Lightened Up Corn and Bean Quesadillas with Avocado-Mango-Chipotle Salsa

This is the type of meal that in a restaurant, if you’re not careful, could be a major diet de-railer.

Fortunately, I’ve got a lightened up version that’s easy and ready in 15 minutes.

Lightened Up Corn and Bean Quesadillas with Avocado-Mango-Chipotle Salsa (vegetarian/vegan option) - You don't have to derail your diet to enjoy hearty & satisfying comfort food! This version is only about 300 calories & ready in 15 minutes!

There’s a reason certain food just gives you those warm, fuzzy, comfort food feelings. Melted cheese, slathered between tortilla shells, and topped off with big dollops of sour cream and guac is one of them.

No sour cream here, but my version still has the melted cheese and big chunky pieces of avocado. I kept the recipe vegan by using vegan cheese and paid attention to portion size. Sure, gobs of cheese and big portions are nice, but not realities when trying to lighten things up.

Lightened Up Corn and Bean Quesadillas with Avocado-Mango-Chipotle Salsa (vegetarian/vegan option) - You don't have to derail your diet to enjoy hearty & satisfying comfort food! This version is only about 300 calories & ready in 15 minutes!

I filled the quesadilla with chunky corn and bean salsa (Ralph’s storebrand) or Cowboy Caviar would work great. If you’re inclined to sweat down onions and mushrooms to boost the flavor and provide a meat-like texture, without adding meat or virtually any calories, mini portobellas are great.

For the tortilla shells, rather than using big, white, empty-calorie shells, I used whole wheat fajita-sized shells, which are each packed with 40% of daily fiber, and only 80 calories. Usually I love everythingThey’re super soft and don’t taste wheaty. I much prefer them to the Trader Joe’s low carb 60-calorie shells. Sorry, Trader.

Lightened Up Corn and Bean Quesadillas with Avocado-Mango-Chipotle Salsa (vegetarian/vegan option) - You don't have to derail your diet to enjoy hearty & satisfying comfort food! This version is only about 300 calories & ready in 15 minutes!

For the avocado-mango-chipotle salsa, you can halve the recipe if you don’t want extra. However, I really dislike halving one avocado recipes because then what am I going to do with the other half?

I prefer to use the whole avocado and have leftovers of the completed recipe, rather than a lone brown half.

Lightened Up Corn and Bean Quesadillas with Avocado-Mango-Chipotle Salsa (vegetarian/vegan option) - You don't have to derail your diet to enjoy hearty & satisfying comfort food! This version is only about 300 calories & ready in 15 minutes!

The overall stats will vary based on brands and exact ingredients used, and if you want a complete nutritional profile, you’ll have to use an online service to help you calculate it. I don’t have time or desire. Rough estimates, big picture, that’s me.

Quesadillas

Whole wheat fajita shells or soft taco shells , 80 calories each = 160 calories for two

1/4 cup chunky bean and corn salsa = 60 calories

1/4 cup shredded cheese. Daiya is vegan, or use a reduced fat Mexican blend = 80 calories

Total = 300 calories

Avocado Mango Salsa

1 avocado = 320 calories

1 cup diced mango = 100

Total =420 calories, but this would be a very large salsa portion

The entire plate, and I’m sure you’d be stuffed = 720 calories

Lightened Up Corn and Bean Quesadillas with Avocado-Mango-Chipotle Salsa (vegetarian/vegan option) - You don't have to derail your diet to enjoy hearty & satisfying comfort food! This version is only about 300 calories & ready in 15 minutes!

For me, half the quesadilla and not quite half the salsa was plenty, about 350 calories, and I was more than satisfied.

Plant-based meals like this that are full of fiber from the beans, corn, mango, avocado, and tortilla shells keep you full for a long time. The healthy fat in the avocado, and the protein in the beans and cheese, make the quesadillas hearty and satisfying.

