There's no worse experience than turning up to a cookout and discovering that there's no vegan option available. For vegetarians, it's a little easier - they can usually grab a cheese and onion vegetarian quesadilla - but if it's not made with vegan cheese, it's not much comfort for the vegans.
If you're catering for vegan guests and you're planning a Mexican themed meal, these vegan quesadillas are the perfect dish to ensure your guests feel welcome and provided for. For an extra special treat, prepare your own tortillas the traditional way, using a tortilla press and following our or corn tortilla recipe.
To get started, begin by preparing the veggie quesadilla filling. Take your canned black beans and sweetcorn and use a sieve to drain off all the excess water. Mix the beans and corn together in a mixing bowl and place it to one side.
Next, heat up a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan or skillet and add your chopped onion and garlic. Mix in the cayenne pepper (you can increase or decrease the amount depending on how spicy you would like your vegan quesadillas to be) along with the cumin and continue to cook the mixed ingredients until such a point as the onions are soft and translucent.
Once the onions are done, add the black bean and sweetcorn mixture to the pan and combine all the ingredients. Continue to gently sautee the filling until the beans and corn are warmed through. Season the pan with salt and pepper according to your preference, and set the mixture aside.
To make the guacamole, mash your ripe avocados with a fork (you can decide how smooth or chunky you would like the finished guacamole to be), add the freshly squeezed lime juice, and season with salt and pepper. You may wish to add a clove of finely minced garlic to your guacamole, but as we have included garlic in the filling, it's not absolutely necessary.
Clean and dry your pan, and place it back over a medium to high heat on the stovetop. Add one of the tortillas and toast it for a few seconds on each side until it is browned slightly and becomes more pliable. Add a couple of spoons of the black bean and corn mix to one side of the tortilla, and top this with a spoon of guacamole, and then a sprinkling of the shredded vegan cheese.
Roll the other side of the tortilla over to cover the filling, and press it down gently with a spoon so that it sticks to the mixture and won't fall open. Toast each of your vegan quesadillas one after the other for two munites per side, or until they are toasted to your liking.
If you prefer to use the oven, this recipe also works well for a baked quesadilla. Instead of toasting, wrap the vegan quesadillas in aluminum foil and bake in the oven on an oven-safe skillet for around 20 minutes at 350 ºF.
Cut each of the vegan quesadillas into three pieces and serve with a selection of dips. Soured cream (the vegan version, of course!) is a popular one, as well as salsa, hot sauce, and pico de gallo. Vegan quesadillas also go well with a green salad, potato salad, or rice.
Switch out the wheat flour tortillas for traditional Mexican style ones, for a corn tortilla quesadilla.
You can add rice to the black bean and corn mix if you want to bulk out the filling for a heartier version of these vegan quesadillas. Simply precook some white rice or Mexican red rice and mix in with the beans and corn once you have drained them.
For some extra flavor, add chopped green or red bell peppers to the pan along with the onions and sautee until soft. You can also add chili peppers if you want to increase the heat of your vegan quesadillas - but be sure to warn your guests before they bite into them. If you're making a mix of hot and not so hot vegan quesadillas, use cocktail sticks to mark out the really spicy ones, so you don't serve the wrong one to the wrong person!
If you're just looking for a vegetarian quesadilla recipe, rather than making strictly vegan quesadillas, you can follow the steps above but use dairy cheese, as well as regular soured cream. Monterey Jack, sharp cheddar or mozzarella all work well, but make sure the brand you buy is made with vegetarian rennet, not animal rennet.