These smashed white bean and kale quesadillas served with a creamy BBQ dip are the perfect meatless meal for a light dinner.

I spent last week at my mother in law’s in Florida lamenting the fact that I have to drive 40 minutes to the closest Whole Foods while her kitchen was stocked with delicious fruits, vegetables, sustainable meats and the like from her store 5 minutes down the road.

Then yesterday, I finally made it to the newly opened 40 minute away store by me and pushed my cart around each aisle as 2 little voices carried away on my shoulder.

Voice #1: “Oooh, look! Black spaghetti. How cool!”

white bean and kale quesadillas
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Voice #2: “Um, there’s 8.8oz of that stuff in the package and the price tag says $6.59. Get a grip, Gina.”

white bean and kale quesadillas with creamy BBQ dip

Voice #2 won out for the most part but I did somehow get suckered into some perfect looking red leaf kale, an assortment of pick your own mushrooms, mangos, local organic grass fed skirt steak, the kimchi bar and kombucha…for $71.

Ok, maybe there were a few other small items.

But $71?! There were 2 bags, but I’m pretty sure the cashier just did that to make me feel better because it easily could’ve all fit into 1.

So here’s my question, do people actually shop at Whole Foods regularly?

Like, “oh, we’re out of milk and eggs, let me just pop into Whole Foods real quick!”

Because I’m pretty sure we’d be bankrupt in about 2 months if that were the case.

Kale quesadillas with white beans

So these white bean and kale quesadillas are brought to you by my little ghetto produce store’s tuscan kale ($1.39 vs. whole foods $3.49), a can of non-organic (ah, the horror!) cannellini beans (Goya $0.99), some seriously sharp Cabot cheddar cheese they so graciously sent me (free) and Trader Joe’s whole wheat tortillas ($2.69).

Because I’d rather have money left over for more vacations than eat exorbitantly priced (albeit cool) black spaghetti.

These quesadillas are great when you want to get a full meal out of them. But if you’re looking for something more basic (and kid friendly!) try this air fryer cheese quesadilla. Simplicity never disappoints!

More quesadilla recipes to try:

Love, love, love brisket quesadillas when I have leftover brisket. They’re mouthwateringly good!

Both this summer harvest cheddar quesadilla and this peach burrata bacon quesadilla are great options for the summer when produce is abundant and you’re looking for a quesadilla that’s got a little bit more polish to it.

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4.39 from 42 votes

Smashed White Bean and Kale Quesadillas with Creamy BBQ Dip

Servings: 2 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
These smashed white bean and kale quesadillas served with a creamy BBQ dip are the perfect meatless meal for a light dinner.


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 15 ounces canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • salt & pepper
  • 5 leaves tuscan kale, stems removed and cut into thin strips
  • 2 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 2 whole wheat 10 inch tortillas
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce


  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Once hot, add the shallots, beans, salt & pepper and cook for about 5 minutes until the shallots are softened, stirring occasionally. Transfer mixture to a small bowl, mash with a fork or potato masher and set aside.
  • Place the tortillas in a microwave with a damp towel on top and microwave for about 20 seconds to soften.
  • Place one tortillas in the skillet, sprinkle the entire tortilla with cheese then spread the bean mixture on only one half of the tortilla. Top with half the kale, then sprinkle a bit more cheese on top of the kale. Fold the tortilla in half, press down and cook for about 1-2 minutes per side until golden brown.
  • Transfer the tortilla to a cutting board and cut into four pieces.
  • Repeat with the other tortilla and remaining ingredients.
  • To make the dip, combine the yogurt and BBQ sauce in a bowl and stir together.
  • Serve warm with the dip.


Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 966kcalCarbohydrates: 82gProtein: 48gFat: 51gSaturated Fat: 25gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 117mgSodium: 1246mgPotassium: 1278mgFiber: 15gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 3950IUVitamin C: 27mgCalcium: 1153mgIron: 8mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Appetizers
Cuisine: American
Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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  1. I found this pin on Pinterest. I can tell you I do not buy at whole foods. The closest one to me is about 40 miiles away too. I know that they carry lots of “good for you ” foods, but I am not rich. I can buy tons of fresh veggies and produce, as well as clean meats at my favorite stor ALDI and other small markets.

  2. I’m glad these turned out good because they were a pain for me to make! A bunch of cheese burned on to my skillet and it took forever to scrape off. I’m going to try to make these again but on a panini press. The white bean mixture in these quesadillas were delicious!

  3. Made these tonight. Really liked the quesadillas, but not a fan of the dipping sauce. There are so many different BBQ sauces, maybe I just picked the wrong one. Next time I think I’ll try them with a tzaziki sauce.

  4. Hi, Gina,

    I made this over the weekend, and the quesadillas were delicious! As a vegetarian, I’m always searching for protein-packed recipes, and this was perfect! Thanks so much for sharing! Nicki

  5. I just spent way too much money at whole foods yesterday. I justify it by reminding myself that I only shop there once or twice a month. But I think there are quite a few people who do most of their shopping at whole foods and I don’t know how they do it.
    Love, love these quesadillas. The kale looks perfect and that barbecue sauce really sainds amazing.

  6. These were great. I added a bunch of vegetables (whatever was in the fridge) before I added the beans and it was so good. I’ll be using that dip with many other recipes. Thanks

  7. ok and I have to comment on Whole Foods. . I only shop there when I absolutely need something that I can’t find anywhere else. . now, this isn’t because I don’t want to. . my eyes light up whenever I’m there and I always end up spending $71 on like 6 things. . just like you. I shop regularly at my local grocery, Metcalfe’s, which actually sells a lot of local produce from local growers here in Wisconsin. . which I love. otherwise, the other more chain grocery stores aren’t that great. The produce is bad and wilted. . so if I only had the choice of that vs. Whole Foods, you’d better believe I’d be saving money elsewhere to make up for the crazy amount I’d be spending at Whole Foods.