Steak Quesadillas

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Steak Quesadillas – 🌮🥩🧀 Stuffed to the max with juicy strips of steak, peppers and onions, and plenty of melted cheese, these EASY quesadillas are a family FAVORITE! Serve them for a simple yet satisfying weeknight meal, at game day parties, or your next Cinco de Mayo fiesta! Faster and less expensive than going to your favorite Mexican restaurant and they taste every bit as AMAZING!

Platter of steak quesadillas garnished with peppers, tomatoes, and cilantro, served with lime wedges and dipping sauces on a wooden board.

When you’re craving cheesy quesadillas with juicy strips of steak and a mixture of onions and peppers in every bite, this easy quesadillas recipe is just the ticket!

This is an easy, one-skillet recipe that’s ready from start to finish in 30 minutes which is so nice. Faster than the time it takes to call for delivery or make your way to your favorite taqueria, you’ll have these mouth-watering quesadillas ready.

A close-up image of a steak quesadillas with colorful bell peppers, onions, and melted cheese in a soft tortilla, served on a white plate.

They’re filling enough to be a simple but satisfying main dish on a busy weeknight.

Or serve them alongside other Mexican-inspired recipes such as my favorite restaurant-style blender salsa and chips, the best cheesy baked Mexican street corn dip, and some chilled 3-ingredient margaritas at your next game day party, tailgating event, picnic, potluck, or Cinco de Mayo fiesta!

A plate with a half-folded quesadilla filled with beef, bell peppers, and melted cheese, served next to a bowl of salsa.

Ingredients in Steak Quesadillas

You’ll need these easy-to-find and common fridge and pantry ingredients for the best steak quesadillas including:

  • Steak – sirloin, flank, skirt steak
  • Oil – olive oil or avocado oil
  • Taco seasoning – my preferred steak quesadilla seasoning. Use a mixture of cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, salt, pepper if you don’t have taco seasoning
  • Lime juice
  • Yellow onions
  • Bell peppers – green and red, or your favorite combo
  • Tortillas – I used flour but corn are fine
  • Cheeses – I used a shredded Mexican + provolone. Check the FAQs below for my cheese recommendations
  • Fresh cilantro, for garnishing

Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.

Ingredients for cooking displayed on a table, including raw beef strips, tortillas, cheese, lime, bell peppers, onion, cilantro, and spices.

How to Make Quesadillas with Steak

Making steak and cheese quesadillas at home that taste like they came out of the kitchen of your favorite Mexican restaurant is easy. Let’s do this!

  1. Marinate the steak with a bit of olive oil, taco seasoning, and lime juice in a bowl. Tip – Keep it on your counter for the 10-15 minutes or so it takes to saute the veggies because steak cooks best when it isn’t overly chilled from your fridge.
  2. To a large skillet, add oil, onions, bell peppers, and saute for about 7 minutes, or until the veggies are done to your liking. Set aside.
  1. Add a bit more oil to your skillet and cook the steak, about 2-3 minutes per side, but this will vary on the cut of meat, the size of the strips, and how done you like your steak. Set aside.
  1. Assemble a tortilla with shredded cheese, peppers and onions, steak strips, sliced cheese, and fold in half.
  1. Add it to the skillet and cook over medium-low for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until the cheese melts and the outside of the shell is lightly golden browned. Garnish and serve!

Quesadilla Cooking Tips

I always turn the heat down on my stove to medium-low (or even lower) in the final step when the quesadilla is assembled and it’s back in the skillet and I’m just trying to melt the cheese. Otherwise sometimes the outside of the tortilla will burn before the interior cheese melts. You can also cover the pan with a lid to trap in the heat to melt that cheese more quickly, too.

If you want a crispier tortilla, you can add a bit of oil to the skillet and basically fry the tortilla. I don’t tend to do this because it’s a splurge with fat and calories, and frying tortillas in oil is a surefire way to smell up the house for a long time to come. But they do taste amazing if you’re tempted to try (fry)!

