Recipes > Lunch/Dinner > Chicken Black Bean Quesadilla

Chicken Black Bean Quesadilla

Made with whole grain tortillas, black beans, chicken, and salsa, these quesadillas make a great addition to a Whole Life Plate.
chicken black bean quesadilla

This is a variation of our healthy quesadilla base recipe that incorporates two other recipes on our website – Mexican shredded chicken and non-refried beans. Don’t worry – they are all quick, easy, and as always, delicious! Adding beans to this chicken black bean quesadilla gives a plant-forward boost to plain chicken quesadillas. Give them a try – your body and tastebuds will thank you!

Learn How to Make the Base Recipe

Must Know Cooking Skills

For recipe success, learn how to:

Culinary Tips for Delicious Chicken Black Bean Quesadillas 

Watch the heat level as the quesadillas cook. If the heat is too high, the tortillas will get too brown before the cheese melts.

Room temperature or warm fillings cook faster and ensure that they are heated all the way through.

Assembling the quesadillas on the skillet is another preparation method. Spread the easy refried black beans (without the refry!) on the tortilla on the countertop, then place it on the hot pan. Sprinkle the cheese to cover the entire tortilla, then place the Mexican shredded chicken on one half of the tortilla. Once the cheese is mostly melted and the tortilla is golden brown and crispy on the bottom, fold the tortilla in half and remove it from the heat.

In a hurry? Microwave the assembled quesadilla for about 30 seconds to begin melting the cheese, then finish on the pan to toast the tortilla.

Allow quesadillas to cool slightly before cutting.

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Whole Wheat Tortillas: substitute corn, flour, or gluten-free tortillas. Note that flour tortillas don’t provide the same whole grain benefits. Corn tortillas and smaller tortillas need to be stacked rather than folded.
  • Easy Refried Black Beans (without the refry!): substitute our smashed pinto beans to make chicken and pinto bean quesadillas or buy low-sodium refried black beans. Add some salsa for more flavor.
  • Shredded Mexican Cheese Blend: substitute Monterey jack, mozzarella, cheddar, or queso oaxaca.
  • Mexican Shredded Chicken: substitute plain shredded or rotisserie chicken lightly tossed with salsa.
  • Butter or Canola Oil: substitute avocado or olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil can be used if the heat isn’t too high.

Recipe Variations

Consider adding fresh tomato salsa, jarred salsa, or pico de gallo inside the quesadilla for more tomato pizzazz.

When making Mexican shredded chicken or easy refried black beans (without the refry!), experiment with different salsas, such as fire-roasted or chipotle flavor.

Add a sprinkle of cilantro for a pop of freshness and color.

Add some sautéed fajita veggies – peppers and onions – for an extra serving of vegetables.

Need some simple quesadilla recipe inspiration? 

Use our healthy quesadilla base recipe as a guide or try out these tasty variations!

Equipment Recommendations

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Is this a Healthy Chicken Black Bean Quesadilla?

Yes! Made with whole grain tortillas, black beans, chicken, and salsa, these quesadillas make a great addition to a Whole Life Plate.

Whole Grains

Whole grains are a good source of fiber, B vitamins, Vitamin E, trace minerals, and phytonutrients. Replacing refined grains (i.e. flour tortillas) with whole grains (i.e. whole wheat tortillas) may reduce the risk of developing chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Choose whole wheat tortillas with as few additives as possible.

Black Beans

Beans contain plant-based protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals and are an important part of a plant-forward diet. These nutrients promote gut health, decrease risk of developing heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, and promote a healthy weight. When purchasing canned beans, look for low-sodium varieties.

Chicken

Chicken is a lean protein source. It is also rich in B vitamins and minerals, such as iron. When consumed as part of a diet rich in vegetables, chicken may help reduce the risk of developing overweight and obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes. Further, white meat is considered moderately protective or neutral on cancer risk. We recommend purchasing organic and/or pasture-raised chicken if it is within your budget.

Learn more about health benefits of different foods and ingredients or in our book, To Your Taste!

Serving Suggestions for Chicken and Refried Bean Quesadillas

To make a balanced chicken quesadilla dinner, pair with a light salad, roasted vegetables, and/or a side of fruit. Don’t forget condiments, like plain Greek yogurt, sour cream, lime crema, guacamole, and salsa.

Storage Tips for Chicken Quesadillas

Cool quesadillas completely, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Leftover quesadillas can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Wrap individual quesadillas in foil or plastic wrap, then place in a freezer-safe bag

Quesadillas taste best reheated on a griddle or skillet or in the oven, but the microwave will work in a pinch.

Want more Mexican-Inspired Recipes? 

Try out these delicious recipes!

Baked Tostadas Base Recipe

Ground Beef and Mushroom Taco Meat

Taco Hummus

One Pan Mexican Quinoa Skillet

chicken black bean quesadilla

Chicken Black Bean Quesadilla

This is a variation of our healthy quesadilla base recipe that incorporates two other recipes on our website: Mexican shredded chicken and non-refried beans. Don’t worry – they are all quick, easy, and as always, delicious!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 8 quesadillas

Ingredients
  

  • 8 whole wheat tortillas (~8")
  • 1 cup easy refried black beans
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 2 cups Mexican shredded chicken
  • 1 teaspoon butter or canola oil

Instructions
 

  • ​​Preheat a griddle or skillet over medium low heat.
  • Spread 2 Tablespoons of black beans to cover each tortilla, leaving a small border around the edge. Top half of each tortilla with ¼ cup shredded cheese, then ¼ cup Mexican shredded chicken. Fold each tortilla in half.
  • Brush griddle or skillet with ~½ teaspoon oil or butter. Once butter is melted, add quesadillas. Cook until golden and toasty on one side and the cheese is partially melted, 2-3 minutes.
  • Carefully flip and cook on the other side for 2-3 minutes more or until the tortillas are golden and toasty on both sides and cheese is melted. Cook in batches, using more oil or butter as needed.
  • Remove quesadillas carefully from pan. If cutting, allow to cool slightly. Serve with condiments to YOUR taste. Enjoy!

Notes

Click here for the Mexican shredded chicken recipe  and easy refried black beans recipe. Make these in advance for even quicker prep time.
 
Room temperature or warm fillings cook faster and ensure that they are heated all the way through.
 
Condiments to YOUR taste
  • Plain Greek yogurt, lime crema, or sour cream
  • Salsa 
  • Pickled jalapeños
  • Guacamole
Keyword Chicken Black Bean Quesadilla

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