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Cheesy Ground Beef Quesadillas for Two

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Cheesy ground beef quesadillas stacked on top of one another with salsa and a margarita in the background

An Easy Beef Quesadilla Recipe!

This “beefy quesadilla” recipe was the fourth recipe that I ever posted on A Flavor Journal!  Needless to say, it was time for a glow up!

Beefy quesadillas stacked on top of one another with sour cream and a margarita in the background

Although the photos are much better than they used to be, I actually decided to simplify the recipe list a bit. This recipe now has ten main ingredients, not counting the butter (or oil) or salt and pepper.  I’m currently working on a list of pantry staples, so I’ll be linking that very soon!  It’s being created as a resource for ingredients that should always be on hand, and make your life so much easier.  It won’t be crazy, but basic suggestions (like oil, salt and pepper) will be on it.

For quarters of cheesy ground beef quesdaillas on a plate with salsa, sour cream, and two lime halves.

The other ingredients in this cheesy ground beef quesadilla are what bring all of the flavor.  Fresh vegetables, fresh garlic, taco seasoning, some refried beans (for texture!), fresh lime juice, and melty cheese are BIG flavor components!  They’re everything you need for a delicious quesadilla, and nothing more. 🙂

A flatlay photo of ingredients needed for cheesy ground beef quesadillas

Ingredients for this Cheesy Ground Beef Quesadilla:

  • Unsalted Butter 
  • Fresh Tomato (Roma/Plum)
  • White Onion 
  • Bell Pepper (Any color! I love green or red, personally.)
  • Fresh Garlic 
  • Kosher Salt & Freshly Cracked Pepper
  • Ground Beef 
  • Taco Seasoning
  • Refried Beans
  • Fresh Lime Juice
  • 8″ Flour Tortillas
  • Shredded Cheddar & Shredded Jack Cheese

Can I swap any ingredients if I have to?

Yes!  Here’s my recommendations:

  • Unsalted Butter Swap : Olive Oil, Vegetable Oil, Avocado Oil, Canola Oil
  • Fresh Tomato Swap : Any tomato variety will work!
  • White Onion Swap :  Yellow will also work!
  • Ground Beef Swap : A plant-based product, such as Impossible® meat, should work, but I haven’t tried it.
  • Taco Seasoning Swap : Cumin, Oregano, and Smoked Paprika will do! One teaspoon of each.
  • Refried Beans Swap : Whole cooked beans will do, or this can be omitted.

Tips for making the best Ground Beef Quesadillas:

  1. Use the same skillet to cook the beef mixture AND the quesadillas.  First of all, there is no point in dirtying two pans.  Secondly, the residual bits of flavor from the beef mixture will latch onto the tortillas, making them that much crunchier and tastier!
  2. Use only fresh vegetables.  I don’t recommend jarred tomatoes or garlic in this recipe.  Jarred tomatoes have a time and place, but I honestly don’t support jarred garlic unless there is literally no other option.  Fresh garlic is the way to go!
  3. Use a ground beef blend with a lower fat content.  This recipe doesn’t require the fat to be drained from the beef mixture, so I recommend using an 80/20 blend at the most.  A 90/10 blend is ideal, as well!  The majority of the flavor comes from the veggies, seasoning, and cheese, so using a ground beef with a lower fat content won’t greatly affect the flavor!
  4. Use refried beans.  It may sound odd, but the beans are a delightful creamy binder that helps keep this quesadilla intact.  Of course the cheese melts into the beef to hold it together, but the beans add an added layer of flavor and texture!  You can use any type you like:  fat-free, spicy, refried black beans … it should all work!
  5. Don’t skip the lime.  A healthy squeeze of lime juice in the beef mixture adds a hit of brightness that brings some balance to this rich beefy and cheesy meal.  It’s delicious!
  6. Use a blend of cheeses.  More cheese, more flavor!  I recommend using half Cheddar, half Pepper Jack cheese for this.  If you want less heat, go for Monterey Jack!  And if you’re REALLY wanting an ultimate, cheesy, flavor-packed quesadilla … use Chihuahua cheese!  Queso Chihuahua is a Mexican melting cheese, and it’s soooo creamy, melty, and delicious!  You can use it entirely for this quesadilla, or mix it with another cheese.

