Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas

$6.61 recipe / $0.66 each

Words. Cannot. Describe. …how insanely good these are!! This is my new favorite recipe, hands down. Hands down.

So, most people go to Whole Foods to explore their beautiful produce, organic meat, and other…well, whole foods. But me? I’m drawn to the junk food and convenience food. I think it’s because the selection is so interesting and I feel a lot less guilty eating it. Plus the flavors of their “junk food” are much more aligned with my palate than regular junk food. Anyway, last week I stopped by to stock up on grains and stuff from the bulk aisle and I grabbed a couple frozen quesadillas for a quick splurge dinner. While they were totally delicious, I knew that I could make them better and for far less money. And I did.

I love these quesadillas for three reasons: 1) they’re bursting with flavor 2) they’re SO EASY to make and 3) they’re perfect for the freezer! Students and other busy people take note: this recipe is perfect for you!

I called them “hearty” black bean quesadillas because they are surprisingly filling. I hastily ate two and then promptly felt like my belly was going to explode. This is one of those vegetarian recipes that meat eaters won’t feel deprived eating. Promise.

Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas

Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas

4.9 from 60 reviews
hearty black bean quesadillas
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $6.61
Cost Per Serving: $0.66
Serves: 10ea
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans** $0.56
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels $0.48
  • ½ small red onion $0.44
  • 1 clove garlic $0.08
  • ¼ bunch fresh cilantro $0.21
  • 2 cups shredded cheese $2.50
  • 1 batch taco seasoning $0.34
  • 10 taco sized tortillas $2.00
  1. Drain the can of beans and rinse lightly. Place the beans in a large bowl along with the corn (no need to thaw).
  2. Rinse the cilantro, remove the leaves, and chop roughly. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add the cilantro, onion, garlic, and shredded cheese to the bowl with the beans and corn. Lastly, mix up a batch of taco seasoning and add to the bowl. Stir everything until evenly mixed.
  3. Place a half cup of the filling on one side of each tortilla and fold over. Cook in a skillet on both sides over medium heat until brown and crispy and the cheesy filling has melted.
  4. To freeze the quesadillas, simply fill each one and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in the freezer for one hour to solidify the quesadillas and then transfer to a freezer bag. To reheat either microwave (for a soft quesadilla) or cook in a skillet on low heat (make sure to use low heat so that the filling has time to thaw and melt before the outside burns).
**I used black beans that I cooked from dry in my slow cooker using this method. It’s easy, requires almost no effort, and is about ⅓ the cost of a can of beans.


taco chicken bowls

Step By Step Photos

Bean QuesadillasThis was my inspiration. They really were delicious, but at $3.99 for a box of two, I knew I could do better!

beans and cornStart with the beans and corn. No need to even thaw the corn. Drain the can of beans (or homemade) and rinse just slightly. It’s good to have some of the starchy bean goo in there because it will help the filling stick together.

chop veggiesNext chop the veggies. I used half a red onion, one clove of garlic, and about a quarter bunch of cilantro. These quantities do not need to be set in stone, adjust as needed for what you have on hand or what you taste preference dictates. Make sure to rinse the cilantro, it tends to be sandy.

choppedAdd the chopped veggies to the bowl.

cheeseAdd the shredded cheese to the bowl as well. The cheese kind of acts like a glue for the filling once it’s melted.

taco seasoningAdd the taco seasoning. I suggest using corn starch (1/2 tsp) in the taco seasoning blend because you will have a lot of rogue juice coming out of the corn and onion as the quesadillas heat. The corn starch will help keep everything in place and prevent sogginess.

stirStir until everything is evenly coated. The starchy black bean “goo” helps coat everything nicely.

fill tortillasNow it’s time to stuff the quesadillas. Place a half cup of filling in each tortilla and fold it over. You can either cook them or freeze them at this point.

cook quesadillaTo cook them, place the quesadilla in a skillet over medium heat and cook on both sides until golden brown, crispy, and the filling has melted. If you’re not using a non-stick skillet, you may need some oil to keep it from sticking.

freezeTo freeze, place them on a baking sheet covered in parchment and then freeze for one hour or until solid. Then, transfer to an air-tight freezer bag. Don’t forget to transfer them into the bag or else they’ll dry out! If you don’t think you’ll eat them up in a month or two, I’d suggest wrapping each one in an extra layer of plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn and drying out. Personally, I know mine won’t last that long ;)

black bean quesadillasI usually use a pizza cutter to slice my quesadillas into wedges. Nom nom nom!


  1. Sarah says:

    Hi Beth,
    I’m obsessed with these (and your website). I make them all the time, and bring frozen ones to work to reheat for lunch. Thank you. They’re great with lowfat or 0% Greek yogurt in place of sour cream!

    Question: Every time I make them using the recommended 1/2 cup of filling, I just barely have enough for 8 servings. The recipe says there are 10, though — not sure what I’m doing wrong!

