Ground Beef Quesadillas are the perfect "bail you out" meal. They're super fast, can be made with pantry and freezer staples, and are always a hit with the kids (and the adults, too!). I mean, who can resist a melty, crispy, cheesy quesadilla?
Why You’re Going to Love Ground Beef Quesadillas
When it comes to versatility, it doesn't get much better than the humble quesadilla. This simple concoction of crunchy tortillas and cheese is a vehicle for all sorts of veggies, beans, or meats.
It's acceptable for lunch, dinner, and yes, even breakfast (just add eggs!). Plus quesadillas can be made in 30 minutes or less.
They may be easy, but that doesn't mean quesadillas can't be fancied up for a fun Cinco de Mayo dinner. I love to make a variety with different fillings and cheeses, cut them into wedges, then serve them on a big platter for people to grab and taste as they go.
Key Ingredients and Substitutions
These Ground Beef Quesadillas are one of our go-tos, because they're made with ingredients we nearly always have on hand.
- Ground beef - When you need a protein that's nutrient rich, quick, and cheap, ground beef is in your corner. These quesadillas are a perfect “second meal” to help use up any leftover Taco Meat.
- Grilled veggies - Grilled onions and bell peppers are our favorite, but you could substitute for canned veggies or pico de gallo (just make sure to drain off some of the moisture first). Frozen or canned corn, beans, and wilted spinach and kale all work great too! This is a "make do with what you've got" kind of meal.
- Taco Seasoning - We like to use our Homemade Taco Seasoning, but feel free to use a store bought packet.
- Shredded cheese - We prefer Mexican blend, but if you’re shredding your own, cheddar, Monterey jack, or pepper jack could all work fine. If you want a truly authentic cheese, look for Queso Asadero; a creamy white cheese that melts beautifully!
How to Make Quesadillas on the Stovetop
For years, I tried to make quesadillas by placing a large tortilla in a skillet, covering it in toppings, then placing another tortilla on top. Then I attempted to flip the whole darn thing at one time. Fillings always exploded everywhere. It was, quite literally, a hot mess.
The solution is so simple, I feel silly I didn't figure it out sooner. Instead of trying to flip a giant quesadilla sandwich, we just fold it in half. *crowd goes wild*
- To make easy quesadillas, place a pat of butter in a skillet over medium heat. Butter is the key to that crispy, browned exterior.
- Add a large tortilla to the skillet, sprinkle cheese over the whole thing and then add the other toppings over just half.
- Cook until the cheese is melty and the bottom is browned, then slide a spatula under the cheese only side and fold it over the toppings. Pat it down a bit to get the melty cheese to curl around all the fillings, then give it a final flip if you want. That's it. No mess. No tears. Promise.
Questions and Tips for Making Ground Beef Quesadillas
How To Keep Quesadillas Warm?
Since we're making these quesadillas one at a time, you'll need some way to keep them warm until dinner. I prefer to stack them on a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet in a 200 degree oven. They stay nice and crispy!
Can You Make Quesadillas Ahead Of Time?
Absolutely! Quesadillas are perfect for making ahead of time. Cook them like normal then cool them and store in the fridge until ready to eat. They'll keep for several days.
How To Reheat Quesadillas?
To reheat quesadillas, chuck them in the Air Fryer for 3 minutes, or place them on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 10 minutes at 325 degrees.
Leftover quesadillas can also be microwaved. They won't retain their crispy shell, but you'll still have lots of melty cheesy goodness to enjoy! You can even microwave them for 1 minute then pop them in a hot skillet to crisp up again!
I really enjoy quesadillas cold or at room temperature as well. We often pack them in school lunches or reheat them for a quick meal on a busy day.
What Goes With Quesadillas?
These Ground Beef Quesadillas pair perfectly with a side of this Avocado Cilantro Crema dipping sauce or with our Black Bean and Corn Salsa. For a nice side dish try an Easy Garden Salad, and wash it all down with these Blood Orange Margaritas. Yum.
More Beef Recipes and Substitutions
Beef is one of our go-tos for quick and budget friendly meals, and we especially love it for Taco Tuesday! (See Walking Tacos--one of our all time favorites!)
Don't have ground beef on hand? Quesadillas are the perfect meal to experiment with! Try using Slow Cooker Shredded Beef or thin cuts of Marinated Skirt Steak.
Need more Mexican recipes? Check out our category page of our favorite Mexican Ground Beef Recipes!
Ground Beef Quesadillas
- ½ Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion (about 1 small)
- 1 cup chopped sweet bell pepper (about 1)
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 ½ teaspoons homemade taco seasoning (or store bought)
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- 6 large flour tortillas
- 3 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and peppers and saute until starting to soften, about 4-5 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook until browned. Drain any excess oil off the pan.
- Transfer the beef to a plate or bowl, and wipe out the skillet. Line up your tortillas on a large work surface, or, if you're short on space, just do them one at a time. Spread about ½ cup of cheese on each tortilla, covering the entire surface. Divide the ground beef evenly between the tortillas, spreading it on one half of each tortilla.
- Melt a pat of butter in the skillet and place the tortilla face up in the center. Cook on medium heat until well browned, then use a spatula to fold the cheese-only side over the beef side. Press down slightly to get the cheeses to melt together. Remove from the skillet and place on a wire rack in a 200 degree oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining quesadillas.