First off- thank you all so much for your support on my new venture, it means so much to me! After such a super long post though, I think we need to get right back into the food.
Mexican food rarely happens on purpose in our household for some reason. We always have avocados and black beans, which we use for various other dishes, but rarely for the purpose of making say… quesadillas. After purchasing ingredients to make nachos last week in honor of the Superbowl (yes, we ate Superbowl food even though we didn’t actually watch it), we were left with many of the typical ingredients needed for Mexican food. These quesadillas were simply the outcome of those leftovers, but they were so delicious, I intentionally bought the same ingredients to make them again this week. This batch features a combo of black beans and chicken, but the ones I made last week included avocado, not chicken. I have to admit, I liked the avocado batch better! Nonetheless, this version is quite tasty, too.
Have you ever noticed how avocado is always a topping for Mexican dishes but never featured inside the dish?Why is that? I find it so, so good! Enjoy!
Smashed Black Bean & Spicy Chicken Quesadillas
Makes 4 entrée portion servings
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 8 whole wheat tortillas
- 2 cups grated Monterey Jack (or whatever you have on hand)
- 1 cup diced cherry tomatoes
- pickled jalapeños and hot sauce (optional)
- salsa and sour cream for serving
Prep your ingredients: Set a medium size frying pan to medium high(ish) heat. Place a bit of vegetable oil in the bottom of the pan and let the pan warm up for 5 minutes. While the pan is heating, mix together all spices and liberally coat each side of both chicken breasts. Once pan has heated, put the chicken in the pan and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side depending on how thick your meat is. Once cooked, shred chicken into bite size pieces.
Place your black beans in a large bowl and mash them roughly with the back of a fork (they don’t need to be completely smooth).
Assemble the quesadillas: Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Place a large baking sheet inside the oven.
Place one tortilla in a large frying pan. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of cheese, a quarter of the chicken, and a quarter of the diced tomatoes. Top with hot sauce and pickled jalapeños if desired. Take another tortilla, and press the smashed beans into a single layer. Place that tortilla on top of the one in the pan. Place a dinner plate on top of the tortilla, along with something heavy like other canned goods, to press down the quesadilla. Bring the heat to medium and let cook for 7 minutes. Flip and let cook for 5 minutes on the other side. Place quesadilla in oven to keep warm while preparing remaining quesadillas. Cut and serve once all are cooked.