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Carne Asada Quesadilla

This carne asada quesadilla recipe is a brilliant way to use your leftover steak. A spicy, cheesy Mexican masterpiece — it’s super easy to make and will have everyone at the table smiling.

Stack of carne asada quesadillas on plate

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Wondering what to do with leftover carne asada? This simple steak quesadilla recipe is a quick and clever way to create a hearty weeknight meal or a fun weekend snack. This dish is versatile, customizable, and loaded with all the amazing flavors of traditional Mexican cuisine. 

This recipe is so easy that you can feel free to invite your kids into the kitchen to help with the fun! They will get a kick out of building their own quesadilla with customized ingredients and your hands will be freer to cook or sip a well-earned margarita.

Get ready to feel like a kitchen wizard and have your whole house smelling amazing!

I especially love to use this recipe with my leftover air fryer carne asada. It’s delicious and easy to make!

Here’s what I’m going to teach you in this post: 

  • All the ingredients you need to make a tasty quesadilla with carne asada
  • Tips for making the best possible carne asada quesadilla
  • Steps on how to make your steak quesadilla in the air fryer

This satisfying recipe is a cinch to make and can be ready to enjoy in less than 30 minutes. Best of all, the ingredients you need are likely already in your kitchen. Let’s have some fun!

prepared ingredients for carne asada quesadillas

How to Make a Carne Asada Quesadilla

A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. This is to keep your cooked quesadillas warm and crispy while cooking the rest of them!

STEP TWO: Spray a large cast-iron skillet with nonstick cooking spray and place over medium heat.  I use the Lodge cast iron skillet because it’s already seasoned (and doesn’t cost much!).

STEP THREE: Place a tortilla in the skillet and cover with quesadilla cheese. Layer half of the tortilla with carne asada, pico de gallo, and a few jalapenos before sprinkling cheddar cheese and cilantro over the whole thing. 

add ingredients to flour tortilla

STEP FOUR: Cook for 2 to 3 minutes for the cheese to melt before folding the tortilla in half. Cook the quesadilla for 1 minute, then flip to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. They are ready to remove when the cheese is melted and the tortilla is golden brown.

fold tortilla over when cheese is melty

STEP FIVE: Transfer your carne asada quesadilla to the baking sheet to keep warm in the oven. Repeat steps 1-4 with the remaining ingredients. Be sure to spray the cast iron skillet between each steak quesadilla. 

STEP SIX: Serve and enjoy with your favorite toppings!

carne asada quesadillas cut into triangles on plate

What is Carne Asada?

Carne asada is beef that has been marinated, grilled, and thinly sliced. The Spanish term means “grilled (or roasted) meat.” It’s typically made with flank steak or skirt steak that is soaked in a marinade of lime juice and Mexican herbs and spices before cooking. 

It is absolutely delicious, bursting with flavor, and extremely versatile. This mouthwatering meat shows up in a variety of Mexican dishes and it never fails to impress me. That includes this delicious quesadilla with carne asada recipe!

carne asada quesadilla triangles stacked on plate

What Kind of Tortillas Should I Use for Steak Quesadillas?

Flour tortillas are the best option for this steak quesadilla recipe, and for quesadillas in general. The softness and pliability of flour tortillas help to hold all the cheesy, spicy, meaty goodness together without falling apart.

If you happen to only have corn tortillas or tortilla chips on hand, don’t worry. You can still use your leftover carne asada and other ingredients to whip up a delicious and easy Mexican dish, but the end result will be closer to tacos or nachos.  Don’t be afraid to be creative and resourceful!

What Kind of Cheese Do I Use For a Carne Asada Quesadilla?

The best quesadilla cheese is one that is shredded, melts with ease, and has that irresistible cheesy stretch to it. The best choices for this recipe include Oaxaca, Chihuahua, or Aserado, but these cheeses may not be available in all areas. Some other great melty options include:

  • Mozzarella
  • Provolone
  • Monterey Jack
  • Cheddar
  • Pepper Jack
cheesy carne asada quesadilla with lemon wedge

What If I Don’t Have Leftover Steak?

No need to despair! This quesadilla recipe is quite customizable. If you don’t have leftover carne asada on hand, try some of these options instead:

  • Grilled chicken
  • Shredded pork
  • Shrimp
  • Ground beef or turkey
  • Rice and beans
  • More veggies

You can also make your own carne asada using skirt steak in the air fryer if you would like some fresh steak for the recipe!

plate with carne asada quesadilla triangles stacked

Can I Make a Carne Asada Quesadilla in the Air Fryer?

Yes you can! Making this tasty meal is just as easy in the air fryer. Just follow these simple directions:

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 380 degrees F.
  2. Arrange ingredients the same as in the stove top recipe.
  3. Cook quesadilla for 6 to 8 minutes and flip with about 2 to 3 minutes left. 
  4. Serve with your favorite toppings and enjoy fully!

Other Easy Steak Recipes You’ll Love:

Yield: 4-6 servings

Carne Asada Quesadilla

Stack of carne asada quesadillas on plate

This carne asada quesadilla recipe is a spicy, cheesy Mexican masterpiece — it’s super easy to make and will have everyone smiling.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Total Time 46 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 large burrito-size tortillas
  • 2 cups quesadilla cheese, crumbled (or shredded)
  • 1 pound leftover carne asada steak, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup pico de gallo
  • ½ cup pickled jalapeno slices
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Fresh cilantro (optional)
  • SERVE WITH: sour cream, guacamole, salsa, refried beans

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Set a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat and spray the inside with nonstick cooking spray. 
  3. Place a tortilla inside the skillet and sprinkle the whole tortilla with ½ cup of quesadilla cheese. Layer ¼ of the carne asada, ¼ cup of pico de gallo, and a few jalapenos on one half of the tortilla, then sprinkle the whole thing with ¼ cup of cheddar and fresh cilantro. 
  4. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the cheese begins to melt, then fold the tortilla in half. Cook for 1 minute, then flip and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is golden brown. 
  5. Transfer the quesadilla to the baking sheet and keep warm in the oven, then repeat with the remaining ingredients, spraying the skillet with cooking spray between each quesadilla.
  6. Serve warm with your favorite toppings.

Notes

How to Make Carne Asada Quesadillas in the Air Fryer

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 380 degrees F.
  2. Arrange ingredients the same as in the stovetop recipe.
  3. Cook quesadilla for 6 to 8 minutes and flip with about 2 to 3 minutes left. 
  4. Serve with your favorite toppings and enjoy fully!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1200Total Fat: 59gSaturated Fat: 26gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 26gCholesterol: 160mgSodium: 2641mgCarbohydrates: 107gFiber: 15gSugar: 10gProtein: 62g

This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.

Did you make this recipe?

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samantha

About Samantha

I’ve always had a love of cooking and creating new recipes, so it only made sense to create a food blog so I could share those recipes with you. This site is designed to provide easy and flavorful recipes with as little ingredients as possible. That means you still get great flavor combinations without all that extra time and effort. Read more...

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