Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas

These super tasty Black Bean Quesadillas have been a runaway Budget Bytes hit since they were first posted in 2012. The spicy mix of cheese, beans, corn, cilantro, and onion makes and incredibly flavorful quesadilla that’s perfect for dipping in some cool sour cream or salsa. Make up an entire batch and freeze some for […]

The post Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas appeared first on Budget Bytes.

These super tasty Black Bean Quesadillas have been a runaway Budget Bytes hit since they were first posted in 2012. The spicy mix of cheese, beans, corn, cilantro, and onion makes and incredibly flavorful quesadilla that’s perfect for dipping in some cool sour cream or salsa. Make up an entire batch and freeze some for later!

Originally posted 2-19-2012, updated 1-12-2021.

A stack of black bean quesadillas on a tray with a dish of sour cream behind them

Why I’m In Love with These Quesadillas ❤️

I love these quesadillas for three reasons:

  • they’re bursting with flavor
  • incredibly EASY to make 
  • perfect for the freezer!

Students and other busy people take note: this recipe is perfect for you!

I called them “hearty” black bean quesadillas because they are surprisingly filling. I hastily ate two and then promptly felt like my belly was not just full, but full-full. This is one of those vegetarian recipes that meat-eaters won’t feel deprived when eating. Promise.

How to Freeze Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas:

Just fill and fold your quesadillas, but before you cook them, stack them with parchment paper in between each quesadilla. Place the stacked quesadillas in a gallon-sized freezer bag (or two) and pop them into the freezer. When you want to eat one, take a quesadilla out of the freezer and reheat it slowly over medium-low heat until the outside is crispy and the inside has melted. Using a lower heat gives the black bean quesadilla time to thaw and heat on the inside before the outside overcooks or burns.

Or, for a faster method, microwave from frozen for 30-60 seconds, or until the inside is thawed, then finish in a skillet to crisp up the outside and melt the cheese on the inside. 

What Kind of Taco Seasoning to Use

To make these black bean quesadillas super fast and easy, you can use a packet of store-bought taco seasoning. Or, if you have a well-stocked spice cabinet, you can use my homemade taco seasoning recipe

black bean quesadillas layered on a serving tray, sprinkled with cilantro

A stack of black bean quesadillas on a serving tray

Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas

These Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas are an easy vegetarian snack or light meal that are filling, flavorful, and freezer-friendly!
Total Cost $4.70 recipe / $0.47 per quesadilla
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 10 quesadillas
Calories 289.24kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 15oz.can black beans $0.49
  • 1 cup frozen corn $0.20
  • 1/2 cup red onion $0.22
  • 1 clove garlic $0.08
  • 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro (about ½ cup chopped) $0.20
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese $1.69
  • 1 batch taco seasoning* $0.67
  • 10 flour tortillas (7-inch diameter) $2.00

Instructions

  • Drain the black beans and add them to a bowl along with the frozen corn (no need to thaw)
  • Finely dice the onion, mince the garlic, and roughly chop the cilantro.
  • Add the onion, garlic, cilantro, shredded cheddar, and taco seasoning to the bowl with the beans and corn. Stir until everything is evenly combined and coated in seasoning.
  • Place a half cup of the filling on one side of each tortilla and fold over. Cook the quesadillas in a skillet over medium heat on each side until brown and crispy and the cheesy filling has melted. Slice into triangles then serve.
  • To freeze the quesadillas, stack the filled and uncooked quesadillas with a piece of parchment paper between each quesadilla. Place in a freezer bag and freeze for up to three months. To reheat either microwave (for a soft quesadilla) or cook in a skillet on low heat (make sure to use low heat so that the filling has time to thaw and melt before the outside burns).

Video

Notes

* I used my homemade taco seasoning here, but you can use a store-bought packet of taco seasoning if needed.

Nutrition

Serving: 1quesadilla | Calories: 289.24kcal | Carbohydrates: 34.29g | Protein: 12.19g | Fat: 11.58g | Sodium: 833.43mg | Fiber: 5.29g

Scroll down for the step by step photos

Overhead view of black bean quesadillas on a serving tray with a dish of sour cream

 

How to Make Black Bean Quesadillas – Step By Step Photos

Corn and black beans in a bowl
Add 1 cup frozen corn (no need to thaw) and one 15oz. can of black beans (drained) to a large bowl.

