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Black Bean Quesadillas

These Black Bean Quesadillas are loaded with plant-based protein, veggies, and good-for-you ingredients. They pack a serious punch of flavor and are so easy to make. Don't worry -- you won't be missing the meat. These quesadillas are surprisingly very filling!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Healthy, Vegetarian
Keyword black bean quesadillas
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 33 minutes
Servings 8 quesadillas
Calories 337kcal
Cost $6.82


  • Air Fryer OR Skillet (and toothpicks if using an air fryer)
  • Cooking spray or vegetable/canola oil


  • 1 can (15 oz.; 432g) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz.; 432g) southwestern corn (or 1-1/4 cup frozen corn)
  • 1/2 cup roasted red pepper, drained & diced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 pkg (8 oz.; 226g) sharp Cheddar cheese (Note 1)
  • 1 pkt (1 oz.; 28g) taco seasoning (Note 2)
  • 8 flour tortillas (Note 3)
  • 1 pkg (6 oz; 170g) Laughing Cow® Cheese (Note 4)
  • Optional: serve with the chili-lime dipping sauce -- See Note 5
  • Other topping ideas: fat-free/lite sour cream, guacamole or avocado, salsa, fresh lime


  • PREP: If using un-cooked tortillas, warm through in a skillet according to package directions and set aside (these tortillas need to be cooked through before assembling quesdillas regardless of what cooking method (skillet or air fryer) is used). If using already cooked tortillas, no prep needed there. Drain and rinse beans. Drain corn. Drain and dice red pepper strips. Finely chop cilantro. Grate Cheddar cheese.
  • COMBINE: In a large bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients. Mix gently with a wooden spoon to combine and evenly coat everything in the taco seasoning.
  • ASSEMBLE: Spread 1 cheese wedge per tortilla (spread just on the bottom half of the tortilla). Divide the filling on top of the spread cheese-- this is about 1/2 cup filling per tortilla. Fold together to form a quesadilla and press together firmly. Cook in a skillet or in the air fryer; directions follow.
  • SKILLET: Use a pastry brush to coat both sides of the quesadillas with some oil (or spray both sides with cooking oil). Add a quesadilla to a dry non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Cover skillet with lid and cook for about 2-3 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Remove lid, carefully flip quesadilla and press down lightly with spatula to encourage cohesion. Cook, uncovered for another 2-3 minutes or until crispy, browned, and cheesy filling has melted. It's important to keep the heat low so the cheese can melt before the tortilla browns too much (reduce heat if tortilla is browning before cheese is melted).
  • AIR FRYER: Stick toothpicks through the 2 corners of the quesadillas. Generously spray both sides of the quesadilla with cooking spray. Place 2 quesadillas in air fryer insert, giving each plenty of space. Cook at 350 degrees F for 6-8 minutes, flipping halfway through or until quesadillas are crisp, golden, and the cheese is melted. (Note 6) When you go to flip, press the quesadilla close together to promote the melted cheese to stick. Quesadillas have the tendency to open even with toothpicks. Remove carefully from the air fryer and let cool a couple minutes before cutting and serving.
  • ENJOY: Slice quesadillas into triangles then serve with your favorite toppings/sauces. We love the quesadilla sauce (Note 4), sour cream, guacamole/avocado, or salsa!



Note 1: Cheese: This is about 2 cups grated cheese. We recommend freshly grating your own to avoid waxy quesadillas. We like sharp or extra-sharp Cheddar for maximum flavor!
Note 2: Taco seasoning: Taco seasoning packets can vary in the spice level and even in overall flavor. We love McCormick® or Old El Paso® mild taco seasoning packets. Otherwise, we usually use a homemade taco seasoning blend. If you're concerned about heat, be sure to pick a packet that is labeled mild.
Here's our homemade blend: 1 tablespoon ground chili powder, 1 teaspoon EACH: ground cumin, paprika, 1/2 teaspoon EACH: onion powder, garlic powder, dried oregano, fine sea salt, and pepper
Note 3: Tortillas: We love these unbaked tortillas by TortillaLand® (not sponsored). They are generally found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store near the cheese and have the best flavor. We definitely prefer unbaked tortillas that can be warmed up on the stovetop — they fold up better and taste fresher.
Note 4: Laughing Cow® Cheese: We love the creaminess this cheese adds, but if you don't have access to it, the quesadillas are still tasty. We would just recommend having some creamy elements for topping the quesadillas like sour cream or guacamole.
Note 5: The BEST quesadilla sauce: Combine 1/2 cup regular mayo, 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon lime zest, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/8 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon Sriracha or hot sauce, and season to taste with salt and pepper. (I add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.) Mix until smooth; refrigerate until ready to use.
Note 6: Air frying: Air fryers do vary a bit from brand to brand, so the timing for quesadillas may need to be slightly tweaked for your specific model. Also keep in mind that after the initial air fry, the machine is warmed up and will cook subsequent batches a bit quicker.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 337kcal | Carbohydrates: 42.8g | Protein: 14.3g | Fat: 13.1g | Cholesterol: 27.8mg | Sodium: 850.6mg | Fiber: 5.5g | Sugar: 3.1g