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


4.8 from 32 reviews
hearty black bean quesadillas
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Total Cost: $6.61
Cost Per Serving: $0.66
Serves: 10ea
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  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).
Notes
**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 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!

209 Comments

  1. Edith says:

    I want to use up some red peppers in this recipe and I don’t want to use taco seasoning due to the sodium content. Any suggestions?

    • Yep, you can just dice up the red pepper and add it into the mix. For the taco seasoning in this recipe, I used my homemade taco seasoning, which has only 1/2 tsp of salt for the entire batch. You can always adjust that down to your liking. :)

  2. These are fantastic! I made one batch two days ago which didn’t last very long in my house and had to make a double batch today. They’re amazing.

  3. Sherry B says:

    I use only half a packet of taco seasoning and I don’t mix the cheese into the other ingredients. I just pile the cheese on top of the bean and corn mix, then fold over the tortilla to heat. I can have more or less cheese on each one according to individual taste.

  4. I am in love with this recipe. It’s so simple and there is a TON for leftovers.

  5. This recipe was amazing! I used my panini grill to heat them, super fast and easy. :)

  6. this recipe was soooo good. <3 price for a canned black bean was at .88c though but having the rest of the ingredients handy at home comforted me a bit. LOL

  7. Christine says:

    Yummy recipe! Thanks! I even made mine mostly organic and it came out to 0.97 each!

    I was wondering…Have you ever tried baking them? I had a hard time modulating the right flame. Thanks again for the great recipe!

  8. Reyna says:

    My only options for making the taco seasoning are sweet or spicy paprika. Which would you recommend?

  9. Lisa says:

    Tried these last night with 1/2 kidney beans and 1/2 cannellini beans and they were awesome! I made mine with 2 cans beans and big tortillas, so I had two big quesadillas for dinner for the hubs and I and two more in the freezer for the weekend. They were so quick and tasty!

  10. Nicole says:

    Just made these for dinner tonight and they are awesome!!! I’m a big meat eater and I didn’t even miss it!

  11. sarah says:

    Made these tonight for dinner after work. I didn’t have cilantro (my husband picked up parsley by mistake) I added cooked chicken. They were soooo yummy with lots of flavour!!! I will make these again!

  12. Helen S. says:

    Another weeknight favorite. Filling, delicious, and the freezing directions are a godsend.

  13. Erin says:

    Delicious. So glad I found your site. I used a packet of taco seasoning and found it too salty. I’ll try your homemade mix next time.

    I can’t believe how cheap these are and yummy.

  14. These were delicious! I think this recipe finally convinced my husband that quesadillas can be awesome and tasty!

  15. Rachel says:

    I really liked these. I got a lot of “They’re okay, but there’s too much onion,” from the family. I’m considering nixing the onion in favor of powder in the future.

  16. Karen says:

    Finally made these again and they’re wonderful. My first attempt was only ok. Despite liking wheat breads, I don’t seem to like wheat tortillas I’ve tried.
    Also, since I had 3 left over tortillas (surprise 11 in my pkg lol) I made mediterranean ones with spinach, feta, mozz, and zucchini. Tried a bite but lacks the oomph that the black bean quesa has. I think I need tzatziki with it. =)

  17. Cherie M says:

    This has become a favourite staple in our house. It’s easy enough to make extras, and they make great leftovers, even if they’re frozen and just reheated in the microwave.

  18. Maggie says:

    Made these for a Super Bowl potluck and they flew off the plate!

  19. Olivia says:

    OMgah, we obviously bought the same cheap measuring cups where the size label rubs off after heavy use and you just need to get used to eyeballing which of your measuring cups is the right size.

  20. I made these last night, but to make them a bit healthier, I ended up baking them for 15 minutes on 350*F. SOO yummy!

    And I don’t like onions, so instead of the red onion, I used 1/4 c. frozen chopped onions instead. The texture and filler is still there, but the flavor isn’t as hot or oniony.

  21. Katie says:

    Made these last night, so tasty and easy, what an awesome idea to freeze and reheat!!! Love it, got my stash in the freezer!!

    • Katie says:

      I have to say my stash of these is gone! I powered through these all week, even warming them in the microwave they are delicious! Time to make more!!!

  22. Sarah says:

    This recipe is a favourite of mine!
    I made it part of my holiday party buffet, and they were a huge hit! I’m tempted to use it again this year.

    Do you have any suggestions for another one of your recipes to use this year instead? For a crowd, and will be kept warm in a buffet server.

  23. I made these, they were really easy and really really good. There is nothing you need to change with this recipe. Thanks Beth.

  24. Lauren says:

    Beth, You are a lifesaver! These were super easy, cheap, lasted a long time (left-overs for days), and flavorful! Thank you for your recipes!

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