Kimchi Quesadillas Recipe | Yup, It’s Vegan!

Try something a little different with these kimchi quesadillas! The funky flavor of kimchi makes these crispy filled tortillas a unique delight.

Omg, it’s a new recipe! I’ve mostly been enjoying old favorites from the site and trying to support local restaurants, and haven’t been cooking up many new things, but maybe this is the first day of the rest of my life!

A stack of sliced vegan kimchi quesadillas on a gray plate with scallions

I discovered kimchi quesadillas in one of my Purple Carrot meal kits a couple of months ago. The Purple Carrot version instructed me to put an entire raw sliced jalapeno inside the quesadillas. I followed their instructions so that I could blame the messenger, and it was practically unpalatable. However, I could see the potential in the recipe and came up with my own version, which in my opinion is a lot tastier!

Kimchi in quesadillas, you say? Yep, it may sound a little weird, but that funky, spicy flavor really meshes well with this dish. While traditional kimchi isn’t vegan (it’s made with fish sauce), a lot of the kimchi sold in grocery stores tends to be.

Overhead view of cooked kimchi quesadillas garnished with sesame seeds

(If you’re local to Baltimore, my friend Booch Leggers makes fabulous vegan kimchi and is doing curbside pickup and deliveries!)

The other elements rounding out these plant-based Asian fusion quesadillas are refried beans and some seasoned sauteed peppers and onions. Feel free to garnish with scallions and sesame seeds if you want to emphasize the kimchi;s flavor further.

Steps for making sauteed vegetables: sweat the onion and peppers until browned, then add spices and cook until reduced in size.

As you may know from reading my classic vegan quesadillas recipe, I don’t think commercial vegan cheese belongs anywhere near food, but it’s good for plant-based quesadillas to have some kind of rich or creamy element to replace the cheese.

Steps for assembling kimchi quesadillas: spread refried beans on a tortillas, top with chopped kimchi, add cooked vegetables, and fold in half

Before and after cooking a quesadilla in a pan until browned

So, I decided to dip these kimchi quesadillas in chipotle mayo. I just used Vegenaise this time around, but you can also make your own cashew mayonnaise and add chipotle to it if you like.

A piece of vegan kimchi quesadilla being dipped into chipotle mayonnaise

That being said, maybe you’re a fan of vegan cheese, or not a vegan. If you want to add any of that stuff to these kimchi quesadillas, I’ll just look the other way :).

Hopefully you enjoy these vegan kimchi quesadillas! If you give them a try, let me know in the comments below!

Kimchi Quesadillas

These funky vegan kimchi quesadillas are the perfect savory bite and fast to whip up!

Total Yield 2 quesadillas
Calories Per Serving 422 kcal


For the sauteed vegetables:

  • 1 bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 1 poblano pepper thinly sliced (or use a second bell pepper)
  • 1 red onion thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

For the kimchi quesadillas:

  • 1 cup refried black beans (about half of a can)
  • 4 oz kimchi (about 3/4 cup) (check label for fish sauce)
  • 2 flour tortillas
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • scallions and sesame seeds optional, for serving
  • vegan chipotle mayonnaise optional, for serving


For the sauteed vegetables:

  1. Warm the oil in a skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the sliced peppers and onion and stir. Continue to cook, stirring only occasionally, until the vegetables are slightly browned and softened a bit, about 5-6 minutes.

  2. Add the cumin, paprika, black pepper, and salt to taste, and stir well to combine. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue cooking until the onion is soft, about 2-4 minutes more.

For the vegan kimchi quesadillas:

  1. Drain any excess liquid from the kimchi and finely chop it.

  2. Lay a tortilla flat and spread about 1/2 cup of refried beans onto it, leaving a little bit of space around the edges. Spread about half of the chopped kimchi onto the refried beans, and finally, top with about half of the cooked vegetables. Fold the tortilla in half and press down on it gently to seal. Repeat with the remaining tortilla and ingredients.

  3. Wipe out the skillet and return it to medium-high heat. Add the vegetable oil. Once hot, add one of the folded quesadillas to the skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Repeat with the second quesadilla.

  4. Serve hot, garnished with chopped scallions and sesame seeds if desired, and condiment of choice (I recommend something mayo-based).

Recipe Notes

KIMCHI: Traditional kimchi isn’t vegan, but many brands of kimchi sold in grocery stores omit the fish sauce to cut costs. Just check the label to be sure.

CHEESE: You’ll notice these kimchi quesadillas are cheese-less, because I don’t care for vegan cheese. If you want to use vegan or regular cheese according to your dietary and taste preferences, sprinkle it over the vegetables before folding up the quesadillas.

TORTILLAS: Use some kind of gluten-free tortilla if needed. I almost always use whole wheat flour tortillas, personally, although the pictured quesadilla is made with a white flour tortilla.

Nutrition Facts

Kimchi Quesadillas

Amount Per Serving (1 quesadilla)

Calories 422 Calories from Fat 144

% Daily Value*

Fat 16g25%

Saturated Fat 1g6%

Polyunsaturated Fat 3g

Monounsaturated Fat 6g

Sodium 815mg35%

Potassium 843mg24%

Carbohydrates 56g19%

Fiber 12g50%

Sugar 9g10%

Protein 14g28%

Vitamin A 1330IU27%

Vitamin C 140mg170%

Calcium 210mg21%

Iron 2.1mg12%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Inspired by Purple Carrot.

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