I do not eat jalapenos anymore but I substituted chopped chilies from a can. I followed the recipe to a T especially the cooking time and it came out perfect. I used to make quesadilla all the time and thought mine were the best but this is absolutely the best I have ever had and a fantastic recipe! Thank you, Todd, for sharing your wonderful version of this recipe!

I'm Todd Wilbur,
Chronic Food Hacker

For 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.

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