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I realize that this node title is a bit redundant, given that all quesadillas contain cheese by definition. My apologies. That said, I made this for lunch today, and it was a quick, tasty, warm vegetarian snack of a meal.

What you need:

  1. flour tortillas (any size, as long as they fit in your frying pan, and as many as you plan to make quesadillas)
  2. beans (I used the leftover refried bean/black bean burrito filling mixture that was in my fridge, but any combination of cooked kidney beans (red or black), pinto beans, or refried beans will probably do just fine)
  3. cheese (I used mozzarella, asiago, and cheddar but whatever kind of cheese you have on hand and would use to make a grilled cheese sandwich is fine; no need to get any more fancy than you want.)
  4. a frying pan

What You Do

Put a tortilla in the frying pan and turn the burner to low or medium heat. The hotter you cook it, the faster things get done, but more heat also makes you more likely to burn your quesadilla to a crisp. So go with your instincts here.

Grate or slice a little cheese onto the tortilla---I started with the mozzarella, because it melts pretty quickly. ("A little" means you should definitely be able to see plenty of tortilla under/through/in between the cheese.

Next, spread a layer of beans on half of the tortilla (I only put toppings on one half to make it easier to fold the quesadilla; if you're more macho than me you may be able to spread the filling over the whole thing, but I know I'd make a terrible mess of it). This is the hard part, or at least the messy part, if you're using refried beans straight out of the fridge, since they're all cold and congealed and don't really respond well to spreading efforts, stick to the cheese, and all that. Whole beans would probably be easier to work with, but I digress. The layer should be around one bean-width (i.e. maybe a quarter-inch/half-centimeter) thick. Use more beans if you're only covering half the tortilla or really like beans, less if you're covering the entire tortilla or don't really like beans.

When the bean layer is done to your satisfaction, completely cover it with grated or sliced cheese, using considerably more cheese than was used in the first layer. I used a combination of cheddar and asiago at this point, but again, use whatever you've got.

Finally, fold the tortilla in half. This is easy to do if you've only put beans and cheese on one side, and somewhat messier otherwise. Heat for maybe a minute, then turn and let the other side get crispy as well. When both sides of the quesadilla are browned and the beans are warm in the middle (you can really only find this out by taking a bite), it's ready to eat.

This makes one quesadilla and takes less than five minutes total time to prepare. If you've never made grilled cheese or a quesadilla before, you might burn one, but that's ok; all the ingredients are relatively cheap and, like everything else, these get easier with practice. You could, if you were feeling fancy, use more complicated fillings than just beans, maybe adding shredded chicken, as many of the recipes in quesadilla suggest, or sautéed onions or sliced tomato or salsa, but I'll leave that for you to experiment with. Enjoy!

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