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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Meaty Black Bean Chili

Meaty Black Bean Chili

Meaty Black Bean Chili

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

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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      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
          Meaty Baked Pasta

          Meaty Baked Pasta

          Well, baked pasta is far from anything new.  This little version is my own yet very similar to many that are out there.  It’s more of a reminder of how wonderful a baked pasta can be.  There are a few steps involved so I wouldn’t call it the best weeknight meal.  However, Meaty Baked Pasta is just what the family calls for on the weekend.  

          With this pasta casserole, you will find a meaty sauce that includes ground beef and Italian sausage, a light and creamy ricotta cheese layer that helps to balance the acid in the tomato sauce.  More sauce hugged pasta with chunks of tomato that is broiled oozy with mozzarella and parmesan.  It’s the kind of dish you know you should stop eating, but just can’t.

          It serves many with even a few leftovers.  If planning ahead, you may want to assemble in two casserole dishes, bake one and freeze the other for a later meal when time is not your friend. 

          Meaty Baked Pasta is homey, satisfying and best of all cheesy!  It’s not diet friendly, so I won’t pretend that it is.  Everything in moderation, right?  Enjoy!

          Meaty Baked Pasta is hot and cheesy from the oven in a blue casserole dish with handles. There is a serving spoon half tucked into the pasta. The dish rests on a cork pot holder that is draped with a white and navy towel. Fresh basil sits in the background.
          Meaty Baked Pasta
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            8-10 people 40 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            40 minutes 5 minutes
            Servings Prep Time
            8-10 people 40 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            40 minutes 5 minutes
            Meaty Baked Pasta is hot and cheesy from the oven in a blue casserole dish with handles. There is a serving spoon half tucked into the pasta. The dish rests on a cork pot holder that is draped with a white and navy towel. Fresh basil sits in the background.
            Meaty Baked Pasta
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              8-10 people 40 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              40 minutes 5 minutes
              Servings Prep Time
              8-10 people 40 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              40 minutes 5 minutes
              Ingredients
              Servings: people
              Instructions
              1. Heat olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until starting to soften, stirring often.
              2. Add ground beef and Italian sausage. Cook until browned and no longer pink, breaking apart any large chunks and stirring often. Dab out any excess fat with a paper towel.
              3. To the meat add marinara sauce, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and chili flakes.
              4. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally for 20- 25 minutes to meld flavours.
              5. While meat sauce is simmering, cook pasta according to package directions using well-salted water. (about 1 tbsp regular salt to 4 litres of water). Drain pasta and set aside.
              6. Preheat oven to 350℉.
              7. In a small bowl stir together ricotta, half of the mozzarella, half of the parmesan, dried basil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
              8. Lightly spray a 9"x13" casserole dish with non stick spray. Add half the cooked pasta and half of the meat sauce to the casserole dish. Stir to combine. Spread with ricotta cheese mixture.
              9. To the pot with the remaining pasta add remaining meat sauce. Stir to combine and pour over ricotta cheese layer. Top with remaining half of mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
              10. Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes until bubbly. Broil for 2-3 to blister the cheese. Remove and allow to rest 3-5 minutes prior to serving.

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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
              Chili Tortilla Roll Ups

              Chili Tortilla Roll Ups

              Do you love crispy finger food?

              I do!  Chili Tortilla Rolls are perfect for any game day being crispy, cheesy and hearty enough for a gathering of game day fans.  

              These tasty rolls can be made up ahead of time and cooked when you need them for a nice crisp exterior.  Once assembled they also freeze well and will keep in a sealed container for up to a month.  They’re also a great way to use up leftover chili that you might have.  I have included a thick chili to use for these rolls, but any hearty chili can be used. 

              Served with the little extras like guacamole, sour cream and salsa makes them a game day hit. 

              Looking for other finger food snacks?

              Check out these great recipes!

              Catalina Wings

              Buttermilk Ranch Onion Rings

              Jalapeño Rings with Cumin Dip

              Chili Tortilla Roll Ups
              Print Recipe
                Servings
                20 rolls
                Servings
                20 rolls
                Chili Tortilla Roll Ups
                Print Recipe
                  Servings
                  20 rolls
                  Servings
                  20 rolls
                  Ingredients
                  Servings: rolls
                  Instructions
                  1. In a medium pot or dutch oven heat oil over medium heat. Add chopped onions and green pepper and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in garlic, chili powders and cumin and continue to cook for 1 minute.
                  2. Add ground beef and cook until beef is browned, stirring occasionally and breaking apart the chunks.
                  3. Stir in remaining ingredients and allow to simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes to meld falvours. Chili should be relatively thick, but add a tablespoon or two of water if needed.
                  4. Place one tortilla shell on a flat surface and spread with approximately 3 tbsp of chili leaving a 1" border around. Top with 1 tbsp of cheese. Moisten the top inch of the tortilla with water. Starting from the bottom, roll tortilla shell up a third of the way. Fold in sides 1 1-1/2" and continue to roll forward, enclosing all the chili in a tubular shape.
                  5. Continue with remaining shells, chili and cheese until all have been rolled.
                  6. Using a 2" skillet or shallow pot, add enough canola oil to come up 1". Heat over medium until hot. Place about 6 chili rolls in hot oil with seam side down (don't overcrowd). Cook for about 2 minutes until golden. Flip and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove with tongs to a paper towel lined plate to absorb excess oil. Cut in half diagonally and serve with guacamole, salsa and sour cream if desired.

                  Affiliate Disclosure

                  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