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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Lentil Quesadillas: Veggie Quesadilla Recipe

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Lentil Quesadillas are a simple veggie quesadilla recipe perfect for a weeknight meal. Made with just 5 simple ingredients, you can pull it together in 30 minutes or less. Whole wheat tortillas are stuffed with toasted cumin seeds, lentils, corn, and cheese, then topped with fresh pico de gallo. It’s a kid friendly meal your family will love!

vegetarian quesadillas with cumin and lentils, served with pico de gallo on a grey plate

This lentil quesadilla recipe makes a perfect meal when you are short on time but still want something nutritious. They are baked in the oven so you can easily make them for a crowd (in bulk!), and are high in protein to keep everyone full and satisfied.

👩🏽‍🍳 Why This Recipe Works

  • Healthy Dinner
  • Kid-Friendly
  • Mexican Inspired Recipe
  • Perfectly Spiced
  • Easy Pantry Ingredients
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan Option (skip cheese)
  • Gluten-Free Option (use corn tortillas)

🥘 Ingredients

This recipe uses just 5 ingredients easily found in your pantry or your local grocery store!

You will need: whole wheat tortillas, cumin seeds, corn, pre-cooked lentils (I like the lentils from Trader Joe’s as it saves time), and your favorite shredded cheese blend!

🍽 Equipment

📖 Variations

There are so many delicious ways to mix up these cheesy quesadillas, but here are some of our favorites!

  • Vegan Quesadillas: Either omit the cheese, or use vegan cheese!
  • Sweet Potato Lentil Quesadillas: Give these vegetable quesadillas a sweet and savory twist by adding some roasted sweet potatoes into the filling along with the corn and lentils!
  • Spicy Cheesy Mexican Lentil Quesadillas: Give these quesadillas a spicy Mexican kick by adding cayenne pepper, chili powder, and your favorite taco seasoning to the corn and to sprinkle over the quesadilla filling before you cook them! You can also swap out the Mexican 4 cheese blend for pepperjack cheese for even more heat!
  • Gluten Free Quesadillas: Use a gluten free tortilla or a corn tortilla instead of the wheat tortillas used in this recipe!
vegetarian quesadillas with cumin and lentils, served with pico de gallo on a grey plate

🔪 Instructions

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast cumin seeds in large, dry skillet over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes, or until fragrant, shaking pan constantly. Transfer to small bowl, and set aside.

cumin seeds toasting in a skillet

Step 2: Toast the corn in the same skillet until golden brown, shaking the pan for about 5 min or until cooked through. Transfer to medium bowl, set aside.

roasting corn in a skillet

Step 3: Arrange 4 tortillas on a baking sheet sprayed with olive oil cooking spray. Sprinkle half of the tortilla with ~2-3 Tbsp grated cheese, and 1/4 tsp toasted cumin seeds. Top with 1/4 cup lentil filling, 1/4 cup corn, and fold tortilla over.

vegetarian quesadillas with cumin and lentils - being assembled on a baking sheet

Step 4: Repeat for the remaining tortillas.

vegetarian quesadillas with cumin and lentils - being assembled on a baking sheet

Step 5: Put the tortillas in the oven and broil for 5-10 min until the tops are lightly browned and crispy. Put the tortillas in the oven and broil for 5-10 min until the tops are lightly browned and crispy. Serve with Pico de Gallo, avocado, guacamole, Plain Greek Yogurt, or diced green onions on top!

vegetarian quesadillas with cumin and lentils - pictured on a baking sheet, fresh out of the oven - top view

🥗 Are Lentil Quesadillas Healthy?

We often think of quesadillas a not being particularly healthy, but this recipe is a perfectly well-balanced meal! Here’s what gives this dish a nutritious punch:

  • Whole Grains: Using sprouted wheat (or whole wheat) tortillas instead of white tortillas increases the fiber and protein in this dish, and reduces the amount of refined carbs.
  • Plant Protein: Instead of loading on extra cheese or ground beef, these quesadillas use lentils. Lentils are a plant-protein that are high in fiber, low in calories, and high in folate and magnesium. Folate helps turn carbs into energy, and magnesium has a variety of benefits including heart health and reducing anxiety.
  • Baked, not fried: I chose to oven bake these lentil quesadillas, which helps reduce the amount of oil you need to get these quesadillas really crispy.

❓Recipe FAQs

Are these veggie quesadillas kid friendly?

Kids love quesadillas and they will love this vegetarian quesadilla recipe too. Stuffed with cheese and topped with pico de gallo, they won’t realize they’re getting a healthy helping of plant-based protein.

If your picky eater likes beans they will probably like lentils too, since they’re in the same legume family and have a similar flavor. When it comes to vegetables most picky eaters will embrace corn, it’s a great starter into eating more veggies!

What is the difference between cumin seeds and ground cumin?

Cumin is a seed that comes from the herb “Cuminum Cyminum” which is a member of the parsley family. Cumin is sold both in seeds form and already ground. If you’re purchasing cumin in your typical large grocery chain you will likely find it in ground form.

Cumin is one of the spices that makes up many curry powder variations. It’s a versatile spice that can be used in many types of dishes including Mexican dishes like this easy lentil quesadillas recipe. If you don’t have cumin seeds you can use ground cumin, but you’ll want to use less since ground cumin is more concentrated than cumin seeds. 

What is the best cheese for quesadillas?

