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Posted by on Nov 2, 2012 in Entree, Lunch | 18 comments

Cuban Quesadilla

Cuban Quesadilla

I absolutely love Cuban sandwiches.  I’ve had them many times and in all kinds of restaurants.  The strange thing is that sometimes they turn out amazing and other times they’re just barely eh (shoulder shrug).  Why that is I have no idea because they couldn’t be easier to make and the ingredients are generally always the same.  Today, it just so happened that I had all the ingredients, which normally I wouldn’t so I couldn’t really resist.  The thing is I wanted to change it just a little bit but nothing major.  Not long ago we went to a Mexican restaurant and on their specials menu they had a Cuban Quesadilla.  I was very intrigued so I ordered it.  It was great!  Having tortillas in the pantry, I decided that’s what it would be…a Cuban Quesadilla!

My Invisible Crown

The ingredients like I said are nearly always the same.  I’ve never seen a menu that had anything different except it being made in quesadilla form instead of on bread.

My Invisible Crown

Last week my friend Shanna from Pineapple and Coconut (check her out…she’s the bomb) gave me her oh-so-simple but oh-so-delicious recipe for Kahlua Pork.  Because I had never had it I thought it was marinated in Kahlua or it was a major ingredient.  Turns out no!   It’s called kahlua because you use Hawaiian sea salt and it has a Hawaiian flare.  I said it was simple.  It’s a pork shoulder roast, a tablespoon of Hawaiian sea salt and two tablespoons (I think, Shanna correct me if I’m wrong) of liquid smoke.  Crock pot for 8 hours on low…done!  Whoa!  So tender and juicy and believe it or not it has flavor.  It will even shred with a plastic fork.  Well (and there was a reason for that story) I had pork for the Cuban Quesadilla.  Also, last week I stopped and bought a smoked ham.  There’s this cute couple who pull this awesome trailer with a huge smoker behind their truck up to one of the big parking lots near my grocery store and sell the meats that they’ve smoked.  Their ribs are out of this world.  I’m not sure I’ve had better ribs before in my life.  Well, this week they had smoked hams so I grabbed one.  Now, that gives me two of the main ingredients in a Cuban sandwich.

UPDATED TO ADD:  And I spoke with Shanna today (she says hi!) and she corrected me.  It’s Kalua Pork and it means to cook in an underground oven which is how the Hawaiians have traditionally cooked it for years.  Hmmm…good to know!

I took a tortilla and slathered it with mustard and then layered provolone cheese.

My Invisible Crown

Then I layered on dill pickle slices.  See?

My Invisible Crown

I added medium thickness ham on top.

My Invisible Crown

Then the perfect kahlua pork.

My Invisible Crown


And swiss cheese on this side.

My Invisible Crown

I added a little more mustard to this tortilla and topped the tower I was building.

On the outside I smeared softened butter and browned it on either side.   He was a little tricky to flip but I did it.  I also placed it in a hot oven for a few minutes to make sure the very center was warm and all the cheese was gooey.

I LOVED the finished product.  It was different but still the same.

Cuban Quesadilla by My Invisible Crown

Cuban Quesadilla

5 minutes

15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 2


  • 2 flour tortillas
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 4 slices provolone cheese
  • 6 slices swiss cheese
  • 1/3 cup dill pickle slices
  • 6 slices medium-thickness ham
  • 3/4 cup shredded or sliced pork ( I used kahlua pork)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened


  1. Spread half the mustard on one side of each tortilla.
  2. Layer provolone cheese, pickle slices, ham slices, pork, and swiss cheese in that order on the mustard side of one tortilla.
  3. Top with the mustard side facing the swiss cheese with the other tortilla.
  4. Spread butter on the outside of both tortillas.
  5. Preheat oven to 400.
  6. In a medium saucepan on medium high heat place the quesadilla and cook until golden brown.
  7. Flip and repeat the process.
  8. Slide tortilla onto a baking sheet (or use an oven safe saucepan) and place it in the oven and cook for 3-5 minutes or until the inside is warm and cheese is gooey.

Have you eaten a Cuban before?  What did you think?



  1. I’m a pretty big sandwich fan. I think I would love everything about this, except the mustard. My daughter is the only mustard fan in the house. I’m going to have to tuck this recipe away for when I have yummy leftover meat in the fridge.
    the domestic fringe recently posted..Halloween – More Than CandyMy Profile

    • Awesome! I am not a HUGE mustard fan either and actually never eat it on my sandwiches but Cubans are very distinct and specific to only and always use mustard. I’ve never seen it served with anything else. I’m not saying it would taste bad with something else, I’ve just never seen it. Let me know if you try it.

  2. As a soft core vegetarian (I make exceptions for bacon and salami) I can’t say this recipe entices me, however it looks like something my husband would LOVE. Great ingenuity as well, making it into a quesadilla! We, too, are obsessed with mustard and always make “mustard-only” sandwiches. We like mayo but to be a little healthier we just drown those suckers in mustard! My favorite is getting flavored mustard from craft fairs – we recently had garlic & beer flavored, it was soooo good.

    Strive to Thrive,

    Thriving Wives recently posted..Recipe Rave Review: Crockpot Momma #1, Creamy Potato SoupMy Profile

    • That sounds like an awesome idea! I love craft fairs, too! Next time you feel like a really good meat sandwich let me know how it goes! This is a very husband friendly meal. Thanks for the comment Nic. 😀

    • It really was very good. It’s so rich and creamy but then you get the pop from the lime caviar. I love it. But even if you don’t have the finger limes, it would still be awesome!

    • Well thank you! It actually was very good. I would make it again for sure.

    • Ah! Thanks. I need to make it again since it’s been a while. I loved it! 🙂

    • Thank you so much! I LOVE new readers. Let me know what you think?

  3. I made these tonight after making a cuban pork roast — mostly to make enchiladas on Friday, but I digress.
    I made homemade tortillas and used spicy brown mustard — only coated one of the tortillas because it was all ilI had.
    Absolutely FANTASTIC!!

    • I’m so happy you enjoyed it!! And can I say WOW!! I’ve never attempted homemade tortillas but I bet they were amazing.

  4. These look fabulous! I love a good traditional Cuban sandwich. We have no shortage of places that make the real thing here in Florida. I think it’s the State Flower. Your ingredients are spot on! I’d be willing to forego the Cuban bakery bread for one of these.
    Cynthia Conciatu recently posted..Muse Swings – THE BOOK!My Profile

    • Anytime I see a Cuban on a menu I always order it. I LOVE them!!! I’m so glad you agree!! 😀

  5. Saw your quesadilla recipe in a Good Housekeeping round up! You’re actually killing me with these. Mostly because they look absolutely AMAZING. But, the other reason is because I’m Cuban and whhhhhhhy did I not ever think of making this!? It’s actually genius and let’s just say I’m forwarding it to my big fat Cuban mob of a family. Can’t wait to try these out. Too perfect for words.
    Melissa | Bits of Umami recently posted..Lazy Morning EnchiladasMy Profile

    • Wow!! Thank you so much! I’ve said so many times my goal was to write recipes that readers could adjust to their own taste or simply what they had in their kitchen. I’m so happy you like it. Thank you for coming back to let me know. It means a lot.


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