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 recipe provides a nutritious boost to plain chicken quesadillas. Give them a try; your body and tastebuds will thank you!
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.
- Butter or Canola Oil: substitute avocado or olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil can be used if the heat isn’t too high.
- 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 in the can at the grocery store. 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.
Consider adding fresh tomato salsa, jarred salsa, or pico de gallo inside the quesadilla for more tomato pizzazz.
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!
You just need a few pieces of kitchen equipment to make this chicken black bean quesadilla recipe!
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 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.
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 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.
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 or sour cream, guacamole, and salsa. And yes, salsa counts as a vegetable!
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!
Chicken Black Bean Quesadilla
- 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
Condiments to YOUR taste
- Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- Pickled jalapeños
- Salsa or pico de gallo
- Preheat a griddle or skillet over medium low heat.
- Assemble quesadillas. 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 your favorite condiments. Enjoy!