Lightened Up Corn and Bean Quesadillas with Avocado-Mango-Chipotle Salsa (vegetarian/vegan option) - You don't have to derail your diet to enjoy hearty & satisfying comfort food! This version is only about 300 calories & ready in 15 minutes!

The slight kick in the corn and bean salsa used in the quesadilla filling, coupled with the chipotle seasoning in the avo-mango salsa, provide rich, bold, smoky flavors with just a touch of heat.

There’s enough cheese to provide the cheesy, chewy quality I crave, while the soft and chewy fajita shells boost the chewiness even more.

Lightened Up Corn and Bean Quesadillas with Avocado-Mango-Chipotle Salsa (vegetarian/vegan option) - You don't have to derail your diet to enjoy hearty & satisfying comfort food! This version is only about 300 calories & ready in 15 minutes!

The sweet mango and tart lime juice are a perfect pairing and add refreshing lightness.

Lightened up comfort food is do-able. In 15 minutes at that.

Lightened Up Corn and Bean Quesadillas with Avocado-Mango-Chipotle Salsa (vegetarian/vegan option) - You don't have to derail your diet to enjoy hearty & satisfying comfort food! This version is only about 300 calories & ready in 15 minutes!

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Lightened Up Corn and Bean Quesadillas with Avocado-Mango-Chipotle Salsa (vegetarian/vegan)

This is the type of meal that in a restaurant could be a major diet de-railer. Fortunately, I've got a lightened up version that's easy and ready in 15 minutes. An overview of the nutritional stats is provided in the blog post and is an easy meal to keep under 350 calories. The dish is vegetarian, or keep vegan by using vegan cheese. Plant-based meals like this that are full of fiber from the beans, corn, mango, avocado, and tortilla shells keep you full for a long time. The healthy fat in the avocado, and the protein in the beans and cheese, make the quesadillas hearty and satisfying.

Yield: 1 quesadilla + about 1 1/2 cups salsa; serves 2

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: about 5 minutes

Total Time: about 15 minutes

Ingredients:

Avocado-Mango-Chipotle Salsa 
1 medium ripe Hass avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced in 1/4-inch pieces
1 cup diced mango, in 1/4-inch pieces (I used frozen)
juice from 1/2 lime
about 1 teaspoon chipotle seasoning, or to taste
pinch salt and pepper, optional and to taste

Corn and Bean Quesadillas
2 fajita or soft taco shells (try fajita whole wheat)
1/4 cup chunky bean and corn salsa (I used a storebrand, or try Cowboy Caviar)
1/4 cup shredded cheese (Daiya is vegan, or use a reduced fat Mexican blend)

Directions:

  1. Avocado-Mango-Chipotle Salsa - Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, tossing gently to mix thoroughly.
  2. Taste salsa and adjust chipotle seasoning, salt, pepper, or lime juice ratios if necessary. Cover with plasticwrap to help prevent oxidation of avocado; set aside while preparing the quesadilla. Salsa is best fresh, but extra will keep for up to 2 days airtight in the refrigerator, although some oxidation will occur.
  3. Corn and Bean Quesadillas - Place one fajita shell into a non-stick skillet.
  4. Spoon on salsa in an even flat layer, leaving a small bare 1/2-inch margin around the perimeter.
  5. Evenly sprinkle with cheese.
  6. Top with the other fajita shell.
  7. Turn stove to medium-high heat, and once pan is warm, cook for about 3 minutes on first side. If you have a lid, cover skillet to encourage cheese to melt.
  8. Uncover skillet, flip quesadilla over, and cook on second side for 1 to 3 minutes, or until done to taste preference.
  9. Transfer quesadilla from skillet to plate, top with Avocado Mango Chipotle Salsa, and serve immediately. Quesadillas are best warm and fresh.

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60 Responses to “Lightened Up Corn and Bean Quesadillas with Avocado-Mango-Chipotle Salsa”

  1. #
    1
    Ceara @ Ceara's Kitchen — January 30, 2014 at 1:42 am

    I LOVE the idea of an avocado mango salsa! Definitively making this delicious dish this week – it looks stunning!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — January 30th, 2014 at 2:07 am

      Thanks Ceara & if you try it, LMK!

