Beef and Black Bean Quesadillas

Beef and Black Bean Quesadillas

Beef and Black Bean Quesadillas

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Beef and Black Bean Quesadillas are on regular rotation in my house. They’re not only quick and easy but tasty, family-approved and customizable. I like to use cheddar cheese and load mine up with fresh cilantro. But Monterey jack, spicy Mexican blend, or mozzarella cheese are also great options. Go ahead and be adventurous with the toppings too. Sour cream and salsa are always family favourites but also try diced avocado, taco sauce, pickled jalapeños, green onion…and the list goes on. But that’s what makes it fun and perfect for the whole family.

There’s a huge variety of tortillas available too. I like the flour and corn blend while my husband prefers plain flour. These are the basic options, you may want to try a multigrain, garden vegetable or sun-dried tomato tortilla. Again, there are lots of options to please everyone.

Sauteed beef, onions and green peppers in a cast iron skillet in preparation for Beef and Black Bean Quesadillas.
Beef and Black Bean Quesadillas ready to be folded in a skillet.

The black beans extend the ground beef, making these budget-friendly too. You can easily cut back on the ground beef further and sub in a few more black beans. I like just enough to give a little texture, fibre and added nutrition. I use drained and rinsed canned black beans out of convenience but you can certainly cook your own dried beans, which will reduce the cost further. Beef and Black Bean Quesadillas are a great weeknight meal for the whole family no matter how you stack them up. You’ll want them on regular rotation, enjoy!

Beef and Black Bean Quesadillas cut and stacked three high on a wooden plate, garnished with cilantro and lime.

Beef and Black Bean Quesadillas cut and stacked three high on a wooden plate, garnished with cilantro and lime.
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Beef and Black Bean Quesadillas

Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp canola oil plus more for tortillas
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup diced green pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 tbsp taco seasoning or 35g pkg
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup canned black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1/2 cup corn niblets
  • 4 10" tortillas
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese about 8 ounces
  • as needed chopped fresh cilantro optional
  • as needed salsa optional
  • as needed sour cream optional

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a medium skillet, add beef and cook until just starting to brown, breaking up larger pieces as it cooks. Drain or dab out any excess fat.
  • Add green pepper, onion and garlic. Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes until vegetables start to soften and beef is fully browned and cooked through.
  • Stir in water, taco season, and red pepper flakes. Cook over medium until liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes.
  • Stir in black beans and corn and heat until warm. Adjust salt to taste.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat and drizzle in 1/2 tsp of oil. Add one tortilla and sprinkle the entire tortilla with 1/2 cup of grated cheddar cheese (about 2 ounces). Spread approximately 1 cup of beef mixture evenly over half of the cheese-covered tortilla.
  • Allow to cook until the bottom of the tortilla is golden and the cheese is melted. Fold the tortilla in half and press gently to hold it together. Remove to a cutting board and cut into 3 wedges. Repeat with remaining tortillas and serve immediately with your favourite garnishes like sour cream and salsa.

Notes

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Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins

Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins

A shallow wooden serving bowl stacked with freshly baked Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins.

Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins

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Cheesy and spicy with crispy, golden edges make these tender Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins one of my favourites. I have made them more times than I can remember because I like them that much. They are the perfect accompaniment to chili, stew, tomato soup or green salad and so good about ten minutes out of the oven. Just long enough for them to cool down enough to handle but are still warm on the inside and crispy on the outside.

Baking ingredients being prepared for Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins with a muffin tin in the background.

This lovely recipe originates with one of my favourite food bloggers, Joy the Baker. Joy notes that you can bake these muffins with liners in the muffin tins. You certainly can, but trust me, you do not want to! I find it is best to generously butter non-stick muffin tins to achieve a wonderfully golden muffin bottom that is crispy and chewy when eaten while still slightly warm. They will pop right out of the muffin tins too. When using liners, the muffins need to cool completely before peeling away the liner, otherwise, they will stick and you’ll miss out on the best part. In a nutshell, it’s lots of butter, no liners!!

Freshly baked Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins on a wire rack..

Do not be skimpy on the cheese!! It will seem like a lot, and the batter will be thick with an abundance of cheese, but the result is a gloriously cheesy muffin. It is also important not to over mix the batter. This is a quick bread and does not require gluten development, so only mix the wet and dry ingredients until they are combined. The batter won’t be completely smooth and that’s okay. The cheese needs to be folded in last so it doesn’t clog up the whisk and make everything gummy. It’s a quick and easy recipe that freezes well too. Simply store cooled muffins in an airtight container or bag for up to a month. Allow to thaw and warm gently in the oven or microwave. They don’t retain their crisp exterior, but they’re still delicious. Enjoy!

Freshly baked Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins on a wooden serving board garnished with a pickled jalapeño.

