Skip the cheese without affecting the taste.
Does a quesadilla have to have cheese? I mean, the dish has the Spanish word for cheese (“queso”) in the title, so you’d think it was a required ingredient. However, a big part of adapting our favorite plant-based recipes is to think outside the box. When we think about it, a quesadilla is really just a folded, grilled sandwich – similar to grilled cheese. Since you can make grilled sandwiches without cheese, we made a commitment to try these dairy-free, cheese-free plant-based beans and avocado quesadillas.
The results were phenomenal. This dish features flavored black beans, the cheese-like taste of nutritional yeast, and a smooth-textured avocado. Basically, it had all of the flavors and textures we came to know and love when those quesadilla cravings popped up. We didn’t even miss the cheese!
How to make fried beans from scratch
One reason this plant-based bean and avocado quesadillas recipe works is because of the beans. They’re a great source of vegetable protein, and mashing creates the perfect texture for our cheeseless quesadilla. You could certainly buy store-bought chilled beans, but we figured it would be more fun to make them from scratch.
We’ll start with a cup of boiled, drained, and rinsed black beans. You can use any type of beans (we have one healthy recipe for chilled beans that uses pinto beans instead), but we’ve chosen black beans here for color contrast. Put in a saucepan with water and spices. Mix the spices and create your own flavor profile. However, don’t skip the fresh lime juice, coriander, and nutritional yeast. These three ingredients combine to create a tangy, herbal, and cheesy flavor that really makes this quesadilla glow. If you don’t like cilantro (it tastes like soap to some!) You can use parsley instead.
Once the beans are warm, it’s time to mash them. If you want, you can put the seasoned beans in a food processor or blender and add a few legumes. We found it easier to mash that small amount of beans with a fork or potato masher, but do what is most convenient for you.
Make a great quesadilla
You will find that we recommend cooking these plant-based bean and avocado quesadillas on the stove. Why do you need to heat them when there is no cheese to melt? Technically, you don’t have to. they could Microwave the tortillas until they are soft and smooth, fill them with beans and mashed avocados, and start your day.
That means they’ll taste good so much better if you need the extra ten minutes to heat them in a pan. Remember: this quesadilla does not contain processed cheese. Hence, creating the right texture is critical to a satisfactory replacement. By heating the filled tortillas in a pan, the outside becomes crispy, which gives the quesadilla a nice crunch while also giving it a slightly toasted taste. Well worth the extra step!
The perfect snack or meal
When the quesadilla is ready, enjoy on its own as a snack or light lunch, or serve with one salad to create a complete and filling meal. It doesn’t really need any side dishes, but you can add extra chopped tomatoes, green onions, and cilantro on top if you’d like. If you find you’re missing the sour cream, whip up a batch of ours non-dairy sour cream with cashew nuts (or do it with tofu instead).
- 1 Cup black beans Drain, rinse and boil
- 1/2 Cup water
- 2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon Chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper ground
- 1 tablespoon Lime juice
- 2 tablespoon coriander fresh, chopped
- 2 tablespoon Nutritional yeast
- 2 ripe avocados
- 2 Roma tomatoes diced
- 2 green onions chopped
- 4th small whole grain tortillas (6 inch)
In a small saucepan, combine the black beans, water, ground cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, kosher salt, and ground black pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes until the beans are warmed through.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the lime juice, coriander and nutritional yeast. Use a potato masher or fork to mash the beans until they look like chilled beans. Put aside.
In a small bowl, mash the avocados with a fork. Mix in the diced tomatoes and chopped green onions.
Place a tortilla on your work surface. Divide the bean mixture on half of the tortilla and the mashed avocado mixture on the other. Fold the tortilla over to close it. Continue with the remaining tortillas.
Preheat a large pan or pan over high heat. Put the folded tortilla in the pan and cook for about 4 minutes until golden brown. Turn the quesadilla over and repeat on the other side.
Cut each quesadilla into four pieces and serve hot.
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 11
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