Vegan quesadillas are the bomb! These tortilla-wrapped parcels of goodness are oozing with melted vegan cheese, smothered in lashings of homemade guacamole, and filled with spicy black beans!
It’s a simple, easy, yet unquestionably delicious recipe that’s entirely plant-based, meat-free, and dairy-free. Compared to food truck quesadillas, these vegan quesadillas with black beans are surprisingly healthy too (skip the cheese, for a low-calorie version), and they can be prepared as spicy (or not) as your taste buds can handle.
If you’re craving a vegan cheesy quesadilla, then keep reading!
How to make vegan quesadillas
Quesadillas are folded tortillas stuffed full of all sorts of delectable fillings. Traditionally, quesadillas are filled with cheese (hence the name quesadillas, which means ‘little cheesy thing’ in Spanish), but they can also be filled with many other delightful fillings, be it vegetables, meat, or fish. Add some guacamole and a little hot sauce, and you’ve got a Mexican-style dish!
However, in this recipe, we’ll be showing you how to make the best quesadillas without any cheese, meat, or fish. These are going to be vegan quesadillas - they are entirely plant-based! - so, let’s take a quick look at the primary vegan ingredients we need to assemble.
You can’t have a quesadilla without a tortilla. Traditionally, corn (maize) tortillas are used in Mexican cooking, but you can opt for wheat flour tortillas if you prefer.
To keep things healthier, we suggest using whole-grain tortillas where possible, or better yet, preparing your tortillas at home.
You’ll need eight large tortillas for the recipe we’re preparing below!
Spicy black bean filling
There are plenty of great quesadilla filling ideas to choose from, but this spicy black bean filling has inspired us.
You’ll need a can of black beans, as well as onion, garlic, salt and pepper, and a dash of cumin. We mix the black beans with sweetcorn, then cover the filling with a spicy cayenne pepper powder.
If you’re a big fan of spicy, spicy food, then try mixing in jalapenos, red chili flakes, or even a few freshly chopped chilis!
A quesadilla without cheese just isn’t a true quesadilla (although it is much healthier), but don’t worry because there are plenty of vegan cheese options available these days.
We suggest using a vegan cheddar-style cheese that you can easily grate. Vegan cheese melts well over high heat, so you’ll have that same cheesy texture and taste without any of the dairy.
Guacamole is an essential ingredient for any vegan and vegetarian quesadilla recipe. Of course, you can go for any store-bought guac, but we prefer to take a little extra time to prepare homemade guacamole - it’s just so much fresher!
It’s easy to make, too. You’ll need a few ripe avocados, lime, salt, and cilantro. Then, try adding a sprinkle of cayenne pepper powder to spice the guacamole up.
Vegan quesadillas recipe FAQ
What other vegan quesadilla fillings can I try?
There are lots of other sumptuous fillings you can try, as well as our spicy black bean recipe. However, if you’re looking for a ‘meatier’ meat-free quesadilla, then why not try a marinated tofu filling?
Use a tofu press to press extra firm tofu, then marinate it in cayenne pepper powder, cumin, and any other Mexican-style spices you have. Finally, fry up with vegetables and add to your quesadillas.
Another option is to slice up crunchy vegetables such as bell peppers, chilis, onions, and mushrooms. Mix with a few spices and fry up (like a fajita filling!)
What can I use instead of cheese in quesadillas?
Quesadillas are traditionally oozing with cheese (whether it’s dairy cheese or vegan cheese), but if you’re looking for other options, there are a few to try out.
Keeping the recipe dairy-free, a good choice to try is hummus, which has a similar consistency to melted vegan cheese. You can also try silken tofu, flavored with spices, as a cheese substitute.
Can I eat vegan quesadillas on a diet?
Quesadillas aren’t usually seen as healthy food, and that’s because usually, they’re served up with mounds of calorific cheese, covered in sour cream and sauce, and are dripping with oil.
It doesn’t have to be this way, though, and by switching to plant-based ingredients (particularly plant-based cheese), you’re already turning the quesadilla recipe into a much healthier one.
It’s good to pick corn and or whole-grain wheat tortillas for this recipe over processed white tortillas. You can also opt for smaller portions, using smaller taco-sized tortillas rather than the larger burrito-sized tortillas.
Ultimately though, if you’re trying to keep the vegan and vegetable quesadilla calories down, then skipping the ‘cheese’ entirely is probably the best (but least tasty) option.
Why is a quesadilla called a quesadilla?
Quesadilla means ‘little cheesy thing’ in Spanish because (you guessed it) quesadillas are filled with cheese (in this case, vegan cheese!).
Quesadillas originated in Mexico and are a cheesy take on traditional tortilla-filled dishes that have been prepared there for centuries.
Vegan quesadillas: the last bite
We’ve come to the end of our vegan quesadillas recipe, which means only one thing - it’s time for you to start preparing our vegan quesadilla recipe at home!
Get your avocados ripened, grate your vegan cheese, and fire up the skillet, because this is one delectable dish (and everything is totally plant-based!).
If you’re in the mood for Mexican cuisine, then why not try our vegan quesadillas recipe?
Vegan Quesadillas: Spicy Black Beans, Guacamole, and Cheese!
8 vegan quesadillas
1 c of grated vegan cheese (or more!)
15 oz can of black beans
15 oz can of sweetcorn
½ chopped onion
½ tsp of crushed garlic
½ tsp of ground cumin
Cayenne pepper powder (to taste)
Pinch of salt and pepper
1 tbsp of olive oil for frying
3 ripe avocados
1 lime (freshly squeezed)
1 tbsp of freshly chopped cilantro
Cayenne pepper powder (to taste)
½ tsp of salt
Ingredients for vegan quesadillas
Ingredients for homemade guacamole
Start preparing your vegan Mexican cheese quesadilla by grating your vegan cheese and setting it to one side.
Next, drain the cans of black beans and sweetcorn. Heat a tbsp of olive oil in a skillet, then gently saute chopped onion and crushed garlic. Mix in salt and pepper, cumin, and cayenne pepper powder. When the onions are soft, add the black beans and sweetcorn. Sautee for one or two minutes more.
Now it’s time to prepare homemade guacamole. Mash up the avocados, then mix with the fresh juice of the lime. Add salt and cayenne pepper powder, then give it a good mix with a fork.
With all the ingredients ready to go, you can start assembling your vegan quesadillas and frying them. First, heat a large skillet, but don’t use any oil!
Add a tortilla to the skillet when it’s warm and allow it to toast on both sides lightly. Once it starts to brown, add spicy black bean filling, grated vegan cheese, and guacamole. Fold the tortilla in half, and then allow it to cook on both sides until the cheese is starting to melt.
Remove the vegan quesadilla from the skillet, then repeat until you’ve cooked up all of your tortillas.
Serve fresh with any leftover guacamole, grated cheese, and freshly chopped cilantro to garnish!