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Southwest Ground Beef Quesadillas

What happens if you take simple taco seasoned ground beef quesadillas and add fresh onion and poblano peppers, black beans, corn, and a blend of two types of cheese? Well, we’re about to find out!

six ground beef quesadillas on a wire rack

How to Upgrade Ground Beef Quesadillas

You’ll find a printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, but I’ll quickly run you through a visual recipe walkthrough between here and there.

Poblano Peppers, Onion, and Ground Beef

Like I mentioned in my ground beef and potato soup recipe, poblano peppers are mild to medium pepper on the heat scale. Feel free to swap them for bell peppers for a milder beef quesadilla or add some jalapeño for a bigger kick.

onion and poblano pepper in a skillet with ground beef

You can also omit the onion and pepper altogether if you’re in a hurry. Something like canned diced green chiles could be a solid replacement if you don’t feel like busting out the chef’s knife.

And finally, it’s worth mentioning you can use other proteins like ground chicken and turkey. You could even substitute the beef for something like my Dutch oven pulled chicken if you have leftovers.

Black Beans, Corn, and Taco Seasoning

No need to add any liquid or drain and rinse any beans or corn. Everything goes straight in, and all the flavor and nutrients stay right in the pan. Nothing goes to waste!

black beans, corn, and taco seasoning added to cooked ground beef and veggies

Once this trio goes in with the ground beef and veggies, give it a stir and let it reduce while you cut the cheese.

A Grate Decision!

The recipe calls for a blend of Colby jack and Oaxaca cheese, but you’re welcome to use any great melting cheese.

using a box grater to shred Colby jack and Oaxaca cheese

I do, however, highly recommend grating it fresh off the block as opposed to buying pre-shredded. It’s worth the few extra minutes of prep time, as the pre-shredded stuff will never melt the same.

The ground beef and black beans mixture should be thick and have very little to no liquid remaining before assembling your quesadillas. It will continue to thicken as it cools outside the skillet, but you’ll have trouble making crispy quesadillas if you have too much moisture remaining.

quesadilla filling in a bowl and grated cheese in another bowl

Making Southwest Quesadillas in Bulk

The recipe calls for wiping the skillet clean and making quesadillas right in the same skillet. But you’ll also be making 16 quesadillas, which will take a while in one pan.

So, if you’re okay with the extra dish washing, I recommend busting out another griddle or pan for double duty. Once you get in the rhythm of assembly, you can have 5-6 quesadillas going at once.

making ground beef quesadillas on a griddle

Another option for bulk prep is to make something like my oven baked chicken quesadillas on a sheet pan. They won’t be as crispy golden brown, but they’re still plenty tasty and allow more hands-off time to clean up before serving.

Speaking of…

Serving Your Cheesy Ground Beef Quesadillas

With all the veggies inside these beef quesadillas, you don’t need much. A little sour cream, guacamole, and salsa just about covers it. You may pair these with something like Mexican rice or pickled vegetables to round out the plate.

southwest ground beef quesadillas on a sheet pan with limes, guacamole, and Greek yogurt

And if you go the low calorie route in the recipe card’s notes section and need a calorie conscious dip option, check out the creamy yogurt salsa from my black bean and corn quesadillas or creamy jalapeño ranch.

You can also give these quesadillas a protein boost with Counter protein tortillas. (Disclaimer: I’m an investor in Counter.)

All right, now you know how to make superb cheesy beef quesadillas with veggies. I hope you enjoy this recipe. If you do, I always appreciate recipe reviews!

southwest ground beef quesadillas on a sheet pan with limes, guacamole, and Greek yogurt

Southwest Ground Beef Quesadillas

Yield: 16 Quesadillas
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Taco seasoned ground beef with onion and poblano peppers, black beans, and corn with Colby jack and Oaxaca cheese melted between tortillas.


  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 White Onion, diced
  • 1 Poblano Pepper, diced
  • 1 pound Ground Beef
  • 1 packet Taco Seasoning
  • 15 oz can Black Beans
  • 10 oz can Corn
  • Salt, to taste

For the Quesadillas

  • 16 Tortillas
  • 24 oz Shredded Cheese (I used a 2:1 blend of Colby jack and Oaxaca cheese)


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium- high heat. Add the onion and poblano and cook until softened, about 4-5 minutes.
  2. Push the veggies to one side of the pan and add the ground beef. Brown one side before breaking apart, mixing with the veggies, and fully cooking.
  3. Once the beef is fully cooked, add the taco seasoning, corn, and black beans (undrained). Cook for 2-3 minutes until the mixture begins to thicken and reduce to a simmer for another 3-4 minutes while you grate the cheese.
  4. Transfer the quesadillas filling to a bowl and carefully wipe the skillet clean. You can also use a separate griddle to cook more quesadillas at one time.
  5. Use cooking spray or a light drizzle of oil to coat the skillet before adding tortillas. Add 3/4 oz of cheese to one half of a tortilla, followed by 2 1/2 oz of the filling and another 3/4 oz of cheese on top. Fold to close and cook both sides until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes per side.


For lower calorie quesadillas, you can reduce the amount of cheese used to around 1 to 1.25 oz per quesadilla (16-20 oz total). You can also use something like Mission Carb Balance tortillas like in these ground turkey quesadillas

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 quesadilla
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 365Total Fat: 18gCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 17g

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