Black Bean Quesadillas

How about something savory?  It seems I’ve had enough sweets lately (consisting of sugar highs, carbohydrate crashes, and tightening work clothes).

I know it’s that time of year for sweets, but, honestly, I need a break.  I’m bombarded right now with pictures of calorie-laden treats, beautiful festive desserts, and endless holiday cookies.  It’s almost too much for someone with a seemingly insatiable sweet tooth.  Anyone else out there feeling the same way?

Well, here’s my non-sweet fix.  And it’s really healthy.  Makes vegetarians happy.  Omit the cheese and have yourself a purely vegan and filling meal.  And, let me add, this recipe makes enough for plenty of leftovers (just double the recipe if you need more than two servings)…which are really awesome.  It’s really easy on your wallet, as well. All you have to do is heat up the leftovers in the microwave, toast a tortilla (or not, if you are at work and don’t have access to a stove-just warm it up in the microwave for a few seconds), sprinkle some cheese on top…and there you go.  Something warm, savory, and completely satisfying.  Now, once we all set our resolutions to take better care of ourselves for the year 2011, you can bet that this recipe will be on my list of go-to healthy recipes.  I love the spice, the flavor, and the variety (feel free to play around with tomatoes, peppers, and other cheeses) that this recipe provides.  And maybe I’ll leave the cheese on.  You know, to satisfy my obsession for cheese.  (There’s always something, right?) 🙂

Black Bean Quesadillas

Servings: 2 folded 8-inch quesadillas


1/3 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed

2 teaspoons vegetable oil, plus more for brushing the tortillas

1/3 cup minced red onion

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/3 cup black beans (canned)

2 teaspoons lime juice

Kosher salt

2 plain flour tortillas, 8-inch

2/3 cup Pepper Jack cheese, in pieces or shredded


1. Heat a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot, about 2 minutes.

2. Add the corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until kernels begin to brown and pop, 3 to 5 minutes; transfer corn to medium bowl.

3. Heat 2 teaspoons vegetable oil in now-empty skillet over medium heat until shimmering; add red onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes.

4. Add garlic and chili powder and cook until fragrant, about 1 minutes; stir in beans and cook until heated through, about 1 minute.

5. Return corn to skillet and toss to combine; gently press mixture with spatula to lightly crush black beans.

6. Transfer mixture to now-empty bowl, stir in lime juice, and season to taste with salt.

7. Wipe out the skillet with paper towels and return pan to medium heat until hot, about 2 minutes.

8. Place 1 tortilla in skillet and toast until soft and puffed slightly at edges, about 2 minutes.

9. Flip tortilla and toast until puffed and slightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes longer.

10.Slip tortilla onto cutting board.

11. Repeat to toast second tortilla while assembling first quesadilla.

12. Sprinkle 1/3 cup cheese, half the corn and bean mixture over half of tortilla, leaving 1/2-inch border around edge.

13. Fold tortilla in half and press to flatten.

14. Brush surface generously with oil, sprinkle lightly with salt, and set aside.

15. Repeat to form second quesadilla.

16. Place both quesadillas in skillet, oiled sides down; cook over medium heat until crisp and well browned, 1 to 2 minutes.

17. Brush surfaces with oil and sprinkle lightly with salt.

18. Flip quesadillas and cook until second sides are crisp and browned, 1 to 2 minutes longer.

19. Transfer quesadillas to cutting board; cool about 3 minutes, halve each quesadilla, and serve.

Source: Cook’s Illustrated.

December 7, 2010 - 9:09 am

rita - Yum, looks delicious… and I have all the ingredients to make these, right down to a little container of leftover black beans that I’ve been pondering what to do with. Thanks! 🙂

December 7, 2010 - 7:00 pm

notyet100 - drooling here,..:-)

December 8, 2010 - 1:03 am

Jara - I love the flavour combos in this quesadilla especially the vegetarian kind. I definitely don’t miss the meat with the combo that’s going on here. thanks for sharing! 🙂

December 9, 2010 - 3:45 pm

Aku - Oh, yum. Yes please. These look soooo delicious!

