Super simple black bean quesadillas recipe that's perfect for a quick lunch or dinner served with salad or soup. It's a delicious meatless main dish that you can make in large batches for a family using an oven.
Quesadillas are a wonderfully simple and quick meal. I almost wonder if a recipe is needed here, but I did get some questions about these black bean quesadillas after they appeared on one of my menus, so I think it's worthwhile.
If nothing else, just to inspired us to move beyond the basic cheese-and-tortilla, right?
First, though, what is a quesadilla?
For anyone wondering, a quesadilla is sort of a Mexican pizza - or maybe calzone since it's got a crust on the top and the bottom. At its simplest, is is just cheese sandwiched between two tortillas cooked until melted and crisp.
However, you can add all kinds of ingredients to the cheese filling to create your own version. This is a great way to use up small amounts of meats and vegetables you may have in the fridge.
Black beans and chopped vegetables has become my staple ingredients, though, since the whole family loves the combo and the ingredients add a bit of protein, crunch, and health with added vegetables (I have been known to layer some spinach leaves, too, though you'll need to chop them - there's nothing like pulling a hot cheese-covered spinach leaf out in a bite to make you realize that.)
How to Make Black Bean Quesadillas
Black Bean Quesadillas Ingredients
The ingredients needed to make black bean quesadillas are things you probably have in your pantry and fridge most of the time:
- Tortillas (I like to use whole wheat - I've tried making them, but I never have any luck and they always break...)
- Black Beans (bonus points if they are from your cooked and frozen bean stash)
- Cheese (cheddar or jack)
I also like to add, but they are optional:
- Another type of cheese (pepper jack, etc.)
- Chopped onions or sliced green onions
- Diced red peppers and/or jalapeño peppers
You can also choose to add shredded cooked chicken, turkey, or beef if you'd like, as well as other vegetables like the spinach I mentioned, tomatoes, mushrooms, etc.
How to Make Black Bean Quesadillas
- Start with a thin layer of grated cheese on 2 to 3 tortillas (for our family of 4 - adjust for your needs).
- Add black beans next.
- Sprinkle with chopped onions and peppers, if using.
- Add another thin layer of grated cheese to "glue" the beans to both tortillas.
- Top filling with another tortilla.
How do you cook quesadillas?
There are lots of ways to cook quesadillas once you have them filled, on the stove top, using a griddle, or even in a panini maker. These are great when making just one, but what if you'd like to make three or more and have them all done at the same time for a family?
Try the oven!
I like to make my quesadillas in the oven. I'm sure the grill or cast-iron people out there may be cringing, but using an oven allows you to make a number at once and gets them evenly cooked and crispy. Plus, you can create them right on a baking pan as shown above with no need to transfer to a skillet.
To cook in an oven, start by preheating it to 400 degree. Place the pan with the quesadillas in a rack in the bottom part of the oven for about 5 minutes. Flip and cook for 4 to 5 minutes more until you see the edges browning and cheese bubbling.
Remove the quesadillas to a cutting board and slice into triangles for serving with a chef's knife or pizza cutter.
Quesadilla Serving Suggestions
- As an appetizer set out with bowls of guacamole and salsa.
- Alongside soup in the winter (try it with homemade tomato soup or spicy beef, tomato, and corn stew)
- With a taco salad or spicy cumin lime slaw in the summer.
- On their own for lunch anytime.
Black Bean Quesadillas
- 4 to 6 flour tortillas
- 1 to 1½ cups grated cheddar or jack cheese
- 1 can black beans or pint of freezer beans
- 1/4 cup sliced green or finely chopped regular onions optional
- 1/4 cup chopped peppers sweet red peppers, jalapeño peppers, etc.
- salsa and/ or guacamole for serving
- Heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place 2 to 3 tortillas on a large greased or lined baking sheet and sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese on each.
- Sprinkle the beans and vegetables, if using, and then top with another 1/4 cup of the cheese. Enclose filling with another tortilla on top.
- Place pan in oven and cook for 5 minutes, or until browned on the bottoms and cheese is starting to melt. Carefully flip each quesadilla and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes or until evenly browned and cheese is bubbly.
- Cut each into 6 to 8 triangles and serve.
- Serve with salsa and guacamole as an appetizer or lunch.
- Serve with tomato soup or southwestern stew.
- Serve with salads.
Other Simple Meals to Try
- Vegetarian Indian Sub-jee Curry Wraps
- Healthy Lemon Vegetable & Fish Foil Packets (Grill or Oven Bake)
- Chicken Lime Lettuce Wraps - a 10 Minute Meal!
- Chipotle Spice Rubbed Grilled Chicken Salad with Guacamole, Corn & Black Beans
This recipe has been updated - it was originally published in May of 2010.
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