Poblano Pepper & Pinto Bean Cheesy Vegan Quesadillas

Jump to Recipe Print Recipe

These easy, cheesy vegan quesadillas are stuffed with a zippy homemade cashew cheese, hearty pinto beans, and a spicy mixture of poblano peppers and red onions.

I was going on a bit last Friday about how so many of my recipes center around cashews, and hey look! Here I am with another cashew-centric vegan recipe!

This time it’s quesadillas, and if you aren’t down with cashews, don’t worry — I posted a no-cashew quesadilla recipe a couple of years ago. That one used avocados in place of cheese and it was awesome. And every time I mention it or share it on social media I swear up and down that you won’t miss the cheese. And you won’t! But, like I was just saying on Friday, variety is nice.

So this time around I’ve got a vegan quesadilla recipe that does involve cheese. This one uses homemade cashew-based cheddar cheese. And because I can’t handle the idea of making a dish as simple as vegan cheese + tortillas, I juiced things up with some pinto beans, red onions and spicy poblano peppers. The mixture is delicious and makes these quesadillas totally dinner-worthy.

Let’s talk about that cashew cheese! One thing I discovered over the last year or so is that tapioca starch can take a mixturehas that soft, stretchy quality we all used to love so much about cheese. Invest in a bag of tapioca starch — it’s so worth it! All you do is add a couple of tablespoons to the mix and then cook it on the stove for a few minutes.

And yes, you can skip the tapioca starch if you really want to. The cheese will still taste good and it’ll still be kind of convincing without the stretchiness. Just not as much!

I flavored up my vegan quesadilla cheese with some nooch, garlic and hot sauce. The hot sauce really doesn’t make it very hot at all. I’m sure I’ll get questions from people who aren’t into heat and want to leave it out, and you can, but please give it a try with the hot sauce. Just add a little bit at a time and you’ll see that it’s no big deal and actually makes things taste cheesy.

5 from 5 votes Print

Poblano Pepper & Pinto Bean Cheesy Vegan Quesadillas

These easy, cheesy vegan quesadillas are stuffed with a zippy homemade cashew cheese, hearty pinto beans, and a spicy mixture of poblano peppers and red onions.

CourseAppetizer, Entree CuisineAmerican, Mexican Prep Time 15 minutes Cook Time 15 minutes Total Time 30 minutes Servings 4 Calories 512 kcal Author Alissa Saenz


For the Cheese

  • 1cupunflavored soy or almond milk
  • 1cupraw cashews,soaked in water 4-8 hours, drained and rinsed
  • ¼cupnutritional yeast flakes
  • 2tablespoonsCholula hot sauce(or a similar vinegar-based hot sauce)
  • 2tablespoonstapioca starch
  • 1garlic clove
  • ½teaspoon salt

For the Quesadillas

  • 1tablespoonolive oil
  • 1poblano pepper,seeded and cut into strips
  • ½medium red onion, cut into strips
  • 1garlic clove,minced
  • 1cup cooked or canned pinto beans,drained
  • 1tablespoon Cholula hot sauce(or a similar vinegar-based hot sauce)
  • ½teaspoonground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4medium (soft taco size) flour tortillas
  • Oil or cooking spray, for grilling
  • Toppings of choice (avocado, salsa, cilantro)


To Make the Cheese

  1. Place all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

  2. Transfer the mixture to a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Heat the mixture while whisking constantly, until it becomes thick and stretchy and pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 4-5 minutes.

  3. Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool for a few minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.

To Make the Quesadillas

  1. Coat the bottom of a medium skillet with 1 tablespoon of oil and place it over medium-high heat. Add the poblano pepper and onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until the veggies begin to soften and darken in spots, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook about 1 minute more, until very fragrant. Stir in the beans, hot sauce and cumin. Cook just until heated throughout, about 1 minute more. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

  2. Slather half of a tortilla with about a quarter of the cheese, then top with a quarter of the bean mixture. Fold in half, and repeat with the remaining tortillas, cheese, and bean mixture.

  3. Lightly oil a large grill pan or skillet (you can use the same one that you cooked the bean mixture in – just wipe it out). Place the pan over medium heat, and once the skillet is hot, arrange as many of the quesadillas inside as will fit without overlapping. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side, until lightly browned and crispy. Repeat until all of the quesadillas are cooked.

  4. Serve with toppings of choice.

Recipe Notes

Leftover cashew cheese will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Nutrition FactsPoblano Pepper & Pinto Bean Cheesy Vegan QuesadillasAmount Per ServingCalories 512Calories from Fat 212% Daily Value*Fat 23.6g36%Saturated Fat 4.1g21%Sodium 898mg37%Potassium 715mg20%Carbohydrates 57.8g19%Fiber 10.6g42%Sugar 3.8g4%Protein 21.6g43%Calcium 80mg8%Iron 5.4mg30%* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.« Creamy Mushroom Wild Rice SoupCauliflower & Chickpea Creamy Polenta Bowls with Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce »

Sharing is caring!

I am down with cashews, these quesadillas are brilliant! so many great flavors, my wife is going to love these!!!


  • Wow! This looks so good~~ Thank you for sharing the recipe! I will definitely try it this weekend!


    • Another success! Absolutely delicious.


      • These are great, totally crave-worthy! Closest thing I’ve had to a “real” cheesy quesadilla since going vegan. Thanks for these!


      • My all time go to for quesadillas! Easy and delicious!


      • Leave a Reply Cancel reply

        Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

        Recipe Rating

Primary Sidebar

Hi, I’m Alissa! I’m a former attorney turned professional food blogger. I love creating vegan recipes with bold flavors!

More about me →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *