If tacos and quesadillas had a baby, they’d totally be these taco quesadillas! These beef quesadillas are perfect for on the go eating or at home, too.
I was playing around with leftover taco meat one day when I came up with this handheld food idea.
For those of you not familiar with farming, handheld meals are kind of a big deal. They allow the farmers to drive the tractor with one hand and steer with the other.
Like us moms do all the time when we hit the drive thru. Come on, we’ve all done it, right???
But the same ole same old sandwiches can get pretty dullsville in the cab of a combine. And so, any variation on a handheld eat is always appreciated and they’re pretty much the answer to all of life’s problems.
Beef Quesadilla Ingredients
Pretty standard beef quesadillas fare here. Ground beef, taco seasoning, some tomato paste to thicken things up a bit and make the mixture richer, shredded cheese (you pick which kind, they’re all delicious in my world), some corn tortillas and butter.
As for toppings, the sky is the limit. My recipe below has salsa and sour cream which are my favs for quesadillas, but how about some guacamole or lettuce?
How to Make Taco Quesadillas
Step 1: Brown the ground beef
Then drain it. You know the drill. Add the taco seasoning, tomato paste and some water. Reduce the liquid, then set aside.
Just like making tacos, you know?
Step 2: Grab a second pan and assemble
I tried to come up with a way to use only one pan but honestly, it’s just not happening in this recipe. But trust me, it’s worth it.
Heat the second pan, melt a little butter, then put the corn tortilla in, topped with some cheese and the beef mixture. Put the other tortilla on top and give her a flip with a spatula.
Cook until the cheese is melty! Repeat with the next six tortillas.
Recipe Variations for Taco Quesadillas
- substitute ground turkey for ground beef
- use shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese in place of the monterey jack cheese. In my world, all cheese is good!
- use flour tortillas instead of corn
- make these as a freezer meal, there are instructions below!
Now, I’d love to say I captured this incredible quesadilla moment in an art gallery worthy photo.
But the reality is, this food throw down happened on a Tuesday night, and on Tuesday nights, we have homework and baths and about a million other things going on.
So instead, I shouted, “hold it right there!” in the middle of dinnertime, right as my eldest daughter went in for her second bite. And then, like any good mom would do, I made her hold the quesadilla while I snapped photos.
Never a dull moment around here!! It was worth it – enjoy!
Other taco inspiration you’ll love:
Made with love,
Recipe adapted from one of the most awesome ladies on the planet, The Pioneer Woman. I say this in the least stalker-ish way, but someday, we’re gonna cook together…just putting it out into the universe….
- 1.5 pound ground beef
- 2.5 Tbsp taco seasoning
- 3 Tbsp Tomato Paste
- 12 ounces monterey jack cheese grated
- 8 corn tortillas
- 1 Tbsp butter
- Salsa and sour cream for serving
TO MAKE FRESH
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the ground beef and drain the fat. Add the taco seasoning and tomato paste, 1/2 cup water, and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and reduce the liquid.
- Heat a separate pam over medium heat. Put butter in the bottom of the pan and put one corn tortilla in the pam. Add a portion of cheese, and a few tablespoons of the beef mixture.
- Put the other tortilla on top and cook until cheese is melty. Turn over and cook the other side until lightly browned.
- Repeat with the other tortillas for a total of four quesadillas. Serve with sour cream and salsa.
TO MAKE A FREEZER MEAL
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the ground beef and drain the fat. Add the taco seasoning and tomato paste, 1/2 cup water, and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and reduce the liquid. Allow it to cool, then add to a gallon sized, labeled freezer bag.
- Label shredded Monterey jack cheese and tortillas, bag in a gallon sized, labeled freezer bag and freeze with beef mixture.
TO COOK FREEZER MEAL
- Defrost meal in refrigerator overnight. Warm beef mixture in microwave or a pan.
- Follow instructions as above.
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