These cheesy ground beef quesadillas are loaded with seasoned beef and salsa, along with a generous helping of shredded cheese to ensure each bite is gooey and delicious!
If you are looking for a quick and easy meal using simple ingredients, this is it! Quesadillas are a great way to make taco night more exciting, while ground beef makes them heartier. Add your favorite taco customizations to them as well to fit your family's tastes!
What is it?
This ground beef quesadilla recipe makes an easy meal that is quick and easy to whip up. The ground beef is flavored with taco seasoning and salsa, then loaded into a flour tortilla with cheese and cooked in a skillet until melty and crisp. These are a crowd-pleaser for all ages.
Ground beef quesadilla ingredients
- Tortillas - I use large, burrito-sized, flour tortillas. However, you can use whatever size you think is appropriate for the appetites around your dinner table. If you like a crunch, slip corn tortillas inside your quesadilla as well!
- Ground beef - I recommend using lean ground beef such as 90/10. Fattier ground beef is great for burgers but will make your quesadilla greasy. Lean beef is best, but ground turkey and other meats can be substituted.
- Taco seasoning - Use an appropriate amount of taco seasoning for one pound of meat, typically one packet. Store-bought or homemade taco seasoning both work great.
- Salsa - Salsa fortifies the beef with additional flavor while also adding chunky vegetables for texture. Mild, medium, or hot salsa all work great depending on your preferences. You can even switch the type of salsa if desired. For example, use corn salsa instead.
- Cheese - Any of your favorite taco cheese blends will work well. Mild or sharp cheddar, monterey Jack, or a Mexican blend cheese are my favorites for this recipe. Alternatively, to switch things up you could even make some nacho cheese sauce instead.
Quesadilla toppings and additions
If you want to keep things simple, top your cheesy beef quesadillas with sour cream and call it a day. However, my roasted tomatillo guacamole would be phenomenal with these as well, and of course, don't forget some hot sauce for extra flavor.
You can also add different fillings to the interior of your quesadilla, like a taco. Black beans, sautéed onion, green chilies, or refried beans would be great options. Shredded lettuce, chopped onion, fresh cilantro, and pico de Gallo would all add freshness. However, you will want to add any fresh ingredients after the quesadillas are cooked.
How to make the quesadillas
Prepare your ground beef filling by browning it in a large skillet over medium-high heat. If you are using fatty beef, you'll want to drain grease from the pan, but this shouldn't be an issue if you use lean ground beef. Then the taco seasoning and salsa can be added, but continue to cook it until the liquid has evaporated out.
The beef mixture is then divided among your tortillas, placing it only on one side of a tortilla, and then sprinkle cheese over the top of the beef and fold the large tortilla shut to create quesadillas.
You can bake quesadillas in the oven, but making them in a skillet is the easiest. I like using a skillet on the stovetop instead because you can more easily keep an eye on your quesadillas, preventing them from burning or overcooking. Set a large skillet over medium-low heat and cook until the underside of the quesadilla is browned, then flip and repeat. This should only take approximately 3 minutes per side. You will need to work in batches, so use a separate large skillet if you want to work more quickly.
You can get away with using medium heat, but it will burn quicker, so keep your eye on it. You don't want to use too high of heat when making quesadilla because you need the heat to melt the cheese before the tortilla burns. Using a lower heat gently warms the interior of the quesadilla while the exterior slowly crisps.
Your leftover quesadillas should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and enjoyed within five days. The leftovers will soften in the fridge as the tortilla soaks up moisture from the fillings. For this reason, it is best to place them on a cookie sheet and reheat them in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, or until warmed through and crispy again.
Side Dishes to Serve with this meal
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Ground Beef Quesadillas
- Cook ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat until well browned, drain excess grease then add in taco seasoning and salsa. Simmer until most of the liquid from the salsa has evaporated, approximately 3 minutes.
- Divide the beef mixture evenly among 4 tortillas (can use additional smaller tortillas instead if your desire), placing it on half of each torilla, then top generously with shredded cheese and fold tortilla in half to close.
- Cook quesadillas in a large skillet set over medium-low heat and cook until you have a crispy tortilla that is nicely browned and cheese has melted, approximately 2-3 minutes. Flip and repeat.
- Place your cooked quesadillas on a cutting board and cut into wedges for serving.
This recipe was originally published May 21, 2020, on FoxValleyFoodie.com.