I cook with cashews a lot. Not only are they delicious, they’re a vegan cook’s BFF. With a little cajoling, you can turn them into milks, creams, and cheeses of all varieties. The cashew cheese recipe here is similar to the one for my Macaroni and Cashew Cheese, but it is a little thicker and works perfect as a spread for quesadillas.

Top with a little guacamole and these quesadillas are perfect. I made one for my mother last weekend. She took a bite and said, “You should put these on your menu when you open a restaurant.” Thanks for the confidence, mom! 🙂

Cashew Cheese Quesadilla

Makes 4 quesadillas

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews – soaked
  • 1 lemon (juice)
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Sea salt & black pepper
  • 8 Flour Tortillas
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1 cup corn
  • 3 chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 diced roma tomatos
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

Step Zero: The Cheese

This cashew cheese absolutely needs a few hours to chill (preferably overnight) for the flavors to develop. Make it ahead of time and it will keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. It is also helpful to soak the cashews for an hour or two before pureeing.

Add everything from the first list (drained cashews, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic, salt, and pepper) to a food processor and puree until completely smooth. Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate.

Step One

Toss the filling ingredients (black beans, corn, tomato, and cilantro) in a mixing bowl and set to the side.

Cashew Cheese Quesadilla

Prep the quesadillas by laying 2 tortillas flat and coating each with a thin layer of the cashew cheese. On one of the tortillas, add a layer of the filling ingredients and cover with the other. Press down so that everything sticks together. Repeat for all the quesadillas.

Step Two

Heat a skillet with a drop of coconut oil and add a quesadilla. This cheese won’t necessarily melt, so the goal is simply to heat the interior ingredients and allow the outside of the tortillas to develop a golden crust (about 4 minutes on each side).

Slice the quesadillas and serve with a side of simple mashed avocado (or full-blown guacamole with lime juice, tomato, diced jalapeño, and cilantro).

Cashew Cheese Quesadilla