Other Recipes to try with these Quesadillas:

A couple of other Tex-Mex and Quesadilla Recipes:

If you make these beef quesadillas, I would love if you tagged me on Instagram so I could see!  And if you have any questions at all, feel free to reach out to me directly so I can help out!

xx Sara

Beefy quesadillas stacked on top of one another with sour cream and a margarita in the background
Print Recipe
5 from 13 votes

Cheesy Ground Beef Quesadillas

Super cheesy quesadillas packed with seasoned ground beef and a touch of refried beans.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cheesy Ground Beef Quesadillas
Servings: 3 quesadillas
Calories: 305kcal
Author: sara rose : aflavorjournal.com
Cost: $7

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped tomato
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper green, yellow, or red
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 1 tbsp. taco seasoning
  • 1/3 cup refried beans
  • 3 10" flour tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese blend cheddar, pepperjack, monterey jack, or chihuahua cheeses

Topping Options:

Instructions

  • If using more than one cheese, blend the cheeses together.
  • Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, and garlic with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 5-7 minutes until slightly tender.
  • Add the ground beef and taco seasoning to the skillet. Using a wooden spoon, break the beef into small pieces and mix it into the veggies. Cook the beef for about 5 minutes until it is browned, continuing to break it into small pieces as it cooks.
  • Stir in the refried beans until completely blended into the beef and vegetables. Spoon the entire mixture into a large bowl, and cover the bowl with foil to keep it warm.
  • Lay one tortilla into the now empty skillet. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of cheese across the surface of the tortilla. Spoon 1/2 cup of the beef mixture onto one side of the tortilla, then spread it to cover the cheese across half of the tortilla.
  • Once the cheese is melted on the other half of the tortilla, carefully fold that half onto the beef mixture. Use a spatula to gently press down on the top of the folded tortilla. Cook for 2 minutes until the bottom is browned and crispy.
  • Carefully flip the tortilla. Cook for another two minutes until the bottom side is browned and crispy. Transfer the quesadilla to a cutting board, and allow it to cool for about 30 seconds. Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut it in half.
  • Repeat with remaining two tortillas, remaining cheese, and remaining beefy mixture.
  • Serve hot and top with sour cream, pico de gallo, guacamole, or your favorite toppings!

Notes

Use your leftover refried beans for this SUPER flavorful refried beans side dish!
(The recipe is for refried black beans, but refried pinto beans will also work!)

Nutrition

Serving: 1quesadilla half | Calories: 305kcal

Cheesy Ground Beef Quesadillas for Two
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    • Debbie
    • March 31, 2015
    Reply

    I’m not familiar with chihuahua cheese. Is it very spicy ?

    1. Reply

      Nope! But it’s the kind of cheese that is really popular in Mexican restaurants – it has a great, rich flavor that goes well with the spices they use, and it melts really well!

  1. Reply

    Love this post! You are so inventive with your recipes. It’s impressive to someone not as skilled in the kitchen. I might have to try this one out soon :

    1. Reply

      You are too kind, Jolene!! Thank you so much! And you definitely try it – I think you could absolutely nail it! 😀

  2. Reply

    Love this post! You are so inventive with your recipes. It’s impressive to someone not as skilled in the kitchen. I might have to try this one out soon 🙂

  3. Reply

    5 stars
    So delicious! thanks for the recipe 🙂

    1. Reply

      So glad you enjoyed it, Rosario!

  4. Reply

    5 stars
    This recipe is so delicious! I used vegan cheese because I am dairy-free! It came out perfect! Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Reply

      Love that swap, and I’m so happy you enjoyed it!!

    • Audrey
    • October 23, 2020
    Reply

    5 stars
    I love easy weeknight recipes

    1. Reply

      It doesn’t get much better! I totally agree!

  5. Reply

    5 stars
    I made this for dinner last night and it was a huge success! thanks for such a delicious recipe

    1. Reply

      So glad you enjoyed it, Dennis!!

  6. Reply

    5 stars
    the pics look amazing! I love all of the swaps you mention too, its like endless possibilities.

    • Sara
    • October 25, 2020
    Reply

    5 stars
    Yummm I haven’t thought of adding refried beans to quesadillas but these sound amazing!

  7. Reply

    5 stars
    Nice….quick and easy tasty dinner. Everyone loved it.

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