These quesadillas are so simple to make that it’s kind of embarrassing.  Tortillas, refried beans, and cheese, folded up and tossed on a George Foreman grill until crispy.  That’s it!  This is a perfect meal to make when I get home late or am so tired that I can’t even keep my eyes open long enough to chop up ingredients.  Of course, you could make these more elaborate if you had time and ingredients: chopped tomatoes, mushrooms, corn, onions, cilantro, the sky’s the limit.  If you don’t have a George Foreman grill or sandwich press, you could simply cook the quesadillas in a skillet.

I usually serve these quesadillas with salsa and sour cream, but this time I wanted to try making my own salsa and do a cost comparison with store-bought salsa.  I found a Paula Deen recipe that looked simple and healthy (shocking, I know, from the Butter Queen).  I’ll admit, chopping up all the ingredients was somewhat annoying, but it was totally worth it.  In what store-bought salsa are you going to get avocado?  Exactly.  At my grocery store, the cheapest 16-oz. salsa was $2.50, while this recipe cost around $4.00.   Since I’m not entirely sure how much salsa the recipe made compared to a store-bought jar, I can’t say for sure which is cheaper.  I can say that homemade tastes a hundred times better and leaves you with a sense of accomplishment 🙂

Quick Quesadillas

Ingredients Cost
4 whole wheat tortillas $0.75
4 oz. shredded cheese (cheddar, colby jack, etc.) $1.25
1 15-oz. can refried beans $1.11
Total cost (4 servings) $3.11
Cost per serving $0.78

Preheat George Foreman grill or skillet.  Spread one-fourth of the beans on one side of a tortilla.  Sprinkle cheese over beans.  Fold tortilla in half and cook until grill marks appear on tortilla and cheese is oozing out.  Repeat for remaining tortillas.

Black Bean Salsa (Paula Deen)

Ingredients Cost
1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained $0.80
8 oz. frozen whole kernel corn, thawed $0.50
1 large tomato $0.50
1/2 large avocado, peeled and diced $1.00
1/2 small onion, diced $0.10
1/8 c. cilantro, chopped $0.73
1 T. lime juice $0.45
1/2 T. red wine vinegar pantry
salt and pepper pantry
Total cost (6 servings) $4.08
Cost per serving   $0.68

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Let set in the fridge for several hours or overnight to develop flavors.