Spendthrift Quesadillas


Refried Bean and Spinach Quesadillas are seen in this Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009 photo. These quesadillas provide big flavor for the big game without breaking the bank.

The Associated Press
Published: Thursday, January 22, 2009 at 1:36 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 22, 2009 at 1:36 p.m.

Offering inexpensive and tasty snacks at a Superbowl party can be as challenging as winning the big game itself.

One of the best budget-conscious strategies for creating impressive foods is to start with ingredients that already have tons of flavor. This saves time and money because you don't need to buy or do as much to them.

These spicy bean and spinach quesadillas, which cost around 25 cents per serving, follow this game plan.

Canned, spicy refried beans come pre-seasoned. When combined with zesty, extra-sharp cheddar cheese and toasted flour tortillas, the beans make a memorable and filling nosh.

For a variation, experiment with different cheeses, such as shredded smoked cheddar or spicy Jack cheeses. You also could add chopped chicken and thinly sliced red bell peppers.

Serve the quesadilla wedges with salsa, sour cream and some fresh lime wedges.

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REFRIED BEAN AND SPINACH QUESADILLAS

Start to finish: 35 minutes

Servings: 20

16-ounce can spicy refried beans

10 fajita-sized flour tortillas

1/2 cup chopped scallions

1 1/2 cups finely sliced spinach leaves

1 cup grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese

Cooking spray

1 cup prepared salsa (optional)

1 cup sour cream (optional)

Heat the oven to 200 F. Divide the refried beans between 5 of the tortillas, spreading it evenly over each. Top each with scallions, then spinach, then cheese. Press the remaining tortillas on top.

Coat a large skillet with cooking spray then set over medium heat. One at a time, toast each quesadilla until browned on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Coat the skillet with additional cooking spray between each quesadilla.

As they finish toasting, transfer the quesadillas to a baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm.

To serve, cut each quesadilla into quarters and serve with salsa and sour cream.

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