Black Bean and Zucchini Quesadillas

I know what you’re thinking, “Here she goes with the black beans again.  I thought she said that she DOESN’T like black beans all that much.  Make up your mind lady.”

What can I say?  This recipe meets all my bonus point criteria.  In addition to black beans it has zucchini, cheese, sour cream, and avocado.  And it’s also crowd friendly since you finish the quesadillas off in the oven, letting you make a bunch at once.

If you need any more reasons to convince you to give these a try, email me.  I’ll have you over the next time these go on the menu.

Black Bean and Zucchini Quesadillas

Adapted from Pam Anderson’s Meatless Meals

BAH Note:  I typically make four quesadillas in a batch and have a bit of filling left over, which I add to a bunch of mixed greens for an easy salad another day.  If you’ve got a few more mouths to feed, make a couple of more quesadillas to use all of the filling.

BAH Tip: I have bad luck with fresh cilantro.  Even though I store it in a glass of water in the fridge, it always goes bad before I use it all.  My solution is to buy the tube of cilantro from the grocery store.  It’s not as good as using fresh but I don’t end up wasting a bunch of fresh herbs.  If you go the tube route, just be mindful of how you’re going to use it.  I wouldn’t recommend it as a finishing herb but in applications where you cook the herb into the dish, I consider a tablespoon or so to be an acceptable alternative.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 (8 inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 cup grated monterey jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (see BAH Tip above)
  • sour cream
  • 1 avocado, diced (optional)

Set an oven rack to the lowest position and heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Set a cooling rack into a rimmed baking sheet and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan set over medium heat.  Add the zucchini and cook for approximately 5 minutes, or until softened.  Add the cumin and oregano and cook another minute.  Stir in the black beans and cilantro and cook until the filling is just dry.  Transfer the filling to a bowl and wipe the frying pan out with a paper towel.

Return the frying pan to the stove over medium high heat.  Working one at a time, add a tortailla to the pan and cook until the bottom just begins to brown.  Carefully turn the tortilla over and cook for about 30 seconds until the tortilla puffs a bit and begins to brown on the other side.  Transfer the tortilla to the prepared baking sheet and immediately fold it in half.  Repeat with the remaining tortillas.

Once all the tortillas are warmed, open each tortilla and place 1/3 cup of the filling mixture on the bottom half of each tortilla.  Top each with approximately 1/4 cup of grated cheese, fold the tortillas back in half, and press lightly.

Bake in the oven for approximately 10 to 15 minutes or until the tortillas are crisp and the filling is warm.  Serve with sour cream and diced avocado.

{printable recipe}

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6 Responses to Black Bean and Zucchini Quesadillas

  1. Jenna says:

    Mmmm! I love zucchini, and I never would have thought to put it in a quesadilla. Nice!

  2. Wendi, black bean and zucchini quesadillas have a special place in my heart. When I first started getting interested in food, I coordinated nutrition and cooking classes for a nonprofit. One day, a volunteer chef taught a group of low-income students how to make these quesadillas. It was the first time I learned how to use – and had probably even seen – fresh garlic. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    • Wendi says:

      Jen, I love that memory. And this is a great recipe to help someone start to feel comfortable in the kitchen. Now when we enjoy these quesadillas, I will be thinking of you and those young cooks.

      Sent from my iPad

  3. Now I remember. Every time I come to visit, I happen to do so while I’m hungry. I’m not hungry now, but I still think these look delicious.

    • Wendi says:

      Somehow, I typically write these while I’m hungry. If you look close and read between the line, you’ll see my subliminal stomach growls.

      PS, these are fantastic.

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