Breakfast Quesadilla with Black Beans and Eggs

Family-FriendlyFreezer-friendlyQuick and EasyQuesadilla

Breakfast quesadillas are the ultimate quick, easy breakfast. Just scramble some eggs and beans, fold them into a tortilla with cheese, and cook until crispy. Make a whole batch and freeze some for a quick meal on the go!

Photography Credit: Sally Vargas

Comfort food comes in different forms for different people. For example, my husband, who is Latino, turns to scrambled eggs and tortillas when he has a hankering for a Sunday breakfast or a late-night snack. You really can’t knock that idea, but you could take it even further in the form of breakfast quesadillas!

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WHAT IS A BREAKFAST QUESADILLA?

These quesadillas are what I would call ‘bonus’ quesadillas: they’re not only cheesy but have a bonus bump of protein with scrambled eggs and black beans. Mild green chiles add lots of flavor, and if you are feeling spicy in the morning, add jalapeños and cilantro to the mix. On top of that, they are vegetarian, so if you are cutting your meat consumption these days, you’ll love these.

They are especially handy if you want a quick protein breakfast before heading out the door in the morning. But in our house, we might have them for a snack by themselves or with a bowl of soup or a salad for an easy supper. Any way you cut it, these make an easy meal, morning, noon, or night!

Baked simple breakfast quesadillas on a wood cutting board with cilantro, black beans and scrambled eggs visible inside. The quesadillas are partially stacked and two forks and a blue linen are below and to the right. A small bowl of salsa is in the uper left corner.

How to Make Breakfast Quesadillas

As the name implies (if you know a little Spanish) quesadillas are ‘little cheesy things.’ Cheese is folded and melted inside a tortilla and then cut into wedges.

But a breakfast quesadilla is so much more! Here’s how to make them:

  1. Scramble some eggs.
  2. Add beans, onions, canned green chiles to the pan.
  3. Spoon some on one side of a tortilla and top it with your favorite cheese.
  4. Fold it and cook it in a skillet until the cheese melts and the outside is nice and crispy.

This adds up to a kind of Mexican version of a breakfast sandwich. Easy and tasty!

THE BEST TORTILLAS FOR QUESADILLAS

In this recipe I use large flour tortillas like these, you can just use the best ones available in your market.

You could also substitute corn or whole wheat tortillas if that’s your preference. Corn tortillas are usually smaller than the large flour ones, so you will just have to eyeball the amount of filling and cheese you use.

A blue plate with two freezer-friendly breakfast quesadilla triangles, cilantro, salsa and a spoon with salsa on the plate. A glass of orange juice is to the right of the plate. A fork and grey linen are to the left of the plate.

THE BEST CHEESE FOR QUESADILLAS

This recipe is so flexible you can really use almost any good melting cheese. If you like your quesadillas extra-cheesy, just pile it on.

These are some of my favorites:

  • Sharp cheddar
  • Monterey jack
  • Gouda
  • Fontina
  • Muenster

WAYS TO ADAPT THIS RECIPE

You can easily adjust this recipe to your taste: Use just about any beans you have on hand (kidney beans, chickpeas, white beans), add cooked sausage or bacon, or vary the cheese.

Craving more vegetables? Add some cooked greens or chopped, cooked cauliflower or broccoli. Try not to overfill them in order to keep the ingredients inside. Just eyeball the filling—consider the recipe as a guideline. Use your best judgment. Anything goes!

A blue plate with two quick and easy breakfast quesadillas with the scrambled egg, black bean and cilantro filling tumbling out the side. A small bowl of salsa is on the left of the plate and a glass of orange juice is above the plate on the left.

MAKE AHEAD AND FREEZE

Here comes the beauty part: You can make a batch of quesadillas and freeze them!

After making the egg filling, simply fill the tortillas, add the cheese and fold them in half. Since some brands of tortillas are stiff right out of the package it helps to heat them in the microwave to make them pliable and fold them before they cool too much.

To do this: Stack them on a plate, cover with a paper towel or waxed paper, and microwave for 30 to 40 seconds, or until they are pliable and easy to fold in half.

Once filled, cut each folded tortilla in half, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet, and place the baking sheet in the freezer. When they are frozen, transfer them to a zip-top bag, stacking the quesadilla between small pieces of parchment or waxed paper. They will keep for about two months.

