Veggie Quesadillas

by Anjali @ The Picky Eater on January 31, 2011

After our lazy Saturday of not doing much of anything, I decided to get up off my butt and make something for dinner last night. It helped that the hubby went and did our grocery shopping on Sunday afternoon, and that I was STARVING after 5 hours of dance rehearsals earlier that day. So I decided to make my healthified version of cheese quesadillas.

Doesn’t my healthy version look just like the real thing?? I promise it tastes just like it too! We LOVE quesadillas, but I hate how the restaurant versions are full of fat (from the oil used to cook them + the egregious amounts of cheese added) and minimal nutritional value (barely any fiber, no veggies, etc.). My version takes care of all those problems – with a fiber & protein packed meal that’s sure to satisfy even the most die-hard quesadilla fans!

My four main swaps are: 1) Adding veggies for fiber, anti-oxidants, and great texture. I like peppers, tomatoes, and red onions.

2) Adding black refried beans for extra fiber and protein. I like the Trader Joe’s variety because it only has like 4 ingredients, no oil or extra fat added, and no ingredients you can’t pronounce! I like mixing the beans with some taco seasoning to give it a great, smoky, spicy flavor.

3) Using EVOO cooking spray instead of oil to cook the quesadillas. You get the same crispy texture on the outside without adding all that extra fat!

The Trader Joe’s one is my fav. And my last swap (#4) is using high-fiber tortillas (that still look like the “white” tortillas you get at the restaurant). You can also use sprouted wheat tortillas – which is what I made my quesadilla on. Or even regular whole wheat tortillas. I use the high-fiber white ones because the husband is quite attached to the tortillas of his childhood πŸ™‚

With these swaps you won’t even be able to tell how much healthier these quesadillas are! Each one should have about ~300 calories max (assuming you use 1/4 cup of cheese and 1/4 cup of beans in each). And they are huge – I can usually only finish about 1.5 of them!

The Ingredients List:

  • Sprouted Wheat or High Fiber / Carb Balance Mission Tortillas (Soft Taco Size)
  • Mexican shredded cheese blend
  • Refried black beans
  • Taco Seasoning
  • 2-3 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 red/orange/yellow pepper, diced
  • Salsa (I like pace picante)
  • Guacamole (I like the pre-made kind from Trader Joe’s – tastes super fresh like you made it yourself at home)

Directions:

  1. Heat beans over the stove on medium heat. Add taco seasoning to taste and stir until combined
  2. Heat a large pan over medium to medium-low heat, spray with olive oil cooking spray.
  3. Assemble quesadillas: one layer of beans (use up to 1/4 cup per quesadilla), one layer of cheese, a layer of onions & peppers, and another layer of cheese (don’t use more than 1/4 cup of cheese total per quesadilla)
  4. Grill the quesadillas in the pan until both sides are browned and crispy and the cheese has melted. Top with diced tomatoes, 1 Tbsp guac and 2 Tbsp salsa. Enjoy!

Here’s what the assembly looks like

Finished quesadillas, fresh off the stove (I love how all the ingredients just melt together)

Can’t forget about the guac – I told you it looks & tastes like it was homemade!

And dinner is served. Look at all those layers of yummy goodness.


Veggie Quesadillas

Total Time: 30 minutes

Calories per serving: 300

Each quesadilla should have about ~300 calories max (assuming you use 1/4 cup of cheese and 1/4 cup of beans in each).

Ingredients

  • Sprouted Wheat or High Fiber / Carb Balance Mission Tortillas (Soft Taco Size)
  • Mexican shredded cheese blend
  • Refried black beans
  • Taco Seasoning
  • 2-3 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 red/orange/yellow pepper, diced
  • Salsa (I like pace picante)
  • Guacamole (I like the pre-made kind from Trader Joe’s – tastes super fresh like you made it yourself at home)

Directions

  1. Heat beans over the stove on medium heat. Add taco seasoning to taste and stir until combined
  2. Heat a large pan over medium to medium-low heat, spray with olive oil cooking spray.
  3. Assemble quesadillas: one layer of beans (use up to 1/4 cup per quesadilla), one layer of cheese, a layer of onions & peppers, and another layer of cheese (don’t use more than 1/4 cup of cheese total per quesadilla)
  4. Grill the quesadillas in the pan until both sides are browned and crispy and the cheese has melted. Top with diced tomatoes, 1 Tbsp guac and 2 Tbsp salsa. Enjoy!
http://pickyeaterblog.com/cheesy-beany-veggie-quesadillas/

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

happywhennothungry January 31, 2011 at 1:06 pm

Yum!!!! These veggie quesadillas look so fresh and healthy! These would be perfect to share at a Super Bowl party!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater February 10, 2011 at 10:28 am

Thanks so much! And yes – they are the perfect party food πŸ™‚ You can just cut them up ahead of time and then people can just munch on them all evening!

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RavieNomNoms January 31, 2011 at 1:44 pm

YUM YUM YUM! This is my favorite kind of quesadilla! Black beans and cheese and guacamole = heaven for Raven!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater February 10, 2011 at 10:29 am

Yay!! This is my favorite kind of quesadilla too πŸ™‚ I’m sure you will love this recipe!

