Are you looking for a hearty vegetarian quesadilla recipe? These southwest veggie quesadillas are loaded with corn, black beans, onions, peppers, tomatoes, and of course lots of sharp cheddar cheese! These southwest veggie quesadillas are vegetarian, egg free, and nut free. They can also be made dairy free and vegan friendly by replacing the cheese with vegan cheese shreds.
We make these quesadillas with gluten free tortillas so that they are entirely gluten free. If you are looking for gluten free tortillas that never crumble when folded, then we recommend Toufayan gluten free tortillas. If you do not have a gluten intolerance, then you can also use regular flour tortillas to make these southwest veggie quesadillas. No other substitutions are necessary!
What is in southwest veggie quesadillas
What is in these southwest veggie quesadillas? Here are the main ingredients in these southwest veggies quesadillas.
- Tortillas. You will need large burrito-style tortillas or wraps to make these southwest veggie quesadillas. If you are looking for gluten free tortillas that do not crumble or break when they are folded, Toufayan gluten free tortillas are the best of the best.
- Sharp cheddar cheese. Sharp cheddar cheese should be used for these quesadillas. If you cannot find sharp cheddar, you should use another sharp, nutty cheese. If you want to make these southwest veggie quesadillas vegan and dairy free, you should use vegan cheese shreds in place of the sharp cheddar cheese.
- Black beans. Some black beans are added to give these southwest veggie quesadillas a little extra protein. If you do not have black beans, pinto beans would be another great option!
- Corn. Corn is also added to these southwest veggie quesadillas. You can use fresh corn, frozen corn, or canned corn. If you use canned corn, make sure to drain the corn well. If you use fresh corn, make sure to pre-cook the corn before adding it to the quesadillas.
- Onion. The onion is sliced into thin slices and sautéed until it starts to brown. The salt and pepper should be added to the onion before it cooks. The salt helps to draw out water, which allows the onion to cook faster.
- Bell pepper. The bell pepper should be sliced into thin slices and cooked alongside the onion. The bell pepper does not need to cook as long as onion, so it should be added after the onion has already started to cook.
- Tomato. After the onions and bell peppers are most of the way done cooking, some tomatoes are added to the pan.
- Jalapeños. Some jalapeños are also added to these southwest veggie quesadillas. The jalapeños should be added to the quesadillas after the veggies are done cooking so that they remain nice and spicy.
- Cumin, oregano, and black pepper. Some cumin and oregano are used to give these southwest veggie quesadillas even more flavor. Small quantities of spices are used to allow the flavor of the veggies to shine through.
How to make southwest veggie quesadillas
How do you make these southwest veggie quesadillas? Here is how to make these southwest veggie quesadillas.
- Slice the vegetables. The first step in making these southwest veggie quesadillas is slicing the veggies. The onion and bell pepper should be sliced into long, thin strips. The jalapeños should be sliced into thin slices and the tomatoes should be diced into small to medium sized pieces. We highly recommend using a large, high quality chef’s knife to make this step go by faster. This Victorinox chef’s knife is our absolute favorite general purpose kitchen knife. We highly recommend it if you are still using a dull knife to cut your veggies – it is life changing!
- Cook the onions. The onions need to cook longer than the other vegetables, so after you heat up your pan and add the oil, you should add the onion slices to the pan first. You should also add the salt and pepper to the onions as they start to cook.
- Add the bell peppers. After the onions start to lightly brown, it is time to add the bell peppers. Continue to cook the bell peppers until they are nice and tender before adding the other veggies. If you want to get a nice char on your veggies, you can increase the heat to high for the last few minutes of cooking. If you do want to increase the heat, we highly recommend using a cast iron skillet because high heat can damage other types of pans and skillets. We love this cast iron skillet by Victoria Cast Iron because it is sturdy, but not as heavy and unwieldy as other similarly sized skillets.
- Add the rest of the veggies and spices. Once the onions and peppers are done cooking, it is time to add the rest of the veggies. This includes the tomatoes, corn, jalapeños, and black beans. The oregano and cumin should be mixed in with the veggies.
- Assemble the quesadillas. After the vegetables have been cooked, it is time to assemble the quesadillas. Add the cheese and veggies to one half of each tortilla, then fold the other half of the tortilla over the filling.