HOW TO REHEAT FROZEN QUESADILLAS

Remove them from the freezer and microwave for about two minutes, until they are mostly defrosted. Cook them over medium heat in a lightly oiled skillet for about one and a half minutes on each side to crisp the outside.

Breakfast in minutes, next to no cleanup, you can’t argue with that!

MORE QUESADILLA RECIPES

Breakfast Quesadilla with Black Beans and Eggs Recipe

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 6 large eggs, beaten in a bowl
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Pinch black pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (4-ounce) can chopped mild green chiles, drained
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 6 (9-inch) flour tortillas
  • Pickled jalapeño peppers from a jar (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar or Monterey jack cheese, or more, to taste
  • Vegetable oil, to reheat the quesadillas

To serve:

  • Salsa

Method

1 Scramble the eggs: In a nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 30 to 40 seconds (just to soften them). Add the eggs, salt, and pepper, and cook and stir until they are set to your preference. Remove the pan from the heat.

2 Make the filling: Stir the beans, mild green chiles, and cilantro into the eggs in the pan.

Overhead view of scrambled eggs in a skillet. Black beans, cilantro and green chiles are piled on top of the scrambled eggs. Overhead view of a skillet with scrambled eggs, black beans and cilantro mixed together for simple breakfast quesadillas.

3 Assemble the quesadillas: On one-half of each tortilla, spread about 1/2 cup of the filling. Top with a few jalapeno slices (if using) and 1/4 cup cheese. Fold and press together to flatten them.

Four tortillas on a wooden cutting board for make-ahead breakfast quesadillas. One tortilla is open and has scrambled eggs, cilantro and bean filling on half. The other tortillas are folded in half with no filling inside. Healthy breakfast quesadillas on a wooden cutting board. One tortilla has shredded cheese, scrambled eggs and black bean filling on half. To the right two quesadillas have already been filled and folded.

4 Cook the quesadillas: Spray or brush a skillet with vegetable oil, then place the skillet over medium heat. Cook the quesadillas for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until the cheese melts and the tortillas are lightly browned and crisp on the outside.

You can either cook all of the quesadillas, cool them, cut them in half then freeze them. Or just cook what you want to eat right now, and freeze the rest, uncooked for later (this just saves you a little cooking and cooling time now).

5 To serve: Enjoy with salsa, if you like.

TO FREEZE: Line a baking sheet that will fit in your freezer with parchment paper or waxed paper. Spread as many assembled quesadillas as will fit on the baking sheet, top with a layer of paper, and add a second layer.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and freeze until firm, about 3 hours. Transfer the frozen quesadillas to plastic freezer bags, stacking them between small pieces of parchment or waxed paper. Store for up to 2 months.

Freezer-friendly breakfast quesadillas cut in triangles and set on a baking sheet covered in parchment. The baking sheet is on a marble background. Overhead view of three ziplock freezer bags with simple breakfast quesadilla triangles inside. Each bag is labeled "Quesadillas 1/20" with green painter tape. The ziplocks are on a white tray on a marble countertop.

TO REHEAT: Remove as many quesadillas as you like from the freezer. Spread on a microwave-safe plate and microwave for 2 minutes to partially defrost them. At this point, the tortillas can be a little soggy, but that can be remedied. Just follow the "Cook the Quesadilla" instructions in step 4.

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Sally Vargas

Sally Pasley Vargas is a freelance writer and the author of three cookbooks (Food for Friends, The Tao of Cooking, Ten Speed Press, and The Cranberry Cookbook). She currently writes the column The Confident Cook for The Boston Globe along with seasonal recipes for the Wednesday Food Section.

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2 Comments / Reviews

No ImageBreakfast Quesadilla with Black Beans and Eggs

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Miranda

    Two teaspoons of butter or 2 tbsp?

  2. Harald

    thank you Sally, for this wonderful recipe.
    We had it for lunch today along with a spicy salad of avocado and tomatoes. It’s delicious!

    xxxxxyyyyy

Side view of two simple breakfast quesadillas on a blue plate with a bowl of salsa to the left and a glass of orange juice above. The scrambled eggs, black beans and cilantro are visible inside the quesadilla.Breakfast Quesadilla with Black Beans and Eggs