Quesadillas are one of the husband’s favorite Mexican meals.
I can totally see why: the cheesy, crunchy, melt-in-your-mouth goodness of a quesadilla with spicy and creamy toppings — what’s not to love?
Of course, I’m always on the lookout for ways to “healthify” my husband’s favorite restaurant meals, but with quesadillas it’s difficult.
The husband has a high bar for quesadillas.
And so, my search began:
How would I find that perfect whole wheat, all-natural tortilla substitution that tastes just as good as a white tortilla?
How would I cut down the amount of cheese without losing all the flavor and cheesy feel to the quesadilla?
What veggies could I sneak in there without ruining the consistency?
How could I get the quesadilla crispy in the pan without using tons of oil?
Thanks to Sonoma All Natural Whole Wheat Wraps, refried black beans, inspiration from this recipe, olive oil cooking spray, and a few veggies – I made the perfect healthy, restaurant style quesadilla at home!
It took less than 30 minutes to make, and was a wonderful weeknight dinner. And the husband loved the taste and texture of it!
Inspired by, but significantly modified from this CookingLight recipe.
- 1 tsp canola, grapeseed or olive oil
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 poblano pepper, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 0.5-1 cup frozen corn kernels
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 oz pepper jack cheese, shredded
- 1 15oz can refried black beans
- Taco seasoning
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- salt to taste
- 4 whole wheat flour tortillas (120-150 calories per tortilla with at least 4g fiber)
Step 1: Heat a pot or a large pan over medium heat. Add the oil, onion, bell pepper, poblano pepper, corn, jalapeno and garlic. Saute until cooked through – about 5 minutes.
Step 2: Heat the refried beans in a small pot, add taco seasoning to flavor the beans (to taste)
Step 3: Once the veggies have cooked, add the cumin, chili powder and salt to taste.
Step 4: Meanwhile, grate the pepper jack cheese and set aside.
Step 5: Assemble your quesadilla and get ready to cook it! First, take your tortilla and slather half of it with the refried black bean mixture (about 1/4 cup per tortilla). Top it with the veggies (1/4 the veggie mixture).
And then top it with the cheese (1 oz per quesadilla).
Step 6: Fold the quesadilla in half. Spray a large pan with the olive oil cooking spray, and let the quesadilla cook until it’s brown and crispy. Flip it to cook the other side and continue cooking until the cheese has melted and both sides are crisp.
Step 7: Cut into slices, serve with salsa, guacamole or 2% Greek Yogurt.
Each quesadilla has about 300 calories, 40g carbs, with 9g fiber and 10g protein. Not bad for a quesadilla makeover!
And thanks to the cooking spray, the outside of the quesadilla was super crispy, and the inside was incredibly cheesy.
This can actually work as a great appetizer as well – just make a bunch and keep them warm in the oven. If you cut the slices small enough they’re the perfect finger food!