Recipe: Chickpea and Cheddar Quesadillas

Recipe: Chickpea and Cheddar Quesadillas

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Kelli Foster
Aug 11, 2017
(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

If your lunch struggle involves coming up with veggie-friendly options that are filling, easy to make ahead, and a breeze to eat at your desk, this wrapped quesadilla stuffed with cumin-scented chickpeas, gooey melted cheddar, and scallions was made with you in mind.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

Packing Quesadillas for Lunch

To make these quesadillas desk-lunch-friendly, we ditched the classic wedge-cut quesadilla for a technique that keeps the chickpeas and cheese firmly nestled in a fully closed tortilla: the wrapped quesadilla. When assembling, the ingredients are layered in the center of the tortilla, then the edges of the tortilla are closed over the filling in five folds. It's a lot easier to assemble than it might sound, and once you get going you'll see how easy it is to pick up.

This make-ahead lunch will last for about three days in the fridge or up to three months in the freezer. Keep them individually wrapped in foil and they can go straight from the fridge or freezer into the toaster (or regular) oven. It's best to skip microwave reheating since it leaves the quesadilla chewy and soggy.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

Chickpea and Cheddar Quesadillas

Makes 4

2 (15-ounce) cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 large (9- to 10-inch) flour tortillas
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3 medium scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced
Optional toppings: Salsa, guacamole, sour cream, Mexican hot sauce

Add half of the chickpeas to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and pulse until broken down but not puréed. (Alternatively, place in a large bowl and mash with a fork.) Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan (at least 10 inches) over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion, stir to coat with the oil, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the whole and mashed chickpeas, garlic, cumin, chili powder, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Assemble the quesadillas: Place the tortillas on a work surface. Top each tortilla with 1/4 cup of cheese. Divide the chickpea mixture among the tortillas, spreading into an even layer but leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over top of the chickpeas, then top each with scallions.

To fold the quesadillas, fold the top of the tortilla down over the filling to the center. Holding that piece down and working clockwise, continue folding the rest of the tortilla towards the middle until the filling is completely covered (you will have about 5 folds). Carefully flip the quesadilla over and repeat with the remaining tortillas.

Heat a large frying pan or griddle over medium heat. Add the quesadillas (as many as will fit in a single layer), folded-side down. Cook until browned, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Repeat as needed until all the quesadillas are cooked.

Reheating: If not serving immediately, let cool completely and wrap each quesadilla tightly in aluminum foil. Refrigerate or freeze in resealable plastic bags. Reheat uncovered in a 325°F regular or toaster oven until warmed through, about 15 minutes if refrigerated, or about 25 minutes if frozen. Microwaving is not recommended, as the quesadillas will be soggy.

Recipe Notes

  • Storage: The foil-wrapped quesadillas can be stored in a resealable plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
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