Ooey, gooey, Mexican cheese made in the food processor with whole, plant foods in minutes! Add black beans, zucchini, squash, tomatoes and mushrooms for the BEST Cheesy Vegan Quesadillas you’ll ever eat.
I’ve had cheesy vegan quesadillas on my mind for awhile now. I know this sounds a little crazy, but sometimes I will have recipe ideas in the middle of the night or when I wake up in the morning! I guess it’s just such a big part of my life right now, I’m constantly thinking about plant based food. Don’t worry, I have a life outside of food, too. 🙂
Well, I had been ruminating on this recipe for a while, when I finally decided to just give it a try. I really did not want to rely on store bought vegan cheese shreds. They don’t taste all that great, they can’t be good for you and they are expensive. I had this crazy idea of processing cashews until they were almost like a ‘cashew butter’ and then adding some Mexican spices and seasoning in.
Well, let me tell you. It worked. It worked so much better than I could have dreamed! The Cheesy Vegan Quesadilla of my dreams has arrived.
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How do you make the Mexican Cheese?
First add your cashews to a food processor and process for a full 3-4 minutes, until they start to turn to cashew butter (upper right photo). This really takes some time, so be patient! It will happen.
Once that happens, stop the food processor and add the nutritional yeast, spices + salt and salsa.
Process again, and it will quickly turn into delicious, creamy, Mexican cheese (bottom right).
The cheese will be quite thick, which is what you want, but if it seems dry and doesn’t look like the photo, simply add more salsa until the desired spreadable consistency is reached.
What else goes in Cheesy Vegan Quesadillas?
Add in a sprinkle of black beans and vegetables of choice.
I went with:
Yellow summer squash
Can I make these without oil?
Yes, you can. Just use a large, quality skillet and cook them with no oil.
If you don’t use any oil, make sure the heat isn’t too high so they don’t burn. Low and slow is the way to go when not using oil!
I hope you LOVE these Cheesy Vegan Quesadillas with Black Beans and Vegetables as much as we did. They will be a staple for summer when it’s too hot to turn on the oven but I still want delicious food to eat!
Gooey with Mexican vegan cheese
Flavorful but not overly spicy
Filled with vegetabes
& Kid approved
If you make this recipe, let me know how it goes! Rate it, leave a comment and tag a photo @noracooksplantbased on Instagram. Enjoy!
- 1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed (1 1/2 cups)
- 1 small zucchini, chopped small
- 1 small yellow summer squash, chopped small
- 2 small tomatoes, chopped small
- 3 mushrooms, chopped small or sliced
- 8 tortillas (8-10 inch size), whole grain, gluten free or white if preferred*
In a food processor, add the cashews and process for 3-4 minutes until they start to get buttery. This will take 3-4 minutes, so be patient! (see photos above for reference)
Add in the nutritional yeast, spices, salt and salsa, and process again until smooth and creamy. If it seems too dry, add a little more salsa. Set aside.
Heat up a large skillet over medium heat. Lightly spray with oil, or put a little vegan butter in the pan and spread it around. (May omit both for oil free)
Spread some of the Mexican cheese (about 1/3 cup) on a tortilla, and sprinkle with desired amounts of black beans and vegetables. Add another tortilla on top and pat it down.
Carefully place the quesadilla in the pan, and cook for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Very carefully flip it over and cook on the other side until nice and golden. Remove from skillet and cut into quarters. Repeat these steps with remaining tortillas and ingredients.
Serve warm with more salsa and/or vegan sour cream.
- For oil free tortillas, Whole Foods carries the Engine 2 brand that are oil free. Ezekial also has sprouted tortillas that are quite good and oil free.
- Feel free to be creative with the vegetables! Use what you have on hand. Other good options would be corn and spinach.
- Nutritional information was calculated using Trader Joe's flour tortillas. It will vary depending on the brand of tortilla you use. Also, those are large servings. This may easily serve 5-6 people, especially if some of them are children.