Black Bean and Avocado Quesadillas

Cooking for One or Two, Recipes, Worknight Dinners
black bean avocado quesadillas
black bean avocado quesadillas

Photo: Leigh Loftus

Remember how I once said that cooking in a new kitchen is like having a new boyfriend? It takes some time to get used to new idiosyncrasies and quirks, to decide what you can live with and what you might want to work on changing.

Well, if there was one thing I could change about my kitchen (besides making it bigger, an oven that fully opens and a dishwasher) I would give it a window. When I turn the oven on, it seems like it heats my entire apartment by twenty degrees. Lovely in the winter, not so lovely in the spring and summer.

Until I can afford the kitchen of my dreams, I’m making it work by getting creative on the stove top. Since the majority of starter house or apartment kitchens are, well, not large, I suspect that some of you might have a similar problem.

Quesadillas are a Mexican-inspired dish that literally translate to “cheesy tortilla.” Fun fact: the word ‘quesadilla’ is often mistaken for the word “Quesada.” In Mexico, “quesada” means “cheesecake.”

Some variations have chicken, beef or shrimp inside but others rely on beans and vegetables for taste, texture and nutrition. I’m not a big meat eater so for me, this black bean and avocado concoction that I pulled together on the fly is a perfect quick dinner fix.

black bean avocado quesadillas

Photo: Leigh Loftus

Black Bean and Avocado Quesadillas
Recipe type: Cooking for One or Two, Worknight Dinners
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1-2
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ¼ small onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup canned black beans
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 large or 2 small whole-wheat tortillas (I like La Tortilla Factory)
  • 1 medium avocado, diced
  • ¼ cups grated sharp cheddar (you can use more cheese, depending on your preference)
  1. In a small saute or frying pan, heat diced onion over medium-high heat. Cook 4-5 minutes or until onion is translucent and tender. Add black beans and cook for another 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Transfer black bean mixture to the bowl of a food processor, such as a Cuisinart 4-cup Mini-Prep. Add fresh lemon juice and pulse until mixture is a smooth consistency and black beans/onions are combined.
  3. Top half of the tortilla with the black bean mixture (you may have some left over). Layer the cheese and avocado over the back beans and fold tortilla in half.
  4. With a large spatula, move the quesadilla to the heated pan that you used to cook the onion and beans. Cook for 3 minutes, until the bottom tortilla is lightly browned and the cheese on the bottom begins to melt. Flip the quesadilla, and cook 2-3 minutes, until the bottom tortilla is lightly browned. Since you can't see the bottom, you can estimate based on when the cheese inside has melted.
  5. Remove quesadilla from the heat and let it sit until cool enough to handle. With a large, very sharp knife, cut the quesadilla into wedges, and serve with your favorite salsa and sour cream, if desired.

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  • Reply
    Simple Cheese Quesadilla - In Good Taste
    September 16, 2014 at 12:02 am

    […] a purist. Cheese and salsa, finito. If you want a heartier meal, I do love experimenting with a black beans and avocado quesadilla or a shrimp and avocado quesadilla. There’s a special place in my heart for the always […]

  • Reply
    April 20, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    I’d love to eat this for dinner!

  • Reply
    April 20, 2010 at 5:12 am

    them’s some FAT quesadillas, or as my dear grandma says, kiss-a-dill-as. 🙂 i love your choice of fillings and the massive amount you applied. bravo. 🙂

  • Reply
    Heather (The Single Dish)
    April 19, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Love this, sounds delicious and perfec for a weeknight. I hear you on the small kitchen, I can’t wait to have a ton of counter space or even an island one day!

  • Reply
    April 19, 2010 at 10:22 am

    We find quesadillas are such a good way to use various leftovers.

  • Reply
    April 19, 2010 at 10:09 am

    I am so wanting these right now! Maybe for dinner…

  • Reply
    April 18, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    My roommate and I were just searching for a way to use a fresh avocado that we have. Found this recipe and turns out we had all the ingredients in our pantry! Thanks for the inspired idea.

  • Reply
    April 18, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    You’re reminding me that it’s been way too long since I made quesadillas. I don’t know why but I often forget about them. Thanks for scheduling the blogger bake sale yesterday. I cannot wait to see the final totals and if there are other blogger events in the future let me know. I’d love to be invited. 🙂

  • Reply
    April 18, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    I actually kind of like the errant bean and cheese. Shows that this quesadilla has some spunk. It has attitude and it knows how to use it.
    Looks delicious!

  • Reply
    April 18, 2010 at 8:10 am

    dont apologize–that cheese is what made me drool

  • Reply
    Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)
    April 18, 2010 at 7:20 am

    Another way to beat the heat in a small kitchen, especially in summer, is to use a slow cooker. My kitchen, while not tiny, has very low ceilings, and a large stove, and those two factors do not make it a great place to cook in the summer. My favorite slow cooker is a four-quart size.

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