Nutella®, a Pantry Special (recipe: banana or strawberry Nutella quesadillas)
When I suggested to my pastry chef friend Cindy that we make Nutella® quesadillas for dessert last week, she asked, "Italian Nutella or Canadian Nutella?" I had no idea what she meant, but a bit of research turned up the answer. Though the Ferrero corporation owns the trademark, the actual chocolate-hazelnut-skim-milk spread made in Italy since the 1940s is not the same product made in Canada and imported to America for the past twenty years. Canadian Nutella contains more chocolate and more sugar, and less hazelnut, than the Italian original. You'll find Nutella on the supermarket shelf with peanut butter, which makes sense; it tastes enough like chocolate peanut butter that I'm sure Elvis would have loved to spread it on his signature sandwich. Stored at room temperature (never in the refrigerator), Nutella keeps for months, though it seldom lasts that long in my house.
Is this Pantry Special new to you?
How to make your own Nutella:
Chocolate hazelnut spread
Chocolate hazelnut spread (another version)
Where to buy online:
Amazon.com (5-pack for $21)
Banana or strawberry Nutella quesadillas
If this isn't the world's easiest chocolate and fruit dessert, I don't know what is. Despite using my favorite low-carb oat-bran tortillas, the quesadillas were so rich and satisfying that we completely forgot the vanilla frozen yogurt I'd planned for a topping. One tortilla per person would be a very generous dessert portion; this recipe makes enough for 5-6 people.
4 oat-bran or whole wheat tortillas
8 oz Nutella
1 ripe banana, thinly sliced, or 1 pint strawberries, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
Lay the tortillas on your work surface. With a spoon, spread each one with Nutella, leaving a margin of at least half an inch all the way around. Arrange banana or strawberry slices in a single layer on one half of each tortilla, and fold the tortilla in half to make a semicircle.
In a large nonstick frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat. If your pan is large enough, place two of the folded tortillas in the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes until brown on the bottom, flip, and cook for an additional 2 minutes until the second side is browned. Remove to a cutting board, and cook the remaining two quesadillas. Cut each quesadilla into three pieces, and serve warm.
More Nutella in The Perfect Pantry:
Nutella banana bruschetta
Chocolate Nutella nut cookies
Easy fruit and Nutella puff pastry tarts
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Nutella cheesecake bars, from Rasa Malaysia
Nutella stuffed French toast, from Two Peas & Their Pod
Nutella brownies, from Buns in My Oven
Chocolate strawberry Nutella cake, from The Pioneer Woman Cooks
Chocolate peanut butter Nutella oreo cookies, from Kevin and Amanda
Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.
Eerie -- I just bought Nutella this morning as an impulse purchase. Now if only I'd also been foresighted enough to pick up tortillas and strawberries as well!...
Hmmm, that is so interesting about the Nutella because I have heard the same about the LU brand cookies made in France (actually, LU is based here in Nantes) and the LU cookies imported and sent to the US (dryer according to a friend).
But these quick quesadillas are a fabulous idea and a fabulous treat! Yummy for Nutella + strawberries!
Oh those quesadillas look wickedly good!
My very favorite thing to do with nutella is the self-frosting cupcakes...so completely rich and decadent.
Oh, I love, love, love Nutella! Those recipes you linked to are going to kill me. I think I'll start with the quesadillas minus the banana. :)
I am from Germany, so I noticed the difference right away when I tried USA Nutella for the first time. I heard a slightly different reason though - the Nutella in the USA is made with peanut oil while the European variety is made with vegetable oil which is much more neutral in flavor.
Anyway, I have noticed that most "off brand" hazelnut spreads in the US taste a lot more like the original. Aldi has it sometimes, and if your store has an ethnic food section with Dutch and German you can find some too. Look at the ingredients, if it lists vegetable oil, you're good.
Nutella - faster acting than prozac!
I've never liked Nutella because I don't like the nuts... but in Israel I get "Hashachar" - a nut-free chocolate spread. And I've just discovered it in the kosher markets in the US. YIPEE!
Soooo...that's why it cost so much more in the Italian Grocery store. I thought it was because of the packaging. OK guess I'll start buying the Italian version.
I was wondering why my Nutella tasted different from the Nutella I had in England.
Mystery - solved
I didn't realize that there was a difference in Nutella. That quesadilla looks like the perfect dessert for my son.
Oh, these sound so good! I bought a jar of Nutella, but I had no plans or ideas what to do with it. Now, I just have to get some bananas.
i do not have to tell you that soeren would kiss and hug you for these! got to try these out!
wow that's a surprise. I could never imagine a Nutella that tastes like peanut butter. Probably because here in Italy we don't get the US version.
