I love this recipe because it's plant-dominant and very tasty. The hearty beans, bold spices and crisp veggies make this just as filling and satisfying as a traditional quesadilla.
Technique tip: You can make your own refried beans using a slow cooker.
Swap option: You can use different types of tortillas.
- avocado oil spray
- 1 green bell pepper, sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 tablespoon avocado or olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1½ cans black beans, no salt added, drained and divided
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 cup water, or more as needed
- sea salt, to taste
- 4 low-carbohydrate, whole-wheat tortillas
- 1½ cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
For the veggies:
Set a nonstick skillet over high heat. Once hot, spray with a little avocado oil then add the sliced peppers. Allow them to rest in the skillet without stirring for about 2 minutes, or until you smell and see the peppers begin to sear. Then immediately begin stirring the bell peppers in the skillet. Squeeze in fresh lime as they sear to help with the softening. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
For the beans:
1. Place the skillet back on the heat and reduce it to medium. Once the skillet has cooled down, add the oil, garlic and onions. Caramelize the onions with the garlic for about 2-3 minutes, or until the onions have turned brown and translucent.
2. Add just 1 can of black beans, reserving the remaining portion, and stir it up. Add in the seasonings and then begin to mash the black beans using the spatula. Continue stirring and mashing until all of the black beans have been mashed up to create a fragrant black bean paste. Reduce the heat in the skillet if needed.
3. Slowly pour in a few tablespoons of the water, then continue stirring. Continue this as needed until you create a smooth black bean paste.
4. Add the remaining black beans and fold them into the paste. Season to taste with sea salt.
For the quesadillas:
1. To one side of a whole-wheat tortilla, add a small amount of cheese, then the refried black beans, then some peppers, then a bit for cheese. Fold it closed. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
2. Set a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and once hot, spray it with avocado oil.
3. Add the quesadilla and cook for about 3 minutes on each side, or until one side becomes golden-brown with crispy edges. Flip and cook on the other side. Serve immediately.