October 5, 2011 - 6:51 pm

Kalysta - Made this tonight for dinner! Huge hit with everyone, so delicious, easy, and very filling. This is definitely going to be a regular meal. Thanks for sharing!

November 11, 2011 - 3:42 pm

Laura K - These look absolutely delicious! I am curious, have you ever made these up ahead of time and frozen them?

November 11, 2011 - 5:05 pm

srlacy - Hi Laura-
Nope, I haven’t. But if you experiment a little, please let me know how they turn out. 🙂

January 5, 2012 - 2:10 pm

Michelle - I’ve made these quesadillas several times now. SO easy and SO delicious. I add some homemade pico de gallo for a little extra flavor and use wheat tortillas instead of the flour. My husband isn’t always keen on vegetarian dishes, so I add chicken or beef to his.

It’s my go-to for a quick and easy meal!

March 25, 2012 - 8:28 pm

Denise - Made these tonight for my family. My 7 year old didnt want to try them because of the beans- but when he did he ate it all up and scored it a 10! this is going on rotation and so easy to make

July 10, 2012 - 3:15 pm

Budget-Friendly Cooking « Eating Made Easy - […] image source […]

November 29, 2012 - 9:01 pm

Laura - These were really good. I doubled the recipe and it was perfect for 2 people. I used whole wheat tortillas. I would use a griddle next time to speed up the cooking process. I will make these again.

December 28, 2012 - 10:15 pm

Chris - These are delicious!!! I’m so glad I tried them. I made 6 of them for 4 of us….not sure we’ll have left overs.

January 14, 2013 - 9:02 pm

Jennifer - Tried these tonight and they were yummy! I added avacado to mine right before cooking the tortilla it was yummy!! Next time I would double the recipe and skip the oil and salt on the tortilla because I personally didn’t feel like I needed it 🙂

February 19, 2013 - 8:51 pm

Erika - I agree about the salt. I used just a little EV olive oil to make it crisp. Also added avocado. I also added a little lean ground beef and some extra chili powder to flavor it so that it had some more protein. Turned out delicious.

March 23, 2013 - 8:31 pm

JenB - Fellow readers, this is an excellent recipe! Easy and delicious! My husband and I frequently split a can of black beans for our quesadillas so I doubled the remaining ingredients to carry the flavor through the larger quantity of beans. I used cheddar instead of pepper Jack and didn’t have fresh lime but still they were so yummy!

Another delicious alternative is to toss the warmed bean mixture on top of a bed of lettuce and top with fresh avocado and salsa (or pico de gallo if you have it)! Absolutely scrumptious!

September 25, 2013 - 10:53 pm

Black Bean Quesadillas | Exceptionally Everyday - […] capabilities, which is what I ended up doing for dinner tonight.  I’d found this recipe for Black Bean Quesadillas a few months ago on The Curvy Carrot and was saving them for a quick, but delicious, meal for […]

November 10, 2013 - 10:16 pm

Kendra VONESH - Absolutely fabulous! Whole family loved it! Will definitely make again,!

January 2, 2014 - 12:33 pm

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts – 1/2/14 | Addled By Books - […] the new year, among my resolutions is to cook in more, and order out less. Up for dinner tonight, this quesadilla recipe. I’ve made it a bunch of times, and we loooooooove […]

January 9, 2015 - 11:18 am

Fantastic Food Friday- Black Bean Quesadillas | Changing My Balance - […] from The Curvy Carrot and My Worldwide Culinary […]

March 17, 2015 - 6:55 pm

Shauna - Tried this out last Friday, on our Mexican themed dinner for two! I love it, but my husband loves it even more! and he requested that I should make them tonight too! This will surely be a fav in our family, I do add a bit more chill powder since we love our spice. Thanks for sharing!