Oh, Budget Bytes, what would I do without you? This was another ingenious recipe idea from my favorite inspiration source. If you can spot a theme with my blog here, it's that I love to make things that I can freeze for a quicker meal in the future. I can't believe I never thought to do this with quesadillas! These tasted amazing, and I've got 6 more in my freezer waiting for hunger to strike at the same time laziness ensues. This is also a great way to use the black beans that I cooked in my slow cooker.
I made my quesadillas this time with chicken, but that's only because I had some extra to use up from a previous recipe. This could just as easily be made vegetarian by leaving that out. (In fact, I made a couple without the chicken too, and you didn't miss it at all!)
- Black Beans, either from a can, or cooked ahead of time
- Fajita seasoning, or taco seasoning
- 1 cup of frozen corn (no need to thaw)
- 3 cups of cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 jalapeños, diced
- Handful of cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 8 soft-shell tortillas (I used burrito size, but a smaller taco size would be better)
- Stick butter
- Spread butter
- 2 cups of shredded chicken, already cooked (optional)
- 1 avocado, for topping
- Add black beans, diced red onion, shredded cheese, jalapenos, frozen corn, cilantro, and chicken to a large bowl and thoroughly combine.
- Add fajita or taco seasoning to your taste, about 2 tablespoons, and stir to combine.
- Lay tortilla flat and fill half with your mixture, then fold over.
- For the ones you are freezing, stop here (don't cook). Place them on top of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Put in the freezer for 1-2 hours. Once they are frozen solid, transfer to large plastic bags for storage. When you're ready to each them, follow the next steps for cooking.
- Spread a very thin layer of butter on top of your tortilla (this will help it crisp up while cooking).
- Heat a skilled over medium heat and melt 1 Tbsp of butter in it.
- Add tortilla (buttered side up) to the skillet.
- After a couple minutes, flip tortilla to cook other side.
- Enjoy! We like to eat ours with a side of avocado and/or salsa.
The cast of characters:
I measured out 2 cups of beans to use, but really ended up using a lot more. Since I had 8 giant burrito-sized tortillas, I had a lot of room to fill!
I'm a big advocate of shredding your own cheese. Yes, it takes more time than buying it pre-shredded, but it seriously tastes SO much better. Cabot's Seriously Sharp Cheddar is our favorite all-purpose cheese.
Don't skimp on the cheese! (These are QUESadillas after all.) I actually used about a cup more than is shown here.
I always keep seeds in my jalapeños, because we like things spicy!
The main ingredients in the bowl, pre-mixing. The chicken is definitely optional, and I'll probably leave it out next time. The beans are so filling and delicious, the meat just isn't necessary here. But, this was a great way to use up the meat that I already had on hand!
After stirring the ingredients well.
Added about 2 Tbsp of fajita seasoning.
I have been using Fajita Magic for years, and it's delicious. I think that after I finish this container, I might try to make my own, though.
Add ingredients to 1/2 of a flour tortilla.
Fold over and spread a very thin layer of butter on top.
Melt one tablespoon of butter in a skillet.
Cook on the first side (buttered side up) for a minute or two. (Peak underneath and check when it's golden brown on the bottom. That means it's time to flip.)
I bought this giant turner a few years ago and it is PERFECT for making quesadillas and omelets.
Golden brown - just what you want! Cook it for a couple more minutes on this side.
Then remove to a plate.
I always cut mine with a pizza cutter.
We like to eat ours with a side of avocado, and sometimes salsa or sour cream. So, so good!
For the quesadillas that you want to freeze for later, don't cook them at all.
Fill the tortillas as usual, and then put them on top of parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
I froze two layers of three.
Stick them in your freezer like this to flash-freeze. Once they are hardened (about an hour or two), you can take them out and transfer to a better container for storage.
I put mine in gallon-size plastic bags, well labeled with contents and date.
I can't wait to eat these! I've just got to find a day where I don't have a bunch of other delicious leftovers in the fridge. :)
What are your favorite ingredients to use in quesadillas?