The Ultimate Crowd Pleaser - Black Bean Quesadillas

This quesadilla recipe by Leon co-founder Allegra McEvedy, has become a Sawkins family favourite. It's incredibly tasty but also super quick and easy to make, we're talking 20 minutes from start to finish! Add a bowl of tortilla chips and an avocado salad into the mix and the result is a gorgeous meal that's "naughty" enough to make it a brilliant  (and much cheaper) alternative to ordering in a takeaway.


*Below you'll find the original ingredient list. However here are a few tips; as a family of four, we always double up on the amounts listed (what can I say, the family LOVE these.). I also add a punnet of cherry tomatoes to the avocado salad, I find it makes it more kid friendly and the combination of tomatoes, avocado and coriander is just bliss .  Lastly we swap out normal wraps for Wahaca yellow corn tortillas, as we found they were a better size and had a much nicer flavour, this is not an ad just an observation. It means the end result is a lovely platter of little triangles rather than a small stack of huge ones.

blog ingredients.jpg
  • 1 x 400g/14oz can black beans, drained, rinsed
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes (if your kids don't like spicy food just leave this out)
  • 2 spring onions, trimmed, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 80g/3oz cheddar, grated
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 x 25cm/10in flour tortillas
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled, cut in half
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil


    *If your kids love cooking then this is such a great recipe to get them involved. My girls love squeezing all the ingredients together in the bowl and "building" the quesadilla stacks before we fry them. 

    1. In a bowl, mix together the black beans, cumin, oregano, *dried chilli flakes, sliced spring onions, chopped pepper and grated cheese until well combined, using your hands to squash the beans. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
    • Lay the tortillas out on a clean work surface. Rub the cut sides of the garlic clove vigorously all over the tortillas.
    • Divide the bean mixture between two of the tortillas, spreading the mixture out using a spoon to completely cover the tortillas. 
    • Place the remaining two tortillas on top of the mixture, making sure the sides you rubbed with garlic are facing inwards. Gently press down to form two sandwiches.
    • Heat a little of the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add one of the quesadillas to the pan and fry for 3-4 minutes on each side, pressing the quesadillas down from time to time using a spatula, until the tortillas are crisp and golden-brown on both sides and the filling has melted. Remove from the pan carefully and set aside to drain on kitchen paper. Keep warm.
    • Repeat the process with the remaining oil and tortillas.
    • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the coriander, avocado, lime juice and a pinch of salt until well combined. Set aside.
    •  When the quesadillas are cooked, add the pumpkin seeds to the pan they were cooked in. Fry for 1-2 minutes, or until golden-brown, then add them to the coriander and avocado mixture.
    • Slice each quesadilla into six pieces (if you're using the Wahaca variety just cut them into four) and serve. Scatter over the remaining coriander leaves, chopped avocado and roasted pumpkin seeds. 

    Serving up


    If you have younger kids, they may prefer their quesadillas "clean" (if you know, you know. What we tend to do in our house is serve everything up in the centre of the table, quesadilla triangles stacked, salad and tortilla chips in bowls and voila, everyone can join in and help themselves. All that's left to do after that, is kick back and enjoy! I think this is one recipe you'l find yourself coming back to again and again! If you do try it, I'd love to know how you get on. You can access the original recipe via the BBC Good Food Site.