      Reply

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    2
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — January 30, 2014 at 2:05 am

    Oh man – how wrong is it that I want this right now at 2AM?! I mean, it’s lightened up so it could work as a perfectly acceptable late night snack!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — January 30th, 2014 at 2:08 am

      This is YOUR kind of food, that is for sure :)

      Reply

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    Belinda@themooblushbaker — January 30, 2014 at 2:18 am

    I just ate and I want to make this now! That loaded Quesadilla certainly hits all the rights notes for my corn addicted self. A definitely note worth picture of the salsa too.

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — January 30th, 2014 at 2:22 am

      Thanks, Belinda! I really don’t like these pics but it was a cloudy day, the avo was so pale, the dishes so bright yet dim? Gah. Not my favorite shoot so thank you :)

      Reply

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    Ellen — January 30, 2014 at 2:42 am

    Quesadillas are one of those things I forget about which is silly, they are so easy and perfect (well, anything with melted cheese is perfect;)). Thanks for reminding me I need more quesadillas in my life! Especially this time of year when life is super-busy.

    Reply

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    Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen — January 30, 2014 at 3:28 am

    Loving the Avocado-Mango-Chipotle Salsa on these quesadillas, Averie! I haven’t had breakfast yet and now I want nothing but these quesadillas. ;) Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

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    Paula — January 30, 2014 at 3:57 am

    My stepdaughter will be here this weekend and I was thinking about what to make. Thanks for this great solution! We loved the stuffed sweet potatoes and these quesadillas look every bit as good. I’m glad there will be leftover salsa–I think I’ll be eating it straight up!!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — January 30th, 2014 at 4:23 am

      So good straight up! And have fun with your step daughter and if you try this, LMK!

      Reply

  7. #
    7
    Maryea {happy healthy mama} — January 30, 2014 at 4:27 am

    This look delicious! That word is so overused in the blog world, but that’s exactly what comes to mind when I see the combinations you use here. Esp love that you used mango. It makes everything taste so fresh!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — January 30th, 2014 at 4:35 am

      It’s so funny you say that about the word delicious. A writing coach of mine about 3-4 years ago told me to NEVER use that word. What does that mean? Delicious. Well to me a big salad with kale and homemade salad dressing or a gooey brownie is delicious and to others a big juicy half raw steak is; to each her own. So I always try to describe the food in ways other than ‘delicious’. Means so many different things depending on who says it and who the audience is!

      Reply

  8. #
    8
    Colleen @ What's Baking in the Barbershop?! — January 30, 2014 at 4:35 am

    We enjoy making quesadillas for an easy dinner or snack. I am loving this corn and bean version! And avocado mango chipotle salsa? Count me in :)

    Reply

  9. #
    9
    Madison — January 30, 2014 at 4:37 am

    I may make these for super bowl Sunday. :) I love anything mango and avocado together so bring it onnnn.

    Reply

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    10
    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — January 30, 2014 at 5:18 am

    I make quesadillas every week (without fail) for dinner. I can never get enough of them. But this version sounds so much more exciting than my own–which usually just involve refried beans, sautéed onions, greens, cilantro, etc.etc.

    Love that mango chipotle salsa!!!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — January 30th, 2014 at 4:19 pm

      Your version sounds pretty amazing, my friend :) I am still dying over those choc muffins of yours from 2 days ago though!

      Reply

  11. #
    11
    Micheline — January 30, 2014 at 5:24 am

    These look so delish! We make quesadillas all the time in our house so I think the addition of a fresh salsa like this would really spice things up!

    Also, I love your full-size related post pictures. I’m gonna go check out those southwestern sweet potatoes next! And then the mozzarella sticks… and then who knows? I might be here all day.

