Garlic Chicken, Black Bean, and Spinach Quesadillas

Kid Friendly Recipes, Main Dish, Mexican, Poultry, Quick Meals | 41 comments

Let’s face it: preparing a delicious dinner every day is a challenge many families face. Even food bloggers. Raise your hand if you’re all about short-cuts in the kitchen!?!

Garlic Chicken, Black Bean, and Spinach Quesadillas

This week, Land O’Lakes challenged me to share a quick, easy dinner recipe for their new Weeknight Wins Blogger Challenge with Sauté Express® Sauté Starter. I will be posting about easy Weeknight Wins along with four other food bloggers. You can repin your favorite go-to recipe ideas for each Challenge from our Pinterest Board. Plus, each week there will be a new giveaway for you to win!

Sauté Express® Sauté Starter is a blend of seasoned butter and olive oil that can be used to cook and season meats like chicken, fish, or pork in one easy step. My challenge this week: create a recipe to highlight this fun new ingredient that can be cooked in 30 minutes or less to “Please Picky Your Eaters.”

I settled on quesadillas. My kids love them and they are fast. We usually have all of the ingredients on hand for a simple tortilla and cheese quesadilla but I love to make stuff them with all sorts of delicious ingredients, depending on what we have on hand, to round them out into a more nutritious and satisfying meal. This week we were going with Garlic Chicken, Black Bean, and Spinach Quesadillas.

Garlic Chicken, Black Bean, and Spinach Quesadillas

Chicken tenderloins are my go-to meat on busy days. Chicken goes with just about anything and the tenderloins are smaller than breasts, so if I haven’t planned ahead I am able to thaw them pretty quickly just before preparing my recipe.

I browned some chicken tenderloins in a pan with Garlic Herb Sauté Express® Sauté Starter. This gave the chicken a nice flavor without me having to marinade meat ahead of time or take several different bottles of herbs and spices out of the cabinet.

Garlic Chicken, Black Bean, and Spinach Quesadillas

I stuffed whole grain tortillas with refried black beans, sliced garlic herb chicken, chopped fresh spinach, purple onion and pepper jack cheese.

My sister has been working like crazy with tax deadlines approaching. Last Saturday she came home from a long day at work and I had this meal ready for her. She said: This hit the spot! I was really craving Mexican.

Now, you can participate in Weeknight Wins by Sauté Express® Sauté Starter. Each week, I’ll be hosting a lovely sweepstakes for you! Share your idea for pleasing picky eaters for a chance to win the Sauté Express® Sauté Starter Picky Eater Prize Pack.

Now, share your idea for Pleasing Picky Eaters for a chance to win the Sauté Express® Sauté Starter Picky Eater Prize Pack.

Sauté Express® Sauté Starter Picky Eater Prize Pack

  • Four coupons for Sauté Express® Sauté Starter
  • Set of Six Divided Dinner Plates $35
  • Set of Anthropology Dish Towels $24 (Anthropologie)
  • Le Creuset Cast Iron Skillet $120

Enter The Weeknight Wins by Sauté Express® Sauté Starter Giveaway

What would you make using Sauté Express® Sauté Starter to please your picky eater. Each week, Land O’Lakes will pick a few favorites to be featured on the Land O’Lakes Weeknight Meals Pinterest Board. *When you enter, Land O’Lakes may select your comment to feature for promotion, social media and/or other related marketing materials.

To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment below answering one of the following questions:

What is your weeknight win to please a picky eater?
What would you make with Sauté Express® Sauté Starter?

Giveaway Details

U.S. only. One entry per person (that includes email address & IP address) per day. First and last name and a valid email address are required. Entries obtained by mechanical or spamming mechanisms will be disqualified. One winner will be chosen at random from all of the qualified entries submitted. Giveaway ends on Friday, April 5, 2013, at 11:59 PM EST. Winner will be contacted via email supplied in the entry & will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. Giveaway is sponsored by Land O’Lakes. Good Life Eats and the sponsor reserve the right to cancel the giveaway at any time.

Garlic Chicken, Black Bean, and Spinach Quesadillas

Yield: serves 4 - 6

Print Save Recipe


2 squares Garlic Herb Sauté Express® Sauté Starter
1 pound chicken tenderloins, thawed
1 lime, juiced
2 ounces chopped fresh baby spinach
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
¼ of a small purple onion, cut in half and then sliced thin
1–14 ounce can refried black beans or homemade black bean spread
8 ounces grated Pepper Jack or Monterrey Jack Cheese
8 taco sized whole grain flour tortillas


In a sauté pan, melt the Sauté Express® Sauté Starter over medium heat until it begins to bubble. Add the thawed chicken and cook for 3–5 minutes, or until browned. Turn and cook the other side until browned and the chicken is cooked through. While cooking, brush some of the Sauté Express® Sauté Starter on the side of the chicken facing up.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the chopped spinach, cilantro, and purple onions. Stir until tossed well. Set aside.