    Maybe it’s because I omit the cilantro..?

    Anyway, great work.

    • It could be that or maybe your tortillas are slightly larger than mine were. :) Or, maybe I didn’t pack the filling quite as much into the measuring cup? You can bulk it up with a little extra corn, maybe a bell pepper, or an extra can of beans.

  2. Eliza says:

    Have you prepared these in the oven rather than on the stovetop? Trying to feed company makes it difficult to do one-by-one in the frying pan.

    Thanks, they’re delicious!

    • If you try them in the oven, the tortillas might curl up as they bake. They won’t get that nice browned exterior, just a little browning around the edges.

  3. Sarah says:

    Great recipe! Would you be able to provide the nutrition information? Thanks!

  4. Shannon says:

    I love this recipe! I try to always have them stocked in my freezer.

    Last time I added some sweet potato and it stretched out the batch and made them really hearty.

    Thanks so much for all your freezer-friendly recipes! They are great for grad students living alone like me :)

  5. Emilia says:

    I’m not a fan of onions, should I add more cilantro or just use onion powder?

    • I think onion powder would be a good option. You can always add more cilantro if you like, but it wouldn’t be necessary.

  6. Carrie says:

    I’ve made these for an annual camping trip/festival for 3 years in a row and thought I should finally show some comment love since I’m about to do it again! I mix up the filling and freeze it in jars, then we just bring the tortillas along and cook up the whole shebang up on the camp stove. I’ve also used your Slow Cooker Chicken Taco recipe in a similar way, but we’re definitely careful to use the chicken jars the first night. Last year I had people coming up to our camp site asking for them – said they were the best things they ate all weekend the year before! :) Thank you for all you do!

  7. Eileen says:

    i make these almost every week now! If I’m not in a rush i saute the onions and beans with half the spice mix and a couple tablespoons of salsa before mixing it with everything else. I’ve been following your blog for 2 years now, thanks for all the great money saving recipes!

  8. Jane says:

    Restaurant quality quesadillas. I made your pico de gallo salsa recipe and topped with a little sour cream. I also froze some for future easy meals.

    Thank you!!!

  9. Michalene says:

    Can a can of corn be substituted instead?
    Looking to make this on a camping trip :)

  10. Rachel says:

    Thank you for this recipe! I’ve never made a good quesadilla before this, and these were amazing! It was also the first time I’ve cooked with black beans. The freezing instructions were helpful as I am single and I have several frozen meals to look forward to.

  11. I’ve been making these for several months now, and they may be my favorite meal ever with sour cream, tortilla chips and mango or pineapple salsa. All three of my kids LOVE them. I double the recipe and freeze leftovers. They’re just as good, maybe better, heated up out of the freezer. Thanks so much!!

  12. doowangl says:

    Very wise use of corn starch in this, and a mark of a great cook. The freezing instructions was also a great touch. These will be a staple at my house forever more. Thank you

  13. Keenan V. says:

    You killed it once again! On point as always. Thanks for this!

  14. Nicole says:

    These were great! They were so flavorful I didn’t even try to add sour cream or salsa.

  15. alex says:

    these were delicious!! even my boyfriend who is always reluctant to eat ANYthing that does not have meat in it loved them. So easy, quick and flavorful!!

  16. Just made a batch of these. So, so good! Thanks for your site. My stomach thanks you as well. :)

  17. Hey I feel silly for asking, but if I’m freezing some to reheat in the microwave- should I cook them first?

    They’re delicious!

    • You don’t have to. You only need to “cook” this one to melt the cheese and make the tortilla crispy. I’d suggest reheating it in a skillet to get that crispy tortilla instead of the microwave, though. Just make sure to reheat on low so that the inside has time to thaw and melt before the tortilla gets too brown.

      Oh, and never feel silly for asking a question. :) You have to learn some how, right?

  18. So delicious… I can’t stop eating these, help!!

  19. Crystal says:

    How have I not commented on this yet? I make them at least once a month. These are just amazingly delicious, a bit of work to prepare a new batch but then SO EASY to reheat and eat. I accidentally put in a tablespoon of paprika last time, but it didn’t seem to adversely affect the taste.

  20. Cait says:

    Hi there! How much cornstarch should I mix in to the taco seasoning? Thanks!

  21. Dawn B says:

    This was awesome! Loved by the whole family.

  22. ghfghfgh says:

    Where is the meat? No meat, no eat.

  23. Johnny108 says:

    “Hearty black bean quesadillas”
    “EPIC black bean quesadillas”
    Perfect for everything, from a lunch, to a Superbowl party…

  24. Courtney says:

    I made this by mixing half of the taco seasoning with the onion, some lime juice and a cubed sweet potato. Roast in the oven until the potatoes are soft and serve like tacos! Awesome way to add servings, and very delicious!

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