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — January 30th, 2014 at 4:19 pm

      Glad you like the related recipes/pics. I figure give some options of other things that may catch your eye, and glad yours was caught :)

      Reply

  12. #
    12
    Sarah@WholeAndHeavenlyOven — January 30, 2014 at 5:33 am

    These quesadillas look incredible—I love the mango-avocado salsa….they look so good together! pinned. :)

    Reply

  13. #
    13
    Katrina @ WVS — January 30, 2014 at 5:50 am

    That salsa looks sooooo good!! Lovely!

    Reply

  14. #
    14
    Emma @ Life's A Runner — January 30, 2014 at 6:21 am

    So, I love plant-based meals, adore mango salsa, and have been craving quesadillas. Can you say my perfect recipe? This looks divine! :)

    Reply

  15. #
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    Tieghan Gerard — January 30, 2014 at 6:29 am

    Oh man, that salsa! I could just eat that with a spoon! These look so good, Averie! I love that they are lightened up, so now quesadillas for lunch can be any everyday thing. Yeah!

    Reply

  16. #
    16
    Layla @ Brunch Time Baker — January 30, 2014 at 7:21 am

    Oh my goodness! These quesadillas look awesome! gotta love the salsa!

    Reply

  17. #
    17
    Marie @ Little Kitchie — January 30, 2014 at 8:16 am

    Lightened up quesadillas?! You are my hero!!

    Reply

  18. #
    18
    sippitysup — January 30, 2014 at 8:43 am

    That’s good eatin’… I make quesadillas for lunch a lot. Especially when I am feeling “lazy”. These quesadillas are usually little more than cheese and whatever leftover protein I have laying about. But you’ve proven with no extra effort my quesadilla lunches can be special (and colorful too). Let’s face it, colorful meals just feel indulgent, even when they’re not. GREG

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — January 30th, 2014 at 4:12 pm

      Let’s face it, colorful meals just feel indulgent, even when they’re not <— AGREED! And how horrible would it be to photograph some beige tortillas, beige/yellow corn, and pale cheese. As it was, it was a cloudy day and kind of a nightmare and without that colorful mango salsa, I would have been doomed :)

      Reply

  19. #
    19
    Serene@HouseofYumm — January 30, 2014 at 11:52 am

    These look spectacular! And I was looking for something to do with the mangoes I got on sale this week. This looks and sounds so flavorful I’m excited to give these a try! Quesadillas are usually something we make that are simple and easy. I love the additions of the corn salsa AND the mango avocado salsa to liven it up!

    Reply

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    sally @ sallys baking addiction — January 30, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    Love these easy quesadillas, Averie! When I worked at chili’s, I would eat quesadillas just like this. Lots of beans/corn/cheese and salsa. This recipe reminds me of those days – shoving food in on my breaks working 12 hour days. Now I’m craving one! Especially with your avocado/mango salsa. I made mango guac last week. You’d love it!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — January 30th, 2014 at 4:09 pm

      Whoa. hold the phone. I did not know you worked at Chili’s? How didn’t I know this?! Learn something new every day! I used to go there all the time for drinks and apps back in the day :) Fun times & I can only imagine how tempting it was being around all that (greasy but amazing) bar food :)

      Reply

  21. #
    21
    Happy Valley Chow — January 30, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    I should not be looking at these right now before dinner….holy tummy growl! That sounds amazing :)

    Reply

  22. #
    22
    Katie — January 30, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    This just oozes California summertime. Or California anytime. I miss warmth!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — January 30th, 2014 at 4:07 pm

      This is CA winter time food. This is as ‘comfort’ as I can get…LOL I would die if I had your weather. Shudder.

      Reply

  23. #
    23
    Trish - Mom On Timeout — January 30, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    Avocado and mango is truly one of my favorite “fresh” flavor combinations. These quesadillas look magnificent Averie!

    Reply

  24. #
    24
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — January 30, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    I love these quesadillas and that salsa sounds killer. Perfect dinner idea!

