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The Quesadilla Comfort Zone

When my co-workers and I go out for lunch, we usually laugh about how we are creatures of habit. Even the most adventurous eaters have fall-back items – our own comfort food to make menu selection easy. When in doubt, one co-worker will always choose the margarita pizza. Another looks for a French Dip. One is a salad girl. And me? My comfort zone is the quesadilla.

I find quesadillas to be fabulous – and highly underrated – for a few reasons.

1.   They are the stir-fry of Mexican food – you can always add more veggies and it’s still going to taste delicious. This is really handy when you’re preparing quesadillas at home. Have some fresh mushrooms/peppers/onion that you’re trying to use up? Sauté, then throw them in.

2.   They are a great finger food. Quesadillas seal themselves into a perfect little pocket of cheesiness, so they’re easy to pick up and dip into your favorite salsa. This makes them versatile. They make a good snack, hors d’oeuvres or meal. And, I promise, there is nothing a kid can not like about tortillas and cheese.

3.   Some food snobs won’t like this – I think they re-heat pretty well (maybe not in the microwave so much as the oven or toaster oven). I’m a practical girl. If I have food left over from a meal, I intend to save it and eat it later (waste not, want not!). So, I appreciate that if I prepare a couple of quesadillas, I can save myself the work of prepping a lunch tomorrow.

All of this to say that I am a pretty big quesadilla fan. Usually I wing it when making mine, but I was excited to find this Chicken & Black Bean Quesadilla recipe because the mayo and sour cream looked like the perfect solution for extra creaminess. In just a few minutes the quesadillas were whipped up and ready for a casual dinner at home. And of course, there were extras for my lunch the next day.

To prepare Chicken & Black Bean Quesadillas, begin by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F. Then, prep your ingredients. We had grilled chicken breasts on hand, so I simply used two forks to shred the meat.


Rinse the black beans in a colander. 


In a medium-sized bowl, combine the chicken, black beans, sour cream, mayo, chopped green chiles and green onions. I like to rinse my onions off, then use a pair of kitchen shears to cut them up right over the bowl.


Cut the cheese into cubes or shred it, then measure out the cup and a half. Add that to the mix.


When all of your ingredients are thoroughly combined, spread the filling onto half of each tortilla (we were using 10” tortillas, so each tortilla required more).


Fold the tortilla in half, then brush melted butter onto each side of the tortilla pockets. This will help them brown nicely.


Bake the quesadillas in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until they look gooey and warmed all the way through. I turned my broiler on and browned the quesadillas a bit – but beware! One pan of quesadillas got crispier than I intended with just three minutes under the broiler. These quesadillas are better with about a minute and a half.


Finally, cut each quesadilla pocket into smaller triangles for easy eating. Serve your Chicken & Black Bean Quesadillas up with your favorite fixings – chopped lettuce, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, olives – whatever you like best! If you’re preparing these for friends, you could even make a little quesadilla bar with all of the options for people to choose from.


What are your favorite “extras” when preparing quesadilla filling or fixings? I’d love to hear about them! Then rate and review this recipe, Chicken & Black Bean Quesadillas.

Come back in a few days when Liz will be sharing a cookie perfect for spring.

Amanda is paid to write for the Land O’Lakes Recipe Buzz® Blog.


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• Comments •

Hi Suzi, if you're a fan of food from south-of-the-border, it's time to try quesadillas! Let me know how it goes for you! You're never too old to fall in love with a new food :)

Posted May 10 2011 by Amanda

Thank you Amanda! I have never tried a Quesadilla but I love Mexican and Puertorican food. this ought to be good. You've made it simple enougu for an old lady on her own to make just enough for one or two people.

Posted May 06 2011 by Suzi

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