I know, I know … vegan quesadillas are lacking what’s usually a pretty important quesadilla ingredient: CHEESE! And I fully admit that I have been a bit pouty about that now and then, as someone who needs to eat very little dairy but reallllly misses cheese.
But after coming up with these Chipotle Butternut Squash & Black Bean Quesadillas, I’m not quesadilla-pouty anymore. Not even a little bit.
These vegan quesadillas are so full of flavor! Butternut squash is tossed with minced chipotles and then roasted, for a smoky-spicy-golden one-two flavor punch. Seriously, it’s worth some additional time to roast your butternut squash. Roasting brings out the squash’s natural sugars, caramelizing them into a sweet and nutty situation. So good.
Once that roasted butternut squash is smashed onto your tortilla, add a good amount of black beans. Protein and fiber, baby! I love to use these Supremely Delicious Black Beans from Scratch – my fave. And then – super important – give the whole thing a good squeeze of lime before adding the top tortilla.
I have honestly never watched the Netflix show “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat,” but I feel pretty good about that combo going on right here.
So what is it about these vegan quesadillas that make me forget the cheese? That mashed roasted butternut squash! It really lends a creamy factor that makes me forget all about cheese.
The cherry on top of the situation is this Avocado Crema Sauce. OMG – dip that quesadilla wedge into a big vat of sauce and mmmmmmm.
(By the way, you can totally add vegan cheese – or cheese-cheese for the dairy-eaters! – to these if you absolutely want to. My fave that I tried when testing these quesadillas is the vegan pepper jack by Miyokos. But seriously – they really don’t need it!)
Vegan Chipotle Butternut Squash & Black Bean Quesadillas
Roasted Chipotle Butternut Squash
- 3 cups cubed butternut squash (about 1/2 of a small butternut squash; roughly 3/4-inch cubes)
- 2 tablespoons chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced (from a 7-ounce can of chipotle peppers in adobo; save the rest for another use)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 8 flour tortillas
- 1 batch roasted chipotle butternut squash
- 1 1/2 cups black beans
- 1 each lime (halved, for squeezing over the filling before cooking)
- 4 tablespoons olive, vegetable, or canola oil
- avocado crema or your favorite salsa for serving
Make the Roasted Chipotle Butternut Squash
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place cubed butternut squash in a medium bowl and add minced chipotles in adobo, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss until chipotle is well-distributed. Pour squash onto a large rimmed baking sheet and spread into a single layer. Place in oven.Bake, stirring once or twice, 25-30 minutes until fork-tender and golden in places. Pull from oven and set aside.
Assemble and Cook the Quesadillas
- Place a large saute pan over medium heat to warm up while you assemble your first quesadilla.
- To assemble the quesadillas, lay out one flour tortilla. Add 1/4 of the squash. Using a fork, mash the squash. Add 1/4 of the beans. Squeeze some lime juice over the beans and squash and cover with the second tortilla, pressing down to help the quesadilla hold together. Repeat with remaining three quesadillas.
- Cook, one at a time. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the hot pan. Use a spatula/turner to distribute the oil around the entire surface of the pan. When the oil is hot, carefully transfer the quesadilla to the pan and cook until the tortilla is puffed and golden, then flip, cooking the other side until puffed and golden.
- Use the spatula to transfer the quesadilla to a cutting board and, using a chef's knife, cut into wedges. Transfer to a plate and serve with avocado crema or salsa.