You can also do something similar with crepes in place of the tortillas.
Anything with Nutella has to be yummy :)
my kids love Nutella... I don't think they ever put it on tortillas but it goes on toast, waffles, french toast, swedish pancakes, american pancakes, graham crackers, saltines, pepparkakor, any other cookie you might have in the pantry, bread of course. The way I like it best however, is straight off the spoon. The same way I like my peanut butter! YUM! ;)
Love nutella, it's an old standby for croissants and crepes and now I guess quesadillas!
I had no idea there was a difference, and wondered why I could barely taste the hazelnut. Sometimes I wondered if I did only because I was expecting to! Time to watch the ingredient lists (and/or check Aldi's).
Oh wow. i never thought about the difference. The Italian deli by me carries the non-canadian version, I just never figured why it was more expensive. Hm. I'll have to give it a try.
Nutella is amazing. There is a pizza place by where my boyfriend lives that makes a Nutella pizza and it is divine. It's made with Nutella sauce and mascarpone cheese. So yummy!
Leukothea, impulse purchases can be such fun. I'm glad this recipe is here for you.
Jamie, I've heard the same about the LU cookies, too, but I've only tasted the American ones (which are pretty darned delicious, by the way).
Nupur, what are self-frosting cupcakes? (Can you tell that I'm not a baker?)
Bridget, I believe that would be a Nutella sandwich! Don't forget the butter, though -- it adds an extra level of sweetness.
Susanne, thanks so much for the advice. We'll all be reading the labels now.
Lucia, they need to use that line in an ad campaign!
Julia, I'm not a big fan of hazelnuts, so a nut-free chocolate spread sounds perfect for me. I'll keep an eye out for it.
Kim, you're lucky to have access to an Italian market. Next time I'm in Providence I'm going to look for the real thing; my local supermarket only has the made-in-Canada variety.
Natashya, Pam, Meeta, Veron: I can imagine all of you with a plate of these quesadillas!
Briga, I'd be happy to send you some of our Canadian Nutella to try, but I think you'd find it very sweet compared to what you get in Italy.
Tai-Tai, my husband likes the spoon-in-jar method, too!
Sandra, EB: I think there are other foods that are different when made for the US market. Perhaps our palate is assumed to like things sweeter, and less spicy.
Hillary, I have some mascarpone in the fridge, and actually thought about combining it with the Nutella. I hesitated.... but now I wish I'd tried it. Must get more Nutella!
nutella and peanut butter are both staples in my pantry. now to see if i can find an off brand that tastes less like peanut butter since i'd have no idea how to get my hands on the european version.
You can get the Italian version here:
Now I understand why I like Nutella when I lived in the UK and don't care for what my local supermarket has. I don't like things that sweet. Mystery solved.
I have never liked nutella, as I don't have a sweet tooth. I would love to try the Italian version. Your recipe is very tempting though.
Beth, let us know if you find something you like.
Laura, thanks -- great source!
Janet, always good to know that there's a reason for the different taste, not just something you imagine. Try to get one of each and do your own taste test. You'll be amazed.
Angela, see the source Laura's given above.
I'll just assume that you are all Canadian or Americans. In Europe we make different kind of pancakes, you call it crapes (I think) When you make the pancakes they are really thin, you could say they look like tortillas, but taste much better. You put some nutella on them and any kind of fruit. Or cinamon and sugar, or lemon and sugar,or anykind of jam, and role them. Just a suggestion...
Also, I'm crazy for nutella, but we import original Italian version. I never tried any other, so i can't judge...
now, you've hit my sweet spot.
i'm gonna have to give these baby a try.
never knew there were different versions of nutella...
i'll have to keep an eye out for the italian version
I've heard that the American version of Nutella has trans-fats (even though it says zero on the label, it's such a small amount per serving that they don't have to disclose it), while the European one doesn't! I wish I could find the European version here in the US...
What a great idea to use Nutella in a dessert quesadilla! I would have never thought of it!!!
You know, it makes sense that there are different versions of Nutella. The Italian one just tastes better, but I thought that was just because I've always believed that "everything Italian tastes better", but actually, the North American public prefers sweeter, more chocolatey items than the European public (I read this in a marketing journal quite recently), so it makes sense that they would cater to the public's preference by twisting the original recipe. If I recal correctly, the first ingredient in the Canadian version is sugar (second is oil), while in Italy it's hazelnuts (second is milk).
Sounds great to me! No sure which Nutella I have in Australia... but it tastes great and would work in this recipe :)
I'm gonna try this.... looks AMAZING!