5-Minute Dinner: Vegetarian Black Bean Quesadillas

black bean quesadilla

Doesn’t it often feel like fall is rushed, straight through the holidays? This time of year, schedules are packed, to-do lists are long, and obligations are piled a mile high. It can be so easy to neglect our health during these busy times. When push comes to shove, eating healthy, exercising, and getting enough sleep are often the first things that fly out the window.

But when the calendar is packed, that’s when it’s really important to not let perfect be the enemy of good enough. Can you spend a sweaty two hours at the gym today? Nope, but maybe you can squeeze in a quick 15-minute circuit on your way to pick up the kids from soccer practice. Can you craft a gourmet, five-course healthy dinner on a random Tuesday night? Nope. But I bet you can find time to make these five-minute black bean quesadillas.

Quesadillas sometimes get a bad rap for being junk food, but like all things in the kitchen, it depends entirely on the ingredients. These quesadillas use 100% whole grain tortillas, protein- and fiber-packed black beans, and just enough gooey Monterey jack cheese to make them a crowd-pleaser. Then they are topped with guacamole and salsa to add flavor and nutrition. These are not junk food! These are fast fuel that will fill your belly, keep you healthy, and get you back to your mile-long to-do list.

Vegetarian Black Bean Quesadillas

Makes 2 servings (4 wedges per serving)

black bean quesadillasIngredients

  • 1 14-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 burrito-size whole wheat tortillas
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese, divided
  • Guacamole, salsa, sour cream, chopped cilantro, sliced green onions, etc., for serving


  1. In a small bowl, use a fork to mash the black beans with the cumin and chili powder until they are a rough paste. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Spray liberally with cooking spray. Place one tortilla in the skillet, then sprinkle with half the cheese. Spread on the mashed black beans, and then top with the remaining cheese and tortilla. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the bottom tortilla is crisp and brown.
  3. Spray the top of the quesadilla with cooking spray, and then using two large spatulas, flip the quesadilla over (you may also wish to flip this into a second large skillet). Cook an additional 2-3 minutes or until all the cheese is melted and the bottom tortilla is crisp.
  4. Remove quesadilla to a cutting board, and cut into eight wedges using a pizza cutter or sharp knife.
  5. Serve with guacamole, salsa, sour cream, cilantro, etc.

Nutrition Per Serving

Does not include toppings.

399 calories, 10.3g fat, 57.3g carbs, 21.6g protein

Interesting Simple Sides

If you have a few more minutes, you can boost the fun-factor of these quesadillas by trying one of these awesome sides:


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Cassie Johnston is an award-winning food writer and recipe developer living and working in Southern Indiana. Her work has been feature in national publications such as Gourmet Magazine and The Huffington Post. Cassie’s a big fan of strenuous hikes, cheese, watching sports, Brussels sprouts, and craft beer, and she’ll talk your ear off about her love of local food and seasonal eating. She’s obsessed with social media and loves connecting with new friends!