If Meu hasn’t already convinced you to get more beans in your diet, please stop what you’re doing and let her persuade you. She has certainly inspired me to sneak more nutrient-packed legumes into my daily life. I love cooking with cannellini beans, partly because they are so versatile and soak up so many different flavors and spices.
These Simple, Delicious White Bean & Veggie Quesadillas are a great vegetarian lunch or dinner and a super simple way to pack in a serving of beans. They have a crispy tortilla shell, gooey cheese, and a lightly spiced bean and veggie filling that still has a little crunch to provide a nice variety of textures. My favorite part? They are fast, “cheap and cheerful” (as Antoni Porowski would say), and addictively good.
How to Make These Bean-Powered Veggie Quesadillas
Once I learned how to make quesadillas, I felt like the sky opened up and I could feel the sun on my face. It was magical. I’m sure it was because growing up, quesadillas seemed more like “vacation food” than a weeknight staple. But these bean and veggie quesadillas could not be easier.
After your veggies are chopped, which is truly the hardest part of this whole dish, you’ll combine them with cannellini beans and spices and cook them until tender, but not quite soft. Keeping the veggies al dente adds a nice gentle crunch to the quesadilla.
These veggie quesadillas are incredibly versatile and pantry/fridge friendly. Have a white onion on hand instead of red? Go for it! Have avocados you need to use up? Slice some on and enjoy. Trying to use up a few different cheeses you have in the fridge? Add them all. You can add or subtract whatever veggies or extras you want (corn would be a great addition) or have on hand.
The same goes for spices. My midwestern palate prefers foods on the less spicy side, but these can easily become more spicy. Turn up the dial on the chili powder or cumin to add more punch. I’m also one of those non-cilantro people (any cilantro haters here with me?), but my husband loves cilantro and enjoys adding it to his quesadillas. These veggie quesadillas can be adapted to fit all of the preferences in your household.
Crispy, Crunch, Gooey, Melty
As the filling is cooking, mash about half the beans with a fork. Again, this provides a nice textural contrast. Some of the beans become creamy, while some remain intact. This is a trick I learned from making The Kitchn’s 10-Minute Black Bean Tacos (which I highly recommend).
After your filling is cooked, it’s time for my favorite part: the melty cheese. There is something so warm and cozy, so deeply satisfying about watching cheese melt. And as a bonus, while watching the cheese melt, you can hear the slight sizzle and pop of a tortilla browning and becoming deliciously crispy.
Once the cheese has melted, fold the cheesy half over the veggie half, much like cooking an omelet, and give it a good press so that all of the ingredients meld together. A little bit more cooking on each side will guarantee a melty interior and crispy exterior to your veggie quesadilla.
Cut into wedges, serve with sour cream, salsa, guacamole, or just enjoy the bean & veggie goodness on their own!