A simple 4-ingredient meal that can be thrown together any time of day, Black Bean Quesadillas are here for you! This recipe uses simple pantry staples, and you're going to love customizing these to your taste. Grab your favorite jar of salsa, a can of black beans, some cheese and your favorite tortillas!
I'm sorry for literally being the most boring person ever, but these black bean quesadillas are one of my most-eaten foods in life. If you ask me what I'm doing at any given moment, there's about a 40% chance I'm cooking these. If I'm not cooking them, you can find me in my pantry, staring at a can of black beans and wondering am I going to make black bean quesadillas again this week?'
I nearly always have the ingredients to make them, and they're so hearty and satisfying. I've been known to pack them in my kids' lunch boxes, I've been known to eat them for breakfast, and they have cured many nights after too many margaritas, if you know what I mean. They're an easier version of my vegan burrito bowl--all of the same flavors, plus some cheese.
This is hardly a recipe; it's more of a method. I have seen black bean quesadilla recipes on the internet that require chopping vegetables, cheese grating and sautéing ingredients in the skillet. That's a lot of effort, and I promise my recipe is better and easier. However, if you're in the mood for chopping, make my black bean salad and enjoy it cold.
Yes, truly, this recipe only calls for black beans, your favorite salsa, grated cheese and tortillas. If you want to serve it with guacamole and sour cream for dipping, or use it as a vehicle for using leftover shredded meat, you can embellish it.
- Black Beans. Use one 15-ounce can of black beans, or 1 ¾ cups of my instant pot black beans that you drain first.
- Salsa. This is dealer's choice: grab your favorite jar of salsa. Just a quick explanation for you: salsa is a puree of vegetables, while hot sauce is a vinegar-based stewed mixture containing spicy chiles. We need a chunky, vegetable puree salsa. If you use ½ cup of hot sauce, your mouth will be on fire.
- Cheese. I frequently use anything in my cheese drawer, but a grated Mexican-style cheese blend would be my first choice. If I have leftover mozzarella from my vegetarian stuffed peppers, I use that, too!
- Tortillas. There are days when my house has soft flour tortillas, and there are other days when I have corn tortillas. Similarly, I will use my husband's gluten free quinoa tortillas in a pinch.
How to Make Black Bean Quesadillas
You can make this recipe first thing in the morning, groggy and half-asleep. Luckily, I have also tested this recipe for you after too many margaritas, hehe. It's truly so simple to make.
First, open your can of black beans and drain and rinse them. Shake them in the colander to remove most of the water. Then, stir in the salsa.
Place a small scoop of the beans and salsa mixture on half of a tortilla, and sprinkle with the grated cheese. You need about 3 tablespoons of cheese (or more) per tortilla.
Fold the tortilla in half, over the beans, and place in a skillet over medium-low heat. Let cook until the tortilla is golden brown on the first side, and then flip and repeat for the other side. Ensure the cheese is melted all throughout. If the outside burns before your cheese melts, your heat is too high.
Repeat with all 7 remaining tortillas. Serve with dipping sauces (more salsa, guacamole or sour cream).
Variations on Black Bean Quesadillas
- Beans - If you love my Charro Beans, try this recipe with pintos instead of black beans.
- Crispy - If you're out of soft tortillas, use tortilla chips! Simply scatter the tortilla chips on a large sheet pan, sprinkle the beans and salsa mixture on top, and top with cheese. Bake until the cheese melts and the chips start to turn golden.
- Baked - Instead of standing at the stove and flipping all 8 of these black bean quesadillas one by one, try assembling everything on a baking sheet. Bake at 425-degrees Fahrenheit for about 8 minutes on one side, and then flip and bake for about 5 minutes on the second side.
- Extras - Stir in leftover shredded meat, finely diced bell peppers, and a sprinkling of cumin for a fancy filling, if you like.
If you take the time to make all 8 black bean quesadillas, but you don't need to eat them all at once, you will love how easily they freeze!
Simply wrap extra quesadillas (already cut into triangles for serving) in plastic wrap, stack them in a bag and freeze until firm. To defrost, place in a warm pan until cheese melts or bake until melty.
Frequently Asked Questions:
You can absolutely open a can of refried beans (or use my refried black beans) and use it here. You only need a heaping cup of refried beans (not the whole can). Spread the refried beans mixed with salsa on the tortilla and top with the cheese and proceed as usual.
Black beans are high in protein, low in fat, and cheese provides calcium. The recipe card below says each quesadilla is around 300 calories. To reduce the calories, try using carb-smart tortillas or tortillas made with alternative flours and starches.
There are so many great grated vegan cheeses on the market. Use a vegan cheddar cheese substitute for this recipe.
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed and dried off
- ½ cup your favorite salsa
- 1 ½ cups grated Mexican-Style Cheese Blend
- 8 flour tortillas (the ones that are about 7” in diameter)
- Optional, for serving : guacamole, extra salsa, sour cream
- In a bowl, stir together the black beans and salsa.
- Scoop the beans on half of a tortilla, top with a small handful of cheese (about 3 tablespoons).
- Fold the tortilla in half, over the beans, and place in a skillet over medium-low heat. Let cook until the tortilla is golden brown on the first side, and then flip and repeat for the other side. Ensure the cheese is melted all throughout. If the outside burns before your cheese melts, your heat is too high. Lower the heat and proceed.
- Repeat with all remaining tortillas. You can keep them warm in the oven or wrapped in a paper towerl. Serve with desired dipping sauces.
Freezer friendly: individually wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, place in skillet until cheese is melty.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 306Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 658mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 7gSugar: 1gProtein: 13g