Steak and Cheese Quesadillas
on Apr 11, 2021, Updated Nov 07, 2023
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An easy recipe for beefy, cheesy quesadillas. This is a very good reason to make extra steak and tuck it into the fridge for the next day.
A quesadilla is one of the best ways to use up leftovers in the world, in particular small amounts of vegetables or proteins that wouldn’t possibly be enough for a meal as is. Steak is a perfect example of a springboard leftover. About 3 cups of roughly chopped leftover steak and a bag of shredded cheese turn into a very ample amount of quesadillas, enough to feed 4 people generously.
And while these loaded steak quesadillas sidle up well to the classic quesadilla accompaniments, like Salsa Ranchera, Pico de Gallo, guacamole, and sour cream, you might try giving them a dunk in some steak sauce, just to change things up.
Table of Contents
Steak and Cheese Quesadillas: About 3 cups of roughly chopped leftover steak turns into a very ample amount of quesadillas, enough to feed 4 people generously.Tweet This
- Olive or vegetable oil – Used to sauté the vegetables so that they become tender.
- Red onion – Cooking the onions before adding them will make them soft and bring out their natural sweetness.
- Spinach – Wilting the spinach before adding it to the quesadilla allows it to release its moisture and avoids making the tortillas soggy.
- Jalapeño – The jalapeño adds a little bit of a kick, but nothing too crazy. If you like more heat, you can add more jalapeño or keep some or all of the seeds when you chop them (the heat in hot peppers mostly comes from the seeds and veins).
- Cooked steak – You can use any steak in these quesadillas, from sirloin to filet mignon to skirt steak to ribeye. I used flank. Just make sure to chop whatever steak you choose pretty well so it stays put in the quesadilla. Big pieces will cause the quesadilla wedges to fall apart more easily. You could also use brisket or pot roast, and that can be shredded instead of chopped.
- Unsalted butter – Used to toast the tortilla while the quesadilla is cooking.
- Flour tortillas – Feel free to use corn tortillas if that is what you prefer.
- Cheese – I use a combination of cheddar and Monterey Jack for a classic Southwestern flavor.
- Sauce – I’d suggest using steak sauce, guacamole, sour cream, or salsa with these.
How to Make Steak and Cheese Quesadillas
- Make the filling: Sauté the onions with salt and pepper until soft. Stir in the spinach and jalapeño to wilt the spinach. Then, stir the cooked vegetables together with the sliced steak.
- Assemble the quesadilla: Place one tortilla in a buttered pan and sprinkle some cheese over one half. Then top with some of the steak filling and sprinkle more cheese on top.
- Finish the quesadilla: Fold the other half of the tortilla over the cheese and filling and cover the pan until the cheese starts to melt. Uncover and continue cooking until the tortilla is browned evenly on both sides.
- Finish: Rest the finished quesadilla while you make the rest of them. Slice them into wedges and serve.
Also, see How to Make Quesadillas for loads of tips on making perfect quesadillas every time.
Sometimes, the cheese in a quesadilla takes a long time to melt because all of the heat is coming from below, warming only what is in contact with the pan and escaping out of the top. My best tip is to cover your pan with a lid for a couple of minutes. The lid will trap the steam and melt the cheese much faster.
Chopping it and folding it into a steak and cheese quesadilla is a great place to start. You could also quickly reheat the leftover steak with some grilled peppers and onions for some quick fajitas — don’t forget to serve with warm tortillas. Leftover steak can also be great on top of a salad, like this Greek Salad with Flank Steak.
Monterey Jack is the perfect cheese for quesadillas because of its mild flavor and creamy texture when melted. For a little extra flavor, I mix it with some shredded sharp cheddar. Another great addition would be Cotija cheese, for a different texture and a more salty, briny flavor.
What to Serve With Steak and Cheese Quesadillas
More Quesadilla Recipes
- Easiest Baked Chicken Quesadillas
- Cheesy Mushroom Quesadillas
- Pulled Pork Quesadillas
- Barbecued Chicken Quesadillas
- Spinach, Mushroom, and Chicken Quesadillas
- Breakfast Quesadillas
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Steak and Cheese Quesadillas
- 1 teaspoon olive or vegetable oil
- 1 cup chopped red onion
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
- 1 ½ cups chopped spinach
- 1 teaspoon seeded minced jalapeno
- 3 cups thinly sliced and roughly chopped cooked steak
- 1 teaspoons unsalted butter (divided)
- 8 8-inch flour tortillas
- 3 cups (12 ounces) cheese (such as a combo of cheddar and Monterey Jack)
- Steak sauce, guacamole, sour cream and salsa (to serve, if desired)
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper, and saute for 4 minutes, until the onions have softened. Add the spinach and jalapeño, and stir for another minute until the spinach has wilted. Remove them to a bowl, and stir in the steak.
- Wipe out the skillet and return it to medium-high heat. Add a half teaspoon of butter, and turn to coat the bottom of the pan. Place a tortilla in the pan. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of the cheese over half of the quesadilla, and distribute ⅛ of the steak mixture over the cheese. Top that with another 3 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 it into 2 or 3 wedges. Repeat until all of the quesadillas are cooked. Serve with steak sauce, guacamole, salsa, and sour cream, as desired.