Beef Quesadillas

Active time: 30 min. Total time: 30 min.
Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: 1 quesadilla)

We’ve taken a very Tex-Mex approach to Beef Quesadillas, with a crunchy tortilla, cheesy gooey insides, and tangy sides of guac and salsa. Think Taco Bell, but elevated: It’s great for a meal or as a late-night snack after too many beers. Sprinkle that cheese over the whole tortilla so every single bite will be gooey. You can find taco seasoning at the grocery store (We like Old El Paso, Taco Bell, and McCormick blends), or you could make your own. Serve with margaritas or Dos Equis and put out a bunch of garnishes like lime, cilantro, and radishes. These don’t keep well, so serve immediately while the crispness is still fresh.


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • 1 cup chopped white onion (from 1 small onion) 
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (from 1 garlic clove) 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix  
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4(8- to 10-in.) flour tortillas 
  • 8 ounces quesadilla cheese or white Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2 cups) 
  • Sour cream
  • Guacamole
  • Salsa

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 200°F. Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add ground chuck, onion, garlic, and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until beef is browned and cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Add taco seasoning mix and tomato paste; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant and toasted, about 1 minute. Remove beef mixture, and drain. Do not wipe skillet clean.

Step 2

Sprinkle each tortilla evenly with 1/2 cup cheese, and top each with 3/4 cup meat mixture; fold tortillas in half.  Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium; add 2 quesadillas, and cook until golden brown and crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a spatula, turn quesadillas over, and cook 1 more minute. Transfer hot quesadillas to a baking sheet, and keep warm in preheated oven. Repeat with remaining 1 teaspoon oil and 2 quesadillas. Serve with sour cream, guacamole, and salsa.

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