    Reply

  25. #
    25
    Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust — January 30, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    Now see “what am I going to do with the other half” befuddles me. There is never leftover avocado, lol. These look fabulous!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — January 30th, 2014 at 6:15 pm

      I always forget just how much you love your avos :)

      Reply

  26. #
    26
    Laura Dembowski — January 30, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    It’s been way too long since I’ve had a quesadilla. Love that these are healthy and filling! I can’t get enough avocados lately. I’ve been eating part of one almost every day.

    Reply

  27. #
    27
    Sheila @ Sweet Baked Life — January 30, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    I love quesadillas, and these look and sound amazing. I especially love your avocado and mango salsa!

    Reply

  28. #
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    Sylvie@Gourmande in the Kitchen — January 30, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    Avocado Mango Salsa sounds divine!

    Reply

  29. #
    29
    Sheila — January 30, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    Averie, you’ve done it again! These look so yummy! We’re trying to cut our calories and I love quesadillas. I love mango and was happy to see that you just used frozen ones. We don’t get them fresh around here very often. Looking forward to trying these!

    Reply

  30. #
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    Naomi — January 30, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    I love the lighten version! We have quesadillas all the time–I’m so gonna give this one a go! :)

    Reply

  31. #
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    Aurica — January 31, 2014 at 1:17 am

    it looks so good and tasty, that i wouldn’t care about calories, i like the mixt of colours and between avocado, mango and salsa, so refreshinggggg :D

    Reply

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    Beth @ bethcakes — January 31, 2014 at 10:33 am

    I could eat quesadillas everyday and never get tired of them. :) These look wonderful, and I love that you made a lightened up version. Looking at the pictures, I do think half plus half the salsa would be plenty. I’m always looking for new things to bring to lunch at work, and these look awesome!

    Reply

  33. #
    33
    Paula – bell’alimento — January 31, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    You don’t normally associate fresh with quesadillas but you did it! These quesadillas how amazing fresh ingredients and sounds amazing! Must try!

    Reply

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    34
    Nutmeg Nanny — February 1, 2014 at 9:18 am

    Oh gosh, I love quesadillas :) they’re so full of great flavors, I can’t wait to have this recipe!

    Reply

  35. #
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    Paula — February 1, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    This was perfect for dinner–I needed something fast and easy after a very late night and lazy day!! The salsa really makes this shine and is also pretty tasy on a bed of spinach. We all loved this and appreciate your lighter version. I don’t think anyone would be disappointed eating the same thing for lunch tomorrow–I feel another lazy day coming on!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — February 1st, 2014 at 4:54 pm

      What a great comment, Paula :) Thanks for making it. You’re the first person who’s reported back after trying it & I appreciate it! I agree that salsa really makes the whole thing pop! And thank goodness for lighter versions…so we can have…more PB by the spoonful :)

      Reply

  36. #
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    Justine Kaitlyn @prettyinpistachio — February 3, 2014 at 9:54 am

    Craving these now ahh! YUM :)

    Reply

  37. #
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    Katrina Vega — February 3, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    These look amazing!!! I’ll probably add some shredded chicken to the filling just for some extra protein. Thanks for sharing :) Pinning!

    Reply

  38. #
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    Tiffany — February 3, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    Mango is my life!!! These quesadillas are sheer brilliance Averie! Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous.

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — February 4th, 2014 at 12:47 am

      You’re so sweet and I wish that these pics turned out half as pretty as your photos always do! Overcast day, so…difficult!

      Reply

  39. #
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    Julie @ This Gal Cooks — February 4, 2014 at 8:33 am

    I love this lighter version of one of my favorite dishes. With all of that great looking salsa and the avocados, I could probably skip the cheese alltogether! Great recipe, Averie. :)

    Reply

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    Emily — August 5, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    The avocado-mango salsa sounds beyond amazing! The one thing I hate about avocados is that you can’t really make a big batch of this kind of stuff… Otherwise I would quintuple the recipe and put it on everything! ;)

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — August 6th, 2014 at 3:33 am

      Because of the citrus/mango element, the avocado in this kept pretty well! Much better than say in a mashed guacamole which turns brown much quicker.

      Reply

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