Lean Mean Squash and Bean Quesadillas

By Betsy K. and Ellyn L. from Quaker Valley Middle School, Sewickley, PA.


We've reinvented this generation’s “grilled cheese.” These main dish quesadillas keep the flavor and appeal of a cheesy southwestern meal while serving up protein, whole grains and other brain and body food from beans and squash.  Shh! We won’t tell if you don’t.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1 each

From Fat29.61%
From Saturated Fat9.98%
From Sugar6%


Ingredient 6 servings 50 servings
Whole Wheat Tortilla, 8 inch3 each/1.5 oz each25 each/1.5 oz each
Butternut Squash2.25 cups1 gal+2 3/4 cups
Black Beans12 ozs6 lbs
Chili Powder1 1/8 tsp3 tbsp + 3/8 tsp
Ground Cumin3/4 tsp2 tbsp + 1/4 tsp
Ground Oregano3/4 tsp2 tbsp + 1/4 tsp
Cheese Blend, Mozz/Mozz Sub6 ozs3 lbs + 2 oz


Follow proper handwashing procedures as indicated below:

Wet hands and forearms with warm, running water at least 100 degrees F and apply soap. Scrub lathered hands and forearms, under fingernails, and between fingers for at least 10-15 seconds. Rinse thoroughly under warm running water for 5-10 seconds. Dry hands and forearms thoroughly with single- use paper towels. Turn off water using paper towels. Use paper towel to open door when exiting the restroom.

[To roast the butternut squash: Peel squash, discard seeds and dice. Spray 18” X 26” sheet pan with non-stick cooking spray and arrange the squash in a single layer. Put in a 450-degree oven for 20 minutes or until the squash cubes are very tender and golden. Sweet potatoes work just as well if butternut squash is unavailable. Roast potatoes the same as the squash.]

To Prepare:

Strain and rinse black beans and prepare butternut squash. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Assemble quesadillas by layering half of the cheese, black beans and butternut squash on bottom tortilla. Combine spices and sprinkle over the vegetables. Top with the other half of the cheese followed by a second tortilla. Put tray of assembled quesadillas in the oven for 5 minutes. Bake to 165 degrees F. Slice with a pizza cutter and hot hold at over 135 degrees F. Each quesadilla makes 4 servings.

[These quesadillas can be made on a griddle as well. Preheat griddle to med-high heat and assemble the quesadillas on a non-greased or dry griddle. Check for browning and flip quesadillas with a spatula to brown the other side. Once cheese is melted and tortillas are browned, slice and serve. Each quesadilla makes 4 servings.]