Friday Recipe: Tepary Bean Quesadillas from the Cooking up Change National Champs of the Tohono O’od

May 21, 2010 | Written By:


This week, we're thrilled to celebrate the winners of the Cooking up Change national healthy cooking contest!

The student chefs of the Tohono O'odham Community Action Cooking Club placed first in the high school division with their tasty, healthy lunch of tepary bean quesadillas, baby spinach and pear salad with carrot
vinaigrette, and yogurt peanut butter fruit dip.

Tepary beans are a traditional food of the Tohono O'odham community. The students explained: “It's not only creating a healthy meal, it's creating a
healthy community. . . . It's our
traditional way to be healthy and we need to get back to that with our
traditional foods.”

Students created the lunch to meet high nutrition standards, using ingredients available for food service and incorporating a local item. You can learn more about the healthy cooking contest here.

Many thanks to the remarkable student chefs for sharing this recipe!

Tohono O’odham Community Action Cooking Club Tepary Bean Quesadillas


4 cups Cooked brown tepary beans
1 cup Chunky salsa
2 teaspoons Ground cumin
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon Ground black pepper
1 cup Low-fat, part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
3 cups Baby spinach leaves, whole
2 cups Chicken, white breast meat, diced
8 10-inch Multigrain tortillas
Pan spray coating


1. Combine tepary beans, salsa, cumin, salt and pepper.

2. Place ½ cup of tepary bean mixture on half of the multigrain tortilla.

3. Layer 2 tablespoons of shredded cheese, and 1/3 cup baby spinach leaves and ¼ cup chicken on top of the tepary bean mixture and fold the tortilla in half.

4. Spray a griddle or nonstick sauté pan lightly with pan spray coating and heat over medium high heat.

5. Place folded tortilla in pan. 

6. Cook until cheese is melting, about 5 minutes, flip over and cook until browned and crispy, about 3-5 minutes.


Plus: Meet the team and read about their inspiration for the recipe here!

Get email updates from Healthy Schools Campaign


Form submission subscribes you to the Healthy Schools Campaign Newsletter. To view and manage other options click here
Hidden Section

Note - updated to the HSC Newsletter list 1.3.2017 per the updated newsletter configuration