Black Bean Quesadillas with Garlicky Shishito Peppers | @naturallyella

On my patio, I have a couple dozen planters full of herbs and summer produce. Of all the summer produce, peppers are my favorite item to grow in pots. They are easy, need very little care, and can produce a bounty throughout the summer. I have a long list of favorites to grow that include hot and sweet, but one of my favorites is the shishito pepper. They are small, slightly sweet, and a really great pepper to fry whole. I took a different approach with these black bean quesadillas and sliced then fried the shishito with garlic. It’s the perfect mild filling to compliment the black beans.

Garlicky Shishito Pepper Black Bean Quesadillas | @naturallyella

Black Bean Quesadillas with Garlicky Shishito Peppers

  • Author: Erin Alderson
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings
  • Category: vegetarian main course


A perfect way to use those small shishito peppers, this black bean quesadilla is quick and easy to throw together for a simple summer dinner. 


  • 4 ounces shishito peppers (roughly 2 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup black beans (drained and rinsed if using canned)
  • 3 tablespoons minced cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Juice from 1/2 lime
  • 2 10″ whole wheat tortillas
  • 3 ounces shredded Monterey jack or cheddar cheese


  1. Prepare the peppers by cutting into 1/4″ thick slices and removing the stem. Heat a large pan or griddle over medium heat. Add olive oil followed by the peppers. Sauté until the pepper pieces are browning and beginning to blister, 5 or so minutes.
  2. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant and golden. Measure in black beans then cilantro, salt, and lime juice. Stir and cook until the beans are warm, another 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a bow and set aside.
  3. Turn the skillet down to low heat. Working with one tortilla at a time, divide cheese in half and spread evenly over one side of the tortilla. Add half the bean mixture to the tortilla and let cook until cheese starts to melt and tortilla begins to brown. Fold in half, cooking the tortilla on each side until crisp and brown. Repeat with second tortilla.


Tips & Tricks: These quesadillas also work with other pepper varieties- just check on the heat level. Some peppers look like shishitos but are padrón peppers (which can be a bit hotter).

Stock up: get the pantry ingredients you will need: tortillas, black beans, limes

Nutrition: see the information.


  • Calories: 644
  • Sugar: 4.8
  • Sodium: 918
  • Fat: 25
  • Carbohydrates: 78.4
  • Fiber: 12.6
  • Protein: 28.4
  • Cholesterol: 43.4

Step by Step

Garlicky Shishito Pepper Black Bean Quesadillas | @naturallyella

Black Bean Quesadillas


The shishito pepper is usually paired with Asian flavors but works well in place of other sweet peppers. Plus, because they run on the sweet side, there’s no need to worry about removing the seeds (a time saver, for sure!)

Peppers: Can’t find the shishito peppers? Use another sweet pepper (bell or Italian) or you can add heat to these black bean quesadillas by using the padrón pepper or jalapeños. A mix of sweet and hot peppers also works well!

Cheese: Use your favorite or whatever you have on hand. I typically use a jack cheese but anything from goat to a smoked mozzarella would work. My goal is to usually compliment the flavors of the peppers and not overpower.

Grain Bowl/Vegan: The black bean mixture is good by itself and makes an excellent topping for a grain bowl with a drizzle of hot sauce. A perfect way to still get the flavors without the cheese!

Vegetarian Black Bean Quesadillas with Garlicky Shishito Peppers | @naturallyella