Onion, garlic, and cilantro added to the bowl
Next, finely dice about ½ cup red onion, mince one clove of garlic, and roughly chop about ¼ bunch fresh cilantro. These ingredients are super flexible, so you don’t need to be exact on the measurements. 

Taco seasoning spices in a small wooden bowl

You can use either one packet of store-bought taco seasoning, or make your own using my Homemade Taco Seasoning recipe. 

Cheddar and taco seasoning added to the bowl
Add the taco seasoning and 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese to the bowl. The cheese is the “glue” that holds the quesadillas together.

stirred quesadilla filling in the bowl with a fork
Stir the ingredients until everything is mixed. 

A tortilla being filled with the bean and cheese mixture
Now it’s time to stuff the quesadillas. You’ll need about 10 7-inch diameter flour tortillas for these quesadillas (the tortillas I had today were slightly larger so my quesadillas ended up being a bit thinner). Place a half cup of filling in each tortilla and fold it over. You can either cook them or freeze them at this point (see instructions for freezing in the post above the recipe).

quesadillas cooking in a skillet
To cook the black bean quesadillas, place the quesadilla in a skillet over medium heat and cook on both sides until golden brown, crispy, and the filling has melted. I don’t use any sort of oil or butter, but you certainly can if you want more of a fried finish to the quesadillas.

cut quesadillas on a cutting board
Slice then serve! You can slice each quesadilla into two or three pieces. I find that if I cut starting on the outside edge going in toward the center fold, I get less of the filling oozing out. A pizza cutter also works great!

Overhead view of cut black bean quesadillas on a baking sheet

The post Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas appeared first on Budget Bytes.

baked brie with balsamic red onions

Despite my deep affection for cheese, to the point that one of my favorite things to do on a New York City weekend is to dip into Murray’s and treat us to something crumbly or aged or rich and runny, I don’t love cheese plates. It …

Despite my deep affection for cheese, to the point that one of my favorite things to do on a New York City weekend is to dip into Murray’s and treat us to something crumbly or aged or rich and runny, I don’t love cheese plates. It feels really good to get this off my chest. At first, it was just a budget issue; I still feel the sticker shock from the first time I tried to put together one of those cute boards with five or six different wedges on them, plus the crackers, breads, pickles, dried fruit, toasted almonds, olives, cured meats, and all of the other minimum requirements of our latter-day horns of plenty. But I was also put off by the waste. Even though so much went unfinished, the leftovers were unsalvageable, as fingers, forks, knives, and crumbs got into everything (a particularly shuddering thought in the age of Covid). Instead, when people come over, or what I remember of it, I prefer to focus on one or two decadent, attention-grabbing things and nothing grabs attention on a cold winter day like warm, runny cheese.

make a flaky galette doughwilt onions in butterbalsamic jammy red onionsassembly, not cutebrush with egg washready to bake

Baked brie was all the entertaining rage in the 1970s and 80s. Nothing was more glamorous but accessible, an imported cheese that everyone knew and could pronounce. But as Americans got more sophisticated about imported cheese — manchego! Humboldt Fog! — in a crushing fall from grace, brie became the opposite of chic. And this is where my interest piqued — dated and unhip, you say? Where can I sign up?

baked brie with balsamic red onions

Read more »

Tartiflette

One French dish I’ve not made is Tartiflette. It’s one of those things that you tuck into after a day of skiing down alps, which I did once with a family of expert skiers, realizing too late that my intermediate-level of skiing was no match for my friends, who pointed their skis straight down the top of the alps and took off. I tried my…

One French dish I’ve not made is Tartiflette. It’s one of those things that you tuck into after a day of skiing down alps, which I did once with a family of expert skiers, realizing too late that my intermediate-level of skiing was no match for my friends, who pointed their skis straight down the top of the alps and took off. I tried my best to keep up, but in spite of the spectacular scenery (and dizzying heights), I realized my talents were better in the kitchen than on slopes, especially compared to a French family of élite-level skiers.

Continue Reading Tartiflette...

