Get dinner on the table in less than 20! This easy fall recipe, from Amy Palanjian of Yummy Toddler Food, is a family-friendly favorite. Here she uses pumpkin puree and black beans, but feel free to swap in whatever you have on hand.
When 5 pm rolls around, my house tends to veer quickly into chaos with all of us in various states of hunger and fatigue. To which I often say, quesadillas to the rescue! I try to always keep a few basic ingredients on hand so that I can make these quick Sheet Pan Pumpkin Quesadillas with Black Beans — which are both simple to make and a dinnertime hit with my two girls and husband.
Cooking quesadillas on a sheet pan in the oven takes so much of the work out of the meal, allows you to cook them all at once, and gives you a little time back to play with the kids before you sit down at the table. Those extra 10 minutes to connect are often the key to keeping everyone calm during the witching hour!
I get so excited during the fall when I start to see stacks of pumpkin puree at the grocery store and love using it in unexpected ways. Here, it adds both moisture and flavor to the quesadillas and is a simple and unobtrusive way to tuck in an extra veggie with a dose of vitamin A. (The flavor is mild, so my girls usually don’t even notice that it’s in there.) The black beans add some vegetarian protein and help to make the quesadillas a little more substantial for a main dinner dish.
This family dinner idea is almost endlessly adaptable. Try it with flour tortillas instead of corn. Add in shredded cooked chicken or steak. Use pinto beans instead of black beans or add in different cooked veggies (zucchini, carrots, or even sliced fresh avocado). Simplify and use just cheese and pumpkin, or trade in mashed roasted sweet potato for the pumpkin for a similar and just-as-yummy option. Whichever way you make these, I hope your family enjoys them as much as mine does!
Sheet Pan Pumpkin Quesadillas with Black Beans
8 corn tortillas (the ones labeled “soft” are usually a better texture for younger kids and toddlers)
1 can pumpkin puree
1 can black beans (rinsed, drained, and patted dry)
1- 1 ½ cup shredded cheddar and/or Monterey Jack cheese
Ground chili powder
1 cup snipped spinach or kale, optional
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Place 4 of the tortillas, without overlapping, on a baking sheet. Spread each with 1-2 tablespoons of the pumpkin puree. Top with ¼-⅓ cup cheese, ¼ cup black beans, and sprinkle on a little cumin and chili powder. Top with spinach or kale, if using, and top with a second tortilla.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until heated through and melty. (You can place a second baking sheet on top and weight with an oven-safe pan to ensure they are flattened while baking, or simply press with your hand as soon as you take them out of the oven.) Cut with kitchen shears and serve with salsa.
Honest Tip: Adjust the amounts as needed for your family. You will have leftover pumpkin, so try making this Pumpkin Yogurt Chia Pudding for breakfast the next day!
~ Amy Palanjian, Yummy Toddler Food
Amy Palanjian is a writer and recipe developer. Find more of her wholesome and happy recipes and feeding advice at Yummy Toddler Food.