Cheesy Ground Beef Quesadillas

Like the best bar food in the world, but right here in your own kitchen.

cheese, ground beef, quesadilla
Serving Size: Serves 4

Cheesy Ground Beef Quesadillas

Ground Beef and Cheese = Crowd Pleaser

I have yet to meet a combination of ground beef and cheese that doesn’t make the people I live with extremely happy.  They are not unusual in that respect, I know, which is why tucked amidst the salad recipes and salmon dishes, I continue to pepper this blog with dishes such as One-Skillet Cheesy Beef and Macaroni and Grilled Cheeseburgers with Herb Sauce.  Really, let’s hear it for ground beef.  And cheese.  And Cheesy Ground Beef Quesadillas.

Cheesy Ground Beef Quesadillas

There was a delightful little exchange on the show West Wing many years ago (here I both a] date myself and b] feel weepy to think we would have been excited to watch a show about the West Wing not so long ago) that went something like this:

President Josiah Bartlet: How you doing? You know I gave the kids candy all the time, right?

Abbey Bartlet: Behind my back?

President Josiah Bartlet: Yes.

Abbey Bartlet: You bought their love.

President Josiah Bartlet: Well, it was for sale, and I wanted it.

Cheesy Ground Beef Quesadillas

Only in this case the candy is ground beef and cheese.

And here, tortillas!  But look, also spinach or kale!  A leafy green can help validate/justify a lot of cheese, says me.  You can use ground pork or ground turkey instead of ground beef, if you like, as well.

Cheesy Ground Beef Quesadillas

Making Quesadillas on the Stove

In this recipe, the directions say to make one quesadilla at a time, which, if you are new to the quesadilla making business, is the easiest way to get comfortable assembling and flipping them. 

However, because once the quesadilla is folded, it makes a half moon shape, you could in fact assemble two of these on a cutting board, and fold them up and then cook them together in a pan, lining up the straight sides of the half moons so two easily fit in the circle.  This isn’t hard at all, but if the notion of flipping a quesadilla makes you want to take things a little slowly, start with the one-at-a-time method.

Cheesy Ground Beef Quesadillas

Use any delicious melty cheeses you like—I picked cheddar and harvarti, but a Mexican blend is terrific, a blend of two other cheeses (or more), or just a single cheese, be it havarti, cheddar, provolone, gouda, Montery Jack, mozzarella, etc.

Cheesy Ground Beef Quesadillas


If you like Cheesy Ground Beef Quesadillas, you’ll probably also like:

Other beefy, cheesy dinners:


Plus, 10 Things To Make With Leftover Ground Beef!

Cheesy Ground Beef Quesadillas

Cheesy Ground Beef Quesadillas

Like the best bar food in the world, but right here in your own kitchen.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Servings: 4 People
Calories: 701.97kcal
Author: Katie Workman


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup roughly chopped spinach or baby kale
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro optional
  • 4 teaspoons unsalted butter divided
  • 8 8-inch flour tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
  • 1 cup shredded havarti
  • Guacamole, sour cream, salsa and lime wedges to serve


  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, and brown the beef, breaking it up with a spoon until it is all browned and crumbly, about 5 minutes. Turn it into a colander to drain, and carefully wipe out the skillet.
  • Return the skillet to medium heat and add the vegetable or olive oil. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and sauté for 3 minutes until the onion starts to soften. Add the tomato paste, spinach, garlic and chili powder and stir for another minute until the spinach is wilted and everything is well combined. Return the beef to the skillet and stir until everything is blended. Stir in the cilantro if using, turn the mixture into a bowl, and wash and dry the skillet (or grab a new skillet).
  • Combine the cheddar and havarti in a bowl. Place the skillet over medium heat and add a half teaspoon of butter. Place a tortilla in the pan. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture over half of the quesadilla, and distribute 1/8 of the beef mixture over the cheese. Top that with another 2 tablespoons of the shredded cheese. Flip the bare half of the tortilla over the filling, cover the pan, and sauté for about 2 minutes until the bottom is golden and the cheese has started to melt, then use a spatula to flip the half-moon quesadilla, and continue to cook, uncovered, until all of the cheese is melted and the underside is browned, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Remove the quesadilla to a cutting board and let the quesadilla sit for a minute before you slice into 2 or 3 wedges. Repeat until all of the quesadillas are cooked. Serve with guacamole, salsa, sour cream and lime wedges.


Calories: 701.97kcal | Carbohydrates: 37.83g | Protein: 34.33g | Fat: 45.7g | Saturated Fat: 22.31g | Cholesterol: 127.09mg | Sodium: 827.09mg | Potassium: 657.34mg | Fiber: 2.89g | Sugar: 6.02g | Vitamin A: 1511.55IU | Vitamin C: 7.7mg | Calcium: 351.13mg | Iron: 5.12mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @katieworkman100 or tag #dinnersolved!
The Best Cheesy Ground Beef Quesadillas: Like the best bar food in the world, but right here in your own kitchen.

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8 thoughts on “Cheesy Ground Beef Quesadillas”

  1. Diane Moody says:

    It would be great to have low carb recipes

    1. Katie Workman says:

      there are a bunch on the site! And you could use low carb tortillas to make this if you like.

  2. Susan Vaughn says:

    Sounds great on the Quesadillas recipe, can’t wait to try it!

  3. Mark Eller says:

    Where is the recipe?
    More and more I’m coming across these sites with so much advertising finding the recipe becomes a challenge!!!
    Well I finally found the recipe here and a damn pop up appeared right in the middle of it!!!
    Hope you guys are making money but you are wasting my time! Filtering you guys out. In my opinion you are ruining Pinterest. Deleting another one.

    1. Katie Workman says:

      It’s at the bottom! Sorry – working on making the adds less obtrusive.

  4. Pam says:

    Made this for my family as a variation on our typical taco and burrito Mexican nights. So delicious! These were a big hit. Will definitely be making again.

    1. my kids and husband love these — and they are even easier than burritos!

  5. Lori Tucker says:

    RIGHT!!! LOL

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