This vegetarian quesadilla is equally ideal for a quick weekday meal or any day of the week. Don’t miss the zesty avocado-lime crema for dipping!
This post is sponsored by Horizon Organic. As always, all opinions are my own.
You have to love a recipe that works double duty. When you can make it during the week for lunch or dinner and again over the weekend, you’re sure to make it over and over.
That’s been my experience with this vegetarian quesadilla recipe. It’s ideal for a weeknight dinner because it only takes 30 minutes, uses a lot of simple pantry staples that are probably already in your kitchen, and incorporates veggies and beans, which are both great sources of fiber.
This vegetarian quesadilla is practical, but that doesn’t mean it’s not special enough for the weekend. That’s where the zesty avocado lime crema comes into play. This sauce is made with avocado, Greek yogurt, and whole milk so it’s ultra-rich and creamy and ideal for dipping.
How to Make a Vegetarian Quesadilla with Avocado Crema
1) Make the Avocado Crema Sauce
This zesty avocado-lime sauce balances out the spicier flavors in the quesadillas.
Making the crema is simple. Add the ingredients to a blender or food processor, cover, and blend until the sauce is smooth and creamy. I like to use whole milk for this because it adds more creamy texture. Look for Horizon Organic® since they’re part of Danone North America®, a Certified B Corporation®.
2) Mix the Filling
Once you have the sauce prepped, the next step is preparing the quesadilla filling. This part is really easy, too. Grab a large bowl and mix pinto beans and vegetables. Canned beans are easy, but you can also cook dry beans in advance.
For the veggies, I use a mix of spinach, shredded red cabbage, sliced radish, and jalapeño peppers. You can swap in other types of quick-cooking vegetables and, as always, leave out the jalapeño pepper if you want a milder flavor.
As for spices, the only other ingredients I add to the filling are chili powder and salt. They add plenty of flavor, but if you’re feeling ambitious, you could also try stirring in a little cumin, coriander, or oregano. There are a lot of options here so it just depends on how creative you want to get.
3) Cook the Quesadillas
Once the filling is mixed, you’re ready to start cooking the quesadillas. I like to use large, burrito-sized tortillas so I cook in batches because one takes up most of the space in the skillet.
Pro tip: have the filling and shredded cheese ready to go before you get started.
Place the first tortilla in a greased skillet over low-medium heat. Sprinkle the cheese and filling on half of the tortilla and then fold over the other side to cover it. Cook until the bottom starts to turn golden brown, and then use a spatula to flip the quesadilla over and cook it for another few minutes, or until both sides are golden brown and the cheese is melted.
Can you make this recipe ahead of time? What’s the best way to store it?
I like this quesadilla best fresh off the skillet, but I’ve also reheated leftovers and they still taste great. Store cooked quesadillas in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to five days. Store the avocado crema in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to a couple of days.
Can you use other types of beans for the filling? What about different vegetables?
The nice thing about this vegetarian quesadilla is that there are so many different possibilities for substitutions. Instead of pinto beans, feel free to use black beans, kidney beans, lentils, tofu, or tempeh. Other vegetable options include kale, tomatoes, thawed frozen corn, or sliced bell peppers.
Can you make this vegetarian quesadilla gluten-free?
I like to use large flour tortillas (the kind usually used for burritos) for this recipe because they hold up to lots of heavy filling and are easy to fold over in the skillet. If you want to make this recipe gluten-free, you can substitute smaller corn tortillas instead. Use one corn tortilla as the bottom of a quesadilla, spoon the filling on top, and then cover it with a second corn tortilla to act as the top.
- 1 avocado
- ½ cup fresh cilantro
- ½ cup Horizon Organic Whole Milk
- ½ cup plain 5% Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon grated lime peel
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed (see note)
- ½ cup chopped spinach
- ½ cup shredded red cabbage
- 3 radishes, thinly sliced
- 1 jalapeño pepper, diced (optional)
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 burrito-size tortillas
- 1 cup shredded Mexican-style cheese
Add avocado, cilantro, milk, Greek yogurt, lime peel, lime juice, and salt to a blender or food processor container. Cover and blend on high 1 minute, or until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, stir pinto beans, spinach, red cabbage, radishes, jalapeño pepper (if using), chili powder, and salt.
Place a tortilla in a 12-inch greased skillet over low-medium heat. Add half of the bean filling and cheese to one side of the tortilla and fold the tortilla over to cover the filling. Cook for 4 minutes or until the bottom turns golden brown, and then flip and cook for an additional 3 minutes, or until both sides are golden brown and the cheese is melted. Transfer to a cutting board and slice in half if desired. Repeat with the remaining tortilla and filling ingredients.
Serve cooked quesadillas with avocado crema for dipping.
Substitute black beans for pinto beans if desired.
Gluten-free variation: use corn tortillas instead of flour.
Looking for More Vegetarian Recipes?
Try these veggie snack ideas:
- Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Lentil Dip
- Chimichurri Smashed Potatoes
- Tempeh Sheet Pan Nachos
- Tempeh Avocado Tostadas
- Cheesy Herb Roasted Chickpeas
- Curry Stuffed Avocados
Did you try this recipe?
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