- Cook the quesadillas. After the quesadillas have been assembled, it is time to cook the quesadillas. The quesadillas should be cooked for a few minutes per side over medium heat until they turn a nice golden brown. We recommend flipping these quesadillas with a spatula as they are heavy and loaded with lots of veggies.
How to store leftover southwest veggie quesadillas
How do you store leftover southwest veggie quesadillas? If you have leftovers after making these southwest veggie quesadillas, we recommend storing the different components of the quesadillas separately. Specifically, we recommend storing the vegetables and beans separate from the tortillas. If you store fully assembled quesadillas, the juices from the vegetables will seep into the tortillas and make them soggy.
The vegetable mixture should be stored in airtight food storage containers in the refrigerator. The vegetables will keep in the refrigerator for about 3 days. The tortillas and cheese can be left in the bags they came in until you are ready to assemble the quesadillas.
How to reheat southwest veggie quesadilla
How do you reheat these southwest veggie quesadillas? There are a few ways to reheat these southwest veggie quesadillas.
- Assemble the quesadillas and cook them on the stovetop. If you store the veggies for these southwest veggie quesadillas separately and assemble the quesadillas when you are ready to eat them, you will need to cook the quesadillas on the stove to get them nice and crispy. You should cook the quesadillas over medium heat in vegetable oil for 3 – 5 minutes as described in the main recipe. You may want to microwave the vegetables for a minute or two beforehand to give them a head start on getting warmed up.
- Cook pre-assembled quesadillas on the stove. If you do assemble your quesadillas prior to putting them in the refrigerator, we highly recommend heating the quesadillas on the stove top. This will help to crisp up the tortillas, which is especially important if the tortillas have been absorbing juices from the vegetables. We recommend cooking the quesadillas over medium low heat for 5 – 7 minutes then increasing the temperature to medium heat and cooking them for another few minutes. This should give them enough time that the vegetables inside the quesadillas get heated throughout.
- Microwave pre-assembled quesadillas. As a final option, you can also microwave the fully assembled southwest veggie quesadillas on full power for 1 – 2 minutes. If you reheat these quesadillas in the microwave, the tortillas are likely to get soggy. That being said, the quesadillas will still taste great!
Southwest veggie quesadillas
- 4 gluten free tortillas (large burrito-style tortillas or wraps)
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 onion
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 jalapeño
- 1 tomato
- 1 cup black beans
- 1 cup corn
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- vegetable oil
- Slice the onion and bell pepper into long, thin strips. Slice the jalapeño into thin slices and dice the tomatoes into small to medium sized pieces.
- Heat a pan over medium to medium high heat and add some vegetable oil. Add the onions along with 1/4 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of black pepper. Cook the onions for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the bell peppers to the pan with the onions and cook the veggies for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you want to get a little extra char on your veggies, you can increase the heat to high for a few minutes at the end. We only recommend doing this if you are cooking your veggies in a cast iron skillet. High temperatures can damage other types of pans and skillets.
- Add the corn, beans, tomatoes, and jalapeño to the pan with the veggies. Add the cumin and oregano to the veggies then mix it all together.
- Assemble the quesadillas one at a time by laying out a tortilla and covering half of the tortilla with a mixture of cheese and veggies. Fold the other side of the tortilla over the cheese and veggies.
- Heat a pan over medium heat then add some vegetable oil. Cook the assembled quesadillas for 3 - 5 minutes per side until they are a nice golden brown color. Make sure to use a large spatula or similar utensil to flip and transport the quesadillas. They will be heavy and a little unwieldy if you are not carrying them on a sturdy base.
- Transfer the quesadillas to a paper towel to absorb any excess oil then salt the outsides of the quesadillas.
Substitutions for southwest veggie quesadillas
- Gluten free tortillas. If you do not have a gluten intolerance, then you can also use regular flour tortillas or wraps to make these southwest veggie quesadillas.
- Sharp cheddar cheese. If you want to make these southwest veggie quesadillas vegan friendly and dairy free, you should replace the sharp cheddar cheese with vegan cheese shreds.
- Black beans. If you do not have black beans, you could also use pinto beans to make these southwest veggie quesadillas.
Other recipes you will love
Are you looking for another quesadilla recipe that is made with sautéed peppers and onions? Check out this recipe for poblano quesadillas! These quesadillas are made with creamy pepper jack cheese.
Are you looking for something a little more creamy? Check out this recipe for guacamole quesadillas! These tasty quesadillas are stuffed with homemade guacamole and creamy monterey jack cheese.