These Cheesy Ground Beef Quesadillas are made with a homemade spice mix, two different kinds of cheese and bulked out with black beans and red pepper. Better still, they’re SO easy to make!
As one of my most loved and most popular recipes, I had to include this in my Debut Cookbook ‘Comfy’!
Ground Beef Quesadillas
Here I’ll share with you a few tips and tricks for creating beef quesadillas which are crispy on the outside and bursting with flavour on the inside. First things first, let’s talk about minced/ground beef.
You want to get lean beef, preferably 5% fat. If you’ve only got beef with a higher fat percentage, you’ll want to drain the fat once it’s browned, before you add the spices. The spices I use for this are incredibly similar to my Homemade Taco Seasoning, so feel free to sub that if you’ve got it on hand. 3 tbsps worth will be fine.
Ground Beef Quesadillas Fillings
- Red Pepper (Bell Pepper)
- Black Beans
- Jalapenos (optional)
Nothing fancy, just enough to bulk out the quesadillas, but not too much you can’t wrap your face around them. Sweetcorn is also a popular filling for these types of quesadillas!
Juicy Beef, not dry!
There’s nothing worse than dry taco meat is there? As such, I add a nice dollop of tomato puree/paste and pour in some water or low-sodium beef stock with a dash of cornstarch/cornflour. This will glaze the beef to ensure it doesn’t dry out. You can also leave out the cornstarch/cornflour and just reduce the amount of liquid.
How to make Ground Beef Filling for Quesadillas (quick summary)
- Fry red pepper and onion in a drizzle of olive oil until soft.
- Push to the outside of your pan and fry your beef.
- Stir tomato puree/paste.
- Pour in liquid and add cornstarch/cornflour.
- Add black beans.
- Simmer and completely reduce.
When it comes to what cheese to use, I usually go for a 50/50 combo of Cheddar and Monterey Jack. The aim of the game is to use two layers – one on the top, and one on the bottom. This will keep the quesadilla ‘glued’ together. Because cheese truly does make the best glue!
How to Pan Fry Ground Beef Quesadillas (quick summary)
- Brush one side of a tortilla with oil and place oil side down in a pan (with the heat off) and sprinkle cheese.
- Add beef.
- Add jalapenos (optional).
- Add more cheese.
- Place another tortilla next door.
- Layer up.
- Fold over and turn on heat.
- Cook both sides until golden.
Serving Ground Beef Quesadillas
And there we have it! From there I usually slice each ‘half moon’ in half and serve them up right away. I recommend 1 ‘half moon’ per person with a side. I’ve actually got a whole category page on Easy Quesadilla Side Dishes so do check that out, but here are some classics:
What to serve with quesadillas?
- Chunky Guac
- Fresh Tomato Salsa
- Avocado Fries
- Tortilla Chips
- Creamy Avocado Dip
- Sour Cream
Okay, let’s tuck into this beef quesadilla recipe shall we?
How to make Ground Beef Quesadillas (Full Recipe & Video)
Cheesy Ground Beef Quesadillas
- Chopping Board & Sharp Knife (for chopping veg)
- Colander or Sieve (for draining beans)
- Spatula (for flipping quesadillas)
- Brush (for oil - or use oil spray)
- Large Bowl (storing beef to cool)
- Paper Towels (to wipe out pan after beef)
- Large Frying Pan & Wooden Spoon (for cooking quesadillas/filling)
Ingredients (check list):
- 2 tsp EACH: Paprika, Cumin
- 1 tsp EACH: Garlic Powder, Oregano, Salt
- 1/2 tsp EACH: Onion Powder, Cayenne Pepper (can alter to spice preference)
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
- 1lb / 500g Lean Ground Beef
- 1/2 a 14oz/400g can of Black Beans, drained
- 1/2 cup / 125ml Water or Low Sodium Beef Stock
- 1 small Red Pepper, finely diced
- 1 small White Onion, finely diced
- 1 heaped tbsp Tomato Puree (Tomato Paste in US)
- 1 tsp Cornstarch/Cornflour (see notes)
- Olive Oil, as needed
- 6x small Flour Tortillas (approx 7-8")
- 1.5 cups / 150g Cheddar, grated
- 1.5 cups / 150g Monterey Jack, grated (see notes)
- 1 cup Pickled Jalapeños, sliced (optional)
- Oil Spray, as needed (or sub 2 tbsp oil and brush on)
- In a small bowl, combine 2 tsp paprika & cumin, 1 tsp garlic powder, oregano & salt, 1/2 tsp onion powder & cayenne pepper and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Place to one side.
- Add a drizzle of olive oil to a large pan over medium heat, then add the onion and red pepper. Fry until soft and starting to pick up colour, then add in the beef. Fry until brown all the way through, breaking up with your wooden spoon as you go, then incorporate the spice mix.
- Stir in 1 heaped tbsp tomato puree and fry with the beef for a couple of mins. Deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup water/low sodium beef stock, then stir in 1 tsp cornstarch/cornflour (or a few tbsp liquid and no cornstarch/cornflour). Add the black beans and simmer until thickened (beef should be juicy, with no liquid in the pan).
- Transfer the beef to a bowl and allow to cool, at least until it stops steaming. Meanwhile, wipe out the pan with a paper towel.
- Lightly coat one side of each of your tortilla wraps and place one oil side down in the pan with the heat off. Sprinkle over 1/4 cup of cheese, then around 1/2 cup beef (or 1/6th of the mixture) top with a few jalapeños (optional) then finish with another 1/4 cup of cheese. Fold over and repeat with another one next to it. Switch on the heat a medium and fry for a few mins each side, or until golden and hollow to tap. Repeat with remaining quesadillas.
Quick 1 min demo!
Your Private Notes:
Hey, whilst you’re here why not check out my other recipes?
Easy Tex Mex Recipes
- Ground Beef Tacos
- Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
- Chicken Quesadillas
- Sweet Potato and black Bean Quesadillas
- Breakfast Burritos
- BBQ Chicken Nachos