This 15 minute vegetarian black bean quesadilla is so simple yet so amazing, and I’ll show you how to make them 3 different ways. There is never a bad time to have these quesadillas, but they can make for a wonderful breakfast, and they are great for celebrating Cinco de Mayo!
You can fill quesadillas with whatever you like, but black beans have got to be a favourite of mine. You must have the cheese though, the literal meaning of quesadilla is “little cheesy thing”, and the cheese acts as the glue for the other ingredients inside. If you do not add the cheese, everything in the quesadilla will just fall out.
Let’s get into how to make this recipe!
How to toast these quesadillas
Many people like to make their quesadillas by putting their ingredients on one tortilla, then placing another tortilla on top. And if you prefer this method that is absolutely fine.
However, in my experience, this makes it harder to transfer the tortillas to your pan or sandwich maker etc. And, if you are cooking your quesadilla in a pan, it’s going to be a lot more difficult to flip. Not to mention that a lot more surface room is required when trying to cook quesadillas like this.
I prefer to layer the cheese on only half of a single tortilla.
Then add the beans on top of the cheese.
Put that next layer of cheese on top, before folding the other half of the tortilla over the filling.
From here the question is, how do we toast the tortilla to make that beautiful golden crunchy outside, and that lovely cheesy middle.
Well, there are 3 ways to do it. One way is in a non stick pan, I like to heat the pan up over medium flame. A pan that is too hot can toast the tortilla too quickly before the cheese gets a chance to melt, so stay in control of the heat.
Once the tortilla is nicely toasted on one side, use a fish slice to flip the quesadilla. And since we are using the folding method, flipping the tortilla should be nice and easy.
Toast on the other side and the quesadilla is done.
A quicker and easier way to toast a quesadilla is by using a sandwich maker because you’re toasting both sides at the same time. Once again, toast the tortilla until golden, and until the cheese is melted inside.
And then the third way is to bake them. I know, sounds strange right? However, it does work.
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C (400 degrees F), and once the quesadilla is folded, line a baking tray with baking paper, transfer the quesadillas on the tray and then bake them in the oven for about 10-12 minutes.
Now, although the baking method works quite nicely, it does take longer, and it uses more power. So why would someone choose this method over the other 2?
Well, I can see how this would be a useful cooking method if you prepared multiple quesadillas, but instead of toasting them, you wrap them individually in cling film and stored them in the freezer to make them in advance.
I tried this for myself, and discovered that this is actually a great way to meal prep quesadillas! It’s important to wrap them individually because if you wrap them whilst they all stacked together, they’ll all stick to one another in the freezer. And trying to separate them may be troublesome.
And when you want to cook them, pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees and bake them just like how I mentioned before. You may have to cook these for a couple of extra minutes since they’re frozen.
And those are the 3 different ways you can prepare quesadillas!
Other popular filling options
Here are some other ingredients that people seem to absolutely love in quesadillas. Just in case you’d like to change or add more to the filling.
- Chicken – I demonstrate how to poach and pull a chicken breast in this Pulled Teriyaki Chicken Quesadilla post. Pulled chicken is perfect for quesadillas, and once the chicken is pulled, you can flavour it however you like!
- Sweet potato – You can boil it and mash it. Or dice it up small and roast it before using it as a filling.
- Avocado – Slice, dice or mash it and fill that quesadilla up!
- Corn – Black beans and corn are a beautiful combination in a quesadilla!
- Pulled pork – I mean, how does pulled pork not work in a recipe like this?! I have a Smoky and Spicy Pulled Pork recipe that you may want to check out.
It’s not just a matter of using cheese, you need a good melting cheese. So, unfortunately, the vegan nut-based cheeses won’t quite cut it.
However, you can get meltable vegan cheeses from supermarkets nowadays. Or, if you want, you can check out on Adriana’s wonderful meltable vegan cheese recipe over on her blog “Willamette Transplant”: Melty Vegan Cheese
Thank you so much for checking out this post! It really means a lot to me.
And if you would like to subscribe to stay updated for new recipes, and to receive a free recipe E-book. Feel free to do so.
Spicy Black Bean Quesadilla
- 400 g tinned black beans, drained and rinsed
- ½ teaspoon of ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon of paprika
- ½ teaspoon of chilli powder
- ¾ teaspoon of ground coriander
- ¾ teaspoon of black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon of onion powder
- 2 large plain tortillas
- 100 g of Manchego cheese grated
Put your black beans in a bowl, then add your cumin, dried oregano, paprika, chilli powder, ground coriander, black pepper, salt, garlic powder and onion powdel. Mix all of the ingredients together until well combined.
Put half of your cheese on half of both tortillas, then put your spiced beans over the top of that cheese, and then put the other half of the grated cheese on top of the beans.
Fold the other half of the tortilla over the beans and the cheese.
Pre-heat a non stick frying pan over medium heat, then carefully place the quesadilla in the pan. Toast on one side until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted, then use a fish slice to flip the tortilla to toast on the other side (if you have a sandwich press, you can toast both sides at the same time).
Toast the other quesadilla and then transfer onto a board.
Cut the quesadilla into 3-4 pieces and serve.
- The cheese is very important in a quesadilla, becasue it acts as the glue and stabilises the ingredients inside.
- I find that it's best to use the folding method when making quesadillas, by filling one half of the tortilla with your ingredients, and then folding over the other half.
- You can toast your quesadillas by toasting them in a pan, by toasting them in a sandwich press, or by baking them in the oven for 10 minutes at 200 degrees C (400 degrees F).
- Other wonderful filling options you can add are chicken, sweet potato, avocado, corn and pulled pork.
- I have a Chicken Teriyaki Quesadilla recipe which shows you how to pull chicken, and a Smoky and Spicy Pulled Pork recipe that would work brilliantly in a quesadilla!
- To make a vegan quesadilla, you'll need a vegan cheese that melts. You can buy meltable vegan cheeses at the supermarkets or you can use Adriana's Melty Vegan Cheese recipe.
- Other great cheeses for quesadillas are colby cheese, cheddar cheese and monterery Jack.
Hi Nick: Pan-frying the beans is essential! Great recipe and technique tips. We always have black beans around (especially now) so we’ll enjoy these really soon, perchance accompanied by a Margarita. Being in lockdown doesn’t mean being without good things to eat and drink. Much happiness to you from Boise, Idaho. Stay smart and safe.
You know it’s funny, I almost did this recipe without pan-frying the beans so I am glad I took that extra step! Thank you so much for you kind comment and I have a frozen margarita recipe if you want to check it out. And I am totally with you on that lockdown doesn’t have to mean we can’t enjoy good things in life (:
Shoot that Frozen Margarita recipe to me, please please please! We use top-shelf Tequila, fyi, because if ya don’t start with good ingredients, ya ain’t gonna get a good result.
Haha sure thing: https://www.blogtasticfood.com/frozen-margrita/
And I think I need to learn more about quality margaritas lol.
I ❤️ that you measure the ice. My husband, an architect, is precise about such matters. Me, not so much! Our fave Tequila is Hornitos Plata. Even good straight up (in moderation…it’s that good). Stay well, wherever you are.
Haha! Yer I thought it would be a good idea to measure it or else people may have complained. And I will have to look up that tequila. Thank you so much for the lovely comments and I hope you are well too. Much love from Australia (:
Thanks for sharing the vegan cheese option! These quesadillas look like dinner tonight 🙂
My pleasure, thank you for making the recipe! And if you make them I hope you enjoy them (: