Vegetarian Southwest chickpea quesadillas get an added punch of protein from plain Greek yogurt. I make these at least every other week, and they’re so easy to customize!
They also happen to be part of my first ever 5×5 meal prep plan. Mix and match five main ingredients to create at least five or more easy meals and snacks.
For someone who never really loved to cook, it’s been a game changer. It’s easy, flexible, and has helped us slash our grocery budget and majorly reduce food waste at the same time.
Cooking has actually become enjoyable!
The five main ingredients used for this 5×5 meal plan are spicy Italian sausage, kale, garbanzo beans, and tortillas. Check out the other 5×5 meal plan recipes or drop your email here for the fall and winter 5×5 meal prep plan PDF sent straight to your inbox.
Ingredients for Southwest Chickpea Quesadillas
This vegetarian quesadilla recipe uses three of the five ingredients from the 5×5 meal plan, plus a few other pantry and fridge staples that we always have on hand.
- garbanzo beans
- pepper jack cheese
- plain, whole fat Greek yogurt
- spices: chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, and salt
Southwestern foods often feature corn, cilantro, tomatoes, jalapeños, and avocados. Any of those would be yummy additions if they’re hanging out in the fridge waiting to be used up.
How to use Chickpeas in a Quesadilla
Chickpeas need to be rinsed, drained and somewhat dried before the cooking process. I like to do this ahead of time at the beginning of the week, so they’re ready to go by the day I need them.
I’ll store them in an airtight container until then.
Some recipes recommend mashing chickpeas with a fork or potato masher before mixing in the other ingredients. I leave them whole because it’s easier.
If you prefer more of a mashed or refried bean texture, feel free to mash them. Same with other beans. For larger beans, I may mash them a bit for a more even consistency with the other ingredients.
Make it Vegan
Just two swaps, and this recipe gets a vegan makeover. Sub out pepper jack cheese and Greek yogurt with dairy free alternatives.
It’s easier than ever to find dairy free cheese and Greek yogurt in most major grocery stores. Sometimes vegan products have their own refrigerated section, and other times they’re all mixed together with conventional products.
How to Make Chickpea Quesadillas
Weeknight meals really can’t get easier.
It’s as simple as mixing the ingredients together, dividing the mixture between four quesadillas, then fold over and cook.
Cook in a non-stick or oiled skillet for about 4 minutes on each side (or until slightly browned and internal contents are heated).
Serve these with your favorite salsa on the side for a satisfying flavor kick!
How to Store Chickpea Quesadillas
These quesadillas will keep for up to four days in an airtight container in the fridge. They will also keep in the freezer for up to three months or so in an airtight container.
It’s best to reheat them in a skillet for a crispier tortilla, but a microwave can get the job done as well.
How to Make this Recipe even Lower Waste
Creating less waste in the kitchen isn’t always easy or convenient, but it usually means saving more money (and lowers our environmental impact).
- Buy dried chickpeas in bulk. It reduces packaging waste and it’s more cost effective. One cup of dried chickpeas expands to 3.5 cups when it’s cooked. That’s over twice the amount that comes in a can, and the cost is basically the same.
- Choose loose bunches of kale instead of the pre-chopped version in plastic bags. The convenience factor often raises the price per ounce!
- Buy the block of cheese and shred it yourself. You can even take it to go in your own container. Just ask the attendant to weigh out the amount you need and have them put it in your container.
- Make your own tortillas. (If you make your own, you’re my hero. I’m not nearly on that level.)
If you don’t have access to grocery stores that carry bulk ingredients, or the extra time to prep the ingredients yourself, that’s totally okay. There are plenty of other ways to reduce kitchen and food waste.Print
Protein Packed Southwest Chickpea Quesadillas
These high protein Southwest Chickpea Quesadillas are filled with flavor and make an easy and healthy-ish weeknight dinner.
- Prep Time: 7 minutes
- Cook Time: 8 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Meals under $5
1 15 oz. can of chickpeas (or 1.5 cups)
2 cups kale, de-stemmed and chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup whole fat Greek yogurt
4 ounce pepperjack cheese, shredded (approximately 1 cup)
4 (8 inch) flour tortillas
- Rinse and drain the garbanzo beans. Once well drained, transfer them to a bowl and add the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and salt. Stir to combine.
- Roughly chop kale into smaller pieces. Add the kale, pepperjack cheese, and Greek yogurt to the bowl with the bean mixture, then stir to combine.
- Divide the kale and bean mixture between the four tortillas, then fold them in half to close.
- Cook the quesadillas, one or two at a time, in a skillet over medium heat until the tortillas are brown and crispy and the filling is melted and gooey (3-5 minutes each side).
- Cut the quesadillas in half, then serve with a side of your favorite salsa.
For crispier quesadillas, add a half teaspoon of avocado oil or preferred oil to skillet before cooking.
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