Easy appetizer? Light dinner? No matter how you slice it, pears and cheese make an unlikely but irresistible duo in these Monterey Jack Quesadillas with Pear Salsa

Need a light meal or quick and easy appetizer for a party? Try these Monterey Jack Quesadillas with a sweet and savory Pear Salsa! What’s not to love about quesadillas? Their ooey-gooey cheesiness is adored by most everyone, and this meatless version of Monterey Jack Quesadillas with Pear Salsa is one of our favorites. 

The pear salsa totally makes this dish. It’s not the mouth-on-fire type of hot salsa that my husband loves to dip with his chips. No, we’re talking sweet, juicy pears that are well-matched to the amount of heat and spice in the jalapeño and black pepper. More like a sweet heat that’s very food-friendly. And the addition of mint is killer. Unexpected, yes, but it gives the salsa a bright, fresh flavor. When paired with the smooth, creamy melted Monterey Jack (sprinkled with a few savory green onions), you have a match made in heaven. 

Tip: Sometimes we eat these as a quick and easy dinner with a simple spinach salad, but they work equally well as a crowd-pleasing appetizer for guests. Feel free to use any pear you like in the salsa, but I’ve found that d’anjou pears are a little firmer (even when ripe) and hold up better to the acidity of the lime juice.

These Monterey Jack Quesadillas with a sweet and savory Pear Salsa make a delicious light meal or substantial appetizer for a party. Total crowd pleaser!

Recommended Equipment

Yield: 4

Monterey Jack Quesadillas with Pear Salsa

Monterey Jack Quesadillas with Pear Salsa


  • 3 cups chopped, peeled pears (ripe but still firm)
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon grated lime rind
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 8 medium-sized tortillas
  • 2-3 cups shredded monterey jack cheese (depending on how much you like cheese)
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • Cooking spray or olive oil


  1. Combine pears through jalapeno pepper in a small bowl. Chill for at least 20 minutes and up to a few hours.
  2. Heat skillet over medium high heat. Lightly oil or spray skillet. Add one tortilla, 1/4 of cheese, 1/4 of green onions and top with another tortilla. Gently press down on tortillas until the cheese starts to melt. Cook until lightly browned and flip over to brown other side. Remove from skillet and repeat with remaining tortillas, cheese and green onions.
  3. Cut tortillas into eighths and serve with pear salsa.

Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 392 Total Fat: 26g Carbohydrates: 20g Protein: 21g
These crowd-pleasing Monterey Jack Quesadillas with Pear Salsa are always the first snacks to go at parties! They make a great quick and easy dinner, too!