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quesadillas stacked on top of each other with filling slightly pouring out
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5 from 5 votes

Cheesy Ground Beef Quesadillas

These Cheesy Ground Beef Quesadillas are made with a homemade spice mix, two different cheeses and bulked out with black beans and red pepper. Better still, they're SO easy to make! Makes 6 bulky folded quesadillas. I recommend serving one of these each with a side (fries/wedges).
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Tex Mex
Servings: 6
Calories: 587kcal
Cost: £2.50 / $3


  • Chopping Board & Sharp Knife (for chopping veg)
  • Colander or Sieve (for draining beans)
  • Brush (for oil)
  • 12" frying pan
  • Spatula (for flipping)
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Large bowl (storing beef to cool)
  • Paper Towel (to wipe out pan after beef)


  • 6 8" Flour Tortillas
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil, or as needed


  • 1lb / 500g Lean Ground Beef
  • 1/2 cup / 125ml Water or Low Sodium Beef Stock
  • 1 heaped tbsp Tomato Puree (Tomato Paste in US)
  • 2 tsp each: Paprika, Cumin
  • 1 tsp each: Garlic Powder, Oregano, Salt
  • 1/2 tsp each: Onion Powder, Cayenne Pepper, Cornstarch/Cornflour (see notes)
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • Olive Oil, as needed


  • 1.5 cups / 150g Monterey Jack, shredded
  • 1.5 cups / 150g Cheddar, shredded
  • 1 small Red Pepper (bell pepper), finely diced
  • 1 small White Onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 can Black Beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup Pickled Jalapenos, sliced (optional)


  • 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 pan over medium heat and add your onion and red pepper. Fry until softened, then scrape to the outside of the pan. Add in your beef and break up with a wooden spoon. Once browned, incorporate your onion/pepper, then mix in your spices.
  • Add 1 heaped tbsp tomato puree/paste and fry with the beef for a few mins. Deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup water/low sodium beef stock, then stir in 1/2 tsp cornstarch/cornflour (or 2-3 tbsp liquid and no cornstarch/cornflour). Add 1/2 can black beans and allow to simmer and reduce for 5mins, stirring occasionally.
  • Once fully reduced (beef should be juicy, with no liquid in pan) take off heat and pour into a bowl. Allow the beef to rest until it stops steaming (important).
  • Meanwhile, wipe out pan with a paper towel.
  • Brush 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 jalapenos (optional) then finish with another 1/4 cup of cheese. Fold over and repeat with another one next to it. Switch on heat a medium and fry for a few mins each side, or until golden and hollow to tap.



a) Beef - Definitely try and get lean beef (5% being optimum). If you don't have lean beef and/or there's excess fat in the pan, remove it BEFORE adding the spices.
b) Cornstarch - Cornstarch is optional (will add a glossy kind of gravy to the mince). If you're using it then use around 1/2 cup of liquid to 1/2 tsp cornstarch and allow to simmer until it thickens. If you're not using cornstarch then just add liquid as needed to make the beef juicy, not dry. A couple of tbsp should be sufficient.
c) Cheese - Feel free to use other cheeses! In any case just mix them together before constructing the quesadillas.
d) Cool the filling - It's important to leave the filling to cool, at least until it stops steaming. If you add it to the tortillas still steaming, it's going to steam the tortilla and cause it to go soggy, instead of crispy.
e) Keeping Warm - I recommend keeping the oven on at a low temp to keep them warm as you finish cooking the rest. 
f) Calories - based on using: 95% lean beef mince, 1/2 tbsp olive oil to fry beef, water as the liquid and no jalapenos. Calories per 'half moon'.


Calories: 587kcal | Carbohydrates: 38.6g | Protein: 37.57g | Fat: 31.67g | Saturated Fat: 14.132g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.34g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11.805g | Trans Fat: 0.835g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 779mg | Potassium: 698mg | Fiber: 4.6g | Sugar: 3.61g | Vitamin A: 1325IU | Vitamin C: 22.5mg | Calcium: 447mg | Iron: 4.62mg