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Kitchen Groovy January 31, 2011 at 1:53 pm

These look amazingly delish! Can’t wait to try it – everyone could get on board with these, even the kiddos!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater February 10, 2011 at 10:30 am

Absolutely!! I think kids would love these πŸ™‚

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tiffany January 31, 2011 at 2:41 pm

YUM! These look great! And … FIVE hours of dance practice!?!?!? That’s CRAZY! What type of dance do you do???

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater February 10, 2011 at 10:31 am

Thanks Tiffany!! I do Indian Classical Dance πŸ™‚ It’s one of my passions – been doing it my whole life!

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mywanderingspoon January 31, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Loveeee quesadillas..big fan..they look so yummi:)

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater February 10, 2011 at 10:31 am

Hehe thank you!! Can’t wait to hear how you like this recipe!

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Jenny January 31, 2011 at 3:11 pm

I love quesadillas! This is a great recipe, will try asap πŸ˜€

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater February 10, 2011 at 10:32 am

Thanks Jenny! Let me know how it turns out for you!

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sabita January 31, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Lovely Food….

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater February 10, 2011 at 10:33 am

Thanks! Enjoy!

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Kankana February 1, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Quesadilla with a topping! That sounds delicious:)

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater February 10, 2011 at 10:34 am

Thanks Kankana! It really is – and you can mix up the toppings to make it even more fun!

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Kita February 1, 2011 at 6:07 pm

Im looking for vegetarian recipes for friends coming over on Sunday. This is a great option!!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater February 10, 2011 at 10:35 am

Thanks Kita! And I promise, this recipe will satisfy both vegetarians and meat-eaters alike!

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flyingfreak February 2, 2011 at 11:17 am

Awesome……your pics made my mouth water……Yummmmmmm…..!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater February 10, 2011 at 10:36 am

Haha that’s awesome! I’m sure you will love this recipe!

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suchitra February 6, 2011 at 11:03 am

looks delicious!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater February 10, 2011 at 10:36 am

thanks so much!

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michael February 6, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Delicious, as per usual. If you stop posting things, I will starve to death. Or more likely just eat things from your previous posts over and over again. You are like the boss of my diet now.

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater February 10, 2011 at 10:38 am

Haha! Thanks Michael! Don’t worry – I will never stop posting things πŸ™‚ So glad you’re enjoying my recipes!

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Sig January 3, 2012 at 3:34 am

Oh my…that looks amazing. I have some leftover guac from our NYE party and was wondering what I could use it with (I mean besides just eating it out of the bowl :P).

Unfortunately we don’t get refried beans here in Australia (canned black beans are non-existent here *pout*) but I’m thinking red kidney beans might be a good enough substitute. Will try this immediately! πŸ™‚

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater January 3, 2012 at 9:05 am

Haha! Guac out of the bowl might be one of my snacks today, since we have some left over from last night πŸ™‚ That’s too bad that you don’t get refried beans in Australia! Do you get pinto beans? If so, you can mash those up with some taco seasoning and that would be a good substitute. If not, red kidney beans mashed up with cumin & chili powder would work well too. Let me know what you end up using and how it turns out!

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Geoff O'Dwyer March 9, 2014 at 4:37 am

Hi Anjali, just tried these and they are great.
Didn’t have canned black beans so substituted brown leantils and they were perfest.
Also just put 2 sweet corn on the grill, charred them up a bit sliced of the kernnels and and added them to the mix.
I will make these again and what I love is clearly what you have you can just thow it in.

Cheers and thaks again.
Geoff

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater March 9, 2014 at 10:40 pm

Oh great!! Love the idea of substituting in lentils and corn! That sounds delish!

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Angela March 27, 2014 at 2:20 pm

I’m making these for dinner tonight.. Nice and low cal, but I’m adding chicken for more protein.. I work out a lot and need the extra protein.. Ty it looks awesome.. Dicing things up now ….yummmm

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater March 30, 2014 at 12:59 pm

Awesome! Chicken would go great in these quesadillas — I hope these turned out well for you! πŸ™‚

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Melissa May 17, 2014 at 8:43 am

I love your recipes on this site! I did have one question though–I’ve never been a fan of peppers of any color. I can’t seem to like them enough to include them in my recipes. Do you have another “staple” veggie you could recommend in place of peppers? Thanks!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater May 24, 2014 at 9:39 pm

Thank you so much Melissa!! For these quesadillas, you can actually add in any veggie you like in place of the peppers! It will still taste great. Zucchini, spinach, or corn are all great options – but honestly any vegetable that’s your favorite can be thrown in as well. Hope that helps! Let me know how this recipe turns out for you!

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Quesadilla Fan September 8, 2014 at 10:07 am

Love this quesadilla recipe! I’m trying to eat more vegetarian food. This is a great idea for a good lunch!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater September 9, 2014 at 9:36 am

Thanks! Enjoy!

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Martin October 25, 2015 at 10:19 pm

I’d like to cook these veggie quesadillas for my mom. Hope she will love it. Thanks Anjali for sharing this wonderful recipe!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater October 27, 2015 at 8:17 am

No problem Martin, I hope your mom likes this recipe!

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Martin October 27, 2015 at 9:37 pm

Yeah, thanks and please keep posting such lovely dishes.

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