This recipe is sooooo easy to make – it’s one of my favorite lunches to whip up when I need something quick and filling, but nutritious (obviously!), too. I would say that I prepare these black beans at least once a week because the whole family enjoys them. You can use them in these quesadillas, or in tacos, on nachos, as a burrito bowl…you get the idea – they’re super versatile. Not to mention, they take less than 5 minutes to prepare. I cheat a little by buying prepared salsa from my local grocery store. You could buy a tomato, a red onion, a jalapeño, and a lime, to make your own quick salsa to store in the fridge for up to a week, but most of the time, I go the lazy route because it means there are fewer dishes to clean and no chopping necessary.
After draining and rinsing the canned black beans (heck yeah they are just as nutritious as boiling dry beans, but are basically already cooked for you – time saver!), simply pop them in a pot along with the prepared salsa and a couple teaspoons of taco seasoning. I like to make my own taco seasoning. Typically, I make enough of this recipe to fit in a small bottle and use it as needed, and add another batch when I run out. Cooking the beans with the salsa and seasoning helps to incorporate the flavors and helps thicken up the beans just a little bit. I like to mash them slightly as I stir, but still keep most of the beans whole so it doesn’t become a paste.
Since I usually just make one quesadilla at a time (I typically have it for lunch while my toddler often gets half of one for dinner), I use about a quarter of the black beans in a single quesadilla, then store the remaining beans in an airtight container in the fridge.
To make the corn tortillas more flexible (so they don’t tear), I add a sprinkle of water to a small paper towel and wrap it over a couple of tortillas, then pop it in the microwave for about 15 seconds. I recommend doing this as you are using the tortillas instead of all at once. Simply keep re-using the same paper towel.
Add one tortilla to a heated non-stick pan and sprinkle on a couple tablespoons of cheese, add a quarter of the black beans, then another couple tablespoons of cheese, and the second tortilla. I like to do two layers of cheese so everything sticks together well. The melty cheese connects the black beans and the tortilla so it’s less likely to fall apart when you cut into it. Plus, it feels more cheesy this way!
Cook the quesadilla 2-3 minutes on each side – just until the cheese melts.
Then, slide it onto a plate and cook up an egg. I’ve found that my non-stick skillets don’t need any oil or butter when I’m “frying” an egg (not because I don’t like oil or butter, but because I’m mostly too lazy to add it…). If you don’t like your egg sunny-side up or with a runny yolk, feel free to scramble or cook it over-hard.
Top the quesadilla with your egg and you’re almost ready to go. For me, avocado and salsa are a must – they add tons of flavor and gorgeous color to an otherwise sad looking plate. Don’t believe me? See the difference below:
Doesn’t this look SOOOO much better? Dig in!
Make it toddler friendly: Simply serve up half the quesadilla (or fold one corn tortilla in half) and use a mild salsa so it’s not too spicy, but still has flavor. Either cut the egg out completely or cook the yolk (scrambled works great!) and serve with avocado. My kiddo likes plain avocado, but you can certainly add a squirt of lime.