Monterey Jack cheese is excellent for melting which is what you want to make a good quesadilla. However, Monterey Jack can be a bit bland. Cheddar has more flavor but when it melts it tends to get greasy. Using a combination of Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese will give you the right balance between the melt and flavor factor. Buying a Mexican cheese blend is another good option to make these quick lentil quesadillas stand out.

vegetarian quesadillas with cumin and lentils, served with pico de gallo on a grey plate

👪 How to Serve

Make this a meatless Monday meal! This recipe pairs well with a simple side salad or a healthy helping of a steamed vegetable of your choice such as broccoli or cauliflower, seasoned with salt & pepper. Top these quesadillas with sour cream, sliced avocado or a spoon of guacamole to really put them over the top! Add in some refried beans to increase the protein!

vegetarian quesadillas with cumin and lentils, served with pico de gallo on a grey plate

💭 Expert Tips

  • I used frozen corn, but you can also use fresh or canned.
  • To save time use cooked lentils. I buy mine from Trader Joe’s. 
  • You can use green lentils or brown lentils, but don’t use red lentils as they don’t hold their shape as well, and are better in soups.
  • To reduce the overall fat in these quesadillas you can use reduced fat cheese, but you can also just use less of the full fat variety (which is what I’d recommend doing!)
  • Use cumin seeds rather than ground cumin. When you toast cumin seeds the oils are released which brings out a beautiful aroma.
  • Keep the cumin seeds from burning by constantly shaking the pan. This will also ensure they are toasted evenly.
  • Toasting the corn in the same pan as the cumin seeds will give the corn a nice flavor.
  • If you don’t have sprouted wheat tortillas you can use whole wheat tortillas, gluten free tortillas, or even corn tortillas!
  • Stuff the quesadillas with additional vegetables you have on hand, or sub the corn for another vegetable such as red peppers or zucchini.
  • Spray the tortillas with a cooking spray or lightly brush the tortillas with oil to get them nice and crispy.
  • Top these quesadillas with slices of avocado for added creaminess and healthy fats.

🌯 More Healthy Quesadilla Recipes!

If you have tried this recipe, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below!

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📋 Recipe Card

Print Recipe
5 from 6 votes

Easy Cheesy Mexican Lentil Quesadillas

These Lentil Quesadillas is a simple weeknight meal you can pull together in 30 minutes or less. Tortillas are stuffed with toasted cumin seeds, lentils, corn, cheese, then topped with fresh pico de gallo. It’s a kid friendly meal your family will love!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Diet: Low Calorie, Vegetarian
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 250kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 Sprouted Wheat or Whole Wheat Tortillas (To make this recipe gluten free, use gluten free tortillas)
  • ½ cup shredded Mexican 4 cheese blend
  • 1 cup cooked small lentils I used Trader Joe’s Steamed Packaged Lentils
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh corn
  • pico de gallo for serving
  • Optional Toppings: Diced avocado, green onions, guacamole, Plain Greek Yogurt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Toast cumin seeds in large, dry skillet over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes, or until fragrant, shaking pan constantly. Transfer to small bowl, and set aside.
  • Toast corn in the same skillet, shaking the pan for about 5 min or until cooked through. Transfer to small bowl, set aside.
  • Arrange 4 tortillas on a baking sheet sprayed with olive oil cooking spray.
  • Sprinkle half the tortilla with ~2-3 Tbsp grated cheese, and 1/4 tsp toasted cumin seeds. Top with 1/4 cup lentils, 1/4 cup corn, and fold the other side over. Repeat for the next 3 tortillas.
  • Put the tortillas in the oven and broil for 5-10 min until the tops are lightly browned and crispy. Serve with Pico de Gallo, avocado, guacamole, Plain Greek Yogurt, or diced green onions on top!

Notes

Top Tips for Making Vegetarian Quesadillas with Cumin and Lentils
  • I used frozen corn, but you can also use fresh or canned.
  • To save time use pre-cooked & steamed lentils. I buy mine from Trader Joes. 
  • To reduce the overall fat in these quesadillas you can use reduced fat cheese, but you can also just use less of the full fat variety (which is what I’d recommend doing!)
  • Use cumin seeds rather than ground cumin. When you toast cumin seeds the oils are released which brings out a beautiful aroma.
  • Keep the cumin seeds from burning by constantly shaking the pan. This will also ensure they are toasted evenly.
  • Toasting the corn in the same pan as the cumin seeds will give the corn a nice flavor.
  • If you don’t have sprouted wheat tortillas you can use whole wheat tortillas, gluten free tortillas, or even corn tortillas!
  • Stuff the quesadillas with additional vegetables you have on hand, or sub the corn for another vegetable such as red peppers or zucchini.
  • Spray the tortillas with a cooking spray or lightly brush the tortillas with oil to get them nice and crispy.
  • Top these quesadillas with slices of avocado for added creaminess and healthy fats.
Adapted from Vegetarian Times

Nutrition

Serving: 1quesadilla | Calories: 250kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 6g | Sodium: 868mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g

Posted In…

Mexican Recipes ·

Mexican flavors are perfect for easy one-pot, kid-friendly dishes like my cheesy quinoa and black bean casserole. With smart swaps, you can create a healthy version of a Mexican favorite: “guacamole” with about half the calories and 3x the protein!

Like Chipotle? You’ll love my ultimate sofritas and burrito bowls! These recipes are so easy to remix to add your own style (or use up some leftovers).

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