Easy Cheese and Black Bean Quesadillas for Kids

Cheese quesadillas
Karl Tapales / Getty Images
Total Time: 20 min
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Servings: 4 (1 small quesadilla per serving)

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

121 calories
5g fat
10g carbs
8g protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 (1 small quesadilla per serving)
Amount per serving  
Calories 121
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 14mg 5%
Sodium 183mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 0g  
Includes 0g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 8g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 135mg 10%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 59mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Are you looking for a quick meal or snack to prepare for your kids that packs a nutritional punch and is also pleasing to individual tastes? Not only are quesadillas fast and easy to make, but you can add ingredients based on your child's preferences and to easily incorporate other healthy foods. The simplest, most basic quesadilla recipe calls for just two ingredients: corn or flour tortilla and cheese.

This version is the same basic recipe but also includes smashed black beans for added flavor and to add more essential nutrients for kids (including protein, iron, and fiber). Of course, the cheese also provides calcium, another very important nutrient for children and adolescents.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup cooked black beans, no salt added
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil or canola oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 8 (6-inch) small corn tortillas (or 4 large)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
  • Optional: Serve with sliced avocado, plain greek yogurt/sour cream, diced tomato, scallions, salsa, etc. 

Preparation

  1. To prepare the bean mixture, combine black beans, cumin, coriander, garlic powder, salt, and half of the oil in a medium mixing bowl. Mash with a potato masher or back of a fork until beans become spreadable. Set aside.

  2. Gather the remaining ingredients to assemble quesadillas. Lightly brush one side of a tortilla with remaining oil and spread the non-oiled side with 2–3 tablespoons of the smashed bean mix (enough to cover the tortilla in a thin layer). Sprinkle 1/4 cup shredded cheese over the bean layer. Place another tortilla on top of the cheese layer and lightly brush the top with a little more oil.

  3. Meanwhile, heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Carefully transfer assembled quesadillas into the pan and lightly press down the quesadilla with a flat lid from another pan (must be smaller than the pan you are using to cook the quesadillas) or back of a spatula.

  4. Cook until the tortilla is lightly brown and starts to become crispy on the bottom layer (about 2 minutes) and then flip and continue cooking until the other side is crispy and cheese is melted (1-2 minutes). Lower heat as necessary if the oil starts to smoke or the tortilla begins to burn.

  5. Transfer to a cutting board and repeat the cooking process with the remaining quesadillas. Cut each cooked quesadilla into four wedges and serve while warm.

  6. Optional: Serve with sliced avocado, plain greek yogurt or sour cream, diced tomato, scallions, salsa, etc. Note that these add-ons may increase the calorie count slightly.

Variations and Substitutions

The variations for kid-friendly cheese quesadillas are endless. You can add just about anything including cooked ground beef, cooked chicken, cooked shrimp, bell peppers, diced tomatoes, avocado, mushrooms, corn, spinach, onions, and more. Here are a few ideas to inspire you:

Cooking and Serving Tips

Because quesadillas are a finger food, they can be cut into small pieces, packed in a lunchbox, or served in a larger portion as a main meal. This is also a great meal to share as a family since kids and adults of all ages can enjoy them.

Plus, if your child is old enough, you can involve them in preparing and choosing the add-in ingredients or even learning to cook the quesadillas with supervision. It's a simple process and a good chance to build your child's cooking skills.

Here are a few preparation tips and storage tricks to help you with meal planning:

  • The black bean mix can be made 1–2 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Just let it come to room temperature or warm for about 10–20 seconds in the microwave to soften before using to make it more spreadable.
  • You can make two quesadillas at a time using small tortillas and a large pan, but they also cook quickly enough, that making one at a time is also fast and easy.
  • You can store leftover quesadillas in the refrigerator and reheat them in the oven or transfer to back to a non-stick pan to serve hot. Or like leftover pizza, you or your kids might decide to enjoy them without reheating.

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