Freshly baked Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins on a wooden serving board garnished with a pickled jalapeño.
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Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted plus more for pan
  • 3 cups grated cheddar cheese about 8 ounces
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped drained pickled jalapeños plus more for garnishing

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and generously butter a 12 cup non-stick muffin tin.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Set aside.
  • Whisk the egg, add the milk and melted butter and continue to whisk to fully combine. Stir in jalapeños.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet stirring until just combined. Fold in cheese until evenly distributed in the batter.
  • Scoop batter evenly between the prepared muffin cups and bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan. Gently loosen the muffin tops if any have slightly stuck and pluck out the muffins placing them on a wire rack to cool further.

Notes

-these muffins are best served slightly warm out of the oven.
-use a non-stick muffin tin for this recipe and be sure to butter generously. The butter not only helps the muffins not to stick but ensures a crisp and golden bottom. 
-you can use muffin liners but the muffins will need to cool completely before trying to peel off the liner.
 

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Meaty Black Bean Chili

Meaty Black Bean Chili

Meaty Black Bean Chili served in a shallow bowl with flatbread, garnished with cheddar cheese, green onions and cilantro.

Meaty Black Bean Chili

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Meaty Black Bean Chili is my new favourite chili! For good reason too, it’s hearty and spicy with a punch of freshness from fresh cilantro added at the end. It also uses black beans, which is my favourite bean and they’re a great change from kidney beans. I also like the use of beef and pork for a meaty and hearty chili that is very satisfying. This chili is excellent for potlucks and back yard BBQ parties.

Meaty Black Bean Chili in a cream coloured dutch oven resting on a navy kitchen towel and wooden trivet.

Spicy heat is a personal choice for everyone and everyone gets an opinion on how hot their food should be. I don’t care for anything too spicy, and by that I mean, if I can’t taste the other ingredients because my lips are burning so bad, well, that ’s too hot for me. I find the spiciness in this Meaty Black Bean Chilli just right for my liking. It has a subtle spiciness that’s just enough to make me want to eat another bite with fresh cilantro and cheese to mellow the heat. But of course, this is just my opinion, so feel free to add more cayenne or chipotle peppers in adobo sauce if that suits your taste.

Another great thing about chili is it’s even better if served the next day as the flavours and spiciness have more time meld. It freezes very well and can be kept in a sealed container in the freezer for 1-2 months. Enjoy!

Meaty Black Bean Chili
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    9 cups 30 minutes
    Cook Time
    60 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    9 cups 30 minutes
    Cook Time
    60 minutes
    Meaty Black Bean Chili
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      9 cups 30 minutes
      Cook Time
      60 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      9 cups 30 minutes
      Cook Time
      60 minutes
      Ingredients
      Servings: cups
      Instructions
      1. Heat oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add ground beef and pork and cook until no longer pink and starting to brown, breaking up any large pieces. Stir in minced garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
      2. Scrape out seeds from the chipotle peppers and finely mince, use about two chili peppers with sauce to equal 2 tbsp or more depending how hot you want it. Add peppers to the pot along with beef broth, tomato sauce, canned tomatoes, green pepper, onion, spices, salt, and sugar. Stir well to combine.
      3. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for about 50 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove lid and adjust consistency to your liking by adding more beef broth or simmering uncovered for a few minutes to evaporate some liquid. The chili will thicken slightly as it sits and cools.
      4. Stir in black beans and cook for 1-2 minutes to warm. Stir in cilantro just before serving and ladle into serving bowls. Garnish with cheddar cheese, green onion and additional cilantro.
      Recipe Notes

      -I found 1 cup of beef broth just about right for consistency.  Adjust to your liking.

      -This chili is even better when served the next day as the flavours have longer to meld.

      -Makes about 9 cups of chili and freezes very well.

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      I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
      Tuna Noodle Casserole

      Tuna Noodle Casserole

      Baked golden Tuna Noodle Casserole in a yellow serving dish on a wooden trivet.

      Tuna Noodle Casserole

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      Tuna Noodle Casserole is one of my favourite family casseroles.  It has just the right ratio of noodles to sauce and is topped with buttery panko breadcrumbs. It’s also cheesy, hearty and comforting and a one scoop meal with the peas baked right in. It does take a little extra time to make the sauce, cook the noodles and bake, so I would say it’s a nice weekend casserole.  The recipe is simple and uses everyday ingredients, which means there are no unnecessary trips to the grocery store.  The kids will love it and you’ll likely get leftovers as it makes a 9”x13” pan. 

      Cheese sauce in a stainless steel saucepan with a metal whisk in preparation for Tuna Noodle Casserole.

