Quesadillas and Sincronizadas

Mexican Style Quesadillas

Quesadillas are a staple in every Mexican home and fondas, the small mom-and-pop restaurants found throughout the country.

You might be surprised to find that quesadillas in Mexico aren’t the cheese-filled extravaganzas we are used to in the U.S.

A typical quesadilla is made with a corn tortilla and a small amount of cheese served with a good salsa and some guacamole on the side.

Authentic Mexican Quesadillas
Authentic Mexican Quesadillas


Sincronizadas are ham and cheese quesadillas. The name translates as “synchronized.” Most often sincronizadas are prepared with flour tortillas but corn tortillas are on option.

The tortillas aren’t folded with cheese in the middle. The tortillas are stacked with the filling in the middle and then cut into half-moons or triangles.

Sincronizadas, ham, and cheese quesadillas.

Good Cheese Makes a Good Quesadilla

If you want a good quesadilla or sincronizada you have to use a good quality cheese. Oaxaca cheese, asadero cheese, manchego cheese, and Chihuahua cheese are all good options. In a pinch, you can use mozzarella. Quesadillas are never made with cheddar.

Ingredients to make quesadillas and sincronizadas.
Ingredients to make quesadillas and sincronizadas.

Try Preparing With Different Cheeses

Each Mexican cheese gives your quesadillas a distinct flavor. Try a number of different cheeses until you find your favorite. My favorite is asadero.

How to Make a Mexican Quesadilla

You always want to make quesadillas on the griddle never in a microwave. Microwaving them makes the tortilla soggy. You want them to be golden brown with the cheese evenly melted.

Don’t overdo it with the cheese. The flavors of the cheese and tortilla should be nicely balanced. Quesadillas prepared with flour tortillas are more popular in Northern Mexico in the states of Sonora, Chihuahua, Nuevo Leon and Taumalipas.

Tortilla on Comal
Start by heating your tortilla until it is pliable.
Manchego Cheese on Tortilla
Add a small amount of grated cheese, about 1/2 ounce.
Cooking Quesadillas
Fold the tortilla over the cheese.
Quesadilla on the Comal
Cook until the tortilla is golden brown on both sides.

How to Make a Sincronizada

You will enjoy this ham and cheese variation on a quesadilla. It makes a heartier meal.

Flour Tortilla on Comal
Start by warming your tortilla until pliable.
Cheese on Flour Tortilla
Top with grated cheese, about 1 ounce.
Ham and Cheese on Tortilla
Add a few slices of ham.
Ham and Cheese on Flour Tortilla
Add a little more cheese, about 1 ounce.
Making a Sincronizada
Top with the second flour tortilla.
Sincronizada on the Comal
Cook until the tortilla is golden brown. It’s ready to serve.

Did you know that quesadillas are delicious when you prepare them on the grill?

  • Provecho!
Authentic Mexican Quesadillas
Print Pin
5 from 2 votes


How to make authentic Mexican quesadillas.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword cheese, cheese quesadillas, corn tortillas, flour tortillas
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 16 quesadillas
Calories 99kcal
Author Douglas Cullen


  • 8 ounces of your favorite Mexican Cheese
  • 16 corn tortillas.


  • Grate the cheese.
  • Warm each tortilla until pliable.
  • Add 1/2 ounce of cheese to each tortilla.
  • Fold in half.
  • Cook on each side until golden brown.
  • Serve with salsa and guacamole on the side.


  • You can also prepare with flour tortillas.
  • In Guanajuato, they serve quesadillas with slices of lime.


Calories: 99kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 101mg | Potassium: 59mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 95IU | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 0.4mg

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3 comments… add one
  • George N

    “In a pinch you can use mozzarella”
    You can usually get Monterey Jack about as easily as mozzarella, and it tastes much more similar to queso Oaxaca or Chihuahua than mozzarella does. (Sure, mozzarella has a much more similar texture to Oaxaca than Jack does, but once you melt it it really doesn’t matter that much.) It’s what I use in a pinch.

  • Maggie M

    We’re travelling vicariously through food and film this week. Day 1 is LA and some Mexican food to accompany tonight’s film Mi vida loca (1993). Thanks for your recipes. The Quesadillas and Sincronizadas turned out really well. Shared your link to the Mother City Time FB page.

    • suzanne cook

      I think the protein values are low, if using ham.

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