Go Back
+ servings
a set of hands holding a platter filled with Tandoori Cheese Quesadilla

Cheese Quesadilla With Tandoori Masala Flavor

Vegetarian Black Bean Cheese Quesadilla is the perfect quick fix Mexican dinner! The Tandoori masala seasoning gives it a whole new flavor! The Black bean sauce for the quesadilla is prepared in the Instant Pot, making it a quick and viable dinner option.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Mexican
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Soaking time 5 hours
Servings 4 people
Calories 465.74kcal


To prepare the sauce

To prepare the quesadillas

  • 1/2 cup cream cheese spread
  • 1-2 tbsp sriracha
  • 8 tortillas
  • 1/2 cup Mexican cheese
  • oil or butter


To prepare the sauce

  • Rinse the black beans under running water till you get clear water. Then soak them overnight or for 5 hours. That is if you are not using canned beans.
  • Turn on the Instant Pot in saute mode. Add oil and temper cumin seeds, and then fry garlic, jalapenos, and onions. Saute till the onions turn translucent.
  • Then add the tomatoes, bell peppers, and corn. Cook till the tomatoes turn soft and pulpy.
  • Next, add the soaked and drained black beans along with salt. Mix it all together.
  • Then add the Tandoori marinade.
  • Add Rice vinegar.
  • Now add the other seasonings like garam masala, cajun seasoning, cumin powder, Mexican seasoning, paprika, and fry for a minute.
  • Add water or stock and mix. Then turn off the saute mode. Cook in manual mode for 20 minutes. Release pressure naturally.
  • Open the lid, give it a mix and garnish it with chopped cilantro and lemon juice if it needs the extra tang.

To assemble the quesadillas

  • Mix sriracha with cream cheese spread and keep it aside.
  • Smear some butter/oil on the preheated pan and cook the two tortillas one after the other, on both sides evenly. Keep the flame low.
  • Spread the cream cheese spread over both the warmed tortillas and then place one back on the skillet.
  • Spread prepared black beans mixture all over that tortilla.
  • Load it with Mexican cheese.
  • Then place the other warmed tortilla on top. Press it lightly and cook on both sides till done.
  • Be careful while flipping. It takes a bit of practice.

Alternate way to assemble the quesadillas

  • After placing the warmed tortilla on a preheated pan, add the black bean sauce only on the half side.
  • Top it with cheese and fold it to make a semi-circle. Press it lightly and cook it evenly on both sides till the cheese melts.
  • Cut in triangles using a pizza cutter and serve with cilantro-lime crema, sour cream, salsa, and/or guacamole on the side. Even a bowl of Green Chutney can be served.


If using canned black beans, you can directly make the quesadilla filling in a skillet. But if using soaked beans, then making it in the Instant Pot is easier. 
Just remember, the black bean sauce should be thick and not runny. So don't add a lot of water. 
In place of black beans, you can also use kidney beans or pinto beans. If you want you can even skip adding beans altogether. 
For more flavor, add mushrooms, paneer, or tofu cubes in the black beans sauce. You can also marinate them in the tandoori paste and grill them before adding them as toppings. 
You can also spread guacamole and salsa over the tortillas along with the cheese if you don't want to serve it on the side. 
If you would like to make this kid-friendly, just cut down on spices and use more cheese. 
You can also bake this cheese quesadilla in the oven till the cheese melts instead of cooking it in the skillet. 
Tortillas burn easily, so keep the flame low to medium and keep a close watch. Plus, keep all the toppings ready and next to you to avoid any delay. 
Also, it doesn't need to cook for long. To make it crispy, cook each side for a little over a minute.
Can the quesadillas be made ahead of time?
Yes, they can! Prepare all of the components ahead of time, assemble the quesadillas, and stash them in the refrigerator.
You can also cook up the veg sauce and keep them in the fridge separately from the quesadillas until you are ready to heat. 
How to keep the quesadillas from getting soggy?
Just brush the preheated skillet lightly with oil. and then place the tortilla on it. 
The best cheese for quesadillas
Mexican cheese tastes the best. But you can also add Colby Jack or Pepper Jack, Oaxaca or Chihuahua cheese.
If not, you can also use a combination of mozzarella and Monterey Jack. 
Block cheese will taste creamy and fresh and will melt perfectly. But you can also use a pre-shredded Mexican blend.
These cheeses will melt easily and have a luxurious stretch that's perfect to make Mexican cheese quesadilla! 
Options for Tandoori masala
If this Patak's Tandoori paste is not available to you, you can simply use any other tandoori seasoning instead. 
A quick-fix option is to mix a teaspoon of paprika, cayenne, or de Arbol powder, garam masala, and a pinch of cinnamon.
The flavors will not be the same as Tandoori masala but you can make do with it. 
How to make it vegan?
This recipe can easily be customized to fit vegans. Use dairy-free cheese and cheese spread. All the remaining ingredients are vegan-friendly. 
How to Store them?
The black beans filling can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the fridge. It stays well for 3-4 days. You can also freeze it. 
Pro-Tip - I like to soak beans overnight and then freeze them in ziptop containers. This way, I always have pre-soaked beans handy. 
In fact, you can even freeze black bean quesadilla for up to 2 months. 
How to keep them warm for lunch?
The best way to do that is to pack it in an insulated casserole. The double insulation helps to keep the quesadillas warm for several hours compared to regular lunch containers.
How to reheat quesadillas?
Yes, you can reheat leftover Mexican vegetarian quesadillas in a microwave, skillet, or oven. 


Calories: 465.74kcal | Carbohydrates: 56.71g | Protein: 16.66g | Fat: 19.58g | Saturated Fat: 7.86g | Cholesterol: 30.89mg | Sodium: 744.52mg | Potassium: 619.48mg | Fiber: 9.91g | Sugar: 8.7g | Vitamin A: 2879.91IU | Vitamin C: 57.92mg | Calcium: 237.46mg | Iron: 4.84mg