Vegan Mexican quesadilla recipe

Lucy the founder of Edible Ethics vegan food blog eating vegan noodles in a plant based restaurant

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Quesadillas are like the cheese toasties of Mexico, they are comforting and tasty. Just fill them up with plenty of vegan cheese!

finished vegan quesadillas

Quesadilla is that dish you’ve always wanted to order in a restaurant but you are too afraid of pronouncing wrong. Well, today is a great day because you’ll learn how to both pronounce quesadillas and cook tasty vegan Mexican quesadillas.

How do you pronounce Quesadilla?

You’re probably thinking to yourself, but why should we trust your pronunciation Lucy, you are British, and Brits are renowned for saying things incorrectly.

Well, I can’t disagree with you there. But I have spent quite some time in Mexico and have learnt the hard way. Pronouncing Quesadilla wrong in your local Mexican restaurant is probably met with a little chuckle and smile. Here in Mexico, you get a blank stare. They have no idea what you are saying.

I love quesadillas, so it was very important that I learn to pronounce them correctly. And now I shall impart my newfound knowledge upon you. So, here is the best phonetic spelling I could come up with to help you pronounce Quesadilla:

Kay – suh – dee – yah

Now, keep saying that over and over whilst you cook my vegan Quesadilla recipe below.

vegan mexican quesadillas recipe

What are Quesadillas?

Don’t worry, I won’t judge you for not knowing what they are. If I was to judge, do you really think I’d add this section here?!

Quesadillas are a solid staple of Mexican food. They are tortillas that are filled with cheese (and sometimes meats, seasoning, and veg), folded and then cooked on a griddle until the tortilla is golden on both sides and the cheese is melted inside. Traditionally, you’ll find most quesadillas are made using corn tortillas, but in the UK you’ll mostly find them being made with wheat-based tortillas. 

Now, for all you clever sods out there, you may have realised that quesadilla has cheese in the name – queso is Spanish for cheese. 

How do you veganise Quesadillas?

Vegan quesadillas can be made very easily using vegan cheese and you can substitute any other fillings with vegan versions.

When it comes to picking the right vegan cheese for the job, I’d recommend anything stringy and meltable. For example, you could try Violife’s Mozzarella, or Sheese.

When it comes to using vegan meat and veg, make sure to keep it finely chopped so that it fits inside the tortilla. Just take a look through your local supermarket for any vegan meats and test them out! Here in Mexico, you can get these soya pieces that are pre-seasoned and come in a handy packet:

vegan soya for vegan quesadilla recipe

How do you make Quesadillas?

First of all, get into the kitchen and prepare yourself a chopping board, some tasty vegan ingredients, a stovetop and a frying pan/griddle.

It is a very simple dish to make, which makes it very suitable for traditional Mexican kitchens. Just check out the kitchen I had in Mérida:

our vegan kitchen in merida mexico

Lay out your tortillas and spread any sauce-like ingredients onto the top of the tortilla first. Then begin adding your more solid ingredients, like veg and vegan meat. Put a good sprinkling of vegan cheese on top and then fold the tortilla in half.

I tend to stick all my more solid ingredients on just one half of the tortilla to stop the mix from all falling out and then fold the empty half over.

vegan quesadillas cooking

Top tip: don’t overfill the filling of the vegan quesadilla because they really don’t fit as much in as you’d think, or hope.

Once you feel fully satisfied that you’ve made the tastiest filling possible for your quesadilla, get them frying. Just stick a frying pan or griddle on medium-high heat, no oil, and cook them on either side for a few minutes.

You’ll see the tortilla crisp up and the cheese starts to melt inside.


What do you serve with vegan Quesadillas?

The trick with vegan quesadillas is to get the filling super tasty so you don’t need to add much flavour afterwards. I do however like to add chilli sauce on top afterwards as this can be very runny if put inside. 

If you have any ripe avocados, slice them up and place them on top, and serve with a wedge of lime.

finished vegan quesadillas

Vegan Quesadillas Recipe

A vegan take on a Mexican classic
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2 people
Author: Lucy Johnson


Quesadilla Filling

  • 1/2 Red Onion - Sliced
  • 2 cloves Garlic - Finely Chopped
  • 1 small Red chilli - Finely Chopped
  • 1/2 tin Black beans - Drained and rinsed
  • Vegan mayonnaise -
  • 100 g Grated vegan cheese -
  • 100 g Vegan meat - Like soya chunks


  • 1 Avocado
  • Drizzle Chilli oil
  • 1 Lime - Cut in half


Make the black bean filling

  • Get a medium-sized frying pan on a medium heat and add in a tsp of oil
  • Once the oil has heated up add in the sliced red onion. Fry off for a few minutes until slighlty softened.
  • Add in the chopped garlic and onion. Fry for a few more minutes until the onion is soft and the garlic has gone golden brown
  • Add the black beans into the mix and stir until fully incorporated. Continue to cook for a few minutes, then take off the heat and set aside

Heat up vegan meat

  • If you are using a vegan meat substitute, heat this up according to packet instructions and then set aside

Assemble the vegan quesadillas

  • Layout all your tortillas on a clean work surface
  • Spread a spoonful of vegan mayonnaise on each tortilla and add a sprinkling of vegan cheese on top
  • Spoon out a small amount of the black bean filling onto one half of each tortilla. Add a spoonful of vegan meat on top of the black bean filling
  • Sprinkle some more vegan cheese on top of the fillings
  • Fold over the tortillas so they make half moons

Cook the vegan quesadillas

  • Wipe your frying pan with some kitchen roll and stick back on to a medium heat. If you have a griddle pan, use this instead.
  • Once the pan is hot, add in a few quesadillas. Fry for a few minutes and then flip to fry the other side.
  • Slide the cooked quesadillas onto a plate and continue cooking the rest of the quesadillas

Serve the vegan quesadillas

  • Serve up the quesadillas on to plates and add a slice of lime, some chilli sauce, and sliced avocado on top
  • Enjoy!

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