Mexican food was always my go-to option whenever I had people round for dinner when I first moved out and started learning how to cook. Chilli Con Carne (recipe here) was the first recipe I ever mastered, and my friends loved it. Then I discovered the Fajita and Enchilada kits you can buy in supermarkets. They have the wraps, spices and instructions in the box, and you just add your own meat/veg and dips. They are great if it’s a once in a blue moon dinner for you, but if it’s a regular meal or you’re catering for more than 2 or 3 people they can end up being really expensive. I quickly realised that by buying the own brand supermarket wraps, tins of tomatoes and spices, I could make a really good version for a fraction of the cost of a kit. Once I had the spices, pulses, guacamole and sour cream, I started experimenting with other Mexican style recipes such as Nachos and Quesadillas.
Quesadillas are a filling of cheese and spiced meats, beans or vegetables, sandwiched between tortillas and fried on a griddle. I first made them to use up leftovers, but I ended up wanting them when I didn’t have any leftovers to use up, so I started developing my own filling for them. The recipe has evolved over the years and now I can’t imagine having them any over way. The spicy black bean filling is absolutely delicious and they’re quick and really easy to make. One quesadilla makes for a perfect lunch served with guacamole, or slice up a couple of them as a snack or starter between 4 or more of you.
This recipe makes enough for 2 quesadillas, but the filling keeps really well in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days if you only want one. Then just sandwich the cold filling between fresh wraps and fry on a slightly lower temperature for longer, to make sure the filling is piping hot throughout but the wraps don’t burn.
Ready in 25 mins – Serves 2
- Half a red onion, finely diced
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 large garlic clove, crushed and finely chopped
- 1 small courgette (about 100g), diced
- 14 cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 400g tin of black beans, drained
- 1 teaspoon of vegan Worcestershire sauce (if you’re not veggie, you can just use regular Worcestershire sauce)
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- A good pinch of cumin
- A good pinch of cayenne pepper
- A good pinch of chilli flakes (or more if you like it hot)
- A good pinch of black pepper
- A good pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 150g of cheese, grated
- 4 tortilla wraps
- Put 2 tablespoons of oil and the onion in a pan over a medium/high heat and cook for 5 mins or until the onion starts to soften.
- Add the garlic and courgette and cook for a further 5 mins or until the courgette starts to colour, stirring regularly.
- Add the tomatoes and black beans. Then, with a potato masher, gently crush the beans. You don’t want to turn the whole thing to mush, just break up the beans a bit so they don’t fly everywhere when you’re flipping your quesadillas over later.
- Mix well and add the Worcestershire sauce, paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, chilli flakes, black pepper, salt, tomato puree and lemon juice.
- Cook, stirring regularly for 5 mins, then set aside.
- Oil one side of each wrap and place one, oil side down in a large dry frying pan on a medium heat.
- Spread half the bean mixture, then half the cheese over this wrap and place another wrap, oil side up, on top.
- Cook for a few mins, patting the top wrap down to help it stick to the bean mixture and cheese and then flip and cook the other side.
- Once both wraps are nicely coloured and the cheese has melted, set aside, but keep warm and repeat with the remaining 2 wraps, bean mixture and cheese.
- Slice (I find a pizza cutter easiest) and serve hot with plenty of guacamole.
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