When it comes to easy weeknight dinners, it doesn’t get much better than steak quesadillas! Seasoned steak strips are folded into toasty tortillas with plenty of cheese and all your favorite Tex-Mex toppings.
A cheese quesadilla is always a winner with kids, but they’re not exactly satisfying. But add steak? Well, now you’ve got a kid-friendly dinner that’s a filling meal for mom and dad too. Steak quesadillas for the win!
Even better, adding steak to your quesadillas doesn’t add all that much time to the recipe; you’ll still get dinner on the table in under 30 minutes because the steak is sliced into thin strips so it cooks quickly and evenly in your skillet.
To give the steak a little oomph, we add taco seasoning, along with green bell pepper and red onion, which adds a little fajita flair to these quesadillas. Serve them up with sour cream and pico de gallo, or maybe some homemade guacamole, and you’ve got yourself a Tex-Mex dinner that the whole family will devour!
What You’ll Need
Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
For the steak quesadillas:
- Olive oil
- Skirt steak – Slice this into thin strips.
- Red onion – Yellow, white, or a sweet onion like Vidalia could be used instead.
- Green bell pepper
- Taco seasoning – Use store-bought or homemade taco seasoning.
- Burrito-sized tortillas – If you use smaller tortillas, you’ll be able to make a few more quesadillas from this recipe.
- Shredded Mexican blend cheese
- Sour cream – If you want to drizzle this over the quesadillas, thin it out with a bit of water or lime juice.
- Pico de gallo
- Chopped cilantro
Is Skirt Steak and Flank Steak the Same?
Skirt steak and flank steak can be used interchangeably in a lot of recipes (including these steak quesadillas!), but they’re not exactly the same.
Flank steak is a wider, thicker, and shorter cut that comes from the flanks, while skirt steak comes from a different part of the abdomen. Skirt steak has higher fat content, so it’s more flavorful than flank steak.
How to Make Steak Quesadillas
It’s quesadilla time! Here’s what you’ll need to do.
Cook the steak. In a large skillet set over medium heat, add the olive oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add the steak strips and stir occasionally until they’re nicely browned, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the cooked steak to a plate and return the skillet to the stovetop.
Cook the veggies. Add the onion and bell pepper to the pan and sauté them until they’re tender-crisp, about 4 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Finish the quesadilla filling. Add the steak back to the pan, then add the taco seasoning; stir to combine. Transfer the steak mixture to a plate and wipe out the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low.
Assemble. Sprinkle an even layer of 1⁄4 cup of cheese on half of each tortilla. Top the cheese with the steak mixture, followed by another 1⁄4 cup of cheese. Fold the tortillas in half.
Cook the quesadillas. Place the quesadillas in the pan. Cook them on one side for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the cheese begins to melt and the bottom is golden brown. Use a spatula to carefully flip the quesadillas and cook the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and both sides of the quesadillas are golden brown.
Serve. Plate the quesadillas and cut them into wedges. Serve with sour cream, pico de gallo, and cilantro.
How Do You Get Quesadillas to Stick Together?
The secret to getting your quesadillas to stick together is to layer the cheese—add half of it to the tortilla, then add the steak, then add the rest of the cheese. This will seal the tortilla nicely so the filling doesn’t fall out when you flip the quesadilla!
Tips for Success
Steak quesadillas are a cinch to make, but I have a few hints and tips to help make sure they turn out perfect!
- Perfecting the seasonings. If your taco seasoning is salt-free, I recommend adding 1-2 teaspoons of kosher salt to the steak and vegetable mixture.
- Getting the perfect crispy quesadilla. For crispy quesadillas that are evenly browned, cook them in a dry pan with no oil. Oil has a tendency to cook the tortillas too quickly.
- Watch the temperature. If you have the heat too high, the tortillas will start to burn before the cheese has a chance to melt. If it seems like the tortillas are browning too quickly, turn the heat down.
- Making them in the oven. To make these quesadillas in the oven, follow the instructions in my Oven Baked Chicken Quesadillas recipe.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Steak quesadillas are best enjoyed immediately, but if you do have leftovers, they can be wrapped in foil or stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. The best way to reheat them is in a 350ºF oven or in a skillet; this will help re-crisp the tortilla a bit. You can use a microwave in a pinch, but the tortilla is likely to be a little limp and soggy.
Can This Recipe Be Frozen?
I don’t recommend freezing these quesadillas. Technically speaking, they can be frozen, but once they’re thawed and reheated, the texture and taste just won’t match a freshly made steak quesadilla.
More Family-Friendly Beef Recipes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound skirt steak thinly sliced into strips
- 1 medium red onion julienned
- 1 medium green bell pepper julienned
- 1 1.25 ounce packet taco seasoning
- 4 large burrito-sized tortillas
- 2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
- sour cream
- pico de gallo
- chopped cilantro
- In a large pan or skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Once the oil is heated and shimmering, add steak and stir occasionally until browned, about 3-4 minutes. Remove steak from the pan and set aside.
- Add onion and bell pepper to the pan. Stirring occasionally, cook until softened but the pepper still has a slight crunch, about 4-6 minutes.
- Add the steak back into the pan, pour in the taco seasoning, and stir until everything is evenly combined.
- Set aside the steak mixture and wipe all excess oil out of the pan. Turn the heat down to medium-low.
- Assemble the quesadilla. On half of the tortilla, sprinkle an even layer of 1⁄4 cup of cheese. Top with the steak and vegetable mixture, top with another 1⁄4 cup of cheese, and fold the tortilla in half.
- Place quesadilla in the pan (dry, no added oil). Let cook on one side for 2-3 minutes, or until cheese begins to melt and the tortilla on the bottom is golden brown. Turn down the heat if the tortilla is cooking too fast and the cheese is not melting.
- Flip and cook on the other side for another 2-3 minutes, or until the tortilla is golden brown.
- Remove quesadilla from heat and repeat with remaining ingredients. Serve immediately with sour cream, pico de gallo, and cilantro.
- Adding two layers of cheese acts as a “glue” to keep steak and vegetable filling in the quesadilla.
- For crispy quesadillas that are evenly browned with melted cheese, cook in a dry pan with no oil. Oil can cook the tortilla too quickly, leading to unmelted cheese and burnt tortillas.
- If your taco seasoning is salt-free, I recommend adding 1-2 teaspoons of kosher salt to the steak and vegetable mixture.
- Leftovers can be wrapped in foil or stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. The best way to reheat quesadillas is in a 350ºF oven or in a skillet; this will help re-crisp the tortilla a bit.