Spread 2 tablespoons of refried black beans on one side of 4 of the tortillas. Set aside.

After chicken has cooked, slice or shred it into bite sized pieces. Squeeze the lime over the chicken and stir to coat. Divide the meat between the 4 tortillas and layer it on top of the beans.

Then, divide the spinach mixture between the 4 tortillas and layer it on top of the chicken. Top with the cheese and then place the remaining tortillas on top of each quesadilla.

To cook the quesadillas:
In the oven: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Using 1 tablespoon of olive oil, brush each side of the tortillas. Arrange the quesadillas, oiled sides down, on a baking sheet.

Bake the quesadillas until the tortillas are golden brown and the cheese is melted, turning halfway through, about 8-10 minutes total baking time. Cut into quarters or sixths and serve. Goes great with guacamole and Spanish rice.

Stovetop: Heat a griddle over medium heat. Grease the griddle with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Cook the quesadillas 2–4 minutes per side, or until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are browned. Cut into quarters or sixths and serve.

Goes great with guacamole and Spanish rice.

Disclosure: I’ve partnered with Land O’Lakes for an exclusive endorsement of Sauté Express® Sauté Starter. This blog post is sponsored by Land O’Lakes. All opinions are my own.

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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  • 1
    Amy McKay - April 02, 2013 @ 3:22 pm

    When I entrtain I always ask my guess before hand what they don’t and do like that way I always have something for all I don’t want therm to go hungry because they don’t like what I cook and I do love cooking


  • 2
    Amy McKay - April 02, 2013 @ 3:23 pm

    Sorry I can’t enter as from nz but thought id share anyway


  • 3
    Kate - April 02, 2013 @ 4:51 pm

    I love those Sauté Express butters for fish. It’s the easiest way to add such good flavor and get a great sear on the flesh. Thanks for offering this giveaway!


  • 4
    Ilona t - April 02, 2013 @ 7:09 pm

    Spaghetti and meatballs!


  • 5
    Sharon - April 02, 2013 @ 7:10 pm

    Melted cheese makes many of my dishes more appealing, especially roasted veggies.


  • 6
    Denise Taylor-Dennis - April 02, 2013 @ 8:33 pm

    My weeknight winner is pasta for my picky 3 year old. He loves it with butter and Parmesan cheese.


  • 7
    Tieghan - April 02, 2013 @ 8:55 pm

    Garlic chicken tacos!!! These have my name written all over them!


  • 8
    D SCHMIDT - April 02, 2013 @ 9:23 pm

    I recently found a recipe perfect for leftover Turkey that pleases my whole family! It is stuffing, canned soup, mushrooms, onions, garlic powder, mashed potatoes and sour cream combined and tastes better than it sounds.


  • 9
    Anna - April 02, 2013 @ 10:59 pm

    Pizza’s great for picky eaters because you can have as few (or as many!) toppings as you want!


  • 10
    Alicia - April 03, 2013 @ 5:44 am

    My go-to weeknight dinner is waffles and bacon! Easy, simple and everyone is happy!


  • 11
    Laura - April 03, 2013 @ 5:51 am

    Pasta is always a hit with my picky eater. Paired with some sort of protein and veggie, it makes for a quick meal, too.


  • 12
    Natalie S - April 03, 2013 @ 6:55 am

    I would make sauteed garlic and herb shrimp with the express starter!


  • 13
    Lauren Wyler - April 03, 2013 @ 7:21 am

    I would use the garlic and herb flavored express starter to sauté in a very hot cast iron skillet some cubed sweet potatoes and butternut squash! Sauté them for a little while then throw them in the oven to roast and finish up!


  • 14
    Jeanne J - April 03, 2013 @ 8:02 am

    My weeknight win to please a picky eater (my youngest son) is Spaghetti and meatballs–just the noodles and no sauce! The rest of the family loves my mother-in-laws homemade sauce.


  • 15
    Allison - April 03, 2013 @ 8:23 am

    Huevos Rancheros – always makes everyone in this house happy and it’s easy and quick!


  • 16
    Christina K. - April 03, 2013 @ 12:32 pm

    My go to for a my picky three old is buttered noodles with roasted broccoli. I can’t get him to eat most things but put broccoli in front of him and it’s as good as gone!


