spicy harissa quesadilla with lamb, caramelized onions, and cojita-feta cheese

Spicy Harissa Quesadilla with Lamb, Caramelized Onions, and Cojita-Feta Cheese two

I’ve never met a ‘dilla I didn’t like.

Not like an actual arma-dilla. I haven’t spoken to one in person so I guess I can’t really say.

But they are rather odd characters. Either they are scurrying across the highway in a huge hurry to what I haven’t a clue. Or, they have the most unfortunate luck because 97 percent of the time they are flattened like a pancake on said highway. Talk about a rough life. Plus, not to mention, they aren’t winning any beauty pageants in the foreseeable future. Am I right?

No, I’m talking about the quesa-dilla, Napoleon. A flour tortilla, stuffed with exceptional ingredients, topped with cheese and slowly cooked until everything is perfectly melted.

And the way it’s cut into cute little triangles? Get out of town! What’s not to like?

Spicy Harissa Quesadilla with Lamb, Caramelized Onions, and Cojita-Feta Cheese

Well……what if I told you that I played matchmaker last weekend? And no, not the whole Bravo TV matchmaker lady style. Okay, close. I was craving a quesadilla, but wanted to add a spicy kick. Not a taser-your-face kind of kick, but more of a “Whew, bessie, that’s got a zing to it.” Ya, feel me?

So, I reached for a bottle of Mina Harissa. I like to think of Mina Harissa as the transporter of this smash up. It’s the vehicle that drives this quesadilla into the promised land. Oh! For those of you that don’t know about my homegirl Mina, she makes fabulous jarred harissa. Harissa is a North African hot sauce that is primarily made of red or green peppers. You can find the jars at Whole Foods in either green, mild or spicy.

Spicy Harissa Quesadilla with Lamb, Caramelized Onions, and Cojita-Feta Cheese one

For this quesadilla, I went with the spicy! Spread a little of the spicy harissa on the tortilla. Top it with some sauteed some lamb, caramelized onions, and cojita-feta cheese. Let it melt and crisp. One sniff of these and the ‘dillas will come scurrying.

Make sure and check out the Mina Harissa website for more ideas/recipes, or on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram!

**This post is sponsored by Mina Harissa! As always, all opinions expressed are 100% my own!**

Spicy Harissa Quesadilla with Lamb, Caramelized Onions, and Cojita-Feta Cheese three

Spicy Harissa Quesadilla with Lamb, Caramelized Onions, and Cojita-Feta Cheese

Yield: Serves 4

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes


1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound ground lamb
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 small red pepper, diced
1 small red onion, sliced
4 tortillas
1 cup Cojita cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Feta, crumbled
Cilantro, garnish
Sour cream, garnish
salt and pepper to taste


In a large bowl, combine ground lamb, chili powder, cumin, paprika, coriander, garlic powder, and s&p. Preheat a skillet to medium heat and add the olive oil. Brown the lamb in the skillet until cooked through, remove with a slotted spoon, and set aside. In the same skillet saute the red pepper and onion until softened, remove from heat and set aside.

Take a tortilla, fold, creating a half moon. On one side of the tortilla, spread about a tablespoon of the Mina harissa. Add lamb, peppers, onions, 1/4 cup cojita, and 1 tablespoon feta. Fold the other side of the tortilla over. Place in a panini press and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. Repeat process with remaining tortillas. Serve with cilantro and sour cream on top!

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35 Responses to “spicy harissa quesadilla with lamb, caramelized onions, and cojita-feta cheese”

  1. #
    molly yeh — July 16, 2014 at 07:05

    you had me at harissa.

    and then you had me even more at that photo of the onions hanging out with that sexy pat of butter.

    • Lauren replied: — July 16th, 2014 @ 16:55

      There’s nothing sexier than a pat of butter melting away! Thanks, Molly:)

  2. #
    Suné Moolman — July 16, 2014 at 07:08

    I love me some harissa and lamb. Great idea using it as a filling for the ol’ dilla. Yummy!!

    • Lauren replied: — July 16th, 2014 @ 16:55

      Thanks, Sune!

  3. #
    Tieghan — July 16, 2014 at 07:32

    I love harissa so much and this dilla is so my kind of dilla. Please make me one?!? :)

    • Lauren replied: — July 16th, 2014 @ 16:55

      I thought this might be up your alley! Thanks, Tieghan!

  4. #
    Anna @ Garnish with Lemon — July 16, 2014 at 07:42

    Drooling at 9am!

    • Lauren replied: — July 16th, 2014 @ 16:55

      Drool away! Thanks, Lisa!

      • Lauren replied: — July 16th, 2014 @ 16:56

        Ooooops! I meant, Anna! Sorry!

  5. #
    Bri | Bites of Bri — July 16, 2014 at 07:55

    I love spicy and harissa! I’m Sold! I’m not sure Napoleon could have handled this dang quesadilla :)

    • Lauren replied: — July 16th, 2014 @ 16:57

      LOL!! You are so right! Thanks, Bri!

  6. #
    Michelle @ Healthy Recipe Ecstasy — July 16, 2014 at 08:28

    Your posts always make me laugh and then make me hungry. :)

    • Lauren replied: — July 16th, 2014 @ 16:58

      You are so sweet! Thanks, Michelle!

  7. #
    Julia — July 16, 2014 at 08:41

    If there were such thing as the Quesdadilla Kingdom, you’d rule that shhhh! I’m always amazed by your quesadillas and pizzas. I seriously think we need to get together, unbutton our jeans and eat all the quesadillas with all the craft beers. Deal? I like the sounds of that.

    I need harissa in my face.

    • Lauren replied: — July 16th, 2014 @ 16:58

      Um, DEAL!!!! Where do I sign up? Thanks, Julia!

  8. #
    Ashley — July 16, 2014 at 09:06

    Quesadillas are the best! I love how stuffed these are!

    • Lauren replied: — July 16th, 2014 @ 16:59

      Ditto! The more stuffing the better I say! Thanks, chica.

  9. #
    Matt Robinson — July 16, 2014 at 09:15

    I need some Harissa, this sounds and looks so good!!!

    • Lauren replied: — July 16th, 2014 @ 16:59

      Thanks, Matt! Mina Harissa is the best!

  10. #
    naomi — July 16, 2014 at 09:32

    I’m always ready for a quesadilla – love the harissa in this.

    • Lauren replied: — July 16th, 2014 @ 16:59

      Thanks, Naomi! Harissa is the best condiment!

  11. #
    Meagan @ A Zesty Bite — July 16, 2014 at 12:06

    I’ve never met a dilla’ that I didn’t like as well. This is one for the books.

    • Lauren replied: — July 16th, 2014 @ 16:59

      I like your style. Thanks, love!

  12. #
    Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence — July 16, 2014 at 14:19

    Damn this looks good! I’ve been seeing a lot of Mina Harissa recipes popping up. I need to give it a try. Usually I make my own, but this would be nice to have as a backup!

    • Lauren replied: — July 16th, 2014 @ 17:00

      Thanks, Brandon! Mina Harissa is crazy good and the perfect back up!

  13. #
    ashley - baker by nature — July 16, 2014 at 16:09

    Da-da-daaaaamn girl! These are so amazing in SO many ways! I am also on team ‘dilla, and this sassy version must be made SOON!

    • Lauren replied: — July 16th, 2014 @ 17:00

      MWAH!! Thanks, Ashley!

  14. #
    Kate @ Diethood — July 16, 2014 at 17:10

    Whaaaat??? Are you saying that Ross is not the only arma-dilla?! There’s real ones, too?? Ugh.

    Also? Lamb, harissa, AND feta in a quesadilla??? LAWD, this is a great day! Bring it on!!

  15. #
    Eileen — July 16, 2014 at 17:20

    Yes, please! I can always use another excuse to get lamb into my mouth. :) Especially one as spicy as delicious as this!

  16. #
    Krista @ Joyful Healthy Eats — July 16, 2014 at 19:54

    haha.. you always crack me up Lauren. You are so right, in Te-jas we have lots of arma-dillas and they are definitely not willing any beauty pagents with that hard exterior.

    This quesa-dillas on the other hand, yeah just want to sit in the corner with these buy myself and a bottle of corona and go to town on them.

  17. #
    Megan {Country Cleaver} — July 16, 2014 at 20:50

    Another Harissa win!! And I like your match making skillz, yo.

  18. #
    Liz @ The Lemon Bowl — July 17, 2014 at 06:16

    Obsessed over your gorgeous harissa recipes!!!

  19. #
    Christine at Cook the Story — July 17, 2014 at 07:42

    Oh my word, these look good!

  20. #
    Meredith — July 17, 2014 at 07:50

    So amazingly delicious!

  21. #
    Joanne — July 21, 2014 at 20:36

    I’m just drowning in a pool of my own saliva THINKING ABOUT THESE. Girl, you could give Patti Stanger a run for her matchmaking money.

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