Weeknight Veggie Quesadillas
These easy and flavorful veggie quesadillas, filled with canned refried beans and sautéed vegetables, are perfect for busy weeknights.
Many of you have requested more simple weeknight friendly dinner recipes, so here I am sharing our favorite weeknight friendly veggie quesadilla recipe! They’re filled with refried beans, sautéed vegetables, and grated cheese.
These veggie quesadillas are vegetarian and take less than 30 minutes to prepare.
One of the unfortunate side effects of attending culinary school and having worked in the food industry is that the people tend to assume that I make fancy, complicated dishes all the time. And trust me, I’m not complaining! It is a compliment.
But it couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, I cooked some of the boring meals of my life when I worked in a restaurant. I just didn’t have enough time or energy on many of those days.
Fast and easy weeknight dinners are incredibly important to me.
These veggie quesadillas are my go-to weeknight quesadillas. I never make them the exact same way and often add other ingredients, depending on what is in my fridge.
However, this vegetarian quesadilla recipe includes my main staples: canned refried beans, sharp grated cheddar cheese, sautéed onions and mushrooms, and all the toppings.
Let’s start with the staples.
- Cheese – I prefer a sharp good-quality cheddar cheese and always use freshly grated. The flavor is unparalleled to the bagged variety.
- Canned Refried Beans – refried beans are my favorite quesadilla ingredient. Not only are they nutritious and filling, but they help hold everything together.
- Sautéed Onions and Mushrooms – feel free to skip the mushrooms, but sautéed onions are an essential component around here. If you do include mushrooms, be sure to sauté them over high heat to draw out all of the moisture. The last thing that you want is soggy mushrooms in your quesadilla.
- Tortilla – I like to use corn/wheat combination tortillas or flour tortillas for these quesadillas. Allow them to sear in a thin layer of oil to ensure they crisp up on all sides.
Favorite Quesadilla Toppings:
Go wild with the toppings! Our personal favorites are salsa verde, pico de gallo, pickled red onion, sliced avocado (or guacamole!), sour cream, and lots of hot sauce.
30 Minute Weeknight Veggie Quesadillas
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided, plus more for cooking
- 1 large red or yellow onion julienned
- 10 oz cremini (Baby Bella) mushrooms stems trimmed and thinly sliced
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 4-5 large flour tortillas
- 1 (16-ounce) can refried beans I recommend Trader Joe's brand
- jalapeño hot sauce
- 5-6 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese freshly grated
- fresh cilantro
- sliced avocado or guacamole
- pico de gallo or halved cherry tomatoes for garnishing
- salsa verde
- sour cream
- Prepare Sautéed Vegetables: Heat two tablespoon olive oil over high heat in a large sauté pan. Add the sliced onions, season with salt and pepper immediately, and sauté, stirring every minute or so, for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the onions are softened slightly and caramelized. Set aside in a bowl.
- Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in the same skillet over high heat (alternatively, you can use two pans and speed up the cooking process), add the sliced mushrooms and saute over high heat for 4 to 6 minutes or until they're released their moisture and gained color. Avoid stirring too frequently, as it will prevent them from gaining color. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Assemble: Spread a thin layer of refried beans on one half of each tortilla, add a few dashes of jalapeño hot sauce if desired, a spoonful of sautéed onions and mushrooms, and top with a generous handful of grated cheddar cheese and several cilantro leaves. Fold the tortillas in half.
- Heat a large non-stick skillet with a thin layer of olive oil over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, lay the quesadillas (do not overcrowd the pan, usually 2 quesadillas at most can fit - so you may need to cook them in batches or use two pans). Once golden brown and crispy on the bottom, flip with a spatula and continue to cook until the quesadilla is golden on both sides and the cheese has melted.
- Cut each quesadilla in half and serve with your favorite toppings. Our personal favorites are salsa verde, pico de gallo, pickled red onion, sliced avocado (or guacamole!), sour cream, and lots of hot sauce.