Pomegranate Salad

This pomegranate salad is absolutely irresistible! It stars a sweet tart salad dressing and the vibrant crunch of pomegranate seeds. Pomegranate is one of the most special foods on the planet (we think). Each bright pink seed has an irresistible sweet tart pop and crunch! We love downing them by the handful, but our next favorite way to eat them? Pomegranate salad! Crunchy pomegranate seeds make a beautiful confetti over the top of leafy greens. Add tart green apple slices, toasted pecans, and goat cheese or feta crumbles, and it’s a true symphony of flavor! Pick from a few different dressing choices: our favorites are apple cider vinegar dressing or pomegranate vinaigrette. Let’s get started! Pomegranate salad ingredients There are lots of ways to make a pomegranate salad! This is our very favorite combination of flavors: but you’ll see there are endless choices! Below we’ll talk through a few of the different variations you can use. Here’s what you’ll need for this tasty and easy side dish: Pomegranate seeds: we recommend seeding them from a fresh pomegranate. See below! Shallot Granny Smith apple or pear: either are tasty: or you could use both! Pecans or walnuts Mixed greens Goat cheese […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This pomegranate salad is absolutely irresistible! It stars a sweet tart salad dressing and the vibrant crunch of pomegranate seeds.

Pomegranate salad

Pomegranate is one of the most special foods on the planet (we think). Each bright pink seed has an irresistible sweet tart pop and crunch! We love downing them by the handful, but our next favorite way to eat them? Pomegranate salad! Crunchy pomegranate seeds make a beautiful confetti over the top of leafy greens. Add tart green apple slices, toasted pecans, and goat cheese or feta crumbles, and it’s a true symphony of flavor! Pick from a few different dressing choices: our favorites are apple cider vinegar dressing or pomegranate vinaigrette. Let’s get started!

Pomegranate salad ingredients

There are lots of ways to make a pomegranate salad! This is our very favorite combination of flavors: but you’ll see there are endless choices! Below we’ll talk through a few of the different variations you can use. Here’s what you’ll need for this tasty and easy side dish:

  • Pomegranate seeds: we recommend seeding them from a fresh pomegranate. See below!
  • Shallot
  • Granny Smith apple or pear: either are tasty: or you could use both!
  • Pecans or walnuts
  • Mixed greens
  • Goat cheese or feta cheese crumbles (optional)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing or Pomegranate Vinaigrette (see below)
Pomegranate salad

Use pomegranate seeds from a fresh pomegranate!

These days, you can find pomegranate seeds already remove from the fruit in your local grocery. But for pomegranate salad, it’s best to buy a fresh pomegranate and cut and seed it yourself. Why? Pomegranate seeds from the fruit are much fresher. If you buy them already seeded, they only have a day or so of shelf life. We’ve even purchased some that went bad before we tried them! So a whole fruit is where it’s at. Here’s what to know:

  • Cut the pomegranate in quarters, then remove the seeds in a bowl of water. This avoids a big mess of pink splatters all over your kitchen! We’ve got a great step-by-step tutorial: go to How to Cut a Pomegranate.
  • Pomegranate seeds last up to 5 days refrigerated, but are best right away. So seed it right before you’re ready to make the salad.
Pomegranate seeds

Step it up with toasted or glazed nuts

This pomegranate salad features toasted pecans: and here’s a tip for you: always toast your nuts! It brings out the nutty flavor almost like salt brings out the flavor in savory foods. And it only takes a few minutes! You can absolutely taste the difference.

To take this salad over the top, make a batch of glazed pecans that have a sweet, crunchy exterior. It adds a new element to an already delicious salad! Here are a few ideas of the various nuts you could use:

Pomegranate salad dressing

Use one of the following pomegranate salad dressings!

There are also lots of variations when it comes dressing for this pomegranate salad! Whatever the case: homemade dressing is best. Of course if you’re in a pinch, you can absolutely use a store-bought dressing: there are many great high quality and organic salad dressings available these days. We created two different dressing options for this salad: and we have a few other ideas as well! Try the following pomegranate salad dressings:

  • Apple cider vinegar dressing: Made with vinegar, Dijon mustard and olive oil, it’s perfectly tangy!
  • Pomegranate vinaigrette: Want to double the pomegranate? Try this dressing made with pomegranate juice.
  • Balsamic vinaigrette: Full of big tangy flavor, and one of of the best homemade dressings you’ll find.
  • Pomegranate molasses plus olive oil: A great way to use this special ingredient! Dress the greens with olive oil, then drizzle with sweet tart pomegranate molasses. It’s incredible!

