This Refried Bean Quesadilla recipe is perfect for an easy weeknight dinner.
This is a great recipe for using up a can of refried beans, which I feel is an underrated pantry staple. I love using corn tortillas, which is not traditional for a quesadilla recipe, but i find they are less dense than flour and add a yummy corn flavor. Feel free to substitute flour tortillas.
Reasons to love this recipe
- It uses affordable ingredients you most likely have on hand which makes it the perfect candidate for an "emergency" meal if you need to whip up something fast.
- They only takes 15 minutes to make!
- It's a crowd favorite and will become a part of your staple recipes (confirmed by my husband).
- It happens to be a vegetarian quesadilla with refried beans, so it's a great for Meatless Monday.
- I included an infused lime finishing salt to sprinkle on top of these bean and cheese quesadillas, which brightens up all the flavors. This salt can be stored in the fridge and used up to a week on other recipes too.
Corn Tortillas - I like yellow corn tortillas, but white corn would also work. You can also substitute flour tortilla if you prefer them, but I really like the nutty, corny flavor and lighter texture of the corn tortillas.
Refried Beans - Use whatever brand and style of canned refried beans for your tacos. You can also mash up a can of black beans or pinto beans with a fork in a pinch.
Cheddar Cheese - I love the classic combination of bean and cheese but this recipe would still be delicious if you need to leave out the cheese.
Butter and/or Neutral Oil - Use butter or a neutral oil for pan frying these crispy tacos. Although butter does burn at higher temperatures, I've found it doesn't affect the end result of the tacos too much and adds a richer flavor than oil.
Coarse Salt - After the quesadillas come out of the frying pan, sprinkle them with a little coarse salt for some added seasoning.
Lime - For extra credit, zest a whole lime and mix the zest into the coarse salt before sprinkling on top of the quesadillas. This step is totally optional but delicious.
To make these easy quesadillas, start by spreading the refried beans and shredded cheese onto the corn tortillas. Heat up your butter or oil in a large skillet, and add a couple quesadillas to the pan. Once the tortilla has warmed a bit, fold them over in half.
TIP: By letting the tortilla warm up flat first, it keeps it from cracking when you fold it.
Fry each quesadilla for 2-3 minutes on each side until they are golden brown and crispy. Remove and let cool on a wire rack or paper towel to get rid of any extra grease. Add more butter or oil to the pan as needed in between batches.
For the lime finishing salt, grate a whole lime into about a tablespoon of coarse salt (I like Kosher salt) and mix together using your fingers until the salt turns a slight green color.
Serving these easy refried bean quesadillas
These hearty quesadillas are delicious served fresh with all your normal taco fixings like guacamole, sour cream, salsa, hot sauce and shredded lettuce. It's hard not to eat them right when they come out of the pan, but if you need to serve a crowd, I would keep them warm in a 250 degree oven until they are all made.
IF YOU LOVE THIS RECIPE I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW!
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Frequently Asked Questions
I would not recommend making them in advance because the crispy texture of the tortilla goes away after its been refrigerated.
You can store any refied bean leftovers in the fridge for 3-4 days. If you need to reheat any quesadilla leftovers, I would refresh them in a skillet with a little butter essentially cooking the again. I wouldn't microwave them because they will just get soggy
You can use any type of bean for this recipe however I would mash them a bit using a fork so they act as the glue inside the quesadilla.
Absolutely! Either would be delicious.