      Be sure not to overcook the noodles as they will continue to cook slightly while baking in the sauce. I will generally cook them a minute or two less than the package instructions. To save time and be efficient, I like to start cooking the sauce while the water comes to a boil and the noodles cook. Get the kids helping by grating cheese and flaking the tuna. Enjoy!

      Tuna Noodle Casserole served on a glass plate with a wooden fork on a wooden surface.

      Author:  Compelled to Cook, adapted from Food Wishes

      Baked golden Tuna Noodle Casserole in a yellow serving dish on a wooden trivet.
      Tuna Noodle Casserole
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        6-8 people 30-35 minutes
        Cook Time
        35-40 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        6-8 people 30-35 minutes
        Cook Time
        35-40 minutes
        Baked golden Tuna Noodle Casserole in a yellow serving dish on a wooden trivet.
        Tuna Noodle Casserole
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          6-8 people 30-35 minutes
          Cook Time
          35-40 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          6-8 people 30-35 minutes
          Cook Time
          35-40 minutes
          Ingredients
          Servings: people
          Instructions
          1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
          2. Cook noodles for slightly less time than package instructions so they are al dente (firm to the bite). Drain well.
          3. While noodles are cooking, melt the 1/4 cup of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour until combined. Slowly add a cup of hot milk whisking constantly until the mixture is smooth and starts to bubble. Continue adding hot milk and whisking until all the milk has been added and the mixture is smooth. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, whisking often.
          4. Remove sauce from heat and whisk in mushroom soup, 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Stir in half of the cheddar cheese, tuna, and peas until combined. Add drained noodles and stir to evenly coat.
          5. Spray a 9"x13" casserole dish with non-stick spray and pour casserole into the dish, spreading out evenly. Top with remaining cheddar cheese.
          6. Stir together breadcrumbs, melted butter, parsley and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Spread evenly over casserole and bake on the centre rack for 35-40 minutes until bubbly and the top is golden. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

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          I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
          Flaky Jalapeño Cheddar Biscuits

          Flaky Jalapeño Cheddar Biscuits

          Make a better biscuit…

          It’s hard to resist a flaky, buttery biscuit and these Flaky Jalapeño Cheddar Biscuits are tender and flaky.  So good on their own, dunked or piled high with your favourite fillings. The good thing is, they’re easy to make using basic ingredients.  So what makes a good biscuit?  Let’s look at the basics.

          -use quality butter.

          -use fresh baking powder and baking soda, they do EXPIRE!

          -cut butter into flour evenly to ensure a flaky biscuit.

          -do not overwork the dough, once mixed, only knead enough to bring the dough together.  Overworking dough will result in a tougher biscuit.

          -use a sharp cutting tool for the best edges.

          -brush tops and sides with a whisked mixture of egg and cream for a nice golden exterior.

          What’s a biscuit good for?

          By far my favourite thing to do with a flaky biscuit is dunk it into soup, stew or chili.  But, they’re also wonderful as a sandwich.  Especially these Flaky Jalapeño Cheddar Biscuits, because they spread out a little, making them just the right size for a fried egg…just saying!

          Flaky Jalapeno Cheddar Biscuits
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            8-10 4" biscuits 25 minutes
            Cook Time
            18 minutes
            Servings Prep Time
            8-10 4" biscuits 25 minutes
            Cook Time
            18 minutes
            Flaky Jalapeno Cheddar Biscuits
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              8-10 4" biscuits 25 minutes
              Cook Time
              18 minutes
              Servings Prep Time
              8-10 4" biscuits 25 minutes
              Cook Time
              18 minutes
              Ingredients
              Servings: 4" biscuits
              Instructions
              1. Preheat oven to 425℉ and line a large baking tray with parchment.
              2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
              3. Add cubed butter and using a pastry cutter, cut butter into dry ingredients until pea-sized and evenly distributed.
              4. Whisk together buttermilk and one large egg. Add to dry ingredients and stir until just starting to come together. Add grated cheese and diced jalapeno and continue to mix until incorporated being careful not to overmix. It will be a bit of a scraggly mess.
              5. Flour your work surface and dump out the dough. Knead dough a few times to bring everything together. Flatten dough into a 3/4"-1" disk. Using a 3" round cutter, cut out biscuits.
              6. Reform remaining dough and cut out biscuits. Place biscuits on a parchment lined baking tray.
              7. Whisk together one large egg and one tbsp of milk or cream. Brush each biscuit top and sides generoulsly. Bake in preheated oven for about 18 minutes until golden and puffed.
              8. Remove from oven and allow to rest on the tray for 3-5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack. Serve slightly warm.
              Recipe Notes

              -these particular biscuits spread out some and are wonderful sliced as a sandwich.

              -I used a 3" cutter, however for slightly smaller biscuits that would be good for soups or stews a 2 1/2" cutter is probably preferred.

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              I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com