What to serve with pomegranate salad

This pomegranate salad is great because it’s so versatile! It’s more of a fall and winter salad since pomegranates are easiest to find in the cooler months. But since they’re becoming more available at grocery stores, you can eat it anytime! It’s perfect for holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas, or ideal for accessorizing any fall or winter dinner. Here are a few foods it pairs well with:

Pomegranate salad

Vegan variation

Want to make this pomegranate salad vegan? No problem! All you have to do is omit the cheese crumbles. You’ll barely notice the difference! Some salads need an extra savory hit from cheese, but this one works perfectly without it.

And that’s it: our perfect pomegranate salad! Let us know what you think in the comments below.

More pomegranate recipes

Pomegranate season calls for making lots of vibrant recipes with special fruit! Here are some favorite pomegranate recipes:

This pomegranate salad recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, omit the cheese crumbles.

Print
Pomegranate salad

Easy Pomegranate Salad


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This pomegranate salad is absolutely irresistible! It stars a sweet tart salad dressing and the vibrant crunch of pomegranate seeds.


Ingredients


Instructions

  1. Cut and seed the pomegranate
  2. Thinly slice the shallot. Thinly slice the apple (and toss it with 1 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar if desired to prevent browning).
  3. Toast the pecans (don’t skip: this brings out the nutty flavor). Alternatively, make glazed pecans.
  4. Make the Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing or Pomegranate Dressing. 
  5. Place the greens on a platter. Top with the pomegranate seeds, sliced shallot, toasted pecans, and goat cheese or feta cheese crumbles. Toss with the desired amount of dressing to taste. (Store the extra dressing refrigerated and warm to room temperature and whisk again before using.)

Notes

  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: Salad

Keywords: Pomegranate salad

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

What Is a Charcuterie House? And Why Are(n’t) You Making One?

Listen, meat and cheese (and sometimes olives and jams and dried fruits) arranged artfully across a surface is a good thing. I like charcuterie boards. They’re endlessly customizable, nice to look at when done right, generally crowd-pleasing and pretty…

Listen, meat and cheese (and sometimes olives and jams and dried fruits) arranged artfully across a surface is a good thing. I like charcuterie boards. They’re endlessly customizable, nice to look at when done right, generally crowd-pleasing and pretty low-maintenance.

In recent years, we’ve watched charcuterie boards soar in popularity. They’re on restaurant menus, at dinner parties, on Instagram (in a big, big way) and, like any trend, they’ve morphed with the times: they’ve gotten bigger and more elaborate. But two recent charcuterations (that’s charcuterie iterations, mind you) are giving me pause.

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19 Cheese Dip Recipes to Fuel Winter Snack Attacks

Yes, you could serve squeaky, toothpick-able cheese cubes at your football or Oscars party. And no one would object.

But you could also take that same cheese and make a more metamorphic change: Add spices, herbs, and vegetables, then blend or melt or …

Yes, you could serve squeaky, toothpick-able cheese cubes at your football or Oscars party. And no one would object.

But you could also take that same cheese and make a more metamorphic change: Add spices, herbs, and vegetables, then blend or melt or beer-spike into a dip that's creamy, scoopable, and at home on a variety of "dippers," from tortilla chips to carrot sticks. Suddenly, you've taken that singular, lonely cheese and transformed it into an eligible snack from which hundreds of thousands (or at least a few) spin-off combinations are possible:

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Holiday Cheese Board

This post is sponsored by Kroger. The holidays are here and that means it’s time to party! Today, I am going to show you how to make a festive Holiday Cheese Board that will WOW your family and friends. It’s almost too pretty to eat and if …

This post is sponsored by Kroger. The holidays are here and that means it’s time to party! Today, I am going to show you how to make a festive Holiday Cheese Board that will WOW your family and friends. It’s almost too pretty to eat and if you want to be fancy, you can call…

The post Holiday Cheese Board appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Our Resident Cheese Plater’s Gift Guide for Cheese Lovers Everywhere

That Cheese Plate is a column by Marissa Mullen—cookbook author, photographer, and Food52’s Resident Cheese Plater. With Marissa’s expertise all things cheddar, comté, and crudité—plus tips for how to make it all look extra special, using stuff you pro…

That Cheese Plate is a column by Marissa Mullen—cookbook author, photographer, and Food52's Resident Cheese Plater. With Marissa's expertise all things cheddar, comté, and crudité—plus tips for how to make it all look extra special, using stuff you probably have on hand—we'll be crafting our own cheesy masterpieces without a hitch.