Sliced steak quesadillas garnished with cilantro on a wooden board, with lime wedges and a bowl of salsa on the side.

what to serve with quesadillas

I have so many Mexican-inspired recipes that would pair amazingly well with these quesadillas from salsas to chips to other tacos, burritos, and taquitos. Check out the recipes below the recipe card as well for more inspiration.

A stack of steak quesadillas with melted cheese, bell peppers, onions, on a plate, garnished with lime slices.

Best Salsas and Condiments for Quesadillas

Quesadillas FAQs

what kind of beef or steak is best for steak quesadillas?

I used sirloin steak but flank steak or skirt steak work just fine.

can i grill the steak?

If you prefer grilled steak rather than pan seared, more of a Carne Asada flavor, go right ahead and grill it on your outdoor grill or indoor grill pan.

can i make these with chicken instead of steak?

You sure can if you want to make chicken quesadillas. Simply slice boneless chicken breasts (or thighs) into strips, place in a bowl to marinate the same way the steak marinates with a bit of oil, taco seasoning, and lime juice before cooking it in a skillet. Follow the rest of the recipe the same as if you were using steak in terms of assembly and melting the cheese.

I have a recipe for Easy Skillet Chicken Fajitas that is similar as well and very popular so I suggest checking it out, too!

what kind of cheese is best for quesadillas?

This is a multipart response based on what’s most commonly found in American supermarkets vs. what’s traditional.

For ease of availability and budget, I used a combination of a shredded Mexican cheese blend paired with the easy-melting nature of provolone in this recipe. Shredded mozzarella, shredded Monterey Jack cheese, or shredded Pepper Jack (I get mine at Trader Joe’s) are also great because they melt well, have good flavor, and are easy to find.

If you have access to other more traditional Mexican cheeses such as Oaxaca cheese or queso quesadilla, they’re fabulous because they melt super smoothly and will give you that long cheese-pull type of cheesiness.

The cheeses I would avoid because they don’t melt well or just don’t scream ‘gooey cheesy quesadilla’ include cheddar, colby, Parmesan, blue cheese, feta, goat cheese, brie. Stick to the ones I previously suggested for best results.

what kind of tortillas should i use?

Traditionally, quesadillas in Mexico tend to be served with corn tortillas and not too big – a bit bigger than street taco size but not huge. Only perhaps in northern Mexico you may see some flour tortillas.

In the US, many people are accustomed to flour tortillas for quesadillas, and that’s what I used here. They’re also pretty big at 8-inches. Hey, you need that much run to stuff all those juicy steaks pieces in there! The other nice thing about flour tortillas is they’re more pliable and less prone to ripping compared to corn.

Bottom line: use whatever tortilla material and size you have on hand and enjoy.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

In the Refrigerator: Leftover steak quesadillas are definitely better warm and fresh but leftovers will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. I don’t recommend freezing them.

To Reheat: I use my microwave for quickness and ease and reheat my leftovers for about 30 seconds on high, or as needed. But you can use a warm skillet on the stovetop, whatever is best suited for you.

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5 from 1 vote

Steak Quesadillas

🌮🥩🧀 Stuffed to the max with juicy strips of steak, peppers and onions, and plenty of melted cheese, these EASY quesadillas are a family FAVORITE! Serve them for a simple yet satisfying weeknight meal, at game day parties, or your next Cinco de Mayo fiesta! Faster and less expensive than going to your favorite Mexican restaurant and they taste every bit as AMAZING!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6
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Ingredients  

  • 1 pound sirloin steak, sliced into 3/4 to 1-inch wide long strips* (See Notes for other protein options)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided; plus more if necessary
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning, divided; plus more if neccessary
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced into thin strips (white onion may be substituted, you can add an additional onion if yours is small)
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into thin vertical strips
  • 1 large green bell pepper, seeded and sliced into thin vertical strips
  • 6 large, 8” flour tortillas* (See Notes)
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend, divided*, (See Notes)
  • 6 slices provolone cheese, divided*, (See Notes)
  • Fresh cilantro, for garnishing; optional and to taste

Instructions 

  • Steak – Place the steak in a large bowl along with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 to 2 tablespoons taco seasoning, and the juice from 1 lime. Stir to toss and coat evenly. Allow the mixture to marinate on your counter because steak cooks best if it's not overly chilled and coming directly out of a cold fridge. While it marinates, chop the other vegetables and saute them.
  • Vegetables – To a large skill, add 1 tablespoon oil, the onions, peppers, 1 tablespoon taco seasoning (or more if desired), and saute over medium-high heat for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until as tender as desired; stir and toss very frequently for even cooking. When they're done, remove them from a skillet and set aside on a plate.
  • To the same skillet (no need to wipe it out), using tongs add the steak to the skillet (don't dump in the lime juice from the bowl, and discard the contents from marinating bowl), and cook the steak over medium-high heat, for about 2-3 minutes, per side, or as necessary. If necessary, add a bit more oil while cooking the steak. Tips – The first side of the steak will take the longest to cook, and from there the subsequent sides will cook faster. Cooking time will depend on the heat of your stove, the type of pan you're using, the size of your strips of steak, and how well done or not you like your meat. Cook as long as you see fit and then remove the steak from the skillet and set it next to the peppers and onions on the same plate or a different one.
  • Assembly – To one tortilla, add a bit of shredded cheese, some of the peppers and onions mixture, a few pieces of steak, and a piece of provolone cheese (you may need to tear each larger circular piece in a couple smaller pieces so it all 'fits').
  • Carefully transfer the full tortilla (or two) into the skillet (wipe it down with a paper towel first if necessary, but you shouldn't need to wash it), reduce the heat to medium-low or low (important to not have the heat too high!) and allow the cheese to melt for about 3-4 minutes total, flipping once halfway through to ensure even browning on both sides of the tortillas. Tips – I don't add additional oil or other fat to the skillet when I am making tortillas mostly for health reasons, but oil + tortillas creates a classic 'fried food' smell that will linger in your kitchen. The tortillas will still brown up without oil. If you find that the cheese isn't melting, turn the heat up slightly, but watch it so the outsides don't start burning before the cheese melts in the interior. Covering the skillet with a lid will also help to encourage melting.
  • Repeat the process with all remaining tortillas. I can comfortably fit and watch 2 quesadillas at one time, so repeat as necessary.
  • Serving – Optionally garnish with cilantro and serve with your favorite salsas. See blog post suggestions for my favorites. Note about salt and pepper – There is no added salt or pepper to this recipe other than what's in the taco seasoning and cheeses since everyone's preferences vary. Add salt to pepper, if desired and to taste. Salsas also will have salt.
  • Storage – Quesadillas are best hot and freshly made, but leftovers will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 3-5 days. Reheat gently in the microwave or as desired.

Notes

Steak – Sirloin, skirt, or flank steak are all great options. Making this with chicken? Yes you can. Read the FAQs in the post.
Tortillas – I used large flour tortillas, about 8-inches each. You can use either corn (traditional in Mexico) or flour (traditional in the US) tortillas. Corn tend to be smaller and more prone to ripping or breaking. 
Cheese – For ease of availability and budget, I used a combination of a shredded Mexican cheese blend paired with the easy-melting nature of provolone. Shredded mozzarella, shredded Monterey Jack, or shredded Pepper Jack (I get mine at Trader Joe’s) are also great because they melt well, have good flavor, and are easy to find. If you have access to other more traditional Mexican cheeses such as Oaxaca cheese or queso quesadilla, they’re fabulous because they melt super smoothly and will give you that long cheese-pull type of cheesiness.

Nutrition

Serving: 1quesadilla, Calories: 391kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 32g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 95mg, Sodium: 478mg, Potassium: 438mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 1186IU, Vitamin C: 43mg, Calcium: 420mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

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