Make Ahead Breakfast Quesadilla with Cheese Spinach and White Beans
If I could go back in time and give my high school self one gift, it would be a freezer filled with these Make Ahead Breakfast Quesadillas.
OK, I’d throw in a date with the super cute lead guitarist in our school’s one respectable high school rock band. I’m sure he’d love a breakfast quesadilla too.
From the age of 16, my daily breakfast consisted of a two-pack of Brown Sugar Frosted Cinnamon Pop-Tarts, eaten cold right out of the foil packet while driving myself to school. They were fast, convenient, and I didn’t really pay any attention to ingredient labels back then, so the fact that I was starving by second period I attributed more to my metabolism than I did to the nutritional profile of my breakfast.
Nostalgia for the carefree Pop-Tart days aside, I now know enough about the human digestive system to realize that I could never have expected those sugary treats to hold me through to chemistry. For both kids and adults, the key to staying full and happy all morning long is to have breakfast with protein, a critical ingredient missing in Pop-Tarts (and most other foods that come in shiny foil packages).
My quest for healthy breakfasts that are high in protein but still offer the tidy convenience of a Pop-Tart led me to today’s make-ahead breakfast quesadilla recipe. After making an aggressively large batch of breakfast quesadillas a few weekends ago, I decided to see what happened if I tried to freeze the leftovers and was delighted by the results. Simply make as much filling as you like, stuff the tortillas, then wrap them in plastic and freeze. You can reheat them easily in the microwave from frozen if you are in a hurry, or let them thaw overnight in the refrigerator and cook them on the stove if time allows.
This breakfast quesadilla recipe is ultra versatile, so feel free to change out the ingredients to suit your preferences. I chose the classic combination of white beans and spinach, along with garlic and a generous handful of sharp white cheddar cheese. The beans and cheese offer bonus protein and make each breakfast quesadilla rich and filling, and the spinach is a sneaky way to coerce your kids (or yourself) to knock out a serving of veggies before 10 a.m.
I’m sharing this breakfast quesadilla recipe in support of the Great American Milk Drive, via the American Dairy Association Mideast’s Back to School campaign . Although dairy is an excellent source of protein and eating breakfast has been shown to improve kids’ attendance and test scores, milk is scare in food pantries across the country. The ADA is sharing this breakfast quesadilla recipe on its Facebook page, and for every “like,” comment, and share the recipe receives, the ADA will donate $1 to the Great American Milk Drive.
Translation: you can help raise donations for the Great American Milk Drive by without opening your wallet or leaving your desk! Just visit the ADA’s Facebook page and click away.
Do ‘da ‘dilla.
Make Ahead Breakfast Quesadilla with Cheese Spinach and White Beans
For a healthy breakfast you can have on hand in an instant, try this freezer-friendly breakfast quesadilla with white beans, spinach, and cheddar cheese. Perfect for busy mornings or a quick dinner.
Yield: 8 quesadillas
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
- 10 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 5 cups lightly packed fresh spinach, roughly torn or chopped (about 4 ounces)
- 1 (15-ounce) can reduced sodium white beans, such as cannellini, Great Northern, or white kidney, rinsed and drained (I typically use cannellini)
- 1 1/2 cups freshly grated cheese: cheddar, Swiss, mozzarella, or another similar melty, cheese (about 5 ounces; I love sharp white cheddar)
- 8 medium whole wheat tortillas (taco size; about 7 inches)
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs milk, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Set aside.
- Add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until it is hot and shimmers. Swirl to coat the pan, then add the spinach and cook stirring often, until it begins to wilt, about 1 minute. Add the beans, reduce the heat to medium low, then carefully pour in the eggs. With a rubber spatula, cook the eggs low and slow, using the spatula to move them around the pan often. Continue cooking until the eggs are scrambled just until set, about 5 minutes. Taste and season with additional salt or pepper as desired. Remove from the heat.
- To make the quesadillas: Sprinkle a tortilla with 1/8 of the shredded cheese, leaving a small border all the way around the edge. Spoon 1/8 of the egg mixture on top, then fold in half. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
- To cook immediately: Carefully wipe out the skillet. Increase the heat to medium and lightly coat the skillet with nonstick spray (or brush with a bit of additional olive oil). Cook the assembled quesadillas on both sides until golden and the cheese is melted, about 5-6 minutes total. Cut into wedges and serve warm.
- To freeze: Let the egg filling cool completely to room temperature. Once cooled, form the quesadillas as directed above, then wrap each assembled quesadilla individually in plastic wrap. Arrange the quesadillas in a single layer on a baking sheet or similar flat surface that will fit in your freezer. Place the sheet in the freezer until the quesadillas are firm, then transfer them to a freezer bag or airtight container. Freeze for up to 2 months. To cook from frozen: Remove the plastic wrap, then warm the quesadilla in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes until heated through. Alternatively, you can let them thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then cook in a skillet as directed above.
- See recipe directions for notes on freezing the quesadillas. You can also store the egg filling separately in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, then assemble the quesadillas just before cooking. I do not recommend storing assembled quesadillas in the refrigerator, as the tortillas can become mushy.
Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!
Additional ways to help the Great American Milk Drive: You can also join us at our #DairyFuel Twitter party on August 26th at 9 pm EST. For every for everyone who joins and uses the hashtag #DairyFuel, an additional $1 will be donated. Plus, the ADA will be giving away prizes too! You can find more information and RSVP here.
More quick and easy recipes for back to school:
- In Katrina’s Kitchen, Chocolate Almond Butter Smoothie Bowls
- Climbing Grier Mountain, Greek Yogurt Chicken Alfredo Grilled Cheese
- Shugary Sweets, Brown Sugar Latte
- Inside BruCrew Life, Turkey Club Pinwheels
- Food Faith Fitness, Banana Pancakes Taco Style
- Love Grows Wild, Florentine Meatballs
- Lemons of Lulu, Baked Spaghetti Lasagna
- Eat2Gather, Cheesy Sweet Potato and Kale Strata
- Country Cleaver, Chicken Florentine Flatbread
I’m sharing this post in partnership with the American Dairy Association Mideast. As always, all opinions are my own, and thanks for supporting the brands and companies that make it possible for me to provide quality content to you!