Saturday, 10 August 2013

Quesadillas with Jalapeno Pinto Beans

I must have been introduced to Mexican food when I went to University all those good years ago, but even then it was limited to the corn chips, salsa or the avocado green guacamole which was all the rage at the time and the dips of all dips!  If I am honest, it was really on my first visit to America to see my best friend Leah that I got a chance to try proper Mexican food and I was hooked, the flavours were bold and unapologetic. 

When I got back to the U.K, Mexican style food had become a way of life for me.  One of the dishes, I've been making on and off for years has been Quesadilla.  Quesadilla's  are not only very simple and economical to make, they make for a surprisingly filling and delicious snack anytime of the day.  They consist of nothing more than two tortilla wraps filled and stuck together with melted cheese, then halved and served.  I have to say I prefer them more than I do a doughy doorstop toastie any day. 

I've made this dish many times, for breakfast, brunch and even for quick after work meal. The only time consuming part of this dish is the bean filling, but once the beans have been made (and they can be made way ahead and kept in the refrigerator) then the rest is pretty straightforward.

I am sharing this recipe with the Flavours of Mexico (1st-31st August) hosted by Jagruti's Cooking Odyssey and Simply Food.
Quesadillas with Jalapeno Pinto Beans
Serves 4
2 tablespoon of olive oil
2 large onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
4 - 6 fresh red and green chillies, chopped
1 x 400g canned chopped tomatoes
2 x 400g canned pinto (or borlotti) beans
1 tablespoon of ground cumin
4 tablespoons of jalapeno including vinegar from the jar
Salt and pepper to taste
Handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
For  the Quesadillas
8 large tortilla wraps
4 spring onion, chopped
200g cheddar cheese, grated
Optional: Sour cream and Jalapeno peppers to serve

Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add the oil. Add the onions, and fry until soft and translucent. Add garlic, chillies and cumin and fry until fragrant, then add the tomatoes.
Drain one can of beans and add to the pan, then add the other with its liquid, along with jalapeno and its vinegar, salt and pepper to taste and stir well. Bring pot to the boil, then reduce and simmer for about 25 - 30, or until thickened. Taste for seasoning and stir in coriander.

To assemble the Quesadillas.
Lightly oil a baking tray, then put on one tortilla wrap, spread jalapeno beans evenly, and cover with another tortilla wrap, sprinkle cheese and spring onions. NOTE: If you wish, you could sprinkle the cheese on the inside and outside too. 
Repeat the process for other tortilla wraps until you have four, then bake in oven for 10 minutes till cheese has melted and crispy on the edges. 
Serve immediately with optional accompaniments


  1. Hi Shaheen! Just looking round your beautiful and delicious blog- and now following too... love your photograpphy!

    1. Thank you so so much Yogi Vegetarian. Really appreciated. Much of the photography here is by my husband, some of it is mine.

  2. These look fabulous, thank you once again. Oh thanks for the chilli recipe, I too love back beans, I use them for burgers as I find they hold together so well xxx

  3. They look great. I have been making them in the fry-pan hadn't thought of baking. And normally sandwich the filling between x2 tortilla.

    1. Yes, Its a handy way of making them. I do make them in a pan now and again.

  4. I adore Mexican food (and drink!) but funnily enough have never made any... these have inspired me to get cooking with those wonderful mexican flavours and spices... love quesadillas too and those re-fried beans, wow!

    1. Oh Dom I am so pleased looking forward to seeing what you make.

  5. Perfect for summer..tempting. Thanks for linking it to my event

  6. interesting to see how you do them - I think making them in the oven sounds sensible - I love quesadillas but never find them easy to make on the stovetop because they are either too charred, too full or too floppy

    1. Thanks Johanna. It is far easier I think. I picked up this way of making Quesadillas from Celia Brooks, a vegetarian cook from the US. I think I've mentioned her on my blog before.


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