Great Meals for a Change

A fun way to taste, talk and learn about sustainable food

Quesadillas with Fresh Salsa Vegan Gluten Free

Prep Time: 30 minMakes: 8-10 servings

Cheese and bean quesadillas topped with spicy fresh tomato salsa.


    For salsa:
  • 2 large ripe fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ large white onion, minced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic, or to taste
  • 1 habanero or jalapeño chilli, seeded and minced
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice or 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • For Quesadillas:
  • 3 tbsp neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 pablano or other mild, fresh chilis, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 ½ cups pinto beans, cooked or canned
  • ⅓ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • Eighteen 6-inch corn tortillas or twelve 8-inch flour tortillas
  • 1 ½ cups grated Mexican melting cheese (cotija or queso blanco), or mild cheddar/ Monteray jack
  • Sour cream or yogurt (optional)


    For salsa:
  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl, taste, and adjust the seasoning.
  • If possible, let the flavours develop for 15 min or so before serving.
  • If you prefer a milder onion flavour, rinse the onion under cold water or soak the minced onion in cold water for a few minutes before adding it to the salsa. Alternatively, you can substitue 2-3 minced scallions for the onion.
  • For Quesadillas
  • Heat the oil in a large well-seasoned cast-iron pan or non-stick skillet on medium heat. When hot, add the garlic and chillis and cook about 2 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally. If the mixture begins to brown, add a little water. Stir in the beans and cook them just long enough to warm (it's okay if they get a little mashed). Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro. Transfer to a bowl and wipe out the pan.
  • Set the pan on medium-low heat. Add just enough oil to coat the bottom lightly. Put a tortilla on the pan, spread on an even layer of cheese and the chilli-bean mixture, then top with another tortilla. When the cheese begins to melt after about 2 minutes, use a spatula to flip the quesadilla over. Cook just until the bottom tortilla is warm and lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Repeat with the remaining ingredients
  • Cut the quesadillas into wedges and serve immediately with salsa, yogurt or sour cream. (Or you can keep the quesadillas warm in the oven for a few minutes before garnishing.)
  • Avoid over-filling!
Taken from: "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian," by Mark Bittman