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
      Cherry Salsa

      Cherry Salsa

      Cherry Salsa tops three goat cheese crostini on a wooden serving board.

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      Cherry Salsa is sweet, spicy and delicious on goat cheese crostini, baked Brie, chicken cutlets or grilled meats. Simplicity is good and this quick and easy recipe can be ready for guests without much fuss. The dried cherries offer a nice texture to the salsa and the freshly chopped jalapenos, lime and vinegar balance the cherry jam. It’s so good!

      Ingredients for Cherry Salsa arranged on and around a wooden cutting board with a bowl of dried cherries in the background.

      My favourite way to eat this lovely Cherry Salsa is dabbed on crisp crostini smeared with goat cheese. The tang and creaminess of the goat cheese make it a great pairing with the salsa and the combo makes for an easy company friendly appetizer. Another great way to use Cherry Salsa is as a baked brie topping. Simply spoon the salsa onto your hot baked brie and serve with crisp crackers, crostini or crudites. I originally found this Cherry Salsa paired up pecan-crusted chicken wings. I’ve prepared pecan-crusted chicken cutlets in the past and thought this would also be a wonderful way to use the salsa in a main course. I was not disappointed as the crunchy, nutty cutlets beg for the sweet, spiciness that the salsa offers. The recipe for pecan-crusted chicken cutlets will be coming to the blog soon, so be sure to check back.

      Looking for more company friendly appetizers?

      Tomato Confit

      Scallops with Tarragon Cream Sauce

      Miso Shrimp

      Author: Compelled to Cook, adapted from Food.com

      Cherry Salsa tops three goat cheese crostini on a wooden serving board.
      Cherry Salsa
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        1 cup 20 minutes
        Passive Time
        30+ minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        1 cup 20 minutes
        Passive Time
        30+ minutes
        Cherry Salsa tops three goat cheese crostini on a wooden serving board.
        Cherry Salsa
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          1 cup 20 minutes
          Passive Time
          30+ minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          1 cup 20 minutes
          Passive Time
          30+ minutes
          Ingredients
          Servings: cup
          Instructions
          1. Chop dried cherries and combine with cherry jam in a mini food processor or blender. Pulse several times until cherries are about the size of a pea or smaller. Add remaining ingredients and pulse 2-3 times to combine.
          2. Scoop into a serving dish, cover and chill for at least 30 minutes to meld flavours. Use as a topping for crostini, baked brie, breaded chicken cutlets or grilled meats.
          Recipe Notes

          -I find there is a need to first chop the cherries before adding to the food processor because everything becomes too processed in the time it takes the dried cherries to break down.  By chopping the cherries first, the mixture retains most of its texture yet everything is combined.

          -If a food processor is not available, simply chop everything by hand and combine.

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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
          Beef Taco Crostada

          Beef Taco Crostada

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          Beef Taco Crostada is tasty and fun with flaky pastry, taco seasoned beef and endless topping options.  It’s like a taco pie without the pie plate.  For convenience, you could use purchased pie dough but I’m partial to finding the time to make my own, especially this one, because of the added maize (corn flour).  Since corn flour is gluten-free the pastry is very tender because there is less gluten than if you used all regular flour.  Corn flour also has a nice fine texture which aids in a lighter, flakier crust as well.  

          Ground beef cooked with taco seasoning, onions, peppers and black beans in a cream coloured cast iron skillet ready for Beef Taco Crostada.

          The ground beef is cooked with onions and green pepper and then seasoned with a taco seasoning blend for flavour and spiciness. Black beans add texture, fibre and Mexican flair. Cheddar cheese brings everything together.  The fun comes adding a variety of toppings to suit your taste.  I happen to like shredded lettuce, green onions, avocado, cilantro and sour cream.  Other options may include salsa, jalapenos, guacamole, tomato, red onion and black olives. Go crazy with the toppings and enjoy it, it’s a fun family meal.

          A wedge of Beef Taco Crostada topped with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, avocado and sour cream.

          Beef Taco Crostada
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            4 people 40-45 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            35 minutes 1 hour
            Servings Prep Time
            4 people 40-45 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            35 minutes 1 hour
            Beef Taco Crostada
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              4 people 40-45 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              35 minutes 1 hour
              Servings Prep Time
              4 people 40-45 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              35 minutes 1 hour
              Ingredients
              Pastry
              Taco Meat
              Servings: people
              Instructions
              Pastry
              1. Combine flours and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter chunks until pea-size or smaller. Drizzle with 4-5 tbsp of cold water and the vinegar tossing with a fork until dough becomes scraggly. Add another tbsp of cold water if necessary. Turn mixture out onto a clean work surface and knead until dough comes together. Form into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
              Taco Meat
              1. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion and green pepper and sauté over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add ground beef and continue to cook until beef is no longer pink and has started to brown, breaking up beef chunks as it cooks. Remove from heat and dab out any excess fat with a paper towel.
              2. Return to medium heat and add spices and water, stirring to combine. Allow mixture to come to a simmer and cook uncovered until most of the moisture has evaporated, about 10 minutes.
              3. Remove from heat and stir in beans and half of the cheese.
              4. Preheat oven to 375°F and line a large baking tray with parchment.
              5. Roll dough into a 14" circle that will be about 1/8" thick. Fold dough in half and move to your prepared baking tray.
              6. Spread beef mixture in the centre of the dough leaving a 1 1/2"-2" boarder of dough. Fold the dough boarder up and over the beef mixture, crimping the dough slightly as you go.
              7. Whisk egg with a tbsp of water and brush onto exposed pastry edge. Bake for about 35 minutes until pastry is golden.
              8. Remove from oven and top centre with remaining cheese. Cut into wedges and serve with desired toppings.
              Recipe Notes

              -The pastry can be made up to a day in advance and kept chilled until ready to use.

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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