Ground Beef Quesadillas are one of my favorite “Oh dear, it’s 5:00 PM, and I don’t know what’s for dinner” meals. 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 doesn’t love a melty, crispy, cheesy quesadilla? This is a meal for all ages to love!
Easy AND Cheesy 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!).
Best of all, they can be made in 30 minutes or less.
These Ground Beef Quesadillas are one of our go-tos, because they’re made with ingredients we nearly always have on hand. The simple filling is made with ground beef, onions, and peppers seasoned with my favorite homemade taco seasoning.
But really, you can throw any veggie you’ve got lying around in there. Frozen or canned corn, beans, and wilted spinach and kale all work great! This is a “make do with what you’ve got” kind of meal.
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.
Pair Ground Beef Quesadillas with Black Bean and Corn Salsa, Simple Summer Salad, Homemade Guacamole, and Blood Orange Margaritas or just throw together a quick dip with avocado, sour cream, and lime juice. You don’t need much to make this a fun family meal!
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.
Oh, young Courtney, you had so much to learn.
The solution is so simple, I feel silly I didn’t figure it out sooner. Instead of trying to flip a giant quesadilla, we just fold it in half. *crowd goes wild*
- Melt butter. 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 tortilla, cheese, and fillings. 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.
FAQs and Tips for Making Ground Beef Quesadillas
What cheese is best for quesadillas?
There’s not one right answer to this question, but I always recommend picking a good melting cheese. Cheddar, pepper jack, and Monterey Jack are all great options, but my go-to is a Mexican blend. If you want a quesadilla that tastes just like the ones you get from your favorite Mexican restaurant, look for Queso Asadero, a creamy white cheese that melts beautifully!
Should I use butter or oil for quesadillas?
The truth is you can use either. If you want an extra crispy quesadilla, oil is the way to go.
If you like a richer, more flavorful tortilla, use butter (this is our preference).
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, place them on a baking sheet and bake 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 our oldest’s lunches or reheat them for a quick lunch on a busy day.
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!)
One of the best things we’ve done for both our budget and convenience is split a side of beef with friends! You can read more about buying a side of beef here. We LOVE having ground beef and other cuts readily available in our freezer. To thaw beef safely, just put it in the refrigerator to thaw for 12 hours.
Beef is BIG on protein, so whichever cut you choose, know you’ll be getting a powerhouse of 25 grams of protein and 10 essential nutrients with every 3 ounce serving.
- 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion (about 1 small)
- 1 cup chopped sweet bell pepper (about 1)
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 1/2 teaspoons taco seasoning (storebought or homemade)
- 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 1/2 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.
Feel free to change up the cheeses and veggies to use what you have on hand!
For reheating instructions, see the tips in the post above!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 634Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 131mgSodium: 625mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 39g
Please note nutritional information for my recipes is calculated by a third party service and provided as a courtesy to my readers. For the most accurate calculation, I always recommend running the numbers yourself with the specific products you use.