Smoky White Bean Quesadillas {Vegan}

I usually try to avoid quesadillas when going out to eat because whenever I think of them, I think of LOTS of greasy cheese.  This “veganized” version of veggie quesadillas has a smoky white bean “paste” that packs a punch of flavor & heat so you won’t miss the cheese at all.


One of the great things about making quesadillas at home is that you have the flexibility to fold in whatever you want.  I usually use this as an opportunity to add in as many vegetables as possible but for this particular version, I kept it pretty simple.


I chose to saute some kale and cook up some onions until they were nice and caramelized.  I thought the smokiness of the kale and the sweetness of the onions would be a nice combo when layered on top of the tart, flavorful bean paste.


I was right!  These were a success and one that my meat-eating husband requests regularly.  Feel free to switch up the veggies or to even try out different beans in the sauce.


Smoky White Bean Quesadillas {Vegan}         


  • 1 15oz can of white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 8oz can of tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup Nutritional Yeast
  • ½ tsp Liquid Smoke
  • 2 cloves of Garlic
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp ground Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1 medium Yellow Onion, sliced
  • 2 cups packed Kale, leaves torn and stems discarded
  • 6 Whole Wheat Tortillas
  • 1 Avocado, sliced (optional)
  • 1 TBSP fresh Cilantro, chopped (optional)


Combine the drained white beans, tomato sauce, nutritional yeast, liquid smoke, garlic cloves, salt and cayenne pepper in your food processor and blend until smooth.  In a medium skillet, heat 1 TBSP of olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and sauté until caramelized, about 10 minutes.  Remove the onions from the skillet and place in a bowl for use later.  In the same skillet, heat the remaining 1 TBSP of olive oil and add the torn kale leaves.  Cook the kale until it is bright green and just starting to brown.  Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Heat a large, flat-bottomed skillet sprayed with cooking spray, over medium heat.  Add one tortilla and top half of one side with white bean paste, sautéed kale and caramelized onions.  Fold the tortilla in half by flipping the “empty” side on top of the filling (you can start on the next quesadilla in the other half of the skillet at this point.  Cook until the bottom side starts to brown, about 4 minutes.  Using a large spatula, carefully flip the quesadilla over and cook the other side an additional 4 minutes or so.  Continue this process until all tortillas and fillings have been used.  Transfer the quesadillas to a plate, cut in half and top with sliced avocado & fresh cilantro.

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