Steak Quesadillas

Rach's tip: When a recipe calls for slicing meat before cooking it, stick it in the freezer for 5 minutes to firm up for easy slicing.
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Steak Quesadillas Recipe

Recipe by Rachael Ray

  • 4Servings


  • 1 lb. thin sirloin steaks (1/2 inch thick each) or 1 lb. flank steak
  • 2 jalapeño or serrano chiles—thinly sliced and seeded (for less heat) or chopped with seeds and membranes (for more heat)
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 limes, juiced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • Salt
  • 2 tomatoes on the vine, seeded and chopped
  • A handful of fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems, finely chopped
  • Cayenne hot sauce (I like Frank’s RedHot)
  • 1 large Haas avocado, coarsely chopped
  • Pepper
  • 1 tsp. each ground cumin, dried oregano, and chili powder (I like Gebhardt)
  • 3 tbsp. neutral-flavored oil
  • 1 white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper (any color), seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup drained mild or hot pickled jalapeño slices
  • 4 large (10-inch) flour tortillas
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend, pepper Jack, or Monterey Jack
  • Mexican crema or sour cream, for serving


1. Freeze the steaks until slightly firm, about 5 minutes.

2. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high to high.

3. In 2 medium bowls, divide the chiles, red onion, and half the lime juice. Add a quarter of the grated garlic to each bowl; season with salt. Let stand for a few minutes. To one bowl, add the tomatoes, some cilantro, and a few dashes of hot sauce for the pico de gallo. In the other bowl, using a potato masher or fork, mash in the avocado for the guacamole.

4. Thinly slice the steaks against the grain; season with salt, pepper, and the spices.

5. Add 2 tbsp. oil, two turns of the pan, to the skillet. Add the beef in a single layer and cook until brown and crispy, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the beef over and cook until browned, about 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate.

6. Add the remaining 1 tbsp. oil, one turn of the pan, to the skillet. Add the white onion, bell pepper, and pickled jalapeños and cook, tossing occasionally, until crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the remaining garlic and lime juice; season with salt and pepper. Mix in the beef and remove from heat.

7. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium. Spray 1 tortilla lightly with cooking spray and add to the skillet, sprayed-side down. Scatter a quarter of the cheese on top. Arrange about a quarter of the beef and vegetables on 1 side of the tortilla. Fold the tortilla over the filling and cook, turning once, until golden and crispy, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, cheese, beef, and vegetables.

8. Cut the quesadillas into wedges. Serve with the crema, guacamole, and pico.