Today’s Veggie-Loaded Vegan Quesadillas recipe is a result of me challenging myself to put extra veggies into everything I make. That’s what plant-based food is all about for me – the more vegetables, the merrier! I’m still amazed sometimes at how easy it is to sneak even more vegetables into an already healthy, vegetable-based recipe.
The idea for these no-cheese quesadillas came from Preety’s Kitchen blog. Preety has a lot of traditional Indian recipes on her blog, but her quesadillas were influenced by Tex-Mex flavors.
I liked the idea of using hummus and refried beans on the same tortilla, but decided to try sneaking in even more vegetables, and then finishing off the assembled quesadillas on an open-fire grill (you can grill them on a dry pan on your stove top instead if you don’t want to mess with an outside grill).
I had some basic homemade oil-free hummus in the fridge (chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, paprika, salt, and some cold water blended in a food processor until smooth – yum!), but you can use store-bought hummus just as easily.
As for refried beans, I made my favorite pinto bean version using a recipe from Scott Jurek’s book, Eat and Run (aff). The ultramarathon legend Scott Jurek has a number of great plant-based recipes in his book – a few of them have become go-to recipes in my kitchen.
The secret to Scott’s refried beans is a smoked chipotle pepper that’s added to the beans during boiling. The chipotle gives the beans an unforgettable smoky flavor! Alternatively, you can use any other refried bean recipe you find.
In my attempt to load these quesadillas with even more vegetables, I sautéed about 2 cups of onions, broccoli, carrots, red peppers, and mushrooms in a little bit of my homemade veggie broth just until they started getting soft. You can use just about any other vegetables you have on hand as long as they don’t require longer cooking (potatoes) or produce too much liquid (tomatoes).
To make these vegan quesadillas even tastier, I served them with some easy homemade guacamole (recipe follows) – a perfect companion for all Tex-Mex foods!
The resulting quesadillas turned out to be delicious! They held together very well even without the usual binding ingredient of quesadillas – cheese. Of course, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can always sprinkle some vegan cheese when assembling these, but you won’t miss any of it if you don’t.
Nutritional bonus: beans contain lots of iron, but iron from plant foods can be harder for our bodies to absorb. However, if you add some vitamin C to the meal at which you’re consuming beans, the iron absorption goes up six times!
These veggie-loaded quesadillas combine pinto beans (refried) and chickpeas (in hummus), and vitamin C comes from red peppers, and the lime juice and cilantro in guacamole.
More Tex-Mex offerings from the blog: check out my vegan enchiladas recipe that uses a bean and potato-based filling, and this vegan fajita filling with soy curls that’s been our family’s favorite for taco/fajita nights.
- 2 large tortillas (whole-grain preferred, but you can use any kind on hand)
- 1 cup hummus, homemade or store-bought* (see note below)
- 1 1/2 cups refried beans* (see note below)
- 1/4 cup onion, chopped
- Up to 2 cups of assorted chopped vegetables - I used carrots, red bell pepper, mushrooms, broccoli
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1-2 Tbsp vegetable broth, for sauteeing the vegetables
- 1 ripe medium avocado
- 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped scallions or red onions
- 2 Tbsp chopped roma tomato (or more to taste)
- 1 tsp fresh lime juice, plus more to taste
To Make the Quesadillas:
- Prepare refried beans and hummus (if making homemade), set aside.
- Heat a large nonstick pan on medium, add 1-2 Tbsp of veggie broth. When the broth gets bubbly, add chopped onions, sautee 3-4 min until translucent. You may need to add more broth to prevent onions from sticking to the pan.
- Add all of the chopped vegetables, sautee 2-3 min more until they begin to look cooked. Stir in cumin and chili powder, set aside. Do not add salt - hummus and refried beans already have plenty._
- To assemble the quesadillas: put a tortilla on a plate. Spread one half of it with about 1/2 cup of hummus, and the other half with 3/4 cup of refried beans. Top refried beans with sauteed vegetables.
- Fold the hummus part of the tortilla over the refried beans and veggies, press lightly to make sure everything sticks together.
- Grill the assembled quesadillas on an open-flame grill over medium heat for 2-3 min per side (more or less, depending how hot your grill gets). Check often to avoid burning. Alternatively, grill them in a dry nonstick pan on stovetop, on a griddle, or use a panini press.
To Make the Guacamole:
- Peel the avocado, remove the pit. Mash with a fork, leaving some chunks if you like. Mix in cilantro, scallions, and lime juice, mash again. Stir in tomato chunks. Serve in ramekins along with the quesadillas.
*If you have just hummus or just the refried beans instead of both, feel free to use just those - double the amount of hummus/refried beans in this case.
Serving Size:1/2 quesadilla
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 393 Total Fat: 15g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 11g Cholesterol: 0mg Carbohydrates: 54g Fiber: 15g Sugar: 8g Protein: 15g
Do you have a favorite vegan quesadillas recipe? What are your thoughts on a cheeseless quesadillas? Share your thoughts below!
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