As someone who wholeheartedly believes that cheese plates are self-care, the world of cheese opens up endless possibilities to spread joy. I always love creating a cheese plate for my friends and family. They act as a creative centerpiece, the ultimate conversation starter, and a place for flavor experimentation. There are so many other factors involved on a cheese plate besides the food itself. The table setting, serving utensils, and even the ambiance completes the entire experience.

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Baked Brie

Baked brie recipe is one of the best easy appetizers around! Bake it in 15 minutes and add your favorite toppings for a total crowd pleaser. Some people claim a recipe can be too easy. We think not. I don’t know about you, but we’re always in need of easy ideas…like this Baked Brie! There could not be an easier appetizer recipe, folks. But often, we forget about these simple entertaining tricks. So here’s what you need to know about making a melty, delicious pile of brie. The great part? The toppings are versatile depending on your preferences, and you can make a beautiful platter with little effort. Here’s what to do! How to bake brie Making baked brie is so easy, you barely need a recipe. But we’re of the mindset that there’s nothing too simple to jot down as an idea for cooking inspiration. (Heck, we even wrote a book about simple recipes.) You can go to the recipe below for the full details, or just memorize this easy formula for how to bake brie: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the brie on a baking sheet or dish. Bake for about 15 minutes! To test whether […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Baked brie recipe is one of the best easy appetizers around! Bake it in 15 minutes and add your favorite toppings for a total crowd pleaser.

Baked brie

Some people claim a recipe can be too easy. We think not. I don’t know about you, but we’re always in need of easy ideas…like this Baked Brie! There could not be an easier appetizer recipe, folks. But often, we forget about these simple entertaining tricks. So here’s what you need to know about making a melty, delicious pile of brie. The great part? The toppings are versatile depending on your preferences, and you can make a beautiful platter with little effort. Here’s what to do!

How to bake brie

Making baked brie is so easy, you barely need a recipe. But we’re of the mindset that there’s nothing too simple to jot down as an idea for cooking inspiration. (Heck, we even wrote a book about simple recipes.) You can go to the recipe below for the full details, or just memorize this easy formula for how to bake brie:

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Place the brie on a baking sheet or dish.
  • Bake for about 15 minutes! To test whether it’s done, touch your finger in the middle of the brie. It should feel like it’s completely liquid in the center.

Yes, that’s literally zero hands on time to bake brie! Then you’ll need a few minutes to dollop the cheese with toppings. Here’s what we like to use…

Baked brie recipe

Baked brie toppings!

Yes, baked brie is that easy to make. We love it for parties and entertaining, especially when we’re making multiple recipes at once and need something simple yet stunning. The toppings are the fun part for baked brie: you can customize this recipe according to your tastes and make dozens of variations. One key to topping this melty cheese: sweet is an ideal pair with gooey, savory cheese. Here are some ideas for baked brie toppings:

What do you add to your baked brie? Let us know in the comments below!

Variation: cover it in puff pastry

One popular variation on baked brie is to cover it in puff pastry. If you make it this way, you don’t need any toppings. Our personal opinion? We think puff pastry is unnecessary: it adds extra effort, calories, and makes it a little harder to eat. But, you can absolutely add it if you love this 1970’s style appetizer idea! Here’s the basic idea:

  • Cut the top skin off the brie wheel.
  • Get a large sheet of puff pastry. Lay it out in a single layer and place the brie on top.
  • Add a few tablespoons of jam on top of the brie.
  • Fold the pastry up and over the brie and cut off any excess dough.
  • Bake about 25 to 30 minutes at 375 degrees until the pastry is golden brown. Cool a few minutes before serving.
How to bake brie

How to serve this baked brie recipe

How to serve baked brie? Well, the sky’s the limit! There are so many things you can add to this luscious cheese wheel to make a beautiful appetizer spread. It’s great for entertaining at any type of gathering: Christmas, Thanksgiving, or just any type of party! Here are some ideas:

  • Crackers (try homemade)
  • Crostini (try homemade)
  • Gluten free crackers or bread substitutes
  • Baguette slices
  • Apple slices
  • Pear slices
  • Grapes
  • Apricot or cranberry jam (if not using as a topping)
  • Rosemary sprigs, for decoration

More easy appetizers to pair

This baked brie is the perfect centerpiece for an appetizer spread! In fact, we created it in part for a virtual cocktail party with our friend Sierra. Here are a few of the other easy appetizers we’d pair with it to make a delicious spread. In fact, you could even use this as an “appetizer dinner,” which we like to do for an easy meal concept. Here’s what we’d pair:

Baked brie

This baked brie recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free (with gluten-free crackers or bread substitutes).

