I adore the flavors of black beans and corn together. Add a little lime, garlic, cilantro, ample salt and pepper… Serve it on anything, and I’ll eat it. Devoured with chips? Done. Melted on top of a tostada? Yes, please. wrapped in a tortilla as a makeshift enchilada? Hellsyes. So really, what you see here could be consumed in half a dozen different ways. I just happened to go the quesadilla route today.
I’ve been eating this mixture since college. I’d dip chip after chip in a bowl of seasoned black beans and corn, acting as a makeshift lunch and/or dinner. Now, I love having it on hand – tossed in eggs in the morning, added to a salad for texture and extra bursts of flavor, served simply with a side of freshly sliced avocado… It was a natural progression to slap it between two tortillas and some cheese and call it a quesadilla.
The black bean and corn salsa (as I like to call it) has become one of our go-to staples for meatless meals. The black beans are hearty and full of protein, while the corn adds a crunchy sweetness that my taste buds cannot resist. Making it into a quesadilla is simple. And it involves double layers of cheese.
Fresh tortillas, layered with freshly shredded cheese. Layered with a heaping spoonful of black bean and corn salsa, topped with thinly sliced tomatoes (optional). More cheese. Another tortilla. Skillet. Done.
I added slivers of tomato for color, texture, and taste, but they are completely optional. Once done, you can slice the quesadillas into quarters, perfect for dipping into your favorite salsa (we went with the creamy salsa verde). They make for a quick and satisfying dinner, but because of their handy-dandy size, they’d also make for a great appetizer or game day treat.
Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas
- 2 15 oz cans of black beans drained and rinsed
- 3 cups frozen corn
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- Juice of 2 limes
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup shredded cheddar
- About 12 flour tortillas
- Spread the frozen corn evenly on a baking sheet. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil, then sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a teaspoon of paprika. Bake on the top rack of an oven heated at 375 F for about 15 minutes. Halfway through stir the ingredients once and place back in the oven to finish cooking.
- Once the corn is done, add it to a large bowl with the drained black beans, cilantro, lime juice, and garlic powder. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add more of any seasoning a little bit at a time, depending on your taste preferences.
- Prepare a skillet by heating it over medium-high heat, drizzled with just a bit of olive oil. Assemble your first quesadilla. Layer one tortilla with a heaping tablespoon of cheese, evenly spread. Spoon a scant quarter cup of the black bean and corn salsa evenly on top. Sprinkle again with cheese, and top with another tortilla.
- Carefully lay the uncooked quesadilla in the prepared skillet. If you like your quesadillas nice and flat, you can lay a heavy plate on top to help compress it, but it’s optional. Carefully flip the quesadilla once the first side is golden brown (about 4 minutes on each side, but be careful to judge yourself if it needs more or less).
- Remove carefully from the skillet, and let cool slightly before cutting into wedges.
- You could use canned or fresh corn instead of frozen. Simply season with the bit of paprika and salt and pepper.