Vegetarian Quesadilla Recipe with Refried Beans
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This vegetarian quesadilla recipe is packed with satisfying flavor, not to mention a nice hearty dose of fiber from refried beans and sautéed spinach. But it also makes use of some seriously easy ingredients. Canned refried beans and shredded Mexican cheese blend, anyone?
Well, hello there. It’s Tuesday, and Tuesdays are not usually new recipe days on Umami Girl. But we had these quesadillas over the weekend, and Sunday is the Super Bowl, and it just seems crazy not to share this easy vegetarian happiness right this minute. Why hoard happiness, right? That’s not how it works. That’s DEFINITELY not what the Superb Owl would do. WWTSOD? Not that. I love these recipes that are equally at home as a quick family dinner and a game-day appetizer. I love, too, that you can awesome these guys up a little bit with pickled onions and cilantro sauce, both of which have been big winners around here for years and can be made in advance. Or you can just break out your favorite jarred salsa and some sour cream and expect a lot of happy campers without a minute’s additional work. Things don’t have to be fancy to be good. But sometimes they have to be NOT fancy to be good. This is one of those times. Happy weeknight dinner or game day party. May the peace of the Superb Owl be with you always.
For the quesadillas
- 8 12-inch flour tortillas (burrito-sized)
- 32 ounces canned vegetarian refried beans
- 16 ounces shredded Mexican cheese blend
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 5 ounces baby spinach
- Place four of the tortillas on work surface. Spread each with 1/4 of the refried beans and sprinkle evenly with 1/4 of the cheese, leaving about a 1/4-inch border around the edge to account for melting.
- In a 12-inch skillet (nonstick or cast iron), warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add spinach and cook until just wilted. Transfer spinach to a colander and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Divide spinach among tortillas and arrange over cheese.
- Place one of the four remaining tortillas on top of each quesadilla.
- To cook, you have two options. (1) Wipe out the skillet and set over medium-high heat, then cook quesadillas one at a time until lightly browned and crisp on the outside and melty on the inside, flipping once, about 5 minutes per side. Or (2) Preheat oven and two sheet pans to 400°F. Spray hot pans with cooking spray. Place one tortilla on each sheet pan (or two if you have very large pans and can fit them) and bake for 5 minutes, then flip and bake about 5 minutes more. Psst...I don't often bother with this, but if you're the type of cook who likes top-secret pro-tip lifehacks, you can bake your quesadillas between two sheet pans to crisp both sides at the same tine and not have to flip them.
- Cut into wedges, top with pickled onions, cilantro sauce, sliced avocado and sour cream if you want to go nuts like I always do. Otherwise, they're great with sour cream and your favorite jarred salsa.