Even meat lovers will adore this flavorful, vegetarian-friendly quesadilla!
We all have unique food preferences. Some people love a particular ingredient or meal, while others may shudder at the simple thought of it. Recipes that appeal to a wide range of people are few and far between, but these easy, skinny black bean quesadillas are one of them!
Tex-Mex is a beloved cuisine. In fact, it’s quite possibly one of the most adored options out there. People of all ages and walks of life can get down with some Southwest-inspired food. I mean, there’s a reason we have a day each week that’s dedicated to eating tacos… Here’s to you, Taco Tuesday! Our skinny black bean quesadillas are a family-friendly, healthy meal that can be enjoyed by vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.
A Nutritional Profile that is Waistline-Friendly
Classic Tex-Mex options are usually high in fat and calories. And, unfortunately, this crave-worthy cuisine is pretty much impossible to avoid. With this in mind, we wanted to give you an option that tastes amazing but is also waistline-friendly. That’s where these skinny black bean quesadillas come in.
Each quesadilla only contains 267 calories, but the macronutrient breakdown is even better: This veggie-rich option only contains 27 carbs, including 9 grams of heart-healthy fiber. It also offers 18 grams of protein per serving, a nutrient that is crucial for muscle growth, muscle maintenance, and fat loss.
As far as ingredients go, there are a few worth highlighting. Black beans may have the ability to lower blood pressure, improve heart and digestive health, and even help you maintain strong bones. Plus, the fiber content in black beans is great for weight loss. It will stave off cravings by keeping your belly full and satisfied!
Another ingredient worth mentioning is spinach. It’s rich in vitamin C (as are the red bell peppers in this recipe) which is important for immune health. Spinach is also a great source of iron, a mineral that your body needs for repair, growth, and development.
Who Doesn’t Love a 20-Minute Meal?
With just five minutes of prep time and fifteen minutes of cook time, these savory skinny quesadillas make the perfect weeknight meal! Of course, they’re just as wonderful on the weekends, and they make a great party appetizer, too!
The very first thing you need to do is chop your onions and dice your bell pepper. Set them aside and heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, nonstick pan. Once the oil is hot, sauté the garlic for one minute, and then add in your chopped onion and diced red bell pepper. While the onion and pepper are cooking, drain and rinse your black beans.
After 6 to 7 minutes, add the black beans and spinach to the pan and cook for about one minute, just long enough to warm the black beans and wilt the spinach. Remove this bean and veggie mixture from the pan and set it aside.
Increase the heat to high and place the tortilla on the pan. We recommend using flour tortillas, as they tend to hold up better during the cooking process. Sprinkle some cheddar onto the tortilla and add a quarter of the black bean and veggie mixture on top of the cheese. Flip one half of the tortilla over the other and cook each side until lightly browned.
Want to Make Some Quesadillas for Later?
This recipe is an excellent freezer meal! Simply add the filling, including the cheese, and fold the quesadillas in half. Instead of cooking them, place each quesadilla in a ziplock gallon bag. If you want to put more than one quesadilla in a bag, layer each one between a sheet of parchment paper.
Whenever your cravings kick in, pull a quesadilla out of the freezer, and place it in a large, nonstick pan over medium-low heat. Cooking at a lower temperature will allow the filling to heat up without burning the tortilla. Note that we recommend eating the frozen quesadillas within two months. The fresher, the better!
Customized Quesadillas to Fit Your Cravings
Feel free to experiment with different proteins in this quesadilla recipe. Remember, protein is an essential building block for lean muscle. You can add chicken, steak, shredded beef or pork, ground beef or turkey seasoned with taco seasoning, shrimp, bacon, or even baked tofu to these black bean quesadillas. Additionally, if you’re craving something savory for breakfast, you can use scrambled eggs in this recipe!
If you’re not a fan of cheese, you can omit it altogether or try our plant-based cheese spread. But, if you adore cheese as much as I do, you can try out all different kinds! Cotija, fontina, white or yellow queso, Monterrey jack (especially when blended with mozzarella) are all wonderful options.
Some additional veggie options that you can add to this recipe or swap in for one of the other ingredients include corn kernels, mushrooms, diced tomatoes, or any other color bell pepper in addition to the red already included.
Our recipe calls for salsa as a topping, but you can also add chopped cilantro, sliced avocado or guacamole, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, or freshly shredded lettuce.
Make it a Fiesta!
If you need some more savory recipes to serve with these skinny black bean quesadillas, we’ve got plenty for you to choose from! Make a combination of them to spice up taco night, or as a drool-worthy buffet spread for your next fiesta!
Skinny Black Bean Quesadillas
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- Dash of salt and ground black pepper
- 13.5 ounces canned black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 4 low carb tortillas 8 inch
- 1.5 cup low fat shredded Mexican blend cheese
- 1/2 cup salsa
- In a large non-stick pan, heat olive oil over medium heat
- Once hot, sauté garlic for one minute, then add onion and red bell pepper. Cook for 6-7 minutes
- Add black beans and spinach for 1 minute or until warm and wilted
- Remove bean and veggie mixture from the pan and set aside
- Increase the heat to high and place the tortilla on the pan
- Sprinkle with cheddar and the black bean and veggie mixture and then flip one half over the other
- Cook on one side until lightly brown, then flip it over
- Top with salsa and enjoy!
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