Black Bean and Cheese Quesadillas

  • Prep time 20 mins
  • Cook time 5 mins
  • Yields 4

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  • Recipe Attribution Barbara Finley, Project CHEF


  • 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup tomato salsa or 4 chopped tomatoes
  • A few sprigs fresh cilantro, stems removed
  • ½ cup chopped olives
  • ½ cup cooked and rinsed black beans
  • 8 whole wheat flour or corn tortillas
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil


  • Grater
  • 10- or 12-inch non stick skillet or sauté pan
  • Measuring spoons
  • Spoon
  • Small bowls
  • Spatula
  • Pizza cutter or sharp knife
  • Cutting board


  1. Grate the cheese using the grater. Place the cheese in a small bowl.
  2. Measure 1 cup of the salsa or chop 4 tomatoes.
  3. Remove the stems from the fresh cilantro. Place cilantro leaves in a small bowl.
  4. Remove the chopped olives from the jar or can.
  5. Open a can of black beans. Place the beans in a strainer in the sink, rinse under cold water then drain well. (Save the rest of the beans for a salad).
  6. Place 4 tortillas on your work surface. Put about 2 tablespoons of salsa in the centre of each tortilla and spread it evenly with the back of a spoon. Keep the edge of the tortillas free from the toppings so they don’t fall out when cooking.
  7. Spread some grated cheese evenly over top of the salsa.
  8. Add the cilantro, olives and beans.
  9. Cover each filled tortilla with another tortilla. Lightly press down.
  10. Place a sauté pan on the stove top and turn it on to a medium heat. Let it heat up for a minute.
  11. Lightly rub the top tortillas with about ½ tsp. oil. Add ½ tsp. of oil to the hot pan and swirl it around.
  12. Using a spatula or a plate, carefully slide one quesadilla into the saute pan, unoiled side down.
  13. Cook until the bottom tortilla is just starting to turn brown and the cheese is starting to melt. This should take about 2 minutes. Check the bottom of the quesadilla using a spatula.
  14. Carefully turn the quesadilla over and cook the other side for about 2 minutes. Using a spatula, remove the quesadilla from the pan. Place on a plate or in foil and cover to keep warm.
  15. Repeat with the other quesadillas.
  16. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the quesadillas into wedges. Be careful of the hot cheese.
  17. Serve right away with extra salsa, guacamole, and low fat sour cream or plain yogurt.


  • If you have difficulty flipping the whole quesadilla, try making half quesadillas! Place the filling on one-half of a tortilla then fold up the other half. Flip by turning the quesadilla over on the folded side of the tortilla.

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