Dairy-Free Spinach and Black Bean Quesadilla

As a working chef five days a week, sometimes I just don’t want to put too much time into cooking in my downtime. This quesadilla recipe is my go-to weekend lunch. It’s quick, doesn’t create many dishes and its super satisfying. It also dairy-free and packs in nutritious ingredients like spinach, black beans and peppers.

Recipe tips and tricks:

The cheese: Prairie Melt cheese is a must for this recipe. Its the perfect, oh-so-satisfying meltable cheese that actually makes the top and bottom layers of the quesadilla stick together beautifully. I love the way Prairie Melt melts and brings all the filling together because, being the messy eater that I am, I am less likely to loose all my quesadilla filling before I take the first bite.

To apply, I take the 1/3 cup measure of prairie melt and spread it with my hands on one half of the tortilla. Of course, if you aren’t keen on getting your hands all up in there, a spoon, knife or spatula works great for spreading as well. One speed hack here is to warm the measured prairie melt in the microwave slightly (30-45 seconds) before spreading. This melts it slightly to make it more spreadable and speeds up the melting process when you get it into the pan. I usually skip this step just so I don’t dirty a bowl.

The filling: This is where you can pack some more nutrition in. I’m glad I finally wrote down the right amounts of veggies here because I always made too much filling that I would have to find a use for later. If you need to get some more greens in you though, you can easily get away with doubling the spinach amount. I have also used kale, arugula and spring mix depending on what I had in my fridge.

The taco seasoning I use is a store bought mix that contains salt, so if your mix is salt free you may want to season your quesadilla a bit more than I listed. If you prefer to make your own spice blend, or don’t have a mix lying around this is a great recipe from blogger Holly of “spend with pennies”

When I make this recipe for my husband who likes his food spicy, I often add fresh Jalapeño to the mix. Pickled hot peppers are another great addition.

Dips: I always serve this with sour cream from Good Stock Foods and salsa; sometimes mixed together. Our local Edmonton salsa company Picante, a vendor at Bountiful market, makes epic salsas. My personal favourite is their Diablo salsa. Its spicy and creamy and so unique to any other salsa I’ve had. I highly recommend!

Cooking: This quesadilla looks so nice if you happen to have a pan or griddle that produces grill marks on the finished product. It does take some patience to slowly cook the quesadilla over low heat on both sides, although I have found that this produces the best, crispy result. I have gotten impatient and turned the heat up when making quesadillas in the past and it quickly results in a burned quesadilla. If you don’t want to watch the quesadilla cooking, you can oven bake it at 400F for about 10 minutes on each side. I find you don’t get the same even crispiness as the pan version but its still really tasty!

Black Bean Spinach Quesadilla

Makes 2 10” Quesadillas

  • 1/4 red pepper, small diced
  • 1/4 onion, small diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 handful fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup cooked black beans
  • 1.5 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1 10” tortilla per quesadilla
  • 1/3 cup Prairie melt per quesadilla
  1. Combine red pepper, onion, garlic and spinach in a small sauté pan and cook until onions are translucent, adding water as necessary.
  2. Stir in the black beans and taco seasoning.
  3. Take two tortillas and spread prairie melt on on half of each. Divide bean mixture evenly over Prairie Melt.
  4. Fold quesadilla and cook over low heat on a non stick pan or griddle. Cook each side until the tortilla crispy and lightly browned (roughly 7 min per side).
  5. To serve, cut each quesadilla into 4 pieces.