  • 17
    Stephanie J - April 03, 2013 @ 3:43 pm

    I would Make tortellini with root veggies. I think it would make a nice light sauce for them. and My go to meal when I am running around is frozen pasta like tortellini, or butternut squash ravioli. YUM


  • 18
    Maria - April 03, 2013 @ 6:29 pm

    I love, love quesadillas and have several in my busy night rotation. This recipe is getting pinned, it looks so delicious and quick.


  • 19
    meredith montgomery - April 03, 2013 @ 6:39 pm

    yummy looking quesadillas! My family likes grilled chicken and veggies as our go to meal


  • 20
    Merrill - April 03, 2013 @ 8:10 pm

    I would use the garlic and herb starter to make chicken and veggies to put on a pizza! Homemade pizza is one of my picky eater’s favorites!


  • 21
    Ina - April 04, 2013 @ 8:23 am

    Thanks for this giveaway, & I would love to enter, & this looks like a great recipe to try!


  • 22
    Julie - April 04, 2013 @ 9:31 am

    mine is tacos thanks for the giveaway


  • 23
    Alicia - April 04, 2013 @ 9:44 am

    My weeknight win is breakfast for dinner. Add chopped veggies to the scrambled eggs and serve a big bowl of fruit with other yummy breakfast items. The garlic and herb sounds like a delicious and quick sauce for pasta and veggies.


  • 24
    rachel - April 04, 2013 @ 2:28 pm

    Build it yourself burrito bowls with chicken! Everyone gets what they want. :)


  • 25
    Meg | In the Kitchen & On the Run - April 04, 2013 @ 3:00 pm

    My weeknight win is chicken parm! Italian lovers :)


  • 26
    latanya - April 04, 2013 @ 3:00 pm

    I would make shrimp scampi


  • 27
    Audrey - April 04, 2013 @ 4:50 pm

    I would make make a risotto with vegetables!


  • 28
    Elke McLeroy - April 04, 2013 @ 6:07 pm

    Honey Mustard Baked Chicken


  • 29
    Joan M Carr - April 04, 2013 @ 6:21 pm



  • 30
    florence - April 04, 2013 @ 8:36 pm

    I have never used these Saute Starter, but your post looks delicious. Would love to try to make your dish!


  • 31
    Pat - April 05, 2013 @ 10:01 am

    My go to is grilled chicken and cous cous- your dish looks awesome!


  • 32
    Brenda - April 05, 2013 @ 10:26 am

    We love waffles and fruit as a quick dinner.


  • 33
    Jen K. - April 05, 2013 @ 1:32 pm

    I think I would saute salmon with the starter…my picky eater devours salmon! Also seems like a little of it would make for a delicious grilled cheese!


  • 34
    Mirien - April 05, 2013 @ 1:33 pm

    My tips for cooking with picky eaters? Make whatever you want, endure the complaining, get them to try some of everything, and repeat–day after day, year after year. My oldest 4 are now great eaters and the youngest two are coming along…


  • 35
    Rena - April 05, 2013 @ 1:37 pm

    Mac n cheese is easy for picky eaters! I use whole wheat pasta and reduced fat cheese so it’s not crazy high in calories


  • 36
    Kim McCallie - April 05, 2013 @ 1:43 pm

    I would use the lemon pepper to make an easy tilapia dish.


  • 37
    Karen Haynes - April 05, 2013 @ 2:08 pm

    Salad-always salad!


  • 38
    Oscar Noriega - April 05, 2013 @ 11:35 pm

    Bean and cheese burrito’s


  • 39
    alicia in lucas - April 06, 2013 @ 4:31 pm

    I made fried chicken tenders using the garlic and herb kind in the pan. It was great.


  • 40
    danielle shea - April 12, 2013 @ 8:30 am

    My picky eaters love my turkey meatloaf. My 2 year old devours it everytime I make it!! I have also used the garlic herb saute express starter for my boneless skinless chicken thighs with baked potatoes and other veggies…..yummy!!!


  • 41
    Deborah Jones - January 13, 2014 @ 11:51 am

    Garlic & Herb or the Lemon Pepper and Steelhead trout. Sauté the trout in the Saute Express for a couple minutes in a skillet turning once. Transfer to an oven safe dish, skin down, and pour remaining drippings over the fish and bake at 425 for 11 minutes, or until fish flakes easily. Serve with rice, salad or as my grandson says, ‘macheese. (Mac and Cheese) The Steelhead trout has a mild, non-fishy flavor that children love. My two year old grandson gobbles this up.


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