Easy Leftover Steak Quesadilla

September 2, 2021

By: Miranda Lamb

Leftover is such a demeaning word. In reality, leftovers are a cook’s best friend! Especially when you can make leftovers into a delicious meal your whole family will love, with half the work for you! So let’s jump into making easy leftover steak quesadillas. Beef quesadillas will soon be a weekday favorite.

In our home, quesadillas are enjoyed both with chicken or beef. So I’ll share some tips on using either meat so that this versatile meal will work for your family, whatever their tastes.

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leftover steak quesadilla

What Steak is Best For Quesadillas?

You want steak that can be thinly sliced or is very tender. Sirloin, flank steak or sirloin tip steak are great beef cuts that work well for steak quesadillas. But if you have leftover steak from the night before, THAT is truly the best steak to use! So don’t hesitate to use Porterhouse, Ribeye or New York Strip Steak. We even use round steak, which is a budget friendly cut that we often use for fajitas and steak sandwiches.

leftover steak quesadilla

What Can I Add to My Leftover Steak Quesadilla?

You can add about anything you want to a quesadilla. We typically add diced fresh green peppers and onions. That is our main staple from which we build out from. Once, as an experiment, I sautéed the green peppers and onions, thinking it would taste way better. But, I decided that I preferred the taste of the fresh green peppers and onions!

Here are ingredients you can add to your Mexican style quesadilla:

  • Green peppers
  • Onions
  • Jalapenos – fresh or from a can
  • Cilantro
  • Black beans – drained and rinsed
  • Cheese – typically we use mild cheddar or colby, but you can also try pepper jack
  • Meat – leftover steak or chicken is perfect
  • Salt – a dash of salt adds flavor
leftover steak quesadilla

Best Condiments for a Quesadilla?

If you don’t have sour cream in your house, then you need to rethink quesadilla night! Ok, well, maybe that’s just me. But if I can’t have sour cream with my quesadillas, its just not the same. I love to mix some sour cream with a little homemade salsa and then dip my quesadilla! Perfection!

Grab my easy Homemade Salsa Recipe here.

Sour cream, chopped avocado, salsa, cilantro, tortilla chips or cheese dip all compliment your quesadilla. This also means that you can keep the quesadillas recipe pretty basic and then allow everyone to add their extra fixings on the outside for additional flavoring.

Best Tips for Making Leftover Steak Quesadilla!

When making a quesadilla there are a couple tips you need to know. First, make sure you have the right size tortilla shell. Nowadays there are a gazillion choices in the tortilla aisle, which is great if you want to find something specific, like a low carb tortilla. But the wrong size tortilla shell can causes problems.

We tend to prefer Mission medium soft taco shells or Kroger brand soft taco shells, 10 count. I like the La Banderita Low Carb shells as they are reasonably priced for a low carb shell and they are the right size. AVOID the burrito size shells as they are way too big and hard to flip in the skillet. And the very small soft shells are too small for most adults.

leftover steak quesadilla

Here are a couple other tips for making great leftover steak quesadillas:

  • Make sure your skillet is good and hot so that the outside of your leftover steak quesadilla crisps nicely.
  • Cut your steak or chicken in small bit sizes and your veggies finely.
  • Add a little cheese to the bottom of the shell, add your ingredients and steak, then add a little more cheese. The cheese will hold everything together.
  • Don’t overstuff your quesadilla. If you add too many toppings then the tortilla shells won’t melt together and it is much harder to flip your quesadilla!
  • Season your meat. If you are using leftover steak, then your steak should already have some seasoning. If you are grilling some chicken for your quesadilla, then sprinkle a little fajitas or taco seasoning on the chicken as you grill. You don’t need a ton, just a little bit to add some flavoring.
Leftover steak quesadilla with steak, cheese, green peppers and onions

Leftover Steak Quesadilla

Ok, so now it’s your turn to grab the handy menu below and give it a try! What is your favorite extras to add to your quesadilla?

Easy Leftover Steak Quesadillas

Melted cheese, juicy steak and fresh onions and peppers come together in a warm skillet toasted tortilla shell.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken, leftover steak, quesadilla, tortilla
Servings: 5 people


  • 3-4 tbsp Canola oil
  • 3 Cups Leftover steak or chicken chopped
  • 3/4 Cup Diced green pepper
  • 3/4 Cup Diced onion
  • 2 Cups Shredded cheese
  • Cilantro optional
  • Jalapeno optional
  • Sour cream, salsa, black beans optional
  • 1 10 pack Mission Medium Soft Taco Shells or Kroger Soft Taco Shells


  • Pour 1 tbsp. of canola oil in skillet and heat on medium heat for 2 minutes. Place tortilla shell in skillet, moving tortilla shell around briefly in oil.
  • Sprinkle a little bit of cheese onto tortilla in the skillet.
  • Add leftover steak (or chicken) on tortilla shell.
  • Place some diced green pepper and onions onto tortilla shell. You can also add cilantro, jalapeno or black beans.
  • Sprinkle more cheese on top of the leftover steak and veggies. Quickly, place another tortilla shell on top of the leftover steak, cheese and veggies. Press down with the hand or the back of a spatula.
  • Allow filled tortilla to warm and toast for about 4-5 minutes. The first quesadilla takes a little longer as the skillet is warming up.
  • Once the first side of the quesadilla is lightly browned, place spatula under tortilla shell and quickly flip over. Brown on the other side for 2-3 minutes.
  • Place toasted quesadilla on plate or cutting board. Using pizza cutter, cut quesadilla into triangles.

2 thoughts on “Easy Leftover Steak Quesadilla”

  1. Perhaps in the ingredient list you should include the tortillas! Since you make note to be sure to use the correct size tortilla, perhaps share exactly what size that is! Tortillas come in sizes and you should specify since you made such a point of not using too large…are you inferring to use a very small tortilla or is that problematic too? Clarify the point you are making on tortilla size.

    1. Hi Donna, thanks for stopping by. I updated the printable recipe to specify which tortilla shell. And you will notice that you can click on the Mission brand link in the post and it will open to a picture of the exact brand and size I like to use. Hope that helps.

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