Print
Baked brie

Baked Brie (Recipe & Tips!)


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 0 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Baked brie recipe is one of the best easy appetizers around! Bake it in just 15 minutes and add your favorite toppings for a stunning crowd pleaser.


Ingredients

  • 1 brie cheese wheel
  • Honey or cranberry, cherry or apricot jam or preserves
  • Chopped pistachios, walnuts or pecans
  • Sea salt
  • For the platter: crackers, crostini, baguette slices, 

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place the brie in a baking dish or on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes until soft and warm: it’s done when you touch the center with your finger and it feels very liquid inside. 
  2. Top with honey or jam and crushed pistachios. Surround with crackers or crostini, grapes, apple, pear, etc.
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Baked brie, Baked brie recipe, How to bake brie

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Easy Pinwheel Recipe

This pinwheel recipe is the ultimate finger food! These tortilla roll ups are perfect for entertaining and endlessly customizable. One of the best finger food recipes there is? A good pinwheels recipe! For years we’ve been looking for just the right version of this party classic. It wasn’t until now that we found what we were looking for: these tortilla roll ups! They’re full of Italian-style flavors: mozzarella, sundried tomatoes, spinach, and a blend of spices. They look totally stunning on a platter. And better yet: we’ve figured out all the tricks to making a beautiful roll up: ours used to turn out misshapen and sad looking. Here’s how to make the most perfect pinwheels for your appetizer trays! Pinwheel recipe ingredients Most pinwheel recipes have similar ingredients, but they’re endlessly customizable! You can make this pinwheel recipe with lots of different fillings! Here’s what we did for our version, but you can see below with some customization ideas! Here are the basic pinwheel recipe ingredients: Large burrito-style tortillas (see below) Cream cheese (or goat cheese, to class it up!) Shredded cheese Filling ingredients: spinach and fire-roasted tomatoes Spices: basil, oregano, and garlic powder Tip 1: Buy at least 10-inch […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This pinwheel recipe is the ultimate finger food! These tortilla roll ups are perfect for entertaining and endlessly customizable.

Pinwheel recipe

One of the best finger food recipes there is? A good pinwheels recipe! For years we’ve been looking for just the right version of this party classic. It wasn’t until now that we found what we were looking for: these tortilla roll ups! They’re full of Italian-style flavors: mozzarella, sundried tomatoes, spinach, and a blend of spices. They look totally stunning on a platter. And better yet: we’ve figured out all the tricks to making a beautiful roll up: ours used to turn out misshapen and sad looking. Here’s how to make the most perfect pinwheels for your appetizer trays!

Pinwheel recipe ingredients

Most pinwheel recipes have similar ingredients, but they’re endlessly customizable! You can make this pinwheel recipe with lots of different fillings! Here’s what we did for our version, but you can see below with some customization ideas! Here are the basic pinwheel recipe ingredients:

  • Large burrito-style tortillas (see below)
  • Cream cheese (or goat cheese, to class it up!)
  • Shredded cheese
  • Filling ingredients: spinach and fire-roasted tomatoes
  • Spices: basil, oregano, and garlic powder
Tortilla roll up

Tip 1: Buy at least 10-inch tortillas

The first tip to the perfect pinwheel recipe: buy large tortillas! And that means: very large. Here’s what to know:

  • Buy tortillas marked burrito size or at least 10-inch tortillas. Don’t buy the large tortillas that work for quesadillas or tacos: they’re too small and they make a roll-up that doesn’t have enough spirals.
  • What if I can’t find them? We recommend holding out for large tortillas if you’re serving these for entertaining. Of course if you don’t mind the look for less spirals, you can use any size you like.

Tip 2: Roll the tortillas very tightly

The other tip for a great looking pinwheel recipe? Roll the tortillas very tightly. Many roll up recipes don’t provide any specifics on how to roll the pinwheels. But if you don’t pay attention to the rolling, you’ll get haphazard looking tortilla roll ups (like ours normally look). Here’s what to know:

  • Spread on a thin layer of filling — about 1/3 cup. It’s important to have just enough filling to taste great but not so much that it’s overly strong and cheesy. We’ve found that this is 1/3 cup, then sprinkle any chunks of meat, cheese or veggies on top.
  • Roll the tortillas as tightly as possible, especially at the beginning of the roll. If you’re not scrupulous about a tight roll at the beginning, you’ll have a hole in the roll. Then roll as tight as possible and they’ll look beautiful…promise.
Easy pinwheel recipe

Tip 3: Refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Here’s the thing: in a pinwheel recipe, the refrigeration time is important. Why? It gives the filling time to set. This is important for getting just the right texture on the pinwheel. Many pinwheel recipes say to refrigerate for 1 hour, but we found it wasn’t long enough to get the right texture.

Another thing that a 2-hour refrigeration does is the tortillas soak up a bit of the moisture from the cheese filling. This causes them to puff out just a bit, which looks lovely when you cut into the pinwheel.

How to customize this pinwheels recipe

OK, so you’ve got our 3 best tips for the perfect pinwheels. But there are lots of ingredients to customize if you want to get creative! Here are lots of ideas on how to make new flavors of pinwheels following this basic recipe:

  • Mexican-style: Spread on salsa, add black olives or thinly sliced green onions, use cheddar cheese or Mexican blend instead of mozzarella. Or go to this Mexican Pinwheels recipe.
  • Classic: Use cheddar cheese, add ranch seasoning to taste, use chopped red pepper, green onion and black olives as filling
  • Pizza pinwheels: Spread pizza sauce over the cream cheese, add pizza toppings like chopped green pepper, red onion, black olives, prosciutto, etc
  • Spinach artichoke pinwheels: Make the recipe below, but substitute sundried tomatoes with

The sky’s the limit, as you can tell! You can also customize this specific pinwheel recipe (below). Use goat cheese instead of cream cheese for an upscale spin, or roasted red pepper instead of sun-dried tomato. Add thinly sliced green onion, or any other fillings you like!

Pinwheels recipe

Storage info for tortilla roll ups

Last thing before we release you to go roll! Here’s what to know about the storage for this pinwheel recipe:

  • Store up to 3 days refrigerated. But keep in mind…
  • The tortillas will soften over time. They’re best day of. The tortillas continue to soak up moisture from the filling, so they’ll get softer. They still taste good, but serve them as fresh as possible to guests.

This pinwheel recipe is…

Vegetarian. For gluten-free, find burrito-sized tortillas that are gluten-free.

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Pinwheel recipe

Easy Pinwheel Recipe


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (4 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 40 pinwheels
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This pinwheel recipe is the ultimate finger food! These tortilla roll ups are perfect for entertaining and endlessly customizable. 


Ingredients

  • 6 cups (5 ounces) fresh baby spinach leaves or 1/2 cup defrosted frozen spinach
  • 4 burrito size 10-inch* flour tortillas
  • 8 ounces cream cheese or soft goat cheese
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped sundried tomatoes in oil or jarred roasted red peppers
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. Cook the spinach: Place the spinach leaves in a skillet with 1/4 cup water. Heat over medium heat for a few minutes until the spinach completely wilts down, about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the spinach to a bowl. Add cold water to instantly cool it, then squeeze out as much water as possible. Finely chop the spinach. (If using frozen spinach, defrost it, squeeze out the liquid and finely chop it.) 
  2. Chop the filling ingredients: Chop the sundried tomatoes or bell peppers. 
  3. Make the filling: To a medium bowl, add the spinach, sundried tomatoes, cream cheese or goat cheese, basil, oregano, garlic powder, and salt. Mix it until it comes together into a smooth filling (we found it’s easiest to use clean hands to help break up clumps). Taste and add a pinch of salt if desired.
  4. Place a tortilla on a cutting board, and spread it with 1/3 cup of the filling. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons of the shredded mozzarella cheese. Roll up the tortilla very tightly, making sure to keep the roll very tight at the beginning (to avoid a hole in the middle!). Repeat for all tortillas. Refrigerate in a sealed container for at least 2 hours to allow the filling to set. Slice off the ends of the rolls and discard, then slice into 3/4-inch slices to make pinwheels. They last up to 3 days refrigerated, but they taste best day of because the tortillas become softer over time. 

Notes

*The 10-inch size is best for getting the best look to your pinwheels. We recommend getting this size if at all possible!

  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Pinwheel recipe, Tortilla roll ups

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