Mexican Cheese Sauce:
- 1 cup (130-140g) raw cashews, soaked overnight (or soaked in boiling water for 1 hour)
- ½ cup (115g) vegan unsweetened plain yogurt*
- 2 tablespoons water or vegetable broth
- ½ cup (115-130g) salsa of choice
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
Buffalo Chickpea Filling:
- ¼ cup (56g) vegan butter (1/2 stick)
- 4 tablespoons Frank’s hot sauce, original cayenne or Xtra hot, or hot sauce of choice**
- ⅙ teaspoon garlic powder
- A pinch of cayenne pepper (optional; I don’t use it when I use the Xtra hot sauce)
- A pinch of kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (15-ounce /425g) can chickpeas***, drained and rinsed
- 1 small bunch of scallions (about 6 scallions, white and light green parts only, sliced thinly)
- 8 large flour tortillas****
1Prepare the Mexican Cheese Sauce. Drain the soaked cashews and pat dry. Add the cashews, along with the remaining sauce ingredients, to a high-powered blender. Blend until thick, creamy, and smooth. The sauce should be quite thick and creamy, but if you’d like it to be even thicker, add the sauce to a saucepan over medium-low heat for a few minutes to thicken up slightly.
2Next, prepare the Buffalo Chickpea Filling. First make the buffalo sauce. Melt the vegan butter in a heatproof bowl in the microwave (or in a saucepan on the stove). To the melted butter, add the hot sauce, garlic powder, cayenne pepper (if using), salt, and sugar. Whisk until the hot sauce and butter are completely incorporated.
3Then make the Chickpea Filling. Pour the drained and rinsed chickpeas in a medium bowl and roughly mash them with a fork or a potato masher, leaving some beans intact.
4Heat the 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat and once the oil is shimmering, add the diced onion. Cook for 4 minutes or until softened, then add the garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute.
5To the onions, add the buffalo-butter sauce and the mashed chickpeas, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, then turn off the heat. Mix in the sliced scallions and stir to combine. Wipe out the skillet so you can reuse it for making the quesadillas.
6Assemble the quesadillas. Spread an even layer of the Mexican Cheese Sauce (1/4-1/3 cup) onto one of the eight tortillas. Arrange about 1/2 cup of the Buffalo Chickpea Filling on top. Place another tortilla on top to cover.
7Lightly grease the large skillet with a bit of oil and place over medium heat. Once hot, add the prepared quesadilla to the skillet. Place a smaller skillet on top of the quesadilla so that it presses down on the quesadilla, resulting in a nice crispy exterior. Cook the quesadillas for 3 minutes, then flip and cook another 1-2 minutes, or until both sides are crispy and nicely browned. Repeat with the remaining sauce, filling, and tortillas.
* If you use a very thick, creamy coconut yogurt, you’ll need to add more water or broth to slightly thin out the cheese sauce.
** If you are sensitive to spicy food, use less hot sauce. Also, keep in mind that each hot sauce has a different level of spiciness. If your hot sauce is very spicy, use a smaller amount.
*** The recipe calls for 1 (15-ounce) can of chickpeas because that’s the most convenient amount to use, but if you have extra chickpeas on hand, I like to add about 1 1/2 (15-ounce) cans (about 2 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas) because it makes each quesadilla more filling.
**** This recipe is gluten-free so long as you use gluten free tortillas.