Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas
Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas are stuffed with sautéed onions, peppers, corn, green chiles, and black beans. Whether you’re looking for a vegetarian meal for Meatless Monday or you just love flavorful and filling healthy meals, then this is the perfect recipe for you!
Having a quality quesadilla recipe should be a kitchen must! If you’re starting from the beginning or want to know the best tricks, check out my How to Make a Cheese Quesadilla post. Then be sure to try my Greek Quesadillas for a fun Greek twist!
Why This Recipe Works
- Vegetarian. Sometimes it’s nice to have a meal that’s a break from cooking any chicken or ground beef, so vegetarian quesadillas it is!
- Filling. Now before you turn your nose up on the vegetarian part, did you know, 1 cup of canned black beans has 39 grams of protein? That’s a lot of protein, friends!
- Packed with vegetables. One of my favorite parts of this meal is that we load up on the veggies. The corn, diced onion, and diced green peppers add such a nice texture and flavor to the quesadillas.
- Great flavor! There are so many things that make the flavor of these black bean and corn quesadillas so so yummy! The first is the seasonings. The chili powder and cumin add a nice touch of taco flair. But we go even further than simply adding some spices! The fresh chopped cilantro adds a nice fresh spurt of cilantro flavor when you take a bite. Plus using pepper jack cheese adds its own dimension of flavor that is mmmmmm! So good!
- Flour Tortillas: I recommend flour tortillas over corn tortillas. They are more durable to hold in the filling when flipping the quesadillas.
- Corn: You can use fresh corn, frozen corn or canned corn. If using canned, drain the liquid.
- Diced Green Chiles: This adds a nice additional flavor to the dish. Drain the liquid. If you’d like to add some tomatoes to the quesadillas, you can use the cans of diced tomatoes with diced green chiles.
- Black Beans: Be sure to drain and rinse the black beans.
- Green Bell Pepper: Dicing the green bell peppers and onion small will make the quesadillas easier to cook and eat.
- Pepper Jack Cheese: Feel free to use a different cheese if you’d prefer. If you’re worried about the quesadillas being spicy because of the pepper jack cheese, don’ be! They aren’t spicy. The pepper jack cheese just gives it a nice depth of flavor.
- Sauté the vegetables. Place the olive oil, onion and bell pepper in a skillet over medium heat and cook until the onion turns translucent (about 6-7 minutes). Add the remaining ingredients and heat until warm.
- Assemble the quesadillas. Melt 1/2 tablespoon of butter on a large skillet. Place a tortilla on the butter and sprinkle a handful of the shredded cheese over the surface of the tortilla. Add the black bean and corn mixture to the top of the cheese and sprinkle with cilantro. Add more shredded cheese and then cover with another tortilla.
- Cook. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the tortilla is lightly golden and cheese has melted. Using a large flat spatula, flip the quesadilla over and cook the other side for another 2-3 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a cutting board and cut the quesadilla into wedges. Serve with sour cream, salsa, my Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing or fresh avocado if desired.
Use a pizza cutter to cut quesadillas with ease.
Don’t overfill the quesadilla. Overfilling can make the quesadilla harder to flip.
Chopping the onion and bell pepper into bite size pieces will make cooking eating the quesadilla much easier.
Use flour tortillas. You need the durability and pliability of the flour tortillas to withstand the weight of the cheese and filling mixture. Corn tortillas will break much easier.
Adding the cheese to the base and top of the quesadilla helps the quesadilla seal better. The cheese melts and holds the mixture together.
If you have large tortillas and want to keep things simple, you can use 1 large flour tortilla and fold it in half, rather than using 2 tortillas. If using 1 tortilla, still cover the bottom and top of the tortilla with cheese to help the filling stay put, then fold over the tortilla. If you’re cooking the quesadilla on a skillet, use the fold in the quesadilla as a pivot for flipping the quesadilla onto the other side.
Use a pancake griddle or a grill pan. If you’re making a handful of quesadillas at once, a pancake griddle or grill pan is the way to go! Genius idea thanks to Bon Appetit.
To make this recipe spicy, add diced jalapeños (with the seeds and membranes).
Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing
Cook the quesadillas fresh. Making this meal ahead of time doesn’t really work because the tortillas will get soggy, or the cheese will become hard and not melty.
Store any leftover quesadillas in an airtight container or Ziplock bag in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat on a sauté pan to get the tortillas crisp again.
Because of potential liquid making the tortillas soft, I wouldn’t recommend freezing any leftover quesadillas for later. You can, however, freeze the black bean and corn quesadillas mixture. Freeze that in Ziplock bag for up to 4 months. Remove from the freezer and let thaw in the fridge overnight before using.
I recommend using flour tortillas for quesadillas because they’ll hold up better. When flipping the tortillas, you want them to be strong enough to hold the filling without breaking.
Looking for some delicious sides to serve with quesadillas? I’ve got you covered! My Sweet Bell Pepper Rice is the perfect side dish for this. It’s got a delicious hint of sweetness and has red bell peppers and chopped cilantro in it. It’s probably my favorite side dish whenever I make a Mexican recipe. You can also serve my Mexican Street Corn Casserole!
- Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe
- One Pan Mexican Quinoa
- Mexican Lasagna
- Walking Taco Casserole Recipe
- Baked Chicken Taquitos
Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas
- 8 flour tortillas
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 15.25 oz can of corn - rinsed and drained
- 1 4 oz can diced green chiles - drained
- 1 can (15.5 oz) black beans - rinsed and drained
- 1/2 green bell pepper - diced
- 1/2 cup onion - diced
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 tablespoons butter - divided, for cooking the quesadillas
- 8 oz pepper jack cheese - grated
- 1/2 bundle cilantro, chopped
- sour cream
- In a skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil, onion and bell pepper. Saute until the onion turns translucent about 6-7 minutes.
- Add the corn, green chiles, black beans, chili powder, and cumin to the onion and bell pepper pan. Salt and pepper the mixture to taste. Heat until warm.
- Place a large skillet over medium heat, melted 1/2 tablespoon of butter. Place a tortilla on the butter. Sprinkle a handful of pepper jack cheese over the surface of the torilla.
- Add about 2/3 cup of the corn and black bean mixture on top of the cheese. Sprinkle chopped cilantro over the bean mixture and then lightly sprinkle a little more cheese a top the cilantro. Cover with another tortilla.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the tortilla is lightly golden and cheese has melted. Using a large flat spatula, flip the quesadilla over and cook the other side for another 2-3 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a cutting board and cut the quesadilla into wedges.
- Top with sour cream, salsa, more cilantro and avocado if desired. Enjoy immediately.
This recipe was originally published on June 15, 2018. It was republished on March 7, 2022, to include additional information and photos.