Chile-Spiced Ahi Tuna Quesadillas

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 10 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 50 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
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2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1/2 English cucumber, finely diced

1/4 head red cabbage, shredded

1 lime, juiced

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


2 dried New Mexico or pasilla chiles, stemmed, seeded and deveined

1 tablespoon dried crumbled Mexican oregano

1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus more for seasoning

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning

Two 6-ounce albacore tuna steaks, chopped into 1/2-inch cubes

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 red onion, sliced

To assemble:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

8 corn tortillas

2 cups shredded Oaxaca cheese, dry mozzarella or Monterey Jack


  1. For the salad: In a medium mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage, lime juice and olive oil. Mix to combine and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. For the tuna: Place the chiles, oregano, salt and pepper in a spice grinder or food processor and pulse into a coarse powder. Pour the rub into a glass baking dish. Add the tuna pieces into the chile rub and toss to coat. Set aside.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the red onions to the pan and cook until softened and slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the onions to a bowl and set aside. Into the same saute pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and add the tuna pieces. Cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Remove the tuna to a bowl and set aside.
  4. To assemble the quesadillas: Drizzle the olive oil into the hot pan. Place a corn tortilla into the pan. Place 1/4 cup shredded cheese onto one half of the tortilla. Top with a spoonful of the tuna mixture and a couple slices of sauteed onion. Fold the bare half of the tortilla over, into a half-moon, and cook until the cheese melts and the tortilla forms a golden crust, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove the quesadilla onto a serving plate. Top with a spoonful of the cabbage salad. Repeat with the remaining 7 tortillas.