Steak Fajita Quesadillas are the perfect way to bring Mexican cuisine to your kitchen. Upgrade to ribeye and make your own fajita seasoning for fabulously tender and flavorful meat
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I rarely, if ever, ate Mexican food growing up. Which is funny, because we lived in a very ethnically diverse area of Maryland. Fast forward to my move to Oklahoma…my first week on the job was the Big 12 basketball tournament in OKC, and I’m pretty sure we ate Mexican at least three times over a four-day period.
For a long time I kept my Mexican at home super simple, with tacos. I’ve branched out just a little bit over time, with Chicken Tortilla Soup, and with Pork & Pineapple Tostadas. But clearly it’s time to expand that even more. Steak fajitas is one of my favorite things to order at Mexican restaurants. I almost never make them at home, because I can’t get that trademark sizzle. I’m still working on it, and will master it eventually. So in the meantime, when I want fajitas, I make Steak Fajita Quesadillas
My goodness these Steak Fajita Quesadillas are fabulous, and so hard to resist.
BEST MEAT FOR STEAK FAJITA QUESADILLAS
Restaurants typically use skirt steak or flank steak for their fajitas, but I’m seeing more restaurants that offer ribeye as an upgrade. I tried it once, and never looked back. They use thicker chunks when it’s ribeye, and it’s also a better cut of meat.
I planned to go traditional with flank steak, but then remembered I had ribeye in the freezer. So in the spirit of upgrades, I went with ribeye.
Man, what a fabulous difference ribeye makes! The ribeye is much more tender and flavorful than flank steak, and the fajita seasoning takes it to a new level. I make my own fajita seasoning for my Steak Fajita Quesadillas. It’s super simple, uses spices you likely already have in your pantry, and I make a batch that I keep in an airtight container in the pantry.
KEYS TO THE PERFECT STEAK FAJITA QUESADILLAS
- I use red onions, plus red and green bell peppers for the veggies. You can of course use yellow onions, and whatever bell peppers you have on hand. If I have jalapenos I’ll add those as well, after I remove the seeds and ribs (that’s where all the heat is)
- Cut the vegetables in thin slices, and start them over high heat so they get that nice char. Once charred, I turn down the heat a little so that the veggies get a little soft. Sauteeing in butter adds more flavor, but I usually use Avocado Oil because it has such a high smoke point. Either way, a little goes a long way
- I don’t keep Mexican cheese in the fridge, and I hate buying a product for just one recipe. However, I always have Cabot Sharp Cheddar Cheese, so that’s what I use. I love the bite of the cheddar, and it melts really well
- Use Burrito-Sized Tortillas, and use your favorite brand. I’ve never tried Steak Fajita Quesadillas with anything other than flour tortillas, but with all of the options available at the store, you can change it up and try something different.
GETTING THAT TRADEMARK CRUNCH AND MELTED CHEESE
The final steps to the perfect Steak Fajita Quesadillas are the melted cheese and that trademark crunch of the tortillas. Fill the tortillas generously in the middle, without going all the way to the edge or the fillings will spill out. Most Mexican cheese blends are a very fine shred, and you end up using a lot of cheese. I do a large grate with my cheese, so I use less overall.
To get the golden brown crust on the tortillas, I lay one tortilla flat in a clean skillet lightly sprayed with Cooking Spray, add fillings, and then top with the other tortilla. I place a flat pot cover on top and press down, to help melt the cheese. I cook on one side for about 3 minutes, flip carefully, and then the other side for another 3 minutes.
Since I can’t possibly eat just one piece, I don’t make Steak Fajita Quesadillas that often. And, let’s be honest, they’re not really on the healthy list. But when I get that craving, I know that I can have Steak Fajita Quesadillas on the table in about 20 minutes.
SHOP THIS RECIPE
- 2 flour tortillas, burrito-sized
- 8 ounces ribeye steak, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 1/2 teaspoons avocado oil
- 1/3 cup red bell pepper, sliced thin
- 1/3 cup green bell pepper, sliced thin
- 1/3 cup red or yellow onion, sliced thin
- 1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese or Mexican cheese, shredded
- Add 2 teaspoons of fajita seasoning to ribeye, toss well to combine, and let rest
- In large skillet, heat avocado oil over high heat. Add onions and bell peppers and saute, tossing occasionally, until charred. After about 3 minutes, turn heat down to medium add 1 teaspoon of fajita seasoning, and continue to saute for about 7 minutes, until bell peppers are tender-crisp. Remove onions and peppers and set aside
- Add ribeye to skillet and cook for about 5 minutes, until brown. Return peppers and onions to skillet, toss to combine, and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
- Spray another large skillet lightly with cooking spray. Lay one tortilla in skillet; top with half of steak and veggies mixture, and then half of the shredded cheese. Lay another tortilla on top. Take a flat pot cover and press down lightly on tortilla. Turn heat to medium and cook for 3 minutes per side, until tortillas are golden brown
- Remove quesadillas from skillet and place on flat surface. Use a pizza cutter to cut quesadillas into pieces. Serve immediately