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 44 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!

229 Comments

  1. I followed the recipe verbatim. It turned out awesome. I used a packet of Taco Bell taco seasoning and froze them (with the exception of the one I cooked immediately) so I’m interested to see if they get soggy once defrosted and cooked.

    • If you reheat them over low flame in a skillet, they should defrost and get crispy on the outside. If the heat is too high, though, the outside will burn before the inside heats up.

  2. These were really good. I had to replace the fresh cilantro with dried, but they were still really good :)

  3. Danielle says:

    Is there any way to make your own homemade taco spices using cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder? How much would you use? The premade seasonings usually have so much sodium.

  4. Shannon says:

    These were some very satisfying quesadillas! I substituted hatch green chiles for the cilantro to give them a kick ’cause that how I like it! ;) I also sauteed the red onions in a little olive oil before adding them to the mix just because that’s how I prefer onions to be in a quesadilla. I froze half of them and am very excited that I now have homemade, delicious, and healthy snacks in my freezer! Thanks Beth!

  5. SweetLew says:

    Made these last night and WOW. I made homemade salsa to go with (red onion, cilantro, plum tomatoes, 1/2 jalapeno, garlic, lime…). Since i used the raw red onion in the salsa, I ommited it from the quesadillas.

    Also, we drained the beans, seasoned them and roasted them at 400F for like 5 minutes…amazing!

  6. anonymous says:

    Wonderful! Especially when dipped in salsa! Although it was my first time cooking with fresh cilantro and I think I added too much for my taste. I’m making another batch tomorrow and I’m planning to add 1/2 lb ground turkey per my husbands request.

  7. Brittany B says:

    Made these tonight and loved them! Even my 10 month old devoured nearly an entire quesadilla.

  8. Emma says:

    My boyfriend and I make these all the time. Pretty much our weeknight classic for at least the past year! The other day we started to make them then realized we had no tortillas. We had a couple potatoes lying around, so we boiled those and mixed the rest of this recipe with them. It turned into this really awesome cheesy potato dish. Bonus: it ended up saving a dollar or two!

  9. Jeri Ann says:

    So easy and so delicious! My freezer is stocked with these and I’m having them for breakfast now. I microwave them in parchment paper so they stay neat and clean to eat during my morning commute.

  10. myeda says:

    I added capsicum n corn and it tated fantabulous…awesome recipe. Love it!!!! :’)

  11. myeda says:

    Its so delicious…. love it… im gonna make it often from now on! :D

  12. I made these tonight, very good! Had one for supper and froze the rest. I’ve been searching through the comments, and haven’t yet found an answer on the best way to reheat frozen quesadillas?

    Suggestions?

    • I like to do it in a warm (but not hot) skillet. Keeping the heat in the skillet a little on the low side gives the inside time to thaw and warm before the tortilla gets to brown and burns. It takes a little bit longer, but it worth the results.

  13. Brooke says:

    Awesome recipe that has become a staple in our house. We eat these at least once a week. Delicious!

  14. I made these for the second time tonight, and my husband asked why we don’t do them more often! I didn’t have a good answer for him – these are SO good, simple and cheap to boot! I didn’t have any red onion so I just used yellow…also cut the cheese down to 1.25 cups this time (to help me justify seconds :-)) and it was still a great meal. Thanks for this recipe!

  15. I added diced tomatoes inside super tasty!!!!

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