Black Bean and Spinach Quesadillas are a fast and delicious meal for busy weeknights. They’re jam packed with nutrients and paired with a creamy and flavorful cumin crème fraîche sauce for dipping.
Why is it that I don’t think more often to make quesadillas? I mean, could they be any easier to make? Tortilla. Cheese. Other stuff. Done.
We recently had a bunch of spinach hanging out in the fridge which needed to be used up before it hit that “omg I can’t believe I forgot about the spinach again” point as well as a few tortillas in the pantry from some baked chicken burritos that got devoured for dinner one night.
And since we always always always have a can of black beans in the pantry, these black bean and spinach quesadillas with toasted cumin seed crema came together one night in a snap. You could certainly season the filling with some cumin, chili powder, or taco seasoning but surprisingly, I opted not to add any seasoning.
The natural and clean flavor of the spinach, beans, and extra sharp cheddar I added really came through really nicely in these quesadillas without any extra flavorings.
An Unforgettable Dipping Sauce
A little bit of flavor flair comes with the toasted cumin seed crema I made for dipping those cheesy triangles. While it takes a tiny bit longer to toast the cumin seeds in a pan, whir them into a powder, and stir into crème fraîche the extra effort goes a long way.
This cool and creamy sauce was devoured equally as quickly as the quesadillas were!
I’m always enamored with how quick weeknight meals like these black bean and spinach quesadillas always pack such a punch and leave such a lasting impression, and I’m equally enamored with how happy this one makes both of us.
More Spinach Recipes
If you love spinach as much as I do, let me point you in the direction of a few other recipes here on the site.
First is Steakhouse Creamed Spinach and if you’re a spinach fan – even just a little bit – you’ll adore this classic side dish. Made with whole ingredients and topped with crispy shallots, you’ll want to make this STAT along with your next steak and twice baked potato.
Sun-dried tomato pesto and garlicky spinach top these Sausage Burgers to make a phenomenal change to your typical burger night.
Egg casseroles are a big thing in my house, especially around the holidays, and this Caramelized Onion and Spinach Egg Casserole is always a winner!
For the toasted cumin seed crema:
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 8 oz (1 cup) creme fraiche or sour cream
For the quesadillas:
- Unsalted butter
- 10-12 flour tortillas, homemade or store-bought
- 5 oz fresh spinach
- 1 (14oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- To make the toasted cumin seed crema: Toast the cumin seeds in a small pan over medium heat, swirling them around in the pan, until they become fragrant and just start to pop. Transfer the seeds to a spice grinder and allow them to cool for 5 minutes. Grind the seeds into a powder. Stir into the creme fraiche/sour cream. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- To make the quesadillas: Preheat oven to 200° F and place a baking sheet on the middle rack.
- Melt the butter in a 12-inch non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Place a tortilla into the pan and layer on a few pinches-ful of cheese (a couple tablespoons), ¼ cup black beans, a good handful of spinach, and some extra cheese on top (this will help the top tortilla to stick to the filling. Add a second tortilla to the top of the filling, pressing down slightly. Allow the bottom tortilla to brown for a couple minutes then carefully flip the whole quesadilla over and allow the second tortilla to brown as well. When the [now] bottom tortilla is browned and the cheese is melty, transfer the quesadilla to the warm baking sheet in the oven. Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients, adding some extra butter to the skillet when needed.
- Cut the quesadilla into wedges and serve hot with the toasted cumin seed crema for dipping.
Smells Like Home original recipe | toasted cumin